#10MIN10DAYS Challenge – Day 6 : The Truth Is..

The truth is, I betrayed him. I had promised him everything – my love, my soul, my body, my honesty, my loyalty, my friendship, my support. But in the end, I betrayed him. It wasn’t for lack of trying. I had given him ten years of everything, until everything wasn’t enough. I used to believe, that love was bottomless. Maybe love was, but life wasn’t.

The truth is, I betrayed her. When she left me, I thought I couldn’t bear it. I thought I couldn’t love again. She had promised me her life, but she reneged on her promise when she died. She broke my heart and I couldn’t even blame her. I couldn’t blame anyone and I felt unmoored. The black hole of my grief and anger threatened to eat me alive, had I not stumbled upon her, on that rainy night, waiting to be rescued. It took me one look into her big brown eyes to fall in love all over again.

The truth is, I thought I would die that night. All I wanted was to be loved and to love. But it seemed like no one had the time for me. They wanted a play thing, but not someone to love. I had tried so hard but in the end they left me alone when they left for their country. They didn’t know what to do with me, so they just left me on the streets. I would have died of cold and hunger, had it not been for him that night, saving me from the rain. Bringing me back home with him. I loved the warmth of his home and his heart. I fell in love with him instantly, but I was afraid. Afraid of being left alone again.

But the truth is also this, that it has been two years now, and I’ve grown up. Middle aged now. And he never left my side. I know he misses his wife, he loved her deeply. I try to comfort him on his worst nights. But I’m a furry creature after all. Of flesh and blood but not of his kind. Every time I put my paw on his knee, I wish, for him to find love again, for him to meet another woman, who will fill the other half of the void in his life with the love that he deserves.

#10MIN10DAYS Challenge – Day 5 : Hearts

I signed up for the #10MIN10DAYS challenge hosted by a very talented writer and friend, Tammy. You can check our the original challenge and her writing blogs here.

It was an beautiful sound, the sound of the Stag’s beating heart, against the silence of mine. I could hear nothing, save the life coursing through the Stag. The moonlight gave the forest a black blue afterglow, but I didn’t need it to see where I was going. I may be blind, but my other senses compensated well enough for my lack of sight.

As I ran, the leaves rustled beneath my cloak. To others in the forest, I might sound just like a misplaced gust of wind. This happens in the forest. Nevertheless, I had to be quick with this one. I had to be stealthy. There were people looking for me – both earthly and ethereal.

The Stag was the most sought after animal in this forest. I know the humans grew up on stories of mythical creatures with great power – like the Dragon, the Phoenix, Sesh Naag – the hundred headed serpent, Unicorns, and what not. It was the best kept secret of our world, but now it was under threat, since that traitor had given up the power of the first Stag. The first kill. That had shattered the fine balance between our worlds.

Children from both sides were disappearing, or being born with abnormalities. I knew what caused this, but the others didn’t. Especially the clueless humans. But I had to save them from themselves. From their own cruelty.

I ran faster, I knew the Stag was afraid of me. It was right to be. We were even more mythical than the others. The ones who had no face, and no name. We were dangerous and could kill with the stealth of the deadliest assassins and could take any form we desired, if we were in danger. I was one of the last few of the dwindling race of the Vinaashis.

I pounced on the Stag and and put my fingers on its temples while whispering softly, “shhh..its going to be alright.” With that, like a breeze, I exchanged our hearts. Its alive, beating heart, with my non beating one.

“Go to sleep my dear friend. This will keep you safe until I return.” and with that, I disappeared into the night.

#10MIN10DAYS Challenge – Day 4 : Sweet Summer

I signed up for the #10MIN10DAYS challenge hosted by a very talented writer and friend, Tammy. You can check our the original challenge and her writing blogs here.

Each day she will give us a prompt and we have to set the timer and create something with that prompt within 10 minutes. I decided to try my hand at free flow writing or flash fiction using the daily prompts, to practise my writing. As for my accountability, I will try and post each day’s output on my blog. I would love to hear feedback from you, if you choose to read it 🙂

Shine on summer sun, sing on sweet son

Your song makes me smile, and that’s surely a great sign

For your father has trouble these days

Making sense between sane and insane

Let me savour, this special sight

Of you serenading, before I say, good night

#10MIN10DAYS Challenge – Day 3 : 10 Things About Today

I signed up for the #10MIN10DAYS challenge hosted by a very talented writer and friend, Tammy. You can check our the original challenge and her writing blogs here.

