Friday, 29 July 2016

What I cherish #CBF16

Dear diary,

Remember when we first met in 2010? Onam in school? The war of flowers?The white uniform smeared with petals?  The mess in the classroom followed by the principal's chiding? And our mission to clean up the mess... emptying our water bottles to the floor while scrubbing it with the day's leftover newspapers!

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Ten to One - Do you know me?

I didn't want to do two tagged posts in a row at first, but this was too fun to resist. So once again here's a get to know me more post...followed from Vishal's, Leo's and Geets' posts. A total of fifty five questions in the order of ten to one. Hold your breath!

Source: FirstCovers

#Ten How's

How did you get one of your scars? 
  - I must have been five when a coconut shell somehow sprung out of the fireplace and landed on my chest. Thankfully, I don't recall the details...only that I cried and got a permanent burn mark on the skin.

Friday, 22 July 2016

A to Z of me #WritingWednesdays

So this interesting 'A to Z of me' post has been circling the blogosphere for a while. I saw it at Leo's, Sanch's, Geetika'sAnamika's and a few others. And now I'm in the list too...stating 26 random facts from A to Z about myself. Tadaa!

A- Age: Almost 18

B- Biggest fear: Rejection and Abandonment

Saturday, 16 July 2016

The Second Childhood - 7 of #Seven Ages

Last scene of all, 
That ends this strange eventful history, 
Is second childishness and mere oblivion, 
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
Source: myanimelist

He lifted his heavy eyelids very slowly, as though it was too stressful a task. Sunlight was flooding the room. He realized that he had fallen asleep midway through something. But what? Though his vision was blurred, it was just enough to tell him that someone was asleep on his lap. His grandson.

His quivering fingers gently stroked the young dark hair, recalling for a moment how he once had the same. The muscles on his face stressed to pull a smile, but his wrinkles seemed to get in the way. He contented himself by merely smiling from the inside.

“Daddy, you’re awake.” His daughter called out, and she was smiling. “The little guy’s grown up ain’t he?” she said, patting her son. “Mmh.” Her father managed to say, hoping she knew he was smiling. She had a tiny cup in hand, filled with some kind of tonic. He still hadn’t gotten used to his medicines, no matter how many times he’s had to have it. He let her feed him nevertheless, more so because he was helpless rather than the need to get better. What was the point anyway? His time was now close.

He did nothing, said very little, and was flopped in a chair all day. Lost in a world of his own that he himself couldn’t remember later on, his life revolved around the small moments spent with his children. Helplessness wasn’t the word he preferred, he liked to think of it instead as peacefulness.

The party was soon joined by his son as well. They laughed away like any other day, and he was content despite the pain in his chest. If not his physical body, at least his soul did heal. The drowsiness was creeping back into him, now overpowering what little energy he held.

Slowly, he crossed into oblivion. He was peaceful, and he was content. Maybe his face did not show it, but he was smiling at the time. It wasn’t the end after all, for a cycle has no beginning nor end, and such was life.

He lived in mind more than body, 
His smile was sound more than sorry. 
His final age  now at its brink, 
The world he left was his last link. 


This post is the last of a seven part series on the Seven Ages of Man (from Shakespeare's 'As You Like It')

Read all Seven Posts -

1. The Infant

2. The School Boy
3. The Lover
4. The Soldier
5. The Justice
6. The Pantaloon
7. The Second Childhood

Linking with Write Tribe's Festival of Words for a Seven Day Blogging Challenge.

Friday, 15 July 2016

The Pantaloon - 6 of #Seven Ages

The sixth age shifts 
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon, 
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side, 
His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide 
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice, 
Turning again towards childish treble, pipes 
And whistles in his sound.
Source: gaia

His fingers were too accustomed to punching buttons. The slight touch and brush on the screen seemed complicated to him. He carried it around as if it were an antique piece of crystal, afraid he might damage it. He couldn’t understand why everyone took the trouble to get hold of them. The funniest thing was how they called it ‘smartphones’, for he felt if anyone were smart they wouldn't buy such touch phones in the first place.

