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October 18, 2013

Mamma needs a night lamp

Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia, wrote, “It's like the smarter you are, the more things can scare you.”  We are looking for a 33-word explanation of what scares you (or your character) - 

Mine is the night. I can't sleep if I am alone. I keep a bible near my hand all night. Unknown, unexplained there roams something in the spaces between the darkness and light. 

Of the undead, dead and living
Spirits swaying along dim passages
Terrified of evil beings
Seeing the malice within me
Claiming me along its path of gore.


October 16, 2013

Food of Love

We have 99 words to add on any word of our choice. I chose Bach.

She slowly dried her eyes. She wondered why the tears still hurt. She was used to his need of humiliating her in front of his friends and family. Was she not worth any respect or care? She tried to remember the good times. She could not let the bitterness invade. He was so good in many other ways but he seemed impervious to her pain.
The door opened and he glided in. He sat near her. Her eyes searched for remorse.  His mouth came down hard on her lips. She retched within and drowned herself in the Bach crescendo.

September 21, 2013

1947- August 15

I would like to travel back to the day India was declared an independent nation. Every time I read Jawaharlal Nehru’s “Tryst with Destiny” speech which he delivered on the midnight of Aug 14, 1947 as India woke into liberty, I am filled with awe. Moving the ordinary man to believe he has a part in the glorious dream. I can imagine how they rejoiced. How powerful they felt. I want to feel that pulse. The blood throbbing exhilaration on an amazing victory over the empire where the sun never set. Dancing away, not a shred of doubt that anything was ever going to go wrong.

1947- August 15

To feel the first breaths of a newly born nation
Fearless to seize a glorious future!
A star rises in the East.
All hearts beating as one,
Promising to never betray this dream.

photo credit : 

September 19, 2013

Daffodils and dreams

This week’s word in the spotlight is rainbow. What a beautiful thing to write about but we have to use the third definition which is an illusory goal or dream. Much like the one I have about winning a Trifecta challenge.

1:  an arc or circle that exhibits in concentric bands the colors of the spectrum and that is formed opposite the sun by the refraction and reflection of the sun's rays in raindrops, spray, or mist
2a :  a multicolored array
b :  a wide assortment or range rainbow of flavors>

There were days when she woke up and fear gripped her. But she dragged herself up and pushed on to the day care center. There were cranky colicky babies and tantrum throwing toddlers. Unlimited chaos. Havoc spewing monsters. She needed the money. She had come into the city with hopes of being a scriptwriter. She had huge volumes of her marvelous stories. Rejection after rejection piled up and started blocking her source of creativity. She began to feel numb and words stopped tumbling out of her soul.
Today was no different. Like a moving mannequin she walked towards Daffodils filled with cute looking imps. The huge yellow plastic blossoms seemed to mock her. We are more Daffodils than you are a writer. She turned her head away.
She always wanted to write a movie script. There was no doubt in her heart until now. Maybe I should go back to college and get some professional degree, she realized with a shudder. She shook it off and tried to breathe in some fresh morning air. Someone had puked in the front yard, she gasped. Placing her hand over her mouth to prevent herself from the same fate she ran inside.
 Hot tears stung her eyes. She started quivering with uncontrollable sobs. Everything she was so sure of started crumbling around her in that minute. I am not a writer. What would life be without passion, she agonized. Doing some job just to survive, to pay bills. All what she fought for was coming to naught. Fiery speeches she made about living true to your calling rose up like ghosts with a vengeance and tangoed around her.
Suddenly her phone jingled. Although she wanted to dash it on the wall with hideously painted daffodils, she answered it.
 “Miss. Thomas, I am calling from the YRH studios. We would like a meeting with you regarding a script you have presented.”
She was no longer chasing the rainbow.

September 14, 2013

Radical shopping.

 Shopping in 2030! Roughly sixteen years from now, how will our lives be? The question triggers a thought, will I even be alive? What ever those answers are, technology is surely going to advance. Our lives will be enhanced with new gadgets, which make our chores simpler. Would girls ever think of shopping as a chore? I guess not. We could go on hunting for that perfect shoe or dress. Which would have no flaws and would simply delight us.
Malls will not be going away for sure as it is a fun way to engage in group retail therapy. Also we do need a bit of human interaction, feeling the texture, taking in the smells and soaking in the hues.

I can see some grocery shopping tasks getting revitalized in 2030. Kitchen cabinets with sensors to monitor the level of supplies. It could also monitor and alert if any thing goes stale or moldy.  A screen would be placed on the wall listing critical levels and seeking confirmation for placing grocery orders.

