Showing posts with label Real Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Real Life. Show all posts
April 09, 2014

Short Messages to Dad -

My A_Z journey ends here. I have been down with a heat related stomach infection for a couple of days. Having missed three posts in a row, it's only fair I quit. I will continue to post a-z tidbits when I get better.

A big thank you to Alex, Michelle and others who visited and tried to make me feel better.
April 07, 2014

Short Messages to Dad - Letter F

Letter F - Future

Conversation to Past & Future

Image courtesy -InspirationBoost/quotes

Life goes on... Nothing's changed, snail paced at times and missing an important element - you.
Someone said,"You don't die with the dead". True enough. You can - you just don't. 

Mom is coping badly...Work keeps my grief at bay but for someone who made you the focus of her life, time has slowed down. 
Rifled through your clothes - found the birthday ones with shopping tags intact - planning to give them away.

All I need is a future plan to bring a smile on mom's face - one not dependent on your grand kids.  

Any ideas, dad? I am desperate. 
April 06, 2014

Short Messages to Dad - Letter E

Letter E - Ethics

Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do - Potter Stewart

You could have been a rich man with luxurious apartments and fancy cars. You were surrounded by ones who build personal fortunes through devious means and never got caught. You worked in the banking industry - loans and advances - and held a position that offered such opportunities. You never took those bribes and commissions for breaking rules - never gave it a second thought.

Money was important but not enough to discard professional ethics. You watched bosses, colleagues and juniors take hefty cuts from businessmen. Those bundles of money never swayed you. 

This was your greatest asset that you passed on to me and bro. You considered us your assets - your wealth. 

 My greatest joy - honest, hardworking parents who scrimped and sacrificed to give us the best they could. My greatest regret - my inability to fulfill those professional dreams you had, for me. Where I failed, your son made you proud. He truly deserved to hold your remains - your ashes.

I try to follow your footsteps. You know I don't write false web copy or blog reviews for harmful products, and have never written fake book reviews for monetary compensation. 

Were you proud of me, dad? 
April 04, 2014

Short Messages to Dad - Letter C and D

* The auto posting failed and I failed to notice. I have edited it to add letters C and D in today's post. *

Letter C - Crab

Anyone who's lost someone to the crab will say this, that you have to struggle to try to remember the person before the diagnosis happened, because they really do change - as anyone would change - Mindy Kaling

I've met my share of crabs in my short life. Most of these have been the homo-sapien kind, although I encountered a couple of eight-legged ones on the beach. 

Some become close friends - one of them, 20 years older than me, still is - you know who I am talking about, don't you dad? You liked her too, as did any everyone who met Aunt. 
Other crabs were nice, shy, weird or rude. They were friendly and reserved; moody and talkative - much like me. 

And then - there were three - possessing all the negative traits of this sun sign and more - they made my life miserable, and yours by extension.

I believed all crabs were made equal. I was so wrong.

The worst of the lot was the invisible one - the villain who attacks innocents by pretending to make perfect cellular copies of them. It doesn't discriminate - age, colour, religion, sex, race, language, education, wealth, and country - doesn't matter.

This black monster chose you as his next victim - started off as benign and curable - weakened you -  an everyday viral infection killed you. No symptoms except constant back pain - brushed off as old age and worn out bones - could we have saved you?

Letter D - D Day

It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was - Anne SextonAmerican poet 
Today is the fourth day of the four month of this year. 
It's been a month since I last heard your voice. Come to think of it, I haven't heard your voice for longer than that, ever since they shifted you to the C.C.U. 
Four was my lucky number - my birth number, but now, I will forever associate it with the day you moved on to another realm - we will argue about these realms some other day.

You made promises - you broke them. I made promises - I broke them. You died early in the morning, in your sleep - in a coma.  A gentleman till the end -  making sure your children didn't have to run around getting things arranged. You gave loved ones enough time to make it to the funeral site. I called up two banker friends from Mumbai, who kept in touch with you, post retirement. Other cried over the phone but I had to hold back my tears, for later. 

Every one whose company you enjoyed turned up - some by the first available flight and some by road. It was a small group of 30 odd relatives that gathered around us, giving us strength and comfort. 

April 02, 2014

Short Messages to Dad - Letter B

 B - Beaches
The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach - waiting for a gift from the sea.Anne Morrow Lindbergh

You loved beaches. It was befitting your ashes were scattered at Elliot's Beach, a favorite spot in Chennai.

