Looking Up & Around…

This week, I happened to visit a nearby suburb after almost a year and a half. As we entered its periphery, the roads there seemed busier than ever before and we had to push our way through the erratic traffic.

Later as we walked along the pavement, there was no usual order in things. Actually there were precautionary boards all along the roads, while construction guys stood with their vans all over the place.

Obviously this hub of activity was a bit of a nuisance to pedestrians as well as those looking for a parking place. In the late Continue reading

She Doesn’t Look Nice But…

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An abstract by Carl Holty you may not like

She Doesn’t Look Nice But…

She never looked too nice!
She looked like some art
And art wasn’t meant to look nice
It was supposed to make you think
and feel something, stir your heart…

She is my creation – my art
My words, writing, poetry
Authentic and true to heart
Why should she always be
Beautiful in your sense of world?
Why should she Continue reading

Never Say Die

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~ Ornamental flowers and Dandelion weeds in the same yard ~

 

Never Say Die

Soaked alike in golden sun
Who looks better?
the flowers or the weeds
the accepted or the rejected
the adored or the detested

Side-by-side in their race
for life. Who wins better?
the docile or the aggressive
the frail or the hardy
the shy or the pushy

Hated by the natives, the
resilient all-pervading wilds
stay on, though stomped and razed
shine on, with their heads raised
Indefatigable and unrelenting
thick-skinned stubborns, absorb
nicks and kicks, to unashamedly
survive and thrive; never say die

©2016 Alka

~~~ ~~~

For: The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge Opposites

Joy Dispensed

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                          ~When in full bloom~

How delightfully, they
Doled out bounteous happiness!
Ethereal beauty and surges of fragrance
Now time for them to take leave
For they have done their bit

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          ~ Same flowers now short-lived fading beauties~

 

© 2016 Alka Girdhar

~~~~ ~~~
For: Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge – Flowers

‘It’s All Within Us’ – A short story

It’s All Within Us

(The Drunk)

“Cuckooooo!!! Look who’s here!” I heard Jake’s jeering voice as I climbed up the few stairs leading up to our local club’s front door.

Two years my senior in school, Jake was a feared bully when he was in our school, and now in university he’s with my older sister Tisha. His long drawn slang ‘cuckoo’ was well-known within our school circles. He is still the same, I concluded.

I had not seen Jake for two years and here I was face to face, as he stood leaning against the wall, with his overlapping legs crossed towards the feet, while his one arm was way up the wall. A defiant pose with head tilted upwards.

All the courage that I had gathered to reach up to this club, only to see Jake, now seemed to be vanishing as I heard his gruff voice.

“Care to have a drink, ehh?” Looking penetratingly at me in the eye, he twitched his lower lip.

With bent head, I found myself awkwardly fumbling inside my school bag that hung from my shoulder. I gulped nervously and heard myself think “No thanks! I don’t drink alcohol.” Except that I didn’t say this. Even if it was true that I had never tasted any beer before, I didn’t want this pseudo to think of me as any less of a man.

“Bah!! You still a chicken? Bet you don’t drink!” Jake seemed to have read my mind. So I replied promptly “I do! Let’s go”

Jake straightened his posture. Yawning upright till his arms stretched upwards, he deliberately made a crackling sound with his hands that were knuckled together.

“Follow me!” he gestured with one hand as he took big strides ahead to enter the bar room. I had no choice. After all, I needed to talk to him about why he had been chasing my sister for a month now.

As we sat, he asked “Mixed or neat?”

His question made no sense to me but I dared not ask what he meant. Pretending unperturbed I replied, “Neat”

He whistled some peppy tune before he signalled the waiter to fetch drinks. With my ignorance about drink names, I heard him mention ‘malt’ and I wondered what’s ahead.

…….

Staring sheepishly at the plush wine glass placed elegantly on the silken tablecloth, I held it shakily with both hands, quite like a child holds a glass of milk. To boost my nerves, I consciously pulled myself upright.

With him staring at me, I had no choice but to start sipping. A bit of this dark fluid will not harm me, I convinced myself. After all, even as a kid I never got tipsy with strongest of cough syrups that mom gave me.

