He persisted. “Then I just want to hear her snore”
He did not reply. Instead, he bent down & held her.
Silence tangoed with love.
Nobody moved. No legs shaken. No trumpets Blown. But the dance floor burned with passion red.
A few seconds melted; Warmth coated.
She whispered “So, What did you hear….”
Holding her pregnant belly, he mouthed “Her smile ….. She is smiling in her sleep”
Author’s note –
I still remember – when I first started my blog, the rush of happiness, I feel every time, I saw a comment on my Page & it still is the same. Your comments always put a smile on me. I just really wish my stories & posts – do the same for you.
It has been quite a while, since I posted my last Fiction. My sister always used to say, I can rarely dish out a simple story – without much of philosophy or dark themes. In a way, I can agree with her. If you would go through all my stories that stretched more than 150 words, you would realize most of them tend to have a dark streak.
So, I wanted my come back fiction to be warm, simple & short.
With this fiction, I would like to thank you guys- for going through my sporadic posts. You guys make my blog – What it is.
The sun, mellow with the dews of the left over drizzle from the Rain Goddess who just kissed and kindled his domain- lit me up with warm evening rays. Colors a million in-between the chaos of the Billions. Streaks of Gold and Silver – slithered amidst the vast carpet of the blue sky. Earth, raw brown after its day out with the shower, breathed life into Greens- a cupid's wave of vivid virility. A litany of noise, A cacophony of voice- Vehicles stampeded on their gravel tracks. Life glowed breaking down all it’s barriers. Even the dark ebonite road, reeled in the rainbow in the skies- A wet reflection- A lover’s distant embrace.
A few silent seconds passed unnoticed leaving me alone to take in the loveliness of her highness. Ah…. All I would ever want from a girl- If only I could court her - Princess Dusk. Warm, Caring, Beautiful, Exciting, Unpredictable and always Dependable. May be, being single has its memorable moments. I sighed to myself as I walked past the milieu.
It was then, that something caught my attention. In an evening, as lively as this- Nobody smiled. People drained from the day’s work- seemed rather keen on getting to their destinations than on enjoying the moment- or rather than to share a smile.
Are people really that lost in their everyday lives, that they do not even have time to share a smile. What a weird world- In a world where everyone wants to smile and be joyful, Nobody cares enough to start a simple smile.
Does our personal life blind us from the people around us? I think we cared about what’s around us more when we were kids than now. Somewhere along the way, when we learned to stand for ourselves, we must have lost the zeal to care and love for life around us.
May be, this is the reason- people love kids- who have the innate ability to smile at everyone for no particular reason. Genuine happiness – Explicitly spread.
In getting to know things about life- In growing up and facing things that life throws at us, I think we have lost the ability to be spontaneously happy.
Hahahaha….Now, that’s what I would like to call a - Precarious Predicament – A smile – mostly satirical in nature escaped from me. Mostly a natural gesture- an end product of thinking too much- May be.
But… But….. Hey wait… I think the old lady who just passed me returned my smile.
Finally, I smiled. So what are you waiting for? Share my smile.
It has been quite a while, since I blogged. So I wanted to post something warm & lively. I really hope my Post put a smile on your face....
On the Snap of the girl's smile- While was searching for an image- I saw her & I was so caught up with her smile, that I did not have the heart to search on further. Wow -- What a smile !!!
Author's note- Strictly for people, who have already seen the movie Raavan. The review contains spoilers and critical analysis of several scenes.
"So, did you see the movie?" My sister threw me the question as soon as she heard my voice crackle over the phone.
"Yeah, yesterday night…" I replied back.
"So, what did you think?" Her warm voice, brimming with expectation prodded me.
I took a deep breath- "It could have been better.. Much better.."
"Hmhm.. I thought exactly the same…" She paused for a second. "I mean when the character of Hanuman – depicted as forest guard, asking Sita – Whether She would allow him to carry her back to Ram – It was not just silly, it was so awkward. I mean what was the director was thinking!!"
"Yeah, but you know what’s even more silly.." I remarked. "Trying to show that a forest guard (depicting Hanuman) can find Sita just like that. I mean – Even though the movie is based on the legend of Ramayana, only when it’s grounded in reality it will strike a chord.."
"But, hey it’s hanuman you are talking about. He has to be powerful.. Right !!"
