Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
August 02, 2012

RakshaBandhan And IWSG - The Connection

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day for participating blog owners who may be professional or amateur writers. (All you need is the passion and output, published or not). Started by Alex Cavanaugh the author of the sci-fi space opera CassaStar and sequel CassaFire, it is a means for writers to talk about their fears big and small. It is also an opportunity to connect to other writers who may have conquered these or are sailing in the same insecure boat as you.

 Aug 2 2012 is Raksha Bandhan literally means bond of protection, a festival that celebrates the sacred bond between brothers and sisters - could be cousins even neighbours and friends for whom you feel a sibling like love.  It is famous in north and western India, the south has other names and rituals for the said concept. 
 The most famous of the origin stories that dates back to 1535 c.b.e is that of the Hindu widowed, Queen Karnavati of Chittor, who sent a silk, beaded thread to the Mughal Emperor Humayun, a Muslim, to save his "sister's" kingdom from the invasion of Bahadur Shah (ironically, another muslim ruler).  (I often wish that my right wing Indian brothers and sisters,  both majority Hindu and minority Muslim would look at the positive ascepts of our history and interactions). He  arrived a little late to save her life though he helped her son get back the throne, and that particular full moon day in August was celebrated as Raksha Bandhan. We even have a similar story of Alexandar's wife Roxanne and King Porus before the battle.

Growing up in Bombay, I first tied the thread to my brother's wrist as a 11 year old and then to my cousins living nearby. (Teenaged boys dread this day since the girl they like may end making them brothers, nipping the romance in the bud.) ;)

It's been 27 years that I have continued this practice and today, my IWSG post uses this aspect to show my heartfelt thanks for his support and encouragement.

To the one who had dreams and high hopes for his sister - personally and professionally,  
to one who sat in the balcony of our second floor flat in Bombay on a summer night, explaining to his (1.6 yrs younger) sister in layman terms why the sky we see is the past life of the Universe and why star trek is improbable if not outright impossible, 
to the elder brother who told his sis - it was ok for good Indian girls to be infatuated with their college mates - as long as it didn't affect her studies or she didn't act on it, 
to the then-recently married bro who accompanied her and attended all the meetings with her divorce lawyer, having been her confidant during the turbulent days of marriage, 
to one who encouraged her to get back to writing, who takes time out of his busy schedule as a management-software consultant to read and offer constructive feedback on every poem, story or non fictional writing she emails him, 
who reads her blog whenever he can, who dreams of seeing his sister as a published author, who hates her pessimistic and self doubting/pitying attitude...
thank you for the faith in me even though I have more failures and hardly any success in my tag sheet.
Happy Rakhi :)

Your motivation, support and confidence has rubbed on me, has made me stick to writing Your reward for now, this year:
A first draft of a 32000 word romance novella which I feel will be better as a short novel.
A free poetry and flash fiction book to be uploaded sometime in August/September. 
Creating my non-fiction writing pages at Squidoo and Hubpages.
Getting back to submitting to online mags from October onwards with fresh, better work.

Don't give up on me bro, I will try my very best to make the promise of treating you to a "veg meal" in the trendiest eating spot in Singapore or more likely Dubai (since it's one place you haven't visited yet) on my 45th bday, come true. :) (If my first book/collection ever gets traditionally published) 

* sorry for the saccharine sweetness of the post... :D
* my internet connection has been acting up, so I will be checking your blogs in the evening. :(
February 02, 2012

Curve Ball

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball before you can throw one back.

Everything arranged to perfection, the invites were out.
The surprise party, a celebration of our fifth anniversary.

Today he dropped a bomb, he is seeing someone and wants a divorce.

The report lay unopened on the dressing table, I was finally pregnant.

Submitted to Love in Creativity Project (flash Fiction)

P.S This post for BlueBell Books and the post for the I'll Tumble 4 Ya Blogfest  on feb 10 are the only exceptions to my break from blogging till around Feb 15 or 21.
January 22, 2012

Thrill Or Trick - Epilogue

I apologise to all my centusians and commenters for not responding last week.
 Not been well for a while, taking the blood test for the incessant cold and cough.
I should be able to get to regular blogging soon, don't miss me too much. ;D

For Saturday Centus at Jenny Matlock's blog...any genre, P.G as far as possible, not to exceed 150 words. Based on the literary device of a cliffhanger...this is the epilogue of the story that concludes the last two weeks' posts of cliffhanger and  resolution respectively.. Check the others afterwords there.

Ali and Simi trudged up the slope... the others would have gathered on the top by now.
Ali looked at the plains in grim silence.
 Simi walked quietly beside, the ideal travel and sparring partner to her twin, though she was hard pressed as to why he didn't fly the carpet.
Reading his thoughts, “ This journey is as much for her as Shammi Uncle, isn’t it?”
He looked at her for a moment and responded, “ I promised to protect her and failed.”
“You saved her life…the healer says that her soul is lost in the void, not left her body yet.”
Ali smiled,a first in many months.
There were many sad eyed, happy faces that stared back at them.
“How is Ria?” asked T.C as a small group approached them.
“ The same since you  last visited.”
“Come children, change into your robes, the memorial chants begin shortly.”

January 07, 2012

Thrill Or Trick - Part 1

"Some things never change around here." Simi poked around trying to fish out the harried souls.
The souls in question seeking solace from the stern elders, often alone or in groups of two and three by the lake.
'Sharing secrets inside the mansion walls was both embarrassing and dangerous' opined the teenagers.
This bunch was not smarter than the ones in the preceding years but used a different system of disguises. Hard to know if the portly, middle aged man she detected was indeed Shammi Uncle.
'Offending a senior member of the household meant hanging off a cliff like... Ria...
what the hell was that?'

