Pretend

Happy were my childhood days.

Confusion got fused with happy during my teenage days.

Now that I’ve seen different colours of life;

most of the days I wear a mask;

Camouflaging myself;

pretending, that today is not the same as yesterday.

 

Sometimes when the grief is high,

and pretending becomes difficult;

I stick a smile to my mask.

 

Then, there are some days,

just so good and bright;

that I don’t need the mask at all.

All I need then, is a big fat smile.

A smile that I smile.

A smile that I get.

Makes me happy,

And pretending goes all waste.

Inspired by today’s prompt:Pretend

Ice to remember

I sat waiting and watching at the time. Ten minutes or so had passed…there he was.

I wondered what he was trying to do, kneeling down instead of taking a seat.

Everything afterwards seemed like a dream come true as the soft flaky snow touched my skin. My hand in his…for all I saw, was a warm smile and a piece of cut polished ice moving from his hand to mine.

“You do listen to my ramblings.”

“Yes, I know you love snow. I knew you would like it here…this ways.”

Outside Ski World the sun sizzled in Dubai but what did I care…I kept staring at the dazzling white rock that sat on my finger.

The old lady

Sitting in the veranda, was an old lady. Her glasses, perfectly balanced on her nose. She shook her head from right to left drawing imaginary lines on a newspaper placed on a table.

The sun warmly lit the November sky. Silence was disturbed, momentarily, by the chuckles of children playing on the street. The old lady enjoyed the to and fro movement of strangers and acquaintances. Strangers got a blank look; whereas, the acquaintances received greetings followed by a lengthy smile.

Her shawl was neatly folded and kept on a nearby bamboo chair. She loved talking as she turned the pages of the newspaper. Her friends – a cup and a saucer, a quite chair beside her and her humble shawl – listened to her peacefully.

This peaceful daily act was disturbed once in a week. She welcomed and longed for this disturbance. At a distance a bell would ring which was followed by a speeding bicycle that glided on the gravel path and stopped right in front of her house. Like some miracle she would raise her head… to catch the sight of a postman.

Today was the day; the postman had showed himself after nearly a week.

Greetings were exchanged with warm smiles. Time was automatically spared from the busy schedule of the postman for the old lady. He would sit on the chair in the veranda. First a glass of water was served and then a cup of tea. Their topic of discussion revolved around – health, medicine and their children. Like a ceremonious ritual the postman would first check his watch, then get up and hand over her letter. She would collect it with the same exuberance of a child collecting candies.

**********

Bundles of letters were stacked in the cupboard. All were arranged according to the year.

Time had moved forward. The son had moved away for better prospects. He visited the old lady in the form of many letters and some photographs.

Satisfaction was found in a mother’s heart that her son was well settled and doing good for himself.

On one side hung photos, and on the other side, paint was peeling off from this colourless wall. Her son’s photos appeared in the order of his growth – infancy, childhood, adolescence – and then additional faces appeared – wife and a son.

After a while the photos had stopped appearing, but the letters had continued.

**********

In a city apartment, was a sofa, a center table, a foldable bed and a kitchen stove. On a shelf, in the room, at a far corner was a trophy with initials at the bottom – Leo S. The surface of the trophy reflected a humanly face. This young face had an uncanny resemblance to Leo S. He had promised Leo S. something.

And today as he sat down to write…

Dear Ma,

…nothing came to him. He had been doing this for the last five years. Every time he wrote he remembered his promise – Please don’t stop writing letters or she’ll get worried.

Today, he struggled with words. His desire to continue a lie had pressed his soul hard and made his heart heavy. The old lady was ignorant of Leo’s death.

**********

Leo was a guard at a bank. One day, when the robbers attacked the bank and the people, Leo’s bravery fetched him a trophy but it also drew a wound in his stomach. All he thought it to be a small wound, but it was not. It became the reason of his slow and untimely death along with his ignorant attitude towards medication.

In the room, where the trophy was still standing victoriously, a decision was being formed.

Bags were packed and young Leo was ready to go.

**********

Years back, a traveler had come from a village. Today someone will be tracing back Leo’s steps to reach a someone dear in the village.

Image

Five Days of Black&White

I would like to thank Lore from Snow’s Fissures and Fractures for nominating me for the “five days of black and white photography challenge”. This post was long due but as I was struggling with time I could not post earlier. However, as I now get to play along I’m really happy. 🙂

For day 1 I would like to share this photo.

rajnigandha flower buds

rajnigandha flower buds

Everyday is a new gift with new possibilities and endless realities. Life is sweet and fragrant only if you’d stop, to savour a moment’s beauty. I had bought the stem of rajnigandha flower on a rather sad day. But while photographing the buds I saw its beauty and felt happiness seep into my heart. Rajnigandha is one of my favourite flowers.

