My monster

The itch to write had me preoccupied for a few days now, staring out of windows, into empty spaces desperately trying to form an idea. Words tumbling around and forming sentences, sentences building on sentences and forming an idea and tumbling away shyly with a broken confidence.

Then a scene transpired, I was chasing a cat in my house calling out its name, the cat ran under the dining table and settled down there. I sat down cross-legged calling out for my cat to come out.

Journeying to the office, at the office, at lunch and while journeying back nothing substantial materialized.But the itch grew stronger and stronger growling and snarling, tearing my thoughts apart and demanding appeasement.

I playfully pushed the ball of yarn, underneath the table, towards the cat. Within a few seconds, the ball of yarn rolled to my legs again and soon a game pass-pass ensued.

After dinner, I grabbed a pen and my book, back to the bare basics, doodling always calmed the itch and let the thoughts flow more easily. Determined to write something before going to bed, I leaned back and closed my eyes, my mind meandered for awhile amongst the events of the day. Then a scene transpired, I was chasing a cat in my house calling out its name, the cat ran under the dining table and settled down there. I sat down cross-legged calling out for my cat to come out. A ball of yarn rolled from underneath the table and rested near my crossed legs, I am not a person who knits, how am I to knit a ball of yarn into my story?, I wondered. I playfully pushed the ball of yarn, underneath the table, towards the cat. Within a few seconds, the ball of yarn rolled to my legs again and soon a game pass-pass ensued.

I pushed the ball towards the cat for the ninth time, I caught something move from the corner of my left eye, I turned to see the cat sitting at the far end of the room staring at me intently, I turned  around and looked down and watched as the ball of yarn rolled and rested at my feet. A sudden chill gripped me …

Do I own two cats or one?  My curiosity triumphed over my fear as I gingerly bent down to catch a glimpse of what was underneath the table…suddenly, I felt something warm and furry touch my hand startling me out of my half-conscious state and back into my room. I looked around half confused, succeeding in dismissing it as my imagination I pulled my thoughts together wondering if I could build a story out of it, suddenly I heard a distinct purr from underneath the bed.

I don’t own a cat.

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Tied together

She picked a few jasmine flowers, arranged them against the garland and adeptly tied them together with the thread . The aroma of the flowers beckoned her to travel to those happier days, she drifted slowly. Back to those days when her son used to play with the thread and the flowers as she tied the flowers together. Jasmines were his favourite, he used to play with the few flowers she used to tie together for him. In the evenings she used to sell the garlands in the local market with her son on her lap. After school, her daughter also joined her there until they had sold all the flowers. Life was simple but joyful and pleasant.

She felt the closest to him while she made garlands, jasmines bought back all the fond memories.

The high fever that ensued after losing her son to pneumonia had left her nearly blind. The doctors in the nearby government hospital had told her that it could be cured. But she refused treatment; they could not afford it, also her senses were powerful now. She could recall the memories with greater strength, his touch, his wails , his cry, his laughter, the way his soft body felt in her hands, she missed him dearly. She felt the closest to him while she made garlands, jasmines bought back all the fond memories. She remembered his bewitching smile, she affectionately felt the half-done garland in her hand and smiled deeply as tears trickled down her cheeks. In the evenings, she and her daughter, Chaitra sold the flowers in the nearby market.
Renuka bought flowers from the blind woman as they made their way to the temple. In the temple they handed the basket containing coconut, flowers, incense, fruits and the call letter to the priest. Today, she had received her call letter for her first job, she could not stop laughing.

The extended family watched as they laid their sweet Mohini into the magnificently decorated cradle.

He twirled the jasmine garland around the railings of the iron cradle, the entire hall was decorated in flowers. It was a joyous day – the naming ceremony of their daughter. They had decided on Mohini. The extended family watched as they laid their sweet Mohini into the magnificently decorated cradle. His wife picked a flower and playfully threw it on their daughter and continued to tickle her belly. Mohini clapped her hands and laughed.

