Short Story

Dark

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Fable

The alarms went off. People woke up and then realised it was still night. They went off to sleep again.
The early birds work up, then thought it was a night nocturnal that woke them up. They went off to sleep again.

Some tossed and turned, waiting for a morning that never came.
People missed work by 100%. Shops remained closed.
The scientists and rocket people were wonderstruck. Then the news started flashing.
People tired of their good night’s sleep turned on their TV. Some surfed the internet, and others ventured on social media.
And the world read and heard the declaration that the governments around the world shook while they declared-
EARTH has Gone DARK!

Nights went by. Dates changed, but the world remained DARK.
Night schools became a vogue, as did night shopping and night dates!
Some revelled the change. The others tried to take it in a stride. Then there were the night owls. They organized bonfire parties and barbecues.

The activists took out night rallies and processions. They blamed the government or the state enemy or spoke of conspiracy theories. But no matter the rush, the world remained DARK.

The people of the globe were getting accustomed to the change, some with gusto while others with apathy.
With the change in the earth’s condition came new problems. Soon, there was a food shortage and a power shortage. There were regular power cuts in some countries, while the others, even an hour of power supply became a blessing.

World alliances began falling apart. War for coal and natural gas rose. The world weather system went topsy-turvy, and food became so scarce that many didn’t have anything to eat. New diseases came into the foray. The darkness of the environment was percolating into every living and non-living.

People began night prayers, but soon the candles fell short. Temples and churches still tried to spread hope in the gloom. Spiritual gurus encouraged people to remain hopeful. The governments of the world promised it was all temporary. But the DARK hours only increased!

Some blamed it all on the new masked world. While others said, it was an opportunity to find sight in the dark.


The truth, however, was alarming- A dark world can’t exist for long. DARK earth meant the end was near.
The Musks and the Gates had surrendered. The scientists had given up too. There was no way they could bring light back into the world.

The ominous blackness spread and spread a little more. Like many children, Kali, a young girl, had remained in her room. She had seen her parents struggle to keep the household going with little food and water to spare. She had watched the power cuts become longer and she was watching her favourite plant dry. Her teacher had said, “Children, once there is light, everything will fall into place. So, don’t give up hope. Keep looking for the light.”

In a Dark world, Kali could find no light. But she resolved to leave her bedroom only when she had found a way to disperse the darkness.

Nights went by but Kali didn’t leave her room. No matter how much her parents coaxed her, she refused to relent. She consumed chocolates from her chocolate box to keep herself nourished. But, she didn’t leave. One. Two. Three.

Three days went by, but Kali remained self-imprisoned.

Day Four: On the fourth day, as a young girl turned the knob of her bedroom door, a sheen of light came about the night. As the door gradually opened wide, dawn came about. As Kali slid a coloured paper with a ball of golden light on it through the door, came out a glow in the atmosphere. The darkness dispelled. After many, many months, the sun rose again.

India

Waking the Indian Within

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Blog, Soirée

In the mumbo-jumbo of our current times, sometimes we forget the meaning of freedom and independence.

August 15- is a day of celebration, pomp, glory, loads of patriotic songs and good food! It is our way of celebrating Indian independence.

However, have we endeavoured to find out what independence really means? Our ancestors forsake their all for a generation that’s losing itself in being ‘western’, ‘modern’ and ‘right’. Sadly, that is not what being independent entails.

When we are unswayed by public opinion, untouched by hate, and confident that we can make a difference without getting carried away by what other people are doing- it is independence.

Sahid Samarak- PatnaWhen PM Modi decided to encourage every Indian to fly a flag in every home, he was probably trying to teach us to look beyond the trimmings of society and follow the heart. What could be the true embodiment of the courage one carries but the country’s flag?

Modi went a step further by sending a gift to every household- a tricolour, nicely packed. He not only shared a vision. He also shared the resources to make that vision come true. That is what a true leader does. And here is how he wants to build more leaders like him- with compassion and generosity.

Patriotism is internal. No one can teach true patriotism. Yet it is infectious. When everyone stands up for the national anthem or sways a flag, don’t you itch to do the same?

This year, when you stand up for the national anthem, don’t do it because the constitution says so. This time when you pick the flag and raise it to the skies, don’t imitate the person next to you.

When you sing, “Hindi hai him, Vatan Hai, Hindostan Hamara…” feel the words, mean the words. Then pick up our beautiful flag and say it with your heart- “Sare jahan se accha!

On this independence day, understand our leader’s inclination. He has sent you the gift of the national flag to tell you that this country belongs to you.

Thus nurture your country. Be the wind of truth that blows from Mount Kailash. Become the quencher of thirsts like the mighty Brahmaputra and Ganga. Be the bells of our sacred temples. Find the tiger in you. And be proud of being an Indian just like a peacock.