I personally like grocery shopping at DMart but I am finding the crowd getting bigger each day. It’s a hassle pushing the shopping cart through aisles flooded with people and then carrying them back home. It would be welcome if we could do away with the store visits. It may also help in keeping the grocery stocks in good hygienic conditions.  
We should also voice recognition shopping lists. As I cook I can just talk to it and store my wish list of anything at all. It would crawl all over the web and bring back good deals.
Web applications to try out clothes and accessories would be radical. I could just try it online. I am guessing it would be all holograms and I could just upload my hologram. 
It would be a virtual trying out experience in which I can see the fitting on my hologram.

I t would be cool to have web apps to choose a good glam shoe which would advise us on the health effects also.  We could upload our foot holograms which also take into consideration our weight, leg shape and then when we choose stilettos or wedges, we could make an informed selection.

Nothing more uplifting than trying shoes and clothes, virtually in the comfort of home !!
How ever the scene transforms, we are still going to love shopping. 

Written for ebay contest Future of Shopping. For more details visit the ebay check  page. Updates on ebay prices , any product, anywhere directly on google chrome bar.

West Harbor

Land born of unadulterated ideas
Drawings, paintings with no contours 
Where I imagined up explorations, romances
Baffling the mere mortals
Far from you, lost I am
The fabric of my visions,
Torn away.

figure of speech in which some absent or nonexistent person or thing is addressed as if present and capable of understanding.
Heinrich Lausberg notes that "second audiences" for apostrophe may include "the opponent in court; absent persons, living or dead; things (fatherland, laws, wounds, etc.)" (Handbook of Literary Rhetoric, 1973; trans. 1998).

For someone like me this challenge was intriguing. I love learning new facets of the language since I have no recognition of any figure of speech or any other technicalities. Thank you Trifecta for just being out there!

West Harbor was my solace from the torrents of school life. Academics were supremely stressed in the small town I grew up in. Having a genius sister and achievers for neighbors didn’t help. I was happy drawing and painting and jotting down poems and tales which made no sense to my parents or teachers. I called my room West Harbor and conjured up all sorts of grand quests.
Somewhere down the line, I jumped on the band wagon and left West Harbor behind.

September 12, 2013


This week's word is mask.

And the third definition of mask which we have to use in our write up is -

b : gas mask
c : a device covering the mouth and nose to facilitate inhalation
d : a comparable device to prevent exhalation of infective material
e : a cosmetic preparation for the skin of the face that produces a tightening effect as it dries

I loved the many ideas I toyed with for writing my piece.  Diseases, fire, bio hazards, death all loomed around.  But I finally found my story in a face pack.


He smoothened the green creamy layer on his face with gentle circular movements. She watched in fascination. Emptying the dish onto his neck, he thrust it to her and squeaked “I am done”. As she carried the dish to the sink she thought about using the mixture on herself. She shook her head and rinsed the dish out. Reading her mind he asked “Why don’t you try it?” She smiled wryly.  “Come on, let us do this together, we are man and wife, let us do stuff together...” he stressed on the last part and giggled. He quickly sprang into action to whip up the concoction. He produced a scarf for hair and pulled it back. Then he applied the green mask of magic on her face.
She giggled. “Shsh….don’t jerk your pretty head.” He hushed her.

“Didn’t I tell you we would make an amazing couple?” he reminded.

“Yes, you did and I completely agree. All I want is a friend like you. Not a man who needs me to feel like one.” Tears welled up out of nowhere.

“Hey, I am man too baby but ….” he swayed around and did a jig.

“Yes but I fear I am holding you back”

“No you aren’t. You are protecting my family from disgrace.”

“And you are protecting mine too.”

“Yes, so let us put on these masks of marriage and be happy in our own friendship. The day you find true love, you are free”

“I doubt that I will ever trust a guy again but I hope you find your guy.”
He smiled.“You will too dear. Some straight men do have golden hearts.”

“Yes, metallic hearts …the wife is the one to crush…all for his glory and pleasure.”
She raised her hands animatedly.

He put his arms around her and tried to pacify her.
“All that’s over, now walk away from it before it destroys your day.’
Gratefully, she smiled and hugged him tight.

September 07, 2013

Bound and beautiful

This weekend’s Trifextra challenge is to comeup with 30 words to decorate the 3 words given “Tether, Loft, Crown
I have conjured up a melancholy princess living up to the beautiful image of royalty while her own little desires are drying up somewhere.

Bejeweled crown adorns my head 
Is but a tether on my heart
Aimless wandering I crave
I smile, wave
Cringing within, put on a show
Locked in a secret loft
Dreams fade away.

September 04, 2013

Aroma Land

I am living at home, in the home that I make so I guess I am more or less in charge of the smells hovering around here. Now what would those be? Freshly baked goodies….uplifting blossoms ….. I wish ...
I would love an air freshener that would create an aroma of chocolate cake or cookies just baking in the oven. That is the air I want at home…something naturally mouthwatering…something that triggers an appetite. I want my home to smell delicious. That would generate an image of me as a supreme cook which I really am not much. Whining from my elder son pushes me into any little baking I do. The faces I see on my dinner table make me want a magic wand that would transform sad little faces into those bursting with eagerness to devour veggies. A magic aroma creator! From the Aroma land where all magical smells put you under a spell!