She tried desperately to be brave and hold back the tears but in vain. The hot wax from the candle splattered on the wax covered floor and splashed onto her feet and burned her but she cared less.

Jia looked around the church frantically not knowing what to do with the candles and flowers. It had been more than a decade since she stepped into the place. She watched a man bind the candles with flowers and then walk over to light them from another man who was standing there and praying with lit candles, she did the same. She stood in a corner and held the lit candles tightly and prayed, painfully pleaded for the recovery of her mother-in-law. She tried desperately to be brave and hold back the tears but in vain. The hot wax from the candle splattered on the wax covered floor and splashed on her feet and burned her but she cared less. The band of lilies protected her hands from the wax.

The butterflies in her stomach fluttered even harder. She took a deep breath as she stepped onto the altar.

She clutched the bouquet of exquisitely decorated flowers tightly as she walked down the aisle with her father. He was standing at the altar looking regal in a suit , as she stared at him their eyes met and she immediately blushed. The butterflies in her stomach fluttered even harder. She took a deep breath as she stepped on the altar.

Feeling silly after a few seconds of standing there and staring up at the tree she continued walking and aimed the flower at a tiny puddle. The flower hit the puddle and the ripples reached the edges of the puddle.

She walked down the wet road teary eyed  and with a heavy heart. It had been a disastrous day in school, she had fought with her friends, had got punished by the teacher, broken a beaker in the lab. She felt lonely, she blotted  her eyes with a tissue. A sudden breeze made a tree dance like a drunk man and shower her with its flowers. She looked up at the tree, pouting, half expecting it to talk and comfort her. Feeling silly after a few seconds of standing there and staring up at the tree she continued walking and aimed the flower at a tiny puddle. The flower hit the puddle and the ripples reached the edges of the puddle. She thought to herself, maybe things would be better tomorrow or maybe not, but there was no point in pouting at a tree and she looked back at the tree and laughed to herself.

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Ardent late risers

Grabs the clock and pulls out the batteries to stop the incessant ticking.
Loudly brays, “Broken clock is a comfort, let’s me sleep tonight..” from Broken – Lifehouse

Heads to bed.

I dreamt of you last night …

The train moved forward, silently cutting through time. Passing through landscapes basking in the sunlight, picturesque, befitting a painting done with a careless hand, blurred and blotched but with an eye for colors.

They sat in a gay embrace as shimmers of the golden light  fluttered around, wanting to touch and kiss them, hoping to be a part of the glory. Like moths to a flickering light, the light swarmed around them.

A sweet breeze blew around caressing their cheeks and binding them with an ancient tune that is now lost on our kind. Like the sweetness of bells ringing from atop a distant mountain, they cuddled, kissed, whispered and giggled.

The baby-faced cherub with the love arrow descended on them only to find his job done, done very well. He watched the paradisaical moment half in joy and half wondering if he should call Eris  to wreck chaos and then strike them with the love arrow. He could flutter away feeling accomplished. But the baby-faced cherub decided to let it slide. He decided to get back to his idyllic repose and reminisce of the times when love lasted for a human lifetime.

He turned around mid-air to look back at them one last time, suddenly a figure in front of the lovers caught his eye. Her hair was lashing about with the harsh wind blowing in from the window, but she stood still and stared vaguely at the couple seated in front of her. To quench his curiosity he flew down to her and gently touched her, she muttered

” Whenever we spoke, all I could feel was the fruitlessness, words being spilled in vain, lost in the vast sea between us. Until reality looked me in the eye and called me out for the delusional child I was, I sidestepped till I was pinned and left gasping.

Unwilling to  let go, unwilling to hold on, stood I.

Strive? For what ?

For the hollowness within?”

“But they are destined,” he said, “I think …” he drifted.

Handle herself

The cool night air played around with her hair, the car made its way down the road at a leisurely pace. She caught her reflection in the side  mirror, adjusted her hair, winked at herself in the mirror and grinned.