"Yeah.. But Hanuman in the actual epic played one of the most important roles. Trying to fit in such a humungous character into a three hour frame has not only robbed quality time that could have been utilized to increase the ambiguity in the characterization of both Ram and Ravanan. And also, the character of Hanuman has been severly underutilized, So why bring in the character in the first place ?"
"Hmhm.. And the character of Raavan's brother is too dumb. I mean.. what kind of a fool it would take to confront someone who wants to kill you in the first sight !!"
"Yeah.. Mani just used him as a trigger that would start off the violent climax." I answered back to her thoughtfully.
"Talking about the climax, what a disappointment. – Right when the character of Ram questions Sita about her chastity, you start to guess that, he is just trying to use her to get back at Raavan & the climax would have at-least been more appealing if Sita also got shot along with Raavan. I mean... With so many people shooting Raavan with all they have, it was like a miracle that Sita was not hurt by a stray bullet even though she was right in front of him." She paused.
"And It was so not like the wild Raavan to tell Ram that his wife is still pure and he should take her & go-- when they are both hanging from the bridge for their lives. Raavan should have been shown more as character with more unpredictability and girth. He should have told Ram, that- He did not deserve her and He should have ridiculed him.."
"Hmhm.. Yeah you have a point" I agreed with her. "but I was most disappointed with the fight scenes. The scene where Raavan’s men bring down the vehicles by using sugar in the diesel tanks upped my interest. I was expecting more in the next confrontation, but what a let down. I mean, what kind of a dud climax, it would be to show Raavan’s men just dashing into the camp, without any preparations. I mean, for god's sake its a military camp, we are talking about.. There would be regular patrols and guards on look out. Emphasis should have been given for the way in which the climax fight starts…"
"& Don’t get me started with the fight on the bridge. Yeah.. It was interesting & the camera work along with the stunt made it look exiting, even exhilarating.. but-- Was it brutal enough to be a fight between Ram & Ravanan. No way & come on.. Do you really think any one could survive a fall like that, even if they are holding on to the bridge. Bull Shit !!"
"You know what I personally thought" I paused for a second. "The fight would have been much better if, the would have clashed on the land. Real brutal. Both of them going at each other, with everything they have. Blood pouring out of their wounds. Ram, in his usual self- trying to bring down the evil Raavan. Raavan with his insane grin, going against Ram with abandon. & just when they are fully exhausted with no more in them, Ram should have got a gun by chance…"
"And it is then, when he slowly aims the trigger to put an end to Raavan once & for all; Raavan still not perturbed staring straight into the barrel of the gun; Sita should have interfered. Tears pouring, She should have pleaded with Ram, not to kill him. Now would have been the best time for Ram to question Sita...
On her chastity.. Why she is crying for the villain.. What has happened between them.. On whose side, she really is??
Who really is good & who really is bad ?? For whom does really her heart beat for??
The situation, if properly played would have been a defining moment in Indian Cinema..
Ram, who just realized that his own wife, for whom he has come- has ambiguous feelings for Raavan..
Raavan, in bliss- insane smiles lighting up his face seeing Sita standing up for him clearly in the open for the first time…
Sita, who just realized that she cannot clearly judge with her loyalty and love lies with.. Looks torn and broken between Ram & Raavan.
This situation would have been highly dynamic and could have given rise to any number of poignant endings. Like Ravanan Being blown of by a freak bomb into the ravine still smiling looking contently at Sita trying to protect him.
Ram, who just lost his own faith in his wife- walking away slowly away from Sita.
Sita, just sitting there- staring into the nothingness of the Ravine, Lost for both words and her soul..
I personally think, Mani Rathnam could have made a modern day epic.. But then he settled for much less, just a simple experimentation."
"Hmhm.." She replied back thoughtfully "Yeah.. In a way, the movie could have been much more.." I could feel my sister nodding her approval at the other end.
"I thik the main mistake that Mani Rathnam did was to stick to the original tale too much & also he should have elaborated more on the character of Ram. And Whats with that Romance song choreography between Ram & Sita.. It was too made up & dumb. Something that you would not exept from Mani Rathnam. You know what.." I told my sister. "I cannot believe that it’s the same man, who made Thalapathi based on Mahabharatham. What a Gem of a movie that was…."
"May be, Mani Rathnam is getting old." My sister replied with a hint of a laugh.