I would like to tag Della from The Passion Dew for this challenge. She is a brilliant photographer and I love her photos. I’m sure you’ll be glued to her blog once you are there.

I would love to see you participate. I would also totally understand if you would decide not to participate for any reason.

The rules of this challenge are:

  1. For 5 consecutive days create a post any past or present photo in black and white.
  2. Each day you invite a new photographer to join the fun.

High Heat

I started cooking and it was a disaster.

Mom cooked on slow heat, and I wanted it quick so the flames were high.

high flames

high flames

High heat was my style of cooking.

It was quick.

The food quality was – burnt.

Still food was served, and everyone ate with a smile.

Lesson was learnt and so I’d let food simmer in low heat.

But there also, a problem arose.

I forgot about cooking until a slow burning smell would touch my nose.

It would make me run to kitchen.

Thank God! I’d say the food was not yet burnt.

When served everyone ate with great pleasure.

fish curry

fish curry

Sure the food would be good to taste, I thought.

OMG! I forgot to add salt to taste.

What would any food be without any sprinkle of salt?

It would certainly not be good, I thought.

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/shaken-and-stirred/

I chose my response

I was at a local grocery store buying things. In a queue of two people ahead of me,I was standing quietly. There were boxes lying around me- fresh merchandise, I guess. As the evening hours were approaching, the employees were removing the boxes and placing its stuff hurriedly.

I hear a voice behind me, “excuse me,” and an employee in front of me makes an eye contact with the voice. I ignored as I thought the voice wanted employee’s help with something. I heard “EXCUSE me” for a second time and after some time I realized that it was for me. It was hard to ignore because of the harshness in tone. To me – “excuse me” sounded more like, “you fool, I’m talking to you.”

Normally a person would not get irritated on requesting you after two or three times but this one got angry the second time itself. Normally people would ask in a requesting tone rather than a commanding tone. I thought that she would have had her reasons to be so rude…she could have had a bad day or had too many things to carry or getting late as I was blocking her path or she was just the way she was.

Anyways, on turning my head I saw a girl in her twenties wearing black rimmed thick glasses and a pony tail tightly tied backwards. The face mattered more to me than her body or her clothes. I could have responded by repeating the anger or moving silently from her path. Normally, I would have chosen silence and then been angry for the rest of the day cursing, fretting and frowning at others or self. But that day I decided to respond differently. I decided to smile. With a big smile stuck on my face I said, “Sure, why not? Please, go ahead.” Even with a pretentious smile you can’t pull anger (at least on your face and even if angry you don’t sound so).

Although I must say it was a difficult smile but then I was happy or should I say satisfied with my reaction. That smile made her slightly embarrassed.

When I smiled at her I didn’t think of embarrassing her or saving myself from being embarrassed in front of the employees…I just smiled because I wanted to. I chose my response.

So why did I decide to smile inspite of being inflicted with that bitter tone. I have read so much about – taking control of your life and actions…not to give the control to others…chose your response…. In that moment I felt that whatever I’ve read and if that’s true I should do what they always ask to do…smile. And it turned out to be true – you can’t hold on to anger with a smile stuck on your face.

I was so happy with myself that day – for smiling, for taking control of the situation, for choosing my response rather than reacting, for not behaving like the other person and most of all for following and not failing. With a smile I put an end to the event then and there rather than letting it simmer in my head.

Let it shine forever

“Come, with me,” says a voice and I float after it.

Lost. My identity lost. My body lost but I know I’m still there in some form of existence.

I’m swimming through a void of memories and dark and bright pathways. I face darkness first and then the bright white light of eternity engulfs me.

All of a sudden – a last memory – a distorted smile trying to pull me back. I try to wipe this memory clean and see… a man. A Face…young, hair… black, eyes…sparkling. It looked familiar. A view from distance helps me to see another face…a woman, young, black curly hair, eyes light brown. She was smiling and had something in her hand.

“Who is this?” The existence asked the voice.

The voice, “Don’t you remember. It’s you.”

“Which one – the man or the woman,” asked the confused existence?

The voice said, “The woman… of course. Now let’s hurry, we are getting late and the portal will close soon.”

Ok.

The existence started following the voice without any choice.

“Wait! Wait.” She shouted and said, “I remembered that moment. Keith…I think. Yes! That was his name. He had proposed to me. My ring. I can now see in that moment much clearly.”