Google Image modified

For Saturday Centus at Jenny Matlock's blog...any genre, P.G as far as possible, not to exceed 100 plus the prompt in bold. Based on the literary device of a cliffhanger...that is, the second part next week will complete the story.. Check the others hanging ons there.
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…
February 06, 2011

Behind The Wedding Scenes

They trudged back from the dining hall...tired after all the hopping around...Indian weddings are elaborate processes  like 18th century  dining customs the English had...
A two day wedding meant family pouring in from all over the country and abroad. It meant going back to the dorms where you rub shoulders with distant aunts and cousins you would never again see in flesh and blood...well..not till the next wedding in the family anyway...
Sleep is elusive and people try to catch up on missed out years in the few short hours to spare....
Its a place for the young to get juicy glimpses of their stern elders easy going past...then there are those pent up emotions of anger, sadness or envy that a few mischief mongers flame for a few moments of pleasure...while the immediate family of the bride or groom have minor heart attacks...
On that particular evening...the rooms were full and the youngsters rebelled (including the bride's sister and brother in law)....they wanted their privacy and the warmth of the home beds....
Off they went in their glittering silks sarees and gold jewellery that could light up the roads on their own. Some smart elders not needed for the pre-dawn ceremony (mostly men) choose to go home to Uncle's den...little did they know what the following morning would bring...
The next days clothes were stuffed in small bags, the vanity kit being the most could we let millions of photos go waste without some face-paint...
The bungalow was just as had been left in the forced entry....calm and quiet...the cars parked, the gates locked securely....they drifted off to sleep in batches over the next hour or two...
trink....trink...beep beep...the various watch alarms went...woke up groggy one eyed, the other tightly shut...damn its was 3.30 a.m already...we had to be back at the hall by 6 a.m atleast, if we didn't want to miss out important ceremonies not to forget the lectures from parents for oversleeping on a special day...
No coffee till the great dining meant a few irritated faces...not to mention that a couple had their stomachs grumbling from the heavy feast of the previous evening.
It was time to take turns to bathe and dress up....18 people and 4 the maths...the elder ones are usually the luckiest. Age and the fact that most ceremonies require their participation or blessing meant that they had a head start always... 
The ladies and girls in the rooms upstairs were busy admiring each other selections and discussing make overs and some sharing pooled resources...when Rajesh Anna* (*elder brother) bangs on the doors and announces "no showers please"....great...
No one had remembered/come back to turn on the motor the previous evening which meant that the daily supply of water didn't get through....
A check of the underground tank showed water level at less than half the usual limit... 
Fine with just 11 people left to go as a couple of guys happily postponing the clean up exercise for an hour of extra sleep....the situation was manageable or so we thought...
Halfway through, shrieks heard from the upper level bathrooms....the water flow had stopped...followed by more frantic ranting from elder men downstairs...."where are the extra soap bars?"
All eye turned to the bride's sister after all it was her parents home...
She went down with a shrug and "no problem"...only to come back red-faced...the store room was locked and the keys safe in her mom's handbag back "there"....
It was the only day in our history when the "beauty/skin conscious" among us were held in esteem rather than teased by the men...
Its was our face washes that saved the day....We gathered in all the ones we could find on person....Pallavi bhabhi*(cousin brother's wife) being the sweetest, offering two of her big imported (meaning expensive, famous cosmetic brand....even after the liberalisation of the economy in the early 90's, shopping abroad is still a thrilling/exotic activity) tubes of  face washes.
The contents were generously dumped into eagerly waiting buckets till a nice soapy foam built up was realised....We all had a ingenious version of tub baths that day...
Not enough but atleast we wouldn't be stinking underneath all the bling...
The sorry, exhausted lot finally left the premises at 6.30 a.m reaching an hour late....did I  mention that someone forget to to send the cars back and we, half a dozen girls twiddled our thumbs, swear words that would make guys cringe, being traded back and forth.
The rest of the day was largely uneventful if one overlooks the members from the groom's side with their smart aleck acts...I mean what good is an Indian wedding (or any wedding for that matter) if the groom's parents don't throw a tantrum or two?...with furious nods and nudges from their siblings...
After the reception when Uncle asked casually if we wanted the house keys again....we still had the "inviting the newly-weds and their extended family for lunch" ceremony the next morning.... he was shocked with the collective screams of "No, not again!!!".....

(This was based on a wedding of one of my dearest cousins....names changed for obvious reasons....the picture is from my Brother's wedding though...)

January 03, 2011

You Were There

Eyes that twinkled with the 
glimmering light of far away stars, 
They gazed at me as
though I was their rock star.

Lips that lisped sweet words
in my soul, a chord was struck,
They made mundane words seem
more precious than the preciouss.

Tiny hands that wiped away
the invisible tears I shed,
On my cheeks they felt
like the softest of silks.

The warm body that hugged
sharing all the love it possessed,
The vibe that I sensed 
of the special bond created

The look that you gave reflected

wisdom way beyond your years, 
as though you somehow understood
the pain and ache behind the false smiles.

You gave me something
No one else can ever give,
The warm glow of a million suns
that light up my dark days and nights.

With you around

life is easier to face,
My strength, my sanity, 
my joy, my grace.

 Just remember in
 the days yet to be,
This heart will beat for you
as yours did beat for me.

( Dedicated to my tiny powerhouse of a nephew Sid
whose innocence and love helped me through my darkest year )
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