"Haha… You think so... hmhm yeah, May be. Even his last film – Guru did not really get my heart pumping.
"But then, Raavan did had it’s moments.." My sister hit back. " Like the scene, where Raavan raids Ram's military head quarters, the scene where Sita falls from the tree branches with a worried Raavan chasing behind her, Sita rebelling telling Raavan that her life is her own before jumping off the cliff.."
"But with an Ace of a director like Mani Rathnam, I would expect more than just a few good moments." I replied back.
My sister sighed. “yeah, you are probably right..”
My sister and I love discussing movies, after seeing them. And the above is the most of what transpired between us after Raavan. I purposely left out, what we discussed about the portrayal of the characters by the actors. I think- The audience are intelligent enough to know who did not suit the role & who breathed life into their role. I was more interested in how more the director could have made the film more tangible, more memorable, more of the epic that Ramayana really is....
Anyways, I have taken a few critical pot shots at the movie. I would love to have alternate opinions & critiques of my own ideas.
"So you think that, I am the murderer. Dont you not???"
"No! I dont. But you do know something about who killed her. Dont you? Tell me now or I will kill you too."
I wanted to write a crime fiction in just 55 words or less. & I did not want the fiction to be something predictable or dull. So, I took this idea of a dark comical twist to a murder fiction and expanded on it. I hope you guys like it. Will soon post more on the same idea. Do leave back your comments & criticisms.
Nobody can call the tortoise a slouch. Nor can anybody criticize his efforts.
Sweat poured across his face; drenching his soul, as he plodded along the race path, one step at a time; each harder than the earlier.
Every minuscule molecule of his might, exhausted. A dry throat gasping for breath; battling with the heat and exhaustion – dieing to give up. Just give up this unjust race already.
Of course, his opponent is tough and obviously faster. It would be a child’s win for the rabbit to win. But then, all the odds staked against him, made it the more important, more important for him to win.
And no, the chance for the rabbit to fall asleep, once again- after the Aesop’s race would be, like the Americans say; a fat chance. But then, it was his dignity that’s at stake. He took a deep breath and sighed. Sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. With a rebuilt resolution, he plodded on.
Just then, just for a flash of a second, he couldn’t but help think that – Maybe, his claiming reservation was not a bad idea at all.
Like the last post, this one too is retelling the Aesop's in relation to the modern circumstances. Hope I have made a interesting dent to the story.
Regarding reservations - I do not intend to support nor oppose it. I merely would like to rethink reservation depending on circumstances. Isn't that all democracy about ? To decide for ourselves, whats to be done to ourselves. So, tell me guys, what do you think about reservation? and it's implication - both in the story & in real life.
For those interested, the original Aesop's tale- can be read at the following link.
A royal purple, rich & ripe the grapes smirked at the fox. But then, at a height it cannot reach, the only thing that the fox was able to do was stare at the juicy fruits with a calm disdain. A few seconds passed & along with them, a few wise cracks by those hanging safely high up in the branches.
After all, they were sour. Weren't they?
The fox turned around & started to walk away from the grape tree. Cheers rang out from the celebrating bunch of fruits. They wont be eaten by the likes of such failures.
But then, they didn't know did they, that the fox was already thinking of what story to weave to the elephant to make it mow down the tree holding them.
A homage to the Aesop's fables. An alternate version of it, with it's own untold morals with a bit of twist from my own stables. For the original story, please visit the following link. & do visit again for another one of my attempts on retelling the Aesop's.
He looked around. His eager eyes searching for company. Some soul company. But then not are blessed.
He sighed & looked back into his question paper. It stared back at him with just the questions or rather the answers,he did not study.
Perhaps a cruel twist of fate. He took a deep breath and raised his hands asking for extra sheet.
Fiction writers can't always have choice on the topics they write about. Can they??
The month of march. A month of exams. Every school goer suddenly gets attached to his until now neglected books (much like Mr.P.Chidambaram talking about calling back Mr.Hussain after Qatar recognized him for what he is). But then the question paper does have a mind of it's own. Don't you think so. (esp when a topic is left without studying, automatically the probability of it to show up in the question paper raises up. :D )
This story is in a way, dedicated to my own memories of attending school exams and my best wishes to everyone attending their board exams.
The Meenakshi Amman Temple- The majestic entrance.