“Trust me, dad, this one is way better! You just need to get used to it.” He was told repeatedly, and this was the only reason he still kept it. After all, how could he dispose of a gift from his own son? So he rubbed his fingers on the mobile screen everyday and discovered that it was indeed interesting. For it would surprise him with each brush of a finger...randomly calling some old friend he’d lost touch with, or displaying the live cricket scores, or sometimes even showing the weather conditions in Chicago…if only he’d been living there!

He’d sit in his rocking chair with those heavy round spectacles on. The newspaper; his oldest friend, would be by his side. It always told him of the ever-changing world, and remained unchanged itself. He hoped it would survive in this growing digitized world.

His reverie was interrupted by the slow, trudging footsteps he was so familiar to.  There was a creak as the second rocking chair in the room was occupied.
“Any new accident calls today?” asked its occupant. He shook his head, his not-so-smart phone (as he liked to call it) in hand, “No. But what’s this? I see myself. S'that the selfie camera they talking about ehh? Looky here!”
His partner craned her neck from her chair to get a better view. The screen froze with the two of their pretty, wrinkled faces.
“Ha! We took a selfie!” he exclaimed. “Let me see it.” She said, putting on her own pair of spectacles. Holding the phone gingerly, she peered at the screen only inches away from her nose and broke into a laugh too.

The two rocking chairs creaked in a homely rhythm as they tried another selfie. His life had become dull after retirement, being all about daily chores. But there was just one thing that he always loved but never confessed - her company. And this togetherness was something he cherished very much.  

In silence and companionship 
Peace he had found. 
His age was last but one 
Ahead was one more round.   

This post is the sixth of a seven part series on the Seven Ages of Man (from Shakespeare's 'As You Like It')

Read all Seven Posts -

1. The Infant

2. The School Boy
3. The Lover
4. The Soldier
5. The Justice
6. The Pantaloon
7. The Second Childhood

Linking with Write Tribe's Festival of Words for a Seven Day Blogging Challenge.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

The Justice - 5 of #Seven Ages

And then the justice, 
In fair round belly with good capon lined, 
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,  
Full of wise saws and modern instances; 
And so he plays his part. 
Source: BehindVoice
Not a single seat was left in the hall. The men and women sat discussing their work and family, occasionally keeping an eye on their kids running about. Tables were being filled with juices and the variety of dishes. It was like any other dinner party for him. In the midst of the 'important' ones in the crowd, he sat watching the many different faces around him.

There were the first-timers acting busy on their phones when they actually were lost in the crowd. There were the regulars who talked and pleased every person in the room in their never-ending efforts to impress the world. There were the youngsters who tagged along with the older men and did nothing to hide the fact they were totally bored. He sighed. Once upon a time, he’d been through those times too. How silly had he been, how na├»ve! But of course, now he knew better. After all the hard work and perseverance, here he was amongst the well-to-do people spending a cheerful evening.

He watched his excited little son sprint across the hall towards him. “Hey dad, look at that guy!” exclaimed the little one, his finger pointing at the young dude seated in a corner. He was one of those freaks with ear piercings, a tattoo, several hand bands and one of those dog-chains resting on his printed grey tee. His hair was long and stuck out in odd directions. “His hairstyle 
looks so cool! I wanna be cool like that, dad!” cried the little one. 

His father laughed, “Getting a hairstyle like that won’t make you cool kiddo. You become cool when you’re a good boy, and you become supercool if you get good grades, understand?” The little boy looked unconvinced, but nodded. “But that hairstyle is cool no, really!” he insisted, to which his father laughed a bit more. “You don’t think my hair is cool?” he asked. The little boy grinned, stuck out his tongue at him and ran off.

“Lovely boy” said the gentleman next to him. He smiled and nodded. Life was good. He had a reputable job, a nice home and a lovely family. He was well respected in his office club and society. What more could he ask for? For now, he just had the dinner delicacies to look forward to.

His wisdom grew with days, 
Experiences in plenty he made. 
Fifth age in all its ways 
Was best though two still laid. 