Nostalgic memories of my mother’s chocolate cakes put me in a dilemma. The whole process of all those yummy treats being made. It was pure excitement, peeking over the kitchen door to check if they were ready, licking the bowls in which she made the mix. I guess I am still not qualified to be an adult as I pine for those little relishes.

Then there were those flowers from the garden…roses and jasmine and so forth. What fragrances will my home have? How can you smell love and warmth? Are all moms expected to dish out delicacies to prove love and affection? I am not a bad cook, just someone who loves food but can’t be bothered with all the planning and measuring and the patient preparation. I can put myself up for the rigorous trial once in a while and that too because I do love them infinitely to over come my own natural inclinations.

I remember the smell of the hair oil my mother prepared. She put tulsi leaves and flowers (maybe there were more ingredients) into coconut oil and heated it gently. While it was still warm she massaged it onto our hair. It was a gossip time, an all girls event. The coconut oil was also home made….mill made…we dried the coconuts on the terrace and sent it off to the mill for grinding. All so natural and still very common in most home in Kerala.

Aahh the air of Kerala! The smells near the sea..I mean the actual smells of fresh fish in baskets which line all the markets. All the boats near the sea loaded with fish. When you are driving by the market or the bridge over the sea you get a noseful and you realize the sea is just a whiff away. Not a fragrant image but it is a very dear smell to me. Driving to my father’s home to visit grandparents and cousins, the first smells of fish and sea bore the message that we were getting nearer. The golden beaches laced with coconut trees and wooden boats used by local fishermen. The vast fishing nets drying or mending, sprawled across the sand. The distinct odor of brine.
The sand never left your clothes. It hid in the pockets of jeans and shirts. For days after the vacation we would still have a piece of the beach.

Just when the school was ready to open doors after the summer siesta, the rain dance began as if on cue. We always walked drenched to school. Enjoying our new umbrellas and splashing in the puddles. As a parent now I can imagine what my parents would have felt about our frolicking in the monsoons. 

That is a dear memory…the smell of the first rain drops kissing the parched earth. Losing itself into the thirst of the ground. There was a stab of pain in it. Always reminded the holidays were over. Time was leaping ahead into the next school year. Few apprehensions. New faces. New wars. Even now when the first rain falls I feel all melancholic. As though the curtain has fallen on some great event.

Can those smells be captured in a can? Mood creators? Customize your room’s air according to the mood setting you desire. That is something I should do. Try to get everyone's nose tuned for goodness. I use air fresheners mostly to hide the odors at home.. the puke vapors of my son….the traces of the potty accident of my toddler.  

One day my husband and his friend were having a little Bacardi blast of their own…me and little ones were enjoying their jokes and sipping away the Pepsi and digging into the KFC delights when rang the door bell. We were all in the terrace and I swayed down to the front door humming like a pretend drunk. Bless the peep hole inventor…I see our parish vicar with a divine radiance. He wanted to maybe a share an evening with his most beloved sheep and lambs. If only he saw the wolves within….
I knew that we could just shut the terrace door and chew on some breath fresheners but the air was heavy with the Bacardi breeze. I ran on tip toes to the washroom and retrieved some jasmine air freshener gifted by some relative living in Dubai. By the time I opened the door, we were all coughing and gasping for oxygen. Needless to say Father Joseph choked too. The air had some rich jasmine scent but very little oxygen.  You couldn't say it freshened the air in the least. Yes, it disguised the air and yes it proved without any trace of doubt that the air was indeed disguised.
Though Father Jospeh was quite gracious as a guest I am sure he used this incident to enthrall his audience during Sunday sermons on how he stumbled upon some wicked wolves in sheepskin dipped in jasmine perfume.
A room freshener should revive the air, give you a positive charge up. It should transform the depressive fog into frivolous zephyr.
I wish I had AmbiPur Sandalwood on that day of crime and camouflage.Sandalwood purifier may have injected my home air with some piety.  I like to think I am ridding all evil particles out of my home when I press that nozzle.

I have made my AmbiPur Hawaiian Flowers feel home with my favorite teddies the Paddington bear from UK and Aenjubelle who accompanied me from my parents home. to this home that I make.  My boys don’t ever look at those teddies unless they want some bumps for their bikes.  It is a perfect spot for something I really need in my home.

The Brit looks affected by the Hawaiian blooms. He is struggling to hold back a grin. My long time confidante Aenjubelle whom I believe is part French is more excited about the can's soothing color.After all she is an artist.

For more on the magic fragrances visit the Aroma Land at AmbiPur.