Strut honestly. Move with pride. Walk with conviction not to get an international VISA or to the airport but to build India stronger. This year raise your cup of chai to an India we so want to build.

Jai Hind!

Before the Blues

Posted 6 CommentsPosted in Fable

As the pebble from the tree fell, the apple from the deepest dungeons of the Gaia sprouted a tiny leaf. When the skies were green, and the seas were yellow, violet was the sun, and red was the night, a worm of utmost beauty; conceived in the minds of the writer and her influenced romanticism. The confluence of feelings and the stress of life created speckles of ashy snow. And a ray of pungent-smelling, offensively bright light left her nonplussed. As she convulsed and her body rattled, her shut eyes opened wide! Voila! It was Monday again, and she would carry on the blues till a more appropriate time- when dreams and craziness merge again; before the blues!

Obituary: Larry Binion

Remembering Larry

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Blog, Emotion

Friendship knows no bounds. Age, geography, gender, race, interests, finances, occupation or marital status; nothing matters when there is an intellectual connection and a common interest.

Such was my friendship with Larry. We discussed family, experiences, his love for his wife, Nancy, how deeply he cared for his children and how his daughter was his favourite person on earth! When I was the lowest, he would tell me about her, the lyrical story, he wrote for her- Flea, Fly, Floo and on my lowest moments, he’d make me smile.

A retired teacher, he inspired many, and he inspired me. He wanted to write; compile his life’s work in volumes. He often said, we have to write together! He prayed for all, he loved all and even when he was unwell and in the hospital, he dropped in a message on LinkedIn, “I think I have the COVID virus.” And when he left the world, he ensured, I knew instantly. This was Larry, a true friend, a soldier who lost the war to COVID.

He was a friend I had never met. He was someone I met on LinkedIn. But just like him, I have found the world’s best minds and hearts on a professional social media channel. Can I say more but in a line- The world is a much smaller place now.

Sadly, with all the going on’s, he would send me a message, “I’m glad you are okay. I shall wait for your message.” I shall always feel guilty for not messaging him enough. And I shall always be grateful that I had a friend who was there for me, even when I couldn’t show I cared.

Remembering Larry is about remembering true friendship. It is about giving hope and courage to your buddies even when you may be in a dark place. It is about motivating and keeping it in momentum. It is about giving and taking just a smile as a gift in return.

As long as I shall remember the word ‘friendship’, I shall remember Larry.

To Read Larry’s Awesome Work Check this Page Out http://fleaflyfloo.blogspot.com/

Say little mean more

God Complex Attack? Shut Up or Slide Along

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Blog, Soirée

Good intentions can actually sound like a threat to someone.

Have you heard it before? So, a super insecure person can sometimes not embrace happiness or good things coming their way. Instead of rejoicing, they brow-beat those they consider soft targets. However, the truth is, no one in this world is a soft target. When well-wishers are put to task, because of their good intentions, it’s a matter of huge concern.

For who is a human to put another through penance? Isn’t that the work of that ageless Almighty? And the Almighty always wants pepople to celebrate others’ happiness along with our own. Why should a mere mortal put you through a test?

Is this a God Complex?

Perhaps the truth is that people have forgotten that they are mere mortals. Their money or ability to employ many, or their capability to go an extra mile, it is all a blessing that needs utmost gratitude. It doesn’t give them a right to replace the all serving, all-loving, the one and only.

No, God didn’t ask me to write this post. Nor does God want me to tell the great people exuding greatness for the moolah they keep or manipulate others to accumulate. Every moolah is a blessing as in prosperity, respect and abundance. So the pseudo achievers, wannabes and the privileged, need to introspect, they need to change their apprach.

A thin line divides being a blessed human from being God Himself. To forget one’s impermanance in a hue of false greatness can only land one in a moral holocaust and social superfluousness.

The humble ‘newborn’ approach to life with gratitude for all the blessings bestowed, is a good way to check the itch to thrust fleeting loftiness among others. Mortality is inevitable. Nothing will last forever in this world. Thus the preconcieved notion of personal greatness will eventually dissipate into insecurity and sorrow. The only immortal is the one who doesn’t judge, doesn’t hurt, doesn’t create politics just to sustain their self-interests.

To be immortal, make a happy place in people’s thoughts. Don’t get influenced by the travesty of prodigiousness. And in case you are being subjected to a display of God Complex, don’t reason, don’t judge- Shut Up or merely Slide Along.

Story Image- Skyfall

Skyfall

Posted 8 CommentsPosted in Fable

Drumrolls! Deafening drumrolls! Fireworks, everywhere. The war cry scared the lives out of the living. Departed souls begged for mercy, but no one cut the slack. On and on, sound and light- at the dead of the night.