This post is the fifth of a seven part series on the Seven Ages of Man (from Shakespeare's 'As You Like It')

Read all Seven Posts -

1. The Infant

2. The School Boy
3. The Lover
4. The Soldier
5. The Justice
6. The Pantaloon
7. The Second Childhood

Linking with Write Tribe's Festival of Words for a Seven Day Blogging Challenge.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

The Soldier - 4 of #Seven Ages

Then a soldier 
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard, 
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, 
Seeking the bubble reputation 
Even in the cannon's mouth

Source: Pinterest

"You'll get yourself killed, or worse, expelled!" she exclaimed, giggling. He gave her a disgusted look, "This isn't Hogwarts!" he said, "And unlike you, I'm serious."
"Please tell me you are not." came a voice from behind him. He swivelled his rolling chair to face the rest of his colleagues. "Why?" he said coldly, his tensed cheekbones with jet black beard scaring the hell out of them.

"Listen dude." began a guy among the lot, "She's right. You'll only get fired, what good will that do to anybody? Don't be will yeh!" he could see that he'd gone too far. The bearded pard had leapt from his seat in anger, sending the chair flying backwards.
"Stupid?!" he roared, "You let them treat you like slaves, and I'm the one who's stupid?!" Heads turned from the whole of the office room. He felt pleased with the attention he received.

"Why don't you get it?" his tone was now pleading, "We can't continue to work extra hours this way, not unless they give us a raise! Don't you see how they're exploiting us? Join me in the boycott, let's fight till they agree to negotiate!"
The onlookers had broken into murmurs. It continued till one of them mustered the courage to speak, "Things don't work that way here mate...besides, it might get better in the coming months after all."

He shook his head sadly. They were too afraid. But he wasn't. And he wasn't the kind to back off either. He was about to speak again when there was a tap on his shoulder. "Boss wants to see you." announced the assistant.

The crowd watched in silence as he made his way to their boss's cubicle. They knew only too well how their boss was always well informed of whatever happened in there, although they never could figure out how.

Back in the cubicle, the boss calmly eyed the young man before him. "I hear you have problems working here?" he quipped. The employee looked him in the eye and replied, "All that you heard is true." The boss didn't seem surprised. He continued calmly, "Then we shall no  more need your service."

The man nodded as if he'd expected this. He was going to be jobless and broke, but he knew his colleagues would admire him for his fearless sacrifice. Taking off his ID card, he placed it on the desk. And then, without another word, he swaggered his way out with dignity.

With wrath he'd fight his way
In the end he'd have his say. 
His age was fourth today 
Three more not far away.

This post is the fourth of a seven part series on the Seven Ages of Man (from Shakespeare's 'As You Like It')

Read all Seven Posts -

1. The Infant

2. The School Boy
3. The Lover
4. The Soldier
5. The Justice
6. The Pantaloon
7. The Second Childhood

Linking with Write Tribe's Festival of Words for a Seven Day Blogging Challenge.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

The Lover - 3 of #Seven Ages

"And then the lover, 
Sighing like furnace, 
with a woeful ballad 
Made to his mistress' eyebrow."

Source: Deviantart

Scores of students poured into the corridor right after the bell. He stood by the pillar outside her classroom door, waiting. He wasn't disappointed, for she came out soon enough with her girlfriends on either side. A strand of soft, silky hair parted from her head, gently tickling her cheeks. Her fingers rose to push the strand away, when suddenly a shadow fell upon her. She halted to look up, and met his gaze.

There was a commotion in the corridor as the sea of students halted to feast on the interesting scene. But he did not care. To him, only she mattered. Her girlfriends had taken a step backwards, giggling all the way. He realized that he had been gaping at her for longer than he had intended.
"Yeah?" she questioned, with raised eyebrows.

He cleared his throat, trying to hide how nervous he was. Slowly, he unfolded the piece of paper in his hand, mostly to avoid awkward eye contact rather than for the fear of forgetting his lines. And then, he began -
"In my life for once,
 heaven had I now seen.
Trust me as I speak,
Your very eyes it had been.
My heart is in your smiles,
My days shine in your light.
For you, I'd travel miles
No matter day or night.
So I think you should know too,
That dear, I love you."

He looked up expectantly, wishing the murmurs in the background could miraculously turn into Bollywood music. "I wrote it for you." he said, just in case it wasn't obvious. He was pleased to find her blushing. Surely, she couldn't deny that she was impressed. But somehow she looked unconvinced.

"Look" she spoke in her divine voice, "I'm sorry, but I don't know you yet. So..." her head tilted ever so cutely as she shook it conveying a clear 'no'. He watched her walk away with a sigh. Looked like he needed more than just a poem to win her.