“Girls and mirrors”, told her grandfather and laughed.

” Well, the love is mutual “, she added and laughed

I will try to visit as often as I can, as often as my pocket can stretch

“I am going to miss these drives” sighed grandfather as they turned into a side lane. “You could visit me often it is not very far off, a night’s journey,”she paused, a tingling sensation ran through her, she clapped her hands and added cheerfully, “I will try to visit as often as I can, as often as my pocket can stretch.”

Grandfather scratched his head and then put his hair back in its place by running his hand through them. He scratched his beard and looked at his granddaughter through the mirror and asked, “Are you nervous?”

“Just be yourself and everything will be alright”, comforted her Grandfather. 

“Very nervous and scared, excited as well but mostly nervous,” she let out a short laugh, turned towards Grandfather and continued, “What if no one likes me? What if I make more enemies than friends? What if I don’t like it there?”

“Just be yourself and everything will be alright”, comforted her Grandfather. ” I remember when I first had to go away from home …”, he was rudely interrupted from the barrage of honking from the car behind them. It was trying to overtake them, they tried from the right side and then the left but realising that it was not possible because of the small lane they continued honking incessantly. 

“Grandpa, calm down, don’t speed up”

Grandfather panicked, he speeded up hoping to put some distance between them. He drove to the left but they could not pass, they honked and taunted. She looked at her Grandfather and calmly said, “Grandpa, calm down, don’t speed up”. By then the road widened, they were able to overtake them, as they passed the guy in the driving seat leaned to the right and held out his middle finger. She put her head out on an impulse and yelled out, “Don’t worry, with the way you’re driving you will get there soon”, he looked back at her confused and the other guy in the front seat burst out laughing. 

She immediately leaned back, pressing herself into the seat, unable to believe what she had done. She slowly turned to her Grandfather, he giggled and said,” Very clever.”

“I just got off the phone with your Grandfather and he told me that I don’t have to worry about you as you can handle yourself. Handle yourself!”

She was in her room sorting through her clothes, separating the ones she would need and the ones which could be boxed and put away, when her mother walked into her room in a puff, “What did you do?” She asked angrily with her brows furrowed and eyes wide opened. “What do you mean?” she replied meekly while her mind quickly ran through the past few days for any crimes she might have committed. “I just got off the phone with your Grandfather and he told me that I don’t have to worry about you as you can handle yourself. Handle yourself!”. She stressed on the two words, “What did you do? What did you do for him to feel that way?” 

“You should have asked him yourself”

She threw up her hands and exclaimed, “How can I ask him that!”

“Why not!? Besides maybe he saw me handling some situation with maturity and concluded on that”, she reasoned

“Ha! No! He would have seen you being  haughty and talking back to someone and concluded that. Oh, God! Handle yourself” 

“So what? Isn’t that a good thing?”, she shrugged irritated by her mother.

” Girls should be demure, sweetheart”.

She looked down and snorted, her mother eyed her with great tolerance and then turned around and walked out of her room throwing her hands up in the air and saying,”God knows! My daughter!”

A spot of red in the zone

Silence reigned in the classroom, Mr. Mathematics egged us to find the number of tiles of 27cm required for a hall of length 275m. Our teacher was nose deep in the math book trying to pick trickier and tougher problems in a bid to make sure we detested Mr. Mathematics.

maybe drop by Algebra’s place for a cup of tea and gossip about Trignometry, that snooty tart ..

One could sense the pain in Mr. Mathematic’s eyes as he beckoned us to join him on a journey solving all his problems and maybe drop by Algebra’s place for a cup of tea and gossip about Trignometry, that snooty tart who visited one only when it deemed one was worth its presence.

This was back in those simpler times when all it transferred was the grave D and the dreadful M.