Someone said that due to some accident or something the buses in the route are being delayed. A collective groan rang out from all of us waiting for the bus.
A possibly long night. Or may be the start of a long morning. The clock had just stuck two. Tired and exhausted to the bones, I watched as a cold winter morning, with damp drifting winds complete; soaking my already sweat drenched shirt. Drifting in and out of the grey regions of slumber, I looked around.
Being a busy route, in no time there was quite a crowd waiting for the bus. People wanting to get to their homes to their loved ones; every one lost in their own version of life; Strings of thoughts throwing multiple shadows in the crevices of their own urgency and need. Just like a heap of gooseberries poured from a sack, a myriad of people sat around scattered with their eyes expectantly looking out at the entrance of the bus stand.
Almost four hours of waiting was starting to get to everyone.
A few mothers were trying to calm their children, pulling the red worn out muffler over their exposed ears; a couple of old men more wrinkled than the quilts that they dug into with their skinny hands blue veins protruding, laid low huddled together; a group of farmers tried to best the chill and the wait chewing their pan squatted around talking among themselves. A handful of working men restless, probably returning home for the week end were heatedly engaged in critiquing the transport system. And of course a few lost souls like me were passing time by watching the entire milieu unfold. Every bus that came into the bus stand was rushed into by us, only sadly to realize that not even one of them were en route to our destination.
The gargoyles leaping out-
Just then, a bus slowly moved out of the bus stand, the dull lights of its interior painting up the destination board that read – Madurai. My eyes popped out. The bus was almost half empty and my legs were yearning to take a rest. On an impulse, I got on the bus. Of course I wanted to get a bit of shut eye in those warm inviting seats but most of all, I was simply giving in to my sudden urge to visit Meenakshi Amman temple of Madurai.
Meenakshi Amman Temple –
A place that I last visited almost 10 years ago, when I was in my 6th standard. Memories of the school excursion flooded my half awake senses. Nostalgia closed in. My school friends, the unforgettable bus trip, the dance that we did as we stepped into each other’s legs while travelling in the bus, a piece of laughter that was shared, a trip that was cherished and remembered almost a decade ago, a child’s memory with it’s own nuances and sauces; I fell asleep.
The earth was slowly warming up to the kiss of the sun’s early morning light and the birds were making a delightful ruckus in the trees around the temple. A few peddlers selling flowers and incense to the devotes who have arrived early to avoid the rush, A old lady was busy sweeping the yard in front of the road side stalls, someone was decorating the front of the temple with a rangoli, a couple of foreigners were asking for directions from locals, the air was warm and inviting. A good day to have come to visit the temple, I thought to myself as I looked around standing at the entrance of temple. It’s Gopuram (Temple Tower) as majestic as ever stood above the environs basking the glory of its own regality.
I walked inside the temple drinking in the serenity.
The temple was almost empty and in its void, I felt perfectly peaceful. After all you don’t need to be a theist to feel the aura of a temple; you just need to listen. After spending a while, taking in the freshness of the atmosphere, I started to wander about lost with the purpose of being lost.
Beside the Porthamarai Kulam (the sacred pond)-
The perfect symmetry of stone pillars, the exquisitely engraved statues, the walls with tepid stories painted with vivid colors untainted, Stone gargoyles with fangs menacing leaping out at the edges of the walls, spacious corridors well laid, ceilings brush stroked with beautiful geometric patterns, the Thirukkural (Tamil poems) that have survived the passing of time etched into marble walls, the temple towers purple and mighty with their brows looking at the sky; The entire place is a standing testimony to the brilliance of the architecture of the Dravidian*(ie the Tamil) culture.
I took a deep breath and felt glad that I responded to my impulse and took the trip; a worthwhile expedition to put my camera to good use.
I started clicking away.
A detailed design on a pillar-
A temple is a whole new level of stage where people act out their religion. Sometimes stern faith, sometimes even absurd faith – instilled by blood.
People were busy praying, completely involved in their poojas, trying to catch a glimpse of the holy deity, sitting around eating prasadham (blessed food), some singing hymns in praise of the lord, everyone in their own way practicing religion just they way their parents and their parents before them would have done, no questions asked. A local was explaining to a curious foreigner – the culture of the south as he saw it- the customs, practices and the religion.
After standing around listening to him for a few minutes, I found myself trying to wrestle with a few questions.
What is culture?