A war had begun. The peaceful wind, as if possessed, began to roar a war song. Even to the deafened ears, the reverberation was too strong- deadly.

War on every front- disease, political anarchy, poverty and the blind-sided wills of the decaying mind. Soon heaven too joined the chaos. And on it went- blow after blow- stronger- resonating-hissing- blaring. The universe shook, stars shattered- artillery, aircraft, missiles and earsplitting collision.

Through the clouds of despair, from the gallows of suffocation, it poured- tears from heaven streamed down as precipitation, washing way the landscape of pain, hurt, disappointment, sickness and decay. And as the sun peeped out a new start- hope bloomed again.

Irrfan Khan

Irrfan Khan- His Body-of-Work Will Live On

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Blog, Motley
An artist who captured hearts and was unanimously respected as India’s very best- leaves a legend behind. Irrfan Khan took baby steps and then giant leaps to reach the stature he achieved.
But for me, he was the first MAN on TV I had a crush on. I remember how I forgot to breathe when I saw him in the drama, Banegi Apni Baat! There were some other handsome actors in the serial, however, there was none other like him. All the others were boys but he, he was the man- masculine, strong, perfect! I can even confess, I dreamt of him the days he didn’t appear in the episodes. My mind would create its version of what I saw- only to ensure Irrfan was there in every frame.

Irrfan Khan
Credits- www.pinterest.com/sameeroka

Every accolade for Irrfan was always like my personal victory. He even inspired the young girl in me who watched him on the telly and then on the silver screen when she grew up. The credit goes to Irrfan’s attitude to learn, improvise, sift learning from feedback and learn more. I don’t know how he was as a person in real life, but I am sure his super-strong persona always stood out.
So, it is more than sad- it is actually, devastating to lose my pre-teen dream man. ‘Coz dreams can end, but the feeling it elicits stays forever! Irrfan Khan gave the common ones like me a dream to dream! And he will live through his exceptional body of work- forever!
The fighter

Dangerously Afloat

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Fable

Smoothly, it floated, sashaying down the slope. It twirled around, nudging its posterior, dancing to the tune of pitter-patter. Oh! It had the moves!

The notes were clear. It’s movement swift. It was a sight to see the graceful moves. Captivated, they looked at it shimming its way through.

As the droplets became heavy with moisture, it bobbed as it went with the flow. It knew the art of adapting to the movement of the stream. There was no stopping it. It was on a mission to captivate its audience. No, it was not everyday that it got a chance to show-off its skills. And it was not ready to risk all the adulation by losing to a menial obstruction.

With determination, it maneuvered a certain puddle that tried to create another obstacle in its path. Nothing! Nothing and no one could prevent it from reaching its goal.

The slush thickened. It wobbled, yet continued its journey. Smeared in mud, it ambled along, its progress still graceful, yet slow. And then…

It did a double take. Stopped. Jumped. Escape, not capitulate- trying to hold its shape.

It tried hard, rearing to be free. Finally, it accepted its demise, grateful that it had got one opportunity to enthrall.

Soaked, and dying, it mustered the remaining strenght to push through, dead set.
Head on! Refusing to accept failure, it strove once more until it succumbed to the damp and drowned.

The paper boat sunk- in shreds of nothingness.

 

https://picsart.com/i/259776631007202

The Divine Key

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Fable

 

The silence was eerie. The darkness was sinister. After his great feat, he had expected joyous celebrations, pompous gifts and that elusive key, his mentor had promised him. He was sure he would get the award of all awards.

 

His mind reassured him that the silence and the darkness were temporary. Therefore, he decided to wait…

 

He had lost count of time. He, however, realised a long period must have elapsed. He was not a person who let fate decide the course of his life. He carved his own future with grit and blood. He took matters in his hands and decided to find his way to the key.

 

He took a step.

 

Where were his feet? He had no feet! Yet, he had somehow moved. He was falling into an abyss that had a rough and rugged surface.

He raised his hands to break the fall, to stop!

 

Where were his hands? He had no hands! Yet, something disrupted his downward fall. He saw his body bounce up! He tried to swim through the air but, he could not feel his hands. Where were his hands?

 

Like shooting stars, arrows pierced his body. He tired as he may, but he couldn’t figure out the damage the arrows had done to his body. He widened his eye! Without hands, he couldn’t rub them. Then he figured out he had no eyes, although he had eyesight. He could feel the sight… But he couldn’t see.

 

Before he could deduce what was wrong with him, he was drowned in a coagulating liquid which had a pungent smell that he remembered. What was it? The liquid was suffocating him. He tried to swim out but, the lack of limbs had constricted him. Sadly the overwhelming smell of blood… Was it blood? He had smelled enough blood to recognise it. Strangely, he couldn’t smell. He had lost his sense of smell.