Hindu women aren't supposed to, but the priest (to my surprise) allowed me to accompany your son and nephews on this last leg of your earthly journey. I wasn't allowed to touch that small brass urn containing your ashes. Another feminist rant from me, but you've heard these and more for over 30 years, haven't you?

I stood on the short wall surrounding the beach. Teary-eyed, I watched three lonely figures wade into the water and release you from mortal confines.
April 08, 2012

Time To Change - Tap the 'Humane' In Us?

She sat there sweating profusely, her temper matching the heat outside. Would this too turn out to be a failed attempt? The pressure from the officials had been mounting. New mouths to feed arrived at a steady pace every month, eating into her share of the allocated funds. Being the head of the orphanage was not a lucrative business any more. She was tired of pandering to the egos of higher ups and soliciting new clients for her husband's floundering real estate business at the same time. The dingy room saw less and less of her as days passed by.

 Rama Shankar* pushed his way through the wooden saloon doors, he didn't bother to knock. 
 If she hadn't been preoccupied, would have noticed the smug look that permeated his features these days. "The Pandeys called, Madamji."
"Again? Bringing her...Munni back?" Desperation reducing her voice to a hoarse croak.
"Who tells this poor man anything?" His voice always reminded her of grease scrapped from a steel plate.
 Must want to wash their hands off her. These religious, middle class ones are all the same, just empty talk. "What did you tell them?"
 "The usual, busy with inspection work." He seemed pleased with his lies. His eyes had a hazy quality to them. Had he been...? "How many times have I told you to stay off bhang during working hours?
"Do you want to lose this job too?"
With watering eyes, he quickly prostrated before her, "Have mercy on me, family man, my kids will starve to death." adding, "These kids are like my children, they need me."

He managed to convince her every time; she needed him to cover up her absence. She was about to give him another last warning when the noise outside distracted her. There was a flurry of running feet followed by steadier ones. Snippets of conversation in loud and soft voices could be heard. The rushing feet stopped at her door. Utter silence. The door swung wildly as burly policemen swooped into her space. 
 Two scared looking attendants along with a dozen children of different ages waited just outside the threshold. The Pandeys and a few other parents stood next to an important looking official. The collector and here? 
Munni? Why does she have a glum face?  Looking at the cowering ten year old who stood between her adoptive parents, a familiar sense of something amiss hit her. Something had happened, she was the one scared now. Putting on a brave face, hiding the tremor in her tone and turning to Baldev Singh, the inspector she recognised, "What is the meaning of this, Baldevji?"

Baldev turned to the collector who gave him an impatient nod.  He looked at her sadly. She was a decent woman and yet it had to be done. "Arrest warrants for you and this man here." pointing to the peon who was staring at Munni with a dazed look. 
"Arrest Warrant?" she repeated, bewildered.
"For the rape of Munni and four other minor girls adopted from the orphanage. There are also charges by some of the attendants," looking towards the door, "of being molested." 
"There must some mistake, surely, I would be aware of such happenings." 

"If you had been around and had bothered to notice the obvious signs." Pandeyji spoke for the first time. "We found blood stains on our daughter's clothes. She would't eat properly, woke up screaming every night, woudn't even let my brother hug her.
"One of my neighbours who is a child specialist felt that she had undergone recent trauma. A physical examination by an expert left us with no doubt. My daughter found the courage to tell us everything that happened to her here. So did the other girls." affectionately patting his daughter on her head. "Can we go home, daddy?" Munni asked softly.
"Come on, Baldev, take them into custody. We have to move the remaining children to a safer place, we haven't all day." The collector shook hands with the team and the parents before walking towards the other children.

* This is a work of fiction though it's based on ground reality. Names used are purely coincidental and bear no resemblance to those living or dead.

Children are our future, more so girls - the nurturers of such future...If protectors turn monsters, where do they go? Please love, protect and cherish them.

This post is written for the contest Stayfree-Time To Change on IndiBlogger

March 02, 2012

Tagged Quarto

Tagged me in a Q & A meme. (You may find words with extra vowels like U or use of S instead of Z...I tend to write in British English since that's what we grow up learning in Indian Schools)
Now for your questions, I choose to answer: Sorry its twice as long as most of my posts.

Donna Hole who has written three contemporary women fiction novels and currently querying one of them. I met her during the Rule Of three blogfest and find her posts interesting with useful tidbits and reviews.

Who is your favourite fictional character, and why?
Very difficult to answer but the ones I love are Elizabeth Bennett from Pride And Prejudice and Jo from Little Women, a lot like me except for the bold/outgoing part.