With no love, he knew no life. 
For love, he'd take the knife. 
He lived now the third age, 
With four more yet to engage.


This post is the third of a seven part series on the Seven Ages of Man (from Shakespeare's 'As You Like It')

Read all Seven Posts -

1. The Infant

2. The School Boy
3. The Lover
4. The Soldier
5. The Justice
6. The Pantaloon
7. The Second Childhood

Linking with Write Tribe's Festival of Words for a Seven Day Blogging Challenge.

Monday, 11 July 2016

The School Boy - 2 of #Seven Ages

"Then, the whining school boy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like a snail 
Unwilling to school."
Source: Pinterest

It was six in the morning, and as usual his ears failed to register the sound of the alarm. His senses in the morning only responded to his mother's hollering from the kitchen.

"Five...more...minutes" he mumbled, not conscious enough to know that no one would hear him. And then, just as his mother appeared to beat the sleep out of him, his eyes popped open and he sprang out of his blankets like magic.

Furiously brushing his teeth, he silently wished yet again that there be an unexpected holiday in school. He promised to god that he'll definitely complete Miss Jane's homework then, for he was only in want of time. It's just that he simply couldn't have missed  that Pokemon episode. He'd meant to do the work later on but had fallen asleep. That wasn't his fault now was it?

Another bellowing from the kitchen broke his train of thought as he rushed back into his room to don his school uniform. He had five minutes to pack his bag, find a pair of matching socks, polish his shoes and have his food before the school bus arrived. It always seemed impossible to him, but every time his momma came to the rescue and got all things done for him in a jiffy, sadly never leaving him an opportunity to miss his school bus.

As he stood all groomed up at the door waiting for the bus, he still had the tiniest ray of hope for the bus to break down midway and not show up. Unfortunately, he never did have that good luck. He watched with a sigh as the bus honked its way through to him, all perfect and working. But his spirits returned to him once he noticed his friends beaming at him through the windows.

Who cared about Miss Jane or her homework after all?! He had his friends to meet in school, and plenty of fun to have. Surely, he couldn't miss that for anything!

His world revolved from home to school 
He liked no row nor rule 
The second age, his life was through 
He now had five more too!


This post is the second of a seven part series on the Seven Ages of Man (from Shakespeare's 'As You Like It')

Read all Seven Posts -

1. The Infant

2. The School Boy
3. The Lover
4. The Soldier
5. The Justice
6. The Pantaloon
7. The Second Childhood

Linking with Write Tribe's Festival of Words for a Seven Day Blogging Challenge.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Infant - 1 of #Seven Ages

"And one man in his time plays many parts,  
His acts being seven ages."
Greetings dear wanderer, we're about to embark on the journey of life through seven ages. The world has come to know of it through Shakespeare, and here we shall travel along with his words. So here goes the beginning...the very first stage.
"At first the infant, 
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms."

Source: photobucket

There in the crib surrounded by a crowd lay the sweet little baby. He stirred with the slightest effort, the tiny limbs digging gently into the soft cushions. With eyes so wide, one could tell he was trying hard to make out what he saw around him. A chorus of 'awww' followed as he looked on with the greatest wonder in his eyes.

They were bobbing their heads with widened eyes. How funny they looked! These people were making noises with their mouths, and he wondered how they did that. He tried to do it too, moving his mouth every other way. But the best he could splutter out was a mild 'ggah!'. He felt considerably proud of his feat though, and looked up at them expectantly. But sadly, nobody had noticed.

He now found a small round thing next to him and began inspecting it with utmost keenness.
"Ooh you've got a lovely ball haven't you?!" exclaimed one of them from up there. He looked up at them, trying to decipher what he had just heard, and maybe imitate it too.

'Ggah!' he managed to say again. This time when he looked up, there was his mama beaming down at him. "Mama!" she exclaimed, "Can you say that? Maa-maa!"
He noticed her lips sealing and then parting again. Gathering what little energy he had, he pressed his tiny lips and tore them apart with a small effort, and out came the sound "mmah!"

Delighted, his mama scooped him up and planted a kiss on his face. He beamed with joy. Mama was happy. He too was happy. But all the effort had left him exhausted. His eyelids grew heavy and slowly slid down as his consciousness plunged into a far off dreamland.