Is our culture defined by our religious practices, the customs of matrimony and other such practices we surround ourselves with?
Is it our language? The way we express ourselves – the phonetic finesse of our evolution.
Is it the way we relate ourselves to our caste and to our own creed?
Is it a collective dictum of India as a nation?
The ambiance filled emptiness-
With every one brandishing their own version of culture – from the thakareys, the self proclaimed saviors of Marathi culture to KCR in telangana, the self anointed political reviver of Telangana culture-
The word culture has been interpreted in a million ways or may be even more- After all, political parties keep at it everyday- bringing in new meaning to the word itself.
I stopped wandering and sat down. My mind alone still lost with a purpose, searching for an answer.
I gave out an involuntary sigh. The more I sought for a clear definition, the more ifs and maybes cropped up. The vaguer, my own idea of culture became.
May be- Culture, though defined as a collective prerogative of a group of people, its outlook with regard to every specific individual has to be decided by that individual itself.
May be- It is in the “variety of interpretation of culture with regard to passing time” - the evolution of the social and the political society of tomorrow depends on.
May be- Culture is in taking pride in what we are, rather than in politicking what we are.
May be- Culture is about accepting people for what they are with their short comings, tears and laughs.
May be- Culture is what that makes us believe that we are one as a society, a human civilization.
Too many answers..... Nothing specific.... But everything related and bonded with each other- moving in cohesion with the chaos of humanity.
The paintings on walls-
Sitting amidst alternating dance of shadows in the the Thousand pillar hall, I finally seemed to have realized the source of it all.
It's in pride.
The pride of what we are. What our forefathers have achieved. Our sync as a civilization.
Every one wants others to know and acknowledge, the richness of their own past, of what they have achieved and the potential they hold within themselves.
That's why, people get ruffled when talked about culture. After all, blood is thicker than water.
Doesn't real plume, pomp and pride shows off without any effort.? Just like the way, the great temple of Meenakshi Amman has astounded me, putting me in touch with the architectural culture of my forefathers.
Just like the way India stand as a edifice of meditation, yoga and spiritual without anyone advertising it?
Like the way, every time- you hear an exquisite poem in your native language, you get your blood pumped up and your heart revved up. You can feel the beauty of the words, blooming with the poem.
For me, that's culture.
Nor I have the need to barter it. Nor do I am too insecure, to protect.
I am content just to take pride in my culture of what I am -- a lineage of people who strive to be themselves, establishing exquisiteness in things they work towards, thereby leaving a piece of themselves behind for the future generations to take pride in.
Inside the thousand pillar hall-
I see the temple as a standing testimony to that.
Ha... Ha... May be even my blog is a part of me. Something I leave behind. A part of my culture, challenging you to think for yourself.
To believe in yourself. To push and break your own boundaries.
Now... About your own culture..... I leave you to decide...
I visited Meenakshi Amman temple a few months back and this post was written with the frame of mind, I had during that visit. The post goes along my own flow of thought process and impulses.
The snaps that I have posted were taken with a Nikkon Coolpix- P5100. I have reduced the resolution, for easy uploading.
( I was not able to upload all the good snaps I took, so If you guys would like to have the original snaps with high resolution, do ask so, I will mail you. people who are interested in knowing more about the temple - do visit this link- I have purposely avoided telling too much about the temple as that data can be obtained from web.)
" What are you going to do me... " Her voice trembled.
" What else... " He smirked. "than to raping you.. "
She tried to get up and slipped, falling on her face. Her jaw broke in with a sick thud. Blood poured. Her legs refused to respond, torn at the shins, they begged her to forgive them. They could not save her anymore. She cried. A broken brook of agony, the cold pain of what's to come.
In between the tears that flowed mixing with the gutter and blood,he noticed she was mumbling something to him.
He smiled and bent down, trying to listen to her last words. The last begging for mercy always gave him the best hard on.
He whispered to her. "go on dear... I am listening... " .
Her voice was faint but stern. "Please can you kill me after you are done with me........."
A few silent seconds paused. Somehow he was not able to hear her crying anymore.
Nor was he feeling anything when he walked away from there. Just emptiness. Dark, bleak and grey.
Well, I was actually planning to write a 55 fiction but fiction grew without restraint into more than 55 words. Hope you guys enjoyed the piece. And Wish you guys a happy Pongal - the south Indian harvest festival.....