At first, it whizzed past me like it had a destination to reach, my ears were barely able to pick up the buzz of this dreadful carrier of diseases. But it decided to abandon its destination and hang around for awhile. This was back in those simpler times when all it transferred was the grave D and the dreadful M. It hovered over my head for a few seconds and then swiftly swooped down close to my ear and buzzed loudly, I shook my head to shoo it away. But it was at it again after a few seconds.

I look up to see the Mos Quito heading straight to my face. It had declared war and i was in the zone.

It swopped down to my ear again,

I shooed it away with my hand

It got to my elbow, I shook my hand.

It hovered over my thighs, I patted  on my thighs blindly.

It got near my feet and I stomped them.

And it went away…

After a few seconds, I heard a faint buzz and it slowly grew louder. I look up to see the Mos Quito heading straight to my face. It had declared war and I was in the zone.I dropped the pen and with great concentration I bought both my hands together with a resounding clap which rang through the room.

Everyone turned to me in confusion and I went red and looked down at my palms.

A spot of red on my hands.

The audacious Mos Quito had met its ghastly end.

Curse responsibility

Curse responsibility, two words which garnered immense depth for me by just one incident. Mind you, I am not one who shies away from cursing. And I believe it is perfectly justifiable to curse when you are vexed.
It happened when the B-word was all the rage. When it was okay for friends to call each other the B-word and I used the word liberally. I was still studying back then. On returning home after spending a horrid day at college I headed straight to bed. But I could only catch an hour’s worth of sleep as I had to attend classes at 3 p.m again. This hour’s worth of sleep did not do me any good. I did not feel a least bit rested but instead it left me with a throbbing headache and it was already 3 p.m. After dragging myself out of bed and getting ready to get out I realised I was short on money to catch an auto.

My eyes heavy with sleep, my head throbbing in pain, irritated and angry at having to attend classes I sleep walked my way to my mum half knowing it would not end well. I requested her for some extra money. She held out the money but refused to part with it without giving me an earful of how tardy a creature I had become off late.

I yanked at the money, but my mum tightened the grip and then BOOM!

She did have a genuine point but I was in no mood to listen to her with the clock ticking, my head throbbing and my eyes drooping. I had nearly reached the boiling point. I yanked at the money, but my mum tightened the grip and then BOOM! I dropped the B-Word. It just slipped out even before I knew it. My mum’s grip loosened, shoulders dropped and she stared at me with a sad face. That face! That expression! It haunts me to date. I grabbed the money and got out of the house ashamed of what I had done.

It has been more than a decade since and I still look back at the incident cringing at what I did

I spent the rest of day admonishing myself, trying to justify what I did but terribly failing at it. I felt like a worthless creature. When i did return home I found my mum very silent, clearly she was hurt. But for the next couple of days I did hear it from my mum and my dad. Shameful, the entire episode left me shameful. It has been more than a decade since and I still look back at the incident cringing at what I did.

One, words have an impact, even curses and when you do take the responsibility of cursing you should be willing to bear the brunt.

Ever since that day I learnt three important lessons. One, words have an impact, even curses and when you do take the responsibility of cursing you should be willing to bear the brunt. Two, to have a control over my potty mouth and to keep cursing outside the sanctity of my home. Three, an hour’s sleep just makes me cranky and irritated.

Tenderly …

She hugged her daughter tightly,
tenderly and tightly

not wanting to let go.

Desperately praying,

praying and hoping that they would change their mind. Though she knew it was not going to happen. She was just to bear their child. The deep pain within her quickly rose unchallenged and burst out in a short silent wail. Tears trickled down her cheeks and landed on her weeks old daughter’s soft head.

The mother grew frantic and nudged at her husband to get the baby. The husband took an uncertain step forward and stopped, not willing to separate them.

Her sister grasped her shoulders tightly while her mother took her daughter away from her and handed it over to the wife. Her daughter begin to cry as soon as the  wife’s cold hands touched her but quietened down once she was lulled.

The wife hugged her tightly and looked down at her innocent face unable to hide the joy. While the woman who gave birth to her lay their weeping.

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