Good! Now let’s go.

Wait, why is everything getting grey? Why is it so bright, now? I can’t see anything from that moment. Please! Please, make it stop.

“I’m sorry I can’t”, said the voice with some softness in it. He continued, “However, if you want I can let only one thing remain for eternity in your memory – in the same form as it was real. Fast. Time is running out of your hands and mine as well.”

golden ring

Fine! Don’t shout. I choose my hair…no, wait I choose him…no, no. I choose my brown eyes…no.

Fast kid!

Wait…wait, wait. I choose…that ring…the golden ring. With his name inscribed and our promise of love. I ask you to let the golden ring never be black or grey or white. Never be lost in time and space.Let its golden glow be forever. Let it shine like a sun… forever.

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/local-color/

My simple easy steps to make friends

friendIt’s not easy for me to make friends, but once you are on my “friends list” you are their forever.

This is what I do. I would observe a person first and then approach rather than approaching instantly. I feel this way it is easy to face any rejections or embarrassment.

In order to make friend, I would carry:
A smile
A confident look
Be direct in approach

When I finally arrive at the spot with all the tools in my hand I would start the friendship game.

1) The first thing is to introduce myself. Hi! My name is ….?
2) Then if the person introduces him/her self. Good! All you have to do is build a rapport now.
3) If the person doesn’t introduce or shows any signs of hesitation or you sense it, first try… before giving up.
4) In the next attempt… try to find a common interest. Maybe where is the person from, which department he/she works in, share information that could be helpful… “you can find a good eating joint nearby, you can come with me for a match, I buy the children’s book at a discounted price from this place.”
5) If this is difficult the best is to smile and compliment something about the person or that he/she owns. “Wow where did you buy this from it’s looks beautiful…I’ve been looking for it. You have a pleasant smile (As I said I’m very observant and then approach, so I would know a little about the person’s behavior and attitude by now).

These are “my sweet simple and easy approach to making friends”. I have been successful so far. Number doesn’t matter to me. What counts is “even if they are few they should be there forever.”

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/prompt-cant-we-be-friends/

A New Me

I entered, I was happy to see Sahil. He treats my hair like no other hair stylist. I always get my hair cut from him and no body else. He was busy brushing, combing, and massaging a customer’s hair. He looked at me and gave me a smile. He asked me to wait for some time.

I waited for him to get over with the other client but then in fifteen minutes time he called me. He asked me to sit on the chair. I sat. I always close my eyes when I sit, I don’t know why, but I always do this. Maybe I’m too confident completely entrusting myself and more importantly my hair at the hands of others. But he is no other guy, he is my hair stylist. He is the guy. Or maybe I want to meet a newer version of me.

I have known Sahil for at least four years now. He is an expert and gives the best treatment to your hair. Just like a mother leaves her children at a creche knowing that they will be taken care off in the same manner I knew Sahil will take care of my hair.
In these four years I have know him to be an expert. I have known him to give the right advice to groom my hair. He has always given the best treatment to my hair. In these four years he has always treated me “like a customer is the king”. He has understood my requirements and given a perfect hair cut to me. He had always been polite. But the one thing that he had not done in these four years was to “smile”. This was the first time he did it.

While I was sitting at my “customer’s chair” he was combing my hair, trimming it, checking for the length (because I had instructed him not to shorten the length too much). Now normally he would have taken atleast one hour but this time I was amazed at the skills that he demonstrated. He gave me a haircut and at the same time finished with the hair treatment of the other client.

I thought he likes to do everything on his own but this time I was happy to see him take the command in his hands. I had never seen him delegating work to his assistant, but this time he was. As he was applying some pack on the hair for the other client he was instructing his assistant “blow dry the hair, do it nicely…comb, comb it nicely, don’t touch the part which is clipped…now come here rinse the hair, do it properly.” Now this was the first time he not only looked commanding but also sounded commanding.

Tossing between the clients he was done with cutting my hair.

As I said I don’t look up until the final moment, where he says “Please take a look, it’s done.” That is the final moment for me. Will I be looking at a new me, will he have understood my instructions, will I have the hair cut that I had imagined, the most important will I look good, will it suit me. I realize that it is a bit too late for all this. With all these thoughts lingering in my head, I finally raise my head up in slow motion. A final thought before I look at myself, “even if it does not suit me, I’ve come to a point where I don’t care.” So, I don’t care and I look at myself and …yeah!… I have a new look. I am happy to meet the new person. She looks different.

And all thanks to…Sahil. He did it again, gave me a wonderful haircut.