 

He thought he heard hoofs of angry bulls running towards him. But could he really hear them? Or were they only vibrations? He strained his ears to hear until he realised he had lost his sense of hearing.

 

Suddenly, like a pendulum, he swayed. He burnt in one end and drowned in another.  And then his body started bobbing in the viscose plasma that stifled him. Suddenly it dawned upon him that he could not feel anymore.

 

Bereft of his five senses, he tried to remain confident about his faith and beliefs. He tried to peer through the troubles.

 

What was wrong with him? He was frantic. He thought he was losing his mind until he realised he had lost his power to perceive and think!

 

But he was a warrior, he wouldn’t give up. Slowly he tried to reach this destination. The place where that divine key hung. His master had told him that he would possess the key when he performed that blessed feat.

 

He wouldn’t give up. He tried again until the momentum made him queasy. It made him retch, but, nothing came out. At that moment, he realised he had lost his body, yet, he felt it all!

 

The realisation struck him like lightning. He had lost his senses and his body. He probably was dead. It was only his soul that was facing all that torture.

 

He remembered what his master had said,
‘The blood of your non-believers will help him procure the key to heaven. That key would lead you to a penthouse of affluence and glory.’

 

He had killed a mass of innocent people to get that key. Where were the divine ushers? They hadn’t arrived yet! Didn’t his master tell him that the divine ushers would lead him to the angels and the land of opulence?

 

Robbed of a body and senses, what was that penthouse worth? Had he been fooled?

 

Although he was confused and scared,  he wanted his penthouse! He didn’t want to be a soul without a body. How would he enjoy those divine perks, otherwise?

 

There was a reason he had agreed to be a suicide bomber. He was promised the key to heaven by his master. Without a second thought, he had agreed to bomb them. But where was the key?

 

He was suctioned into a ball of fire. He was burning but not dying. Had he misunderstood his master? Was his fight against the infidels worth it?

 

Were they really infidels?

 

The jarring sound of the alarm woke him up. He was thankful he was still alive and blessed that he was not dead yet. He was honoured that life had given him a second chance.

 

Right then the alarm beeped a second reminder! He looked at his kit. The bomb would explode in the next hour. His master had given him the task to bomb a contingent on the move. His master had promised him that this act would lead him to the key that would direct him the penthouse called heaven.

 

He was in a dilemma. He didn’t know if he should forsake it all or give humanity another chance. But then the bomb beeped another urgent plea.

 

Trusting his master and ignoring his inner voice, in greed of that divine key, he wore the bomb and walked to his target – Death!

Janmashtami

Janmashtami

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Blog, Emotion

Janmashtami is the day Hindus celebrate the birth of Krishna the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. There are 10 avatars of Vishnu namely Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parashurama, Rama, Krishna, (Balarama) or Buddha, and Kalki (yet to be born).

 

Buddha and his philosophies are followed across the world. His intellect and his way of treating life is an inspiration in itself.

 

Yet, Vishnu’s avatar, Krishna stands out. Why?

 

His adoptive mother called Him Kanha out of love. His father and his entire kingdom adored Him. This little child wore a top-knot that had a downward left slide. He wore a peacock feather in His bun. His mother, Yashoda, adorned His crown with pearls. He wore a yellow ‘dhoti’ and a pearl and gold necklace.

 

He is the ‘Laddoo’ Gopal the world has loved for centuries!

 

There is something about the child that He universally loved. Krishna is the epitome of the perfect child. Everyone wants to have a naughty, intelligent, intuitive and humane child, like Krishna. I cannot fail to mention his childhood friend Radha. Kanha’s friend Radha is synonymous with the perfect girl-child.

 

In India, every year, parents rejoice in the joy of parenthood by celebrating Janamashtami. Every year, a young man or woman prays for a boon – the birth of that perfect man, men dream of being and women dream of having as their partner.

 

Let me not get into the nuances of religion. I only want to emphasise how Krishna is beyond religion. Kanha and Radha Rani are about loving kids and revelling in their glory. It is a celebration of youth and the happiness of being alive and thriving.

 

That’s the beauty of Hinduism and Krishna. The philosophy and this person is beyond all boundaries that define living.

 

I love Kanha, aka Laddoo Gopal, aka Nadu, aka Krishna. And I love Radha Rani the epitome of a girl-child. Krishna and Radha define an inexplicable pure devotion. They define the pleasure of parenthood. They define how it is important to celebrate every child who is born irrespective of their gender. Even pets have a Krishna and Radha in them. (Kanha loved all animals and plants. He spoke to them every day and it is believed they talked back to Him)

 

Krishna defines the love of an adoptive mother. His love supersedes species-specific regard. Krishna is about affection as it should be. Pristine, pure and non-judgemental.

 

Krishna and Janmashtami are all about true love, a love that transcends all boundaries and distinctions.