How do you come up with the names for your own characters?
 I use a word that sums up the basic nature/reason for the character in a story and choose Sanskrit, Latin, Arabic or French names based on that or anagrams of them.

What book would you pass up, even if it was offered for free?
 Mostly horror books and Mills and Boon kind of books (impossible romance)...after reading Salem's Lot by Stephen King at the bright old age of 13, developed an irrational fear of vampires and the dark...took me two decades to get over it, thanks to the sparkly ones of Twilight. ;D

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what is on your playlist?
No, because I tend to get lost in the music...but when I am listening to a song, a quirky idea for a scene may pop up.

Do you have to make time to write, or have a set schedule; do you have any writing quirks?
When I first started writing full time in 2010, wrote in fits and breaks..After
 NaNo Nov 11, I make it a point to write atleast 500 words a day (for five days a week) on any of my WIPs but real life and health get in the way, often. I day dream of my main characters and it helps too.

Who is you dream agent/publisher?
 In India, the concept of agents hasn't kicked in yet, most publishers directly accept printed manuscript be published by Rupa or Penguin India (the biggies) would be a dream come true.

Do you prefer printed books or ebooks?
Printed obviously, the feel of the yellowing pages, the musty smell, and touching those images in  artistic/picture books. But realise, my books may end up as E publications.

What is the weirdest dare you ever accepted?
Nothing weird, very boring that way...just that once, called up one of my best friend's colleague whom she had a crush on, to strike up a conversation and know him more. :P

This one by Heather Murphy who is an aspiring writer cum case manager for people with disabilities.

What is your dream vacation?
 Italy for the history and Bali/ New Zealand for natural beauty.

Are you spontaneous or do you like to plan ahead?
 A mix of both .

Tell us one thing you want to do but don't dare do it.
Adopt a girl child...but a divorcee with ageing parents and not so healthy bank balance doesn't stand a chance.

What's your biggest phobia?

Being alone in the dark scares me. (not scared of death but turning into something evil) ;(

If you were stranded on a deserted island-what three things would you want with you? (Not including your laptop or family)
A high frequency Walkie Talkie with batteries.
Alum crystals to purify drinking water.
A clean set of undergarments. (hygiene freak)

Name three blessings in your life.
My Parents
Brother And Sister In Law

Cousins, Nephews & Nieces.

What was your nickname in High School?
None unless you count teasing names like double battery and four eyes by boys when I studied for the first 6 years in a co-ed school.

If you could meet the President of the United States, what would you say to him?
Be the strong man who won the elections and take a tough stand where needed.

If you could be any literary character, who would you be?
Faramir from Lord of the Rings to see if I can handle the ring's lure like him.

What is your favourite quote/s?
Not all tears are an evil.
Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. (my own words - think no evil )
Life is what happens when you are looking the other way.

From Sher A Hart a YA fantasy author of the Earth One Series and a mother to four scouts.

If you were the main character of a book, what genre would it be?
Fantasy or historical.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
Telepathy...I could avoid a person based on their thought process.

List the top three websites you use.
Google search
Absolute Write

Besides reading and writing, name two other hobbies you have.

Fabric Painting (on cloth, even clay, leather) and Photography.

Do you use Word Verification and why? (Better check first)
No, I prefer comment moderation for older posts. I hate the newer double hex ones...prefer not to comment on such blogs unless they have left a comment on mine or an old follow.

When visiting a Blog what bothers you most about the format?
Tiny fonts, very dark backgrounds, too many graphics.

 Do you have your email address listed on your profile, if not, why?
Yes, of course.

 How often do you post?
Sometimes on all days, at times once a week...mostly 4 days a week.

Are you on Facebook or Google plus?
Yes, both, but prefer to keep them (including twitter) seperate from my blog.

How often do you check your stats?
Once or twice a month maybe.

What one thing in the grocery store do you always want to buy?
Choco Cornflakes... (but can't buy, now that I am trying to shed excess weight)

Last through Traci Kenworth a writer of YA novels and short stories.

Daymare or Nightmare?
Nightmares often, especially that my 'psychologically disturbed personality' ex husband forces me to go home with him.

How many books/short stories/poems/songs etc. have you written?
Around 75 poems, 10 short stories, 100 pieces of flash fiction, half a short novel in progress (3 WIPs added up) in the last 1 1/2 years.

What genre is your current wip?
 Fantasy/Romance/ Sci-Fi/Contemporary all concurrent.

Do you have someone in your life who keeps you on track with your stories? Give them a shout out!
My Brother, cousin Nimmi who double up as my beta readers, given that both have a love for books.