Joy and wonder was all he knew 
And then the cries and wails a few 
His age the first, six more to go 
Innocence a whole, his life was so!

This post is the first of a seven part series on the Seven Ages of Man (from Shakespeare's 'As You Like It')

Read all Seven Posts -

1. The Infant

2. The School Boy
3. The Lover
4. The Soldier
5. The Justice
6. The Pantaloon
7. The Second Childhood

Linking with Write Tribe's Festival of Words for a Seven Day Blogging Challenge.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Richer than the Rich

"Why do you look upset dear?" the voice was heavy with concern. The little girl in rags looked up at the tall lady standing before her. She had tight jeans and a sleeveless tee on with a pair of sunglasses that matched with her outfit. A beaded bag with a slightly torn zipper hung over her shoulder. "What's the matter?" she asked again.

The little girl took a few steps back, clutching a poker in her hand. She couldn't understand why this strange lady was talking to her. "Do you need something fixed?" she asked the lady, shooting furtive glances behind her at the same time. It was only then that the lady noticed the few torn shoes and bags at her feet along with some repairing tools. Fumbling through her beaded bag, she dished out some cash and handed it out to her, only to find the little girl shaking her head. "Do you need something fixed?" she repeated, still with worried glances across the road.

The lady stared at this shabby kid who must be all of eight years old, living in the roadside, and refusing money. "Are you expecting someone?" she asked her, following her anxious glances. The girl looked suddenly frightened as her eyes darted back to the stranger.
"A-are you here to take me too??" she stammered. The lady found this reaction to be quite strange. She knelt down and touched her hand, "I'm here to help."

The girl sprang back in horror. No stranger had ever come close to her, much less touch her! "What do you want?" she cried, "Dada's missing! They took him! I know they did! I won't let you take me too!" The lady knew now that she needed help. "Who took your Dada?" she asked patiently, " We'll find him together." The little girl  only looked on with great suspicion.

Then, quite hesitantly, she began to speak up, "They came here the other day, telling us not to work anymore. They told us to beg instead. They said, that way, they'd make us rich!"

The lady was surprised to find a look of disgust on her face, "Don't you want to be rich?" she asked. The girl shook her head, "Never! I know how rich people are. Dada told me about them. They are cruel people. They like money more than their dadas, I would never be like them!"

"Did your Dada go with them then?" asked the lady. "No way! Dada would never beg! He refused, and they started fighting. Dada went away today morning and hasn't returned yet! They must have taken him!"

 The lady went closer to her, trying to reassure the lost soul. The sun was beginning to vanish, and she wished she had a pack of biscuits to give this girl - for she probably hadn't eaten all day. Just as she was contemplating to take the girl to the nearest shop, there was a quick, fierce movement behind her. And before she knew it, a young boy had yanked the little girl away from the woman. He looked barely sixteen, and was as shabbily dressed as the girl was.

"Dada!" squealed the little girl with a tone mixed with joy and relief. But the boy did not seem pleased. "I told you to stay away from such people didn't I?" he scolded. His sister was shaking her head, "No Dada. Don't worry. She isn't rich, she was very kind to me." The boy eyed the well-dressed, posh woman with some caution. His scrutiny was disturbed by a tug of his shirt, "Did they hit you Dada? What happened?!" He turned away from the intruder and gave the little girl a huge smile. "Nobody hit me Munni! Dada found a job! And soon you will go back to school!" Little Munni was jubilant as she leaped over to hug her brother.

The woman watched the celebration in silence, holding the few currency notes that had failed to soothe the little girl. Her own life hadn't treated her well, and she wished she could trade her money for someone who genuinely cared for her like Dada did his sister.

He'd noticed that the lady hadn't left. "Can I help you?" he asked. She felt guilty for not being the one asking the same to them.  Taking out the beaded bag with the torn zipper, she said "I need this fixed."  The boy nodded and took the bag.

As he set to work, his sister sat down next to him, smiling as if she was the happiest person on earth. The woman looked at her beaded bag that cost more than what the kids earned in a day. Yet, the smiles on their faces was something she was unable to buy for herself. She knew then, that they were truly richer than the rich.

Linking with #MondayMusings