The first sip was ok. The taste was overwhelming while I felt burning sensation inside my food pipe, just as my stomach knotted. Starting to feel strange, I decided to bring up the issue.

“What do you want from Tisha?”

Dear me! I should have asked “Why are you after Tisha?” Obviously I had put my question wrong, so the answer came out more obscene than probably Jake ever intended to.

“Cuckoooo! What da ya mean I want? Hah plentiful. But what a bomb of a sis you have!”

Fuming with rage, I picked the glass. I felt like throwing the bitter brown syrup on his face, but instead I gulped it all in one go. Within minutes I was up from my seat, staggering up the nearby podium as I faced the microphone.

“Helllloo!!! Listen! Listen! Let’s meet Jake, the biggest lout you will ever come across….”

The usual continuous murmur of the well-behaved gentry turned into silence as everyone looked up to pay attention. Actually ours is a small cosy town so I knew many of the faces sitting down there.

cartoon-drunk-man-champagne-bottle-isolated-37246067After that, God knows what (or who) came over me, that I spoke full throttle, attributing all possible vile adjectives to Jake, while disclosing all his actions, his eve-teasing, his bullying….

The crowd listened rapt. Enraged Jake, who was more boozed up than I was, came up to me and slapped me hard, right there in front of everyone. I retaliated more vigorously but soon I was beginning to sink.

At that very moment things took a different turn. Lucky for me, Uncle Tim, my neighbourhood constable was watching it all. He came to my defense. Soon a huge drama unfolded that I watched with hazy eyes and groggy mind.

After Jake got the bashing that he would remember his whole life, he left the place. Uncle Tim dropped me home, much to my mom’s dismay on seeing me in that state. But she didn’t ask anything.

……

In the coming weeks, I feared the worst. Without any emboldening liquor, I would be no match if burly Jake were to corner me on a lonely road.

But it was all quiet for the whole week, and surprisingly Jake was nowhere around my sister. Just to ensure her safety, I decided to drop her and pick her up from her university each day.

Then one day, I saw him. He was coming towards us as we walked. He stopped.

“Hello Bob! Hi Tisha ”

Tisha ducked behind me and before I could reply, Jake apologized to me for the whole episode. He also said sorry to Tisha while we both looked at him in disbelief. Never did he misbehave after that day.

I’m still figuring out what brought this change in Jake, and what was it that worked for me that day at the club? But I learnt for sure that the world takes us just the way we present ourselves to it. If we are scared of someone, he or she will not be scared of us.

Bold, scared, funny, beautiful, happy – we can be what we want to be. It’s all within us. We don’t need a drink for that, do we?

©2016 Alka Girdhar

~~~~~~ ~~~~~~

For: Friday Fiction with Ronovan Writes Prompt Challenge #31. The prompt word given was “Have a Drink

https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/friday-fiction-with-ronovan-writes-prompt-challenge-31-have-a-drink/

When She Learnt to Get Her Voice Heard

Aria was visiting her native land after many years, and she visited her high school after what seemed like ages. As she parked her car near her school, she stood looking at a pathway and saw herself once again. Distant. A faint silhouette slowly moving away.

~~~

Young Aria sitting on the back seat of her school teacher’s bicycle while he rode leisurely. This slow-moving bike journey along the short tree-lined path, took them from their school to All India Radio, the local radio-station that had recording studios within. Those days when private channels had not yet mushroomed, the government-run AIR was the only radio-station in her city. Continue reading

Ode To Pingbacks

Ode To Pingbacks

You sense their presence
Not when they are there
But when they are not.

When they refuse to work
When they go on strike
Like some bunch of union workers
Usually overlooked and small
Taken for granted by big shots
Seemingly unimportant
Till they decide to hold down
A smoothly running system
And bring it to a sudden halt

But unlike overworked underpaid workhorses
They sulk not, not even complain
Or file their written protest summon
Or wait for ages for some fair windfall

Pingbacks vanish without a warning or a ping
And come back on their own, not when we call

*****

 

Playful Pingbacks

How often does it happen, that
With all our champion ideas galore
A writer’s block grips us
And words just refuse to pour!