Do you write what you know, or stretch your imagination, or both?
Both, depends on the genre and poetry inspiration too.

Who would you like to see on a coin/money?
A tigress since she is an endangered species, help create awareness.

What’s your favorite place to write and why?
 Anywhere but most comfortable in my bedroom.

 What would you describe your “Voice” like? I.E. Southern gothic…
Tending towards classical, literary.

Do you mix genres? Which ones?
 None so far unless you are talking of flash fiction.

If you could move anywhere in the world where would it be?
Back to Mumbai (Bombay), my home for 27 years.

What book (craft or otherwise) have you learned the most from?
The book of life, literally.

Anyone who reads this is tagged except the 4 ladies who tagged me, take 11 or 22 questions of your choice, let me know if you post them so I can know a little more of the real you.
December 03, 2011

A Young Dream Broken

For Saturday Centus at Jenny Matlock's blog...any genre, P.G as far as possible, not to exceed 16 words excluding the prompt in bold to create an autobiographical story...with a picture option this time round.

Sixteen in 1990 – Andre Agassi’s striking mane, my heart flutters…
2010 – find out, was a bloody wig!!! 

*The picture for those who don't know/remember

Agassi has admitted the long hair he sported in the '90s was a wig. (AAP)

November 10, 2011

This And That And Some NaNo

I haven't purposely neglected my dream journal...just that life is a tad more interesting at this point. My fingers in so many different pies....a big mess of time and vacation if you ask me.

I  am having an awesome time with my nephews, yep, April and November are two months of the year my life gets topsy turvy....real life pulling me with  two pairs of tiny hands in one direction and my writing pulling me in the other. Tough....for this hermit to come out of her shell bi-annually and find herself in the fast lane. (my darling brother insists that I book my tickets to Bangalore else he will have me kidnapped from the dark comforts of my room) 

 For those few friends wondering about my NaNo...well, good news and bad news...I am writing everyday but realise that am a slow writer and the deadline kills my world and character building not to mention leaving me uninspired to continue.  It has rekindled my love for writing short stories and saved our relationship (mine with < 2500 words).
So 30000-35000 words is what I am aiming for. A far cry from 2009 when I couldn't write more than 8000 words before I finally quit. Of course that was the year of the 'great event' that has left me legally single though not blonde, I don't hate my black hair (I know black is an optical illusion provided by our eyes, that makes us wizards right?)  but would love brown, glossy hair ( is it even real?)...

How I wish, that scientist  in the news would discover a laser procedure for permanent hair colour and texture change....why the hell would I want to turn my very dark brown eyes to blue only to have it contrast funnily with my light brown tanned skin. ;D Could make for a good fantasy story though....
 But the news today that our solar system was most likely, the aftermath of a supernova makes my sci-fi planet creation plausible. Can you see me jumping say, you cannot?....well then, leave you with a picture of the current me....yes...because the weight loss program I have enrolled in, will hopefully leave a better looking me next time around. 

I will catch up with your blogs and rants starting today evening...don't mind!!!

 The real, hassled me without make up  (don't use much anyway)
.. taken by my 4 yr old nephew Sid last week.

October 05, 2011

Random Musing of An Insecure Writer - IWSG

 Nokia tag line says "We connect people" but the ones who contacted me the most were Tele marketeers...The TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India ) now says, 100 sms/texts per Sim card is enough for a day from October onwards....which means my cellular service  provider can't connect to me even for billing. 

 This is so reminiscent of my writing journey this year. True the quill had gathered dust for years, the words lost in yellowing journals. Patience is the key....but insecurity strikes a blow to the tender bruised ego with every rejection...
On one hand writers say you need publishing credits to launch your short story collection....on the other hand even free e zines feel my work would stain their esteemed cyber pages. And in the second most populated country in the world; where every other educated person is a closet writer, maybe my work is not good enough. This toon below expresses my fears adequately

Insecure Writer

And yet, every time I hear that a fellow blogger has broken the glass 
ceiling of the publishing world, I am gladdened and  feel hopeful
One such blogger Gail  M Baugneit has published her Pepper Bibeau 
mystery,"FOR EVERY ACTION There Are Consequences" in both 
trade and e book format. Do drop in at her blog. You may even win 
the Smashwords coupon for the remaining 3 free copies of the novel.

Since, a lot of people have blogged about her Novelette launched, 
I felt it would seem like old news.
 M. Pax a writer of short stories and novelettes in science fiction 
(one of my favourite genre) has launched her E book , 
a Space opera "Semper Audacia". 
It is available at Amazon and also at Smashwords for .99 cents. 
Check out her free short stories, especially "Small Graces".
the links available on her blog M Pax Author .