August 31, 2013

The Inception of alienation

This weekend's Trifextra challenge was free Haiku.
I have attempted Haiku for the first time...and learnt about syllables...just felt like school.
Was exciting and this has set my writing fingers in motion after a long hiatus.
House chores, go to hell...I have just glimpsed Haiku heaven.

These words represent estrangement creeping in when forgiveness is not sought. The relationship starts to fall apart when no one bothers to consider the other's sorrow over whatever small matter . Couldn't come up with a shorter caption for the post...thank God Haiku doesn't have rules for the caption as well....or would that be more fun ? 

Harsh words sear my soul

You do not repent, nor care 

Bitterness fills home

July 12, 2013

Touch technology

PADE Day 12 Theme – Tools

Since yesterday it is pouring by the buckets and I don’t feel like getting up from under my warm blanket. I wish I could be out on the prowl – for unusual pictures with stories but that’s a very distant dream. I like rains but I feel trapped right now.  I wonder what excuse I would have when the rains ended.

So here’s what I found – the age old plough missing the bulls. I found it on the farm next to our building.My toddler is playing on iPad and not 500 meters away from him live a family, tilling the land with a plough and bulls.They are in touch with the earth and the circle of life. I imagine them eagerly waiting for the rains and the new leaves to break forth. I imagine them rejoicing in the harvest.I also see all the children running bare foot on the mucky soil, soaking in the rain.They would definitely feel cold but I imagine they relish that.
Mine are buttoned up under jackets and raincoats. Sitting smug indoors. Playing on the iPad.A radically different touch technology.

It’s fascinating that there is a section of the society still so untouched by technology. It’s what brings balance to world.

This post is my entry for the PADE conducted by Just a mom” or “ Things to rave about

July 11, 2013

Paradise Trashed

PADE Day 11 Theme – Street

From my terrace on the seventh floor, I have a pretty scenic view. Especially now the earth has pulled over itself a blanket of green. Slushy mud is all under the green as far as eyes can go.
There is a street which used to lead to no particular chowk. Been hearing that once a bridge comes up somewhere on a dying river flowing behind us, the road is going to be very busy one.  Till now there is only one housing society which it leads to. Both sides of it are farming land. You can see tomatoes and cabbages, peeping through their large leaves.
It was comforting, that tarred road on which I could push the pram with ease. The traffic was very less. The breeze freshening. My elder son ad his friends used to run and explore the vegetation by the side.
All slowly changed for the worse. Somehow a huge garbage collecting bin was placed on the side of the road. In a flash, there was trash dancing all over. Nature’s splendor crushed under filth and stench.
In the picture below I have tried to mark the dumpster in yellow.

Close up of the trash 

I do wonder sometimes if it were the neighborhood mall keepers who trashed the road. Seemed like more people were out over there than inside their pricey game zones and food courts.

I had a picture from over a year ago before the kachara pile shaped up.
A year ago - a perfect walk with earth
Heavy rains- from my terrace
I also have a picture of the same corner during a very heavy down pour. All taken from my terrace.

For PADE by Ritu and Sfurti 

July 10, 2013

Romeo and Juliet

PADE Day 10 Theme - Shoes

Today evening I went for a new home Puja and I found these beautiful shoes by the door. Among the many other sandals and shoes, she stood out. Black with some red. Someone kicked her, envy queen definitely and made her turn on her side. The couple separated, lying on the side…reminded me of some Romeo Juliet romance. Doomed. Waiting  for love to reunite.

Too beautiful for normalcy.
The normals kicked her about.

Couldn’t take more clearer or dramatic pictures. The kitty crowd was moving in. And people would have yelled “chor chor “ if I started rearranging the footwear by the door.

So finally I had a PADE entry with a story.

For PADE by Ritu and Sfurti 

July 09, 2013


PADE Day 9 Theme – Sharp

The first thought is Stalactites. Wish I could visit the snowy peaked mountains and explore an icey cave or two with the killer stalactites hanging from the roof.

I even checked my freezer for some miniature replicas but sadly my freezer is working well. So the massive hunt for sharp objects began. Scissors and knives. I found my son’s sword but sharp it wasn’t.  Perhaps the picture of me yelling at my elder son, if only I could capture the sharp words flying out. People would want to poke me with even sharper objects.

I found an old cassette with SHARP written on it. Would it be pathetic? Finally stumbled on an old image of my mother’s precious Euphorbia plants. I don’t find all of them attractive but mommy likes it since the flowers do not wilt quickly. The leaves are green, the stem dark brown and full of stout sharp thorns. The blooms are vivid in color but simple in the shape and many in number. I wouldn’t want it in my garden but I have met so many who love them and breed them by the dozen.
S o here is my sharp photo. I find the thorns more attractive than the flowers. Maybe the thorns are the highlight of the plant.