It also happens that, when
Through our heart’s hems and seams
Creativity overflows and brims
But that’s when playful pingbacks cheat

No wonder then that
Our masterpieces die un’discovered’
For they are not even born.

Hey! Do you think my logic is wrong?

Chain Links

 

I wrote these two when pingbacks were not working. But I got busy and I could post only now.
.

Stranded No More…

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Stranded No More…

When seclusion callously corrodes
Every inch of your fine being
When it’s all dark and dreary
And your heart is tired and weary
Your eyes too solemn and teary.

Then lose no heart, O comrade!
The gloom will soon evaporate
The beaming rays will finally break
Through the engulfing black clouds
Compelling them to dissipate

Hang in there some more time!
For soon time will turn around
Get ready to smile and welcome
The crystal clear blue skies and
Golden happiness all around

© 2016 Alka Girdhar

~~~ ~~~

In response to #writephoto Photo Prompt ‘Isolation’ by Sue Vincent..

Where Do You Go? My Lovely

Where am I these days? It seems like it was long ago when I last wrote a blog post. Actually speaking, it wasn’t that long, but it seems to be so.

In general, for someone like me who has no fixed writing schedule, someone who writes as and when inspiration strikes, this is a normal act…this act of being an Elfie, this act of vanishing from the scene. I have done this before, only to keep coming back.

Writing happens only when thoughts and ideas overflow. While it is true that with all the prompts and challenges around, there can never be a dearth of ideas but if one does not feel the urgency to write and also when life’s other tasks get too compelling and time consuming, then writing takes a back seat.

And it is then, that is when I have distanced myself even slightly from my blog, that I start wondering – Why do I blog? How could I have written so many posts? What drove me? Wouldn’t it have been better to have spent all this time writing a book or two, possibly more (I am already in the process)?  What do I do now with all the half-finished articles and poems saved in various folders for the last many years, long before I started blogging?  Self-doubt and self-questioning overpowers, hence an urgent need to be back to blogging; lest I forget it and more importantly, lest it forgets me.    

Now. Did my rambling answer my earlier question – Where do I go?  Yes and No.

Whatever. I’m reminded of two lovely songs, with the same beginning note – “Where do you go, my lovely?”

The first song reminds me of the times when we had just migrated to Australia and we could hear it being played everywhere; a street-side blokey song of a heart-broken young lad. Its beats are great for dancing, but we writers end up bothering about lyrics like “You left me with a heartache deep inside, girl you should see me cry all night.” Full lyrics here

The other song is a classic from the 60s, not a classical as such but about an ambitious girl trying to act rich and classy.

This second number is less woeful than the above song but the guy seems miserable nevertheless, as he enlists all the classy things that this girl, who is his childhood friend and who’s now a social-climber aspires for…diamonds and pearls, Picasso,  links with top guns who gift her with riches.
The singer wonders at this once poor girl who’s trying hard to be rich at all costs, but is she really happy in her heart?  He knows the real woman in her still seeks old times, and not money. High hopes young man!  Full lyrics

See, how my post seems to have strayed aimlessly from here to there! Not a good sign, ehh? Or is it? To let the words flow as they do. The muse is anyway hard to please and tame, so while she was here, I embraced her in all her wayward moods.

For now, better forget about defining the purpose, the goal of my blog. It will discover itself sooner or later.
That’s how it is with life – it takes a life time to define the purpose of life.

Catty Face

 

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Catty Face

Catty face! Catty face!!
Don’t stare at me like this
You petrified, or scaring me?
Standing there frozen still
In my home, on my driveway
It’s my territory, my pathway
You the prowler, go away!!

It’s ok! Let it be
Here I open the door
Please come inside
Play with me for a while
Have tea with me
But dear! Make sure
You come regularly

Hey!! What happened?
Why you running away??
Wait! Wait!! Wait!!!
Let me come with you
Will you? But you won’t
For you’re an impish kitty
Catty face, frisky and sneaky!

~~~ ~~~

The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge Face is so interesting, that I could think of so many of them, but this light post came by easy as I saw this prowling cat. Do you also get some regular visitor like this one?

Also for One Word Photo Challenge – Cat

© 2016 Alka Girdhar