September 18, 2011

May I??

TwinkleLittleStar spoof

Based on 32 word Saturday Centus requirement by Jenny Matlock at her blog Off On My Tangent...a melody which rhymes with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
Check out the others nursery songs out there. 

Added to the meme In Tandem by Penny Smith aka Alias Jinksy where one uses words- poetry or tale to bring the image (an art work by her or other bloggers) to life. 
 * The background artwork in the Toon is her own . Do visit the other interpretations.
August 22, 2011

Wave The Flag

Ignite the fire, 
the blue of transparency
Let the streets burn 
in the fierceness of your passion
The mighty cower and hide
covering their tracks in vain
People's power where it truly belongs
not in the hungry corridors of parliament
 in you and me who put them there
Not for avarice and mindless ego trips 
 to make our lives a better fare.
Remind them time and again
 of the people, by the people, for the people
 is still the clarion call of Democracy

* This is my BLUE contribution to the fight against corruption - a people's movement that has erupted all across India, asking their elected representatives not to forget what they are here for.

For Jinksy In Tandem 6Gooseberry Goes Poetic

April 30, 2011

Zeitgeist?? # 35, # 36 And # 37 Random Musings For The Day

Is today's "shout out to be heard" world not really for introverts and shrinking wall flowers  ???......

Is a pretty face a prerequisite for a singer or can the voice outshine everything else???
A post on Susan Boyle and her acidic reception on Britain's got Talent on a blog I visited got me thinking.....

Does character assault and bullying start at kindergarten??

April 26, 2011

Valiant Spirit

"Akshay" meaning
 'Eternal, immortal, indestructable
 a short post on my nephew  akshay who celebrated his  first birthday last week…he is just one of the thousands of babies born everyday, you might say…but he is special not just because he is my Brother’s kid but because of the fact that he is a fighter to the core…

He was born too early, almost two months before time…a premature baby whose first home after his mother’s comforting womb was the incubator….he was not alone, more than enough company but that doesn’t take away the pain, the fear, the worry, the heartache watching a tiny baby with more tubes than his tender body could hold, more medicines than an adult can withstand….
The thrill of hearing him cry, the joy of seeing the relief on his parents' face when he was certified as healthy enough to be taken home, the satisfaction at seeing him grow slowly, millimetre by millimetre, Grams by grams is something one can only experience…
The picture at the side belies the trauma this sweet angel of ours underwent at a nascent stage of his hopefully long, healthy, happy life. His smile, mischievous ways, tantrums belies the struggles, making them a distant memory best carpeted…
April 12, 2011

Just A Reminder - Yuri Gagarin

 There she was...
after a dizzing burst
into the cold dark space
leaving jet streaks behind...
The enchantress
so blue, even Misha's eyes
paled in comparison
Numero Uno means little
In this void....
Hammering heart
as Home beckons
Nikita seemed happy for once.
What’s with the Babooshka and loaves
When samogonka would make me float.

("babooshka" - grandmother, "samogonka" or "moonshine" - homemade vodka, Nikita Khrushchev - the then Russian President.)

April 09, 2011

Hunger Strike - My Take

The occasion called and many rose to it...not all could tamper their schedule to represent...the ones that did, were splendid and articulate...bringing to its adamant, corrupt serpent of a government was no mean achievement...
They fasted under camera glare...I skipped my dinner in the unseen confines of my den...raised slogans, placards, held candlelight vigils...I applauded quietly forming the backdrop...
The goals achieved, the promise proclaimed before millions of witnesses...they parted, extolling the virtues of meeting again...
I wondered if things would indeed change how many of those raddled, weary denizens could withstand the urge to take the easy way out of bribe and scribe....or stay steadfast on the moral high ground they preached from, to one and all.

March 31, 2011

# 32 Random Musings For The Day

Scientists are coming up with a "magic mirror" that applies make up leaving ladies looking about a "gown" that can remove cellulite as it wraps around us??.....
March 25, 2011

# 31 Random Musings For The Day

Egypt marches to democracy, the modern day Cleopatra bids adieu.....coincidence or the natural  progression of things??

Image courtesy Google

Image courtesy Google

March 19, 2011

# 30 Random Musings For The Day

Funny how the recent Wiki leak bombs pound the Indian Government around if we didn't have enough colourful scams already....

Images courtesy : Google images and Mosaic courtesy :  PhotoScape

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