Each day she will give us a prompt and we have to set the timer and create something with that prompt within 10 minutes. I decided to try my hand at free flow writing or flash fiction using the daily prompts, to practise my writing. As for my accountability, I will try and post each day’s output on my blog. I would love to hear feedback from you, if you choose to read it 🙂

  1. Work was relatively relaxed today
  2. I woke up feeling less refreshed than usual. I felt like I could have slept more.
  3. The day was hot and it made my palms and feet sweat. I don’t like that about my body at all. I wish there were palm socks like there are socks for feet. I must be the only person who wears socks in summers, because I hate the feeling of wet feet and palms and if I’m in an air-conditioned room, then my wet feet and palms become cold as ice.
  4. I made lemonade and cold coffee today. I love drinking these two non alcoholic beverages when its a hot day.
  5. I finished reading two great books today. One, a non fiction on body positivity and another a romance novel on audiobook. I felt very accomplished and full of positive thoughts after reading these two books
  6. I also listened to some old classic rock songs – I just died in your arms tonight, being one of them. It made me smile and jive and reminiscent of my younger days when I would sing along to these songs in a dimly lit loud pub with my friends, drinking cheap but chilled beer and snacking on fried sausages and fries.
  7. I walked nearly 5KMs this evening, because I had to practically keep up with the three four year olds under my supervision, my daughter and her friends, as they ran around playing catch and treasure hunt with each other. Whew!
  8. My husband and I moved one of our indoor plants closer to the natural light. Looking at all my plants gives me such joy these days. I’m new at this, but I obsess just like a new mom, about the well being and growth of my plants. Are they watered well, are they yellowing, are they getting enough sunlight? I cant wait till my balcony set up is complete with a table, chairs, fake grass and fairy lights, so I can spend some parts of my day there with my plants.
  9. My daughter said she wants to be a ballet dancer when she grows up. This is her third choice of profession, after wanting to be a princess and a superhero. I hope she gets to be all that she wants to be
  10. I decided to just write this list today in my ten minutes for the prompt, since I ran out of time to be able to build a story around these ten things 🙂

So, how was your day today? Do let me know ten or just one thing that stood out for you today in the comments 🙂

#10MIN10DAYS Challenge – Day 2 : Right Now..

I signed up for the #10MIN10DAYS challenge hosted by a very talented writer and friend, Tammy. You can check our the original challenge and her writing blogs here.

Each day she will give us a prompt and we have to set the timer and create something with that prompt within 10 minutes. I decided to try my hand at free flow writing or flash fiction using the daily prompts, to practise my writing. As for my accountability, I will try and post each day’s output on my blog. I would love to hear feedback from you, if you choose to read it 🙂

Right now, I’m wondering where is everyone? I was told this place would be packed! Am I at the right place? I open my device and check the coordinates, the date and the time, just to be sure I am at the right place. Yep, all seems to be checked out. So why aren’t there any people around?

I start walking to investigate this strange situation. I had waited for an hour, before deciding to investigate. Sometimes people can be like that here, I was told. They’d set a time but turn up late. That was normal. So I had waited. But there were still no people. Hmm..

I have walked for about fifteen minutes already and have not come across a single person. I did come across some stray dogs, who had jerked up their heads when I neared them, and looked at me expectantly. What did they expect from me, I wondered. It was surely very hot here. But I was wearing weather appropriate clothes, so it didn’t bother me. I could ask the dogs where everyone was, but that might take longer to translate, so I decided to move on.

It was bizarrely quiet too. I had read it would be very noisy. I took off my specially designed earpieces just to be sure. Strange, very strange. It was really quiet. The wind blew the dust around my feet just then and the leaves on the trees rustled. But there were no birds. Nevertheless, I was thankful for the movement from the dust and the little sound that the whoosh of the trees made. It made me feel less alone.

It was almost like a scene from one of those zombie movies they had made me watch in preparation for this trip. But zombies didn’t exist here, yet. Not in this timeline at least. So where was everyone?

It had taken me a year to travel to this place though. What could’ve happened in such a short while? I decided to use the knowledge base to check the news. Ohhhhh….ohhhhh!! They were all here. Only hiding, I realised. Holed up, shut in under some sort of lockdown. And that too of their own volition! I had been right, it hadn’t been the time for the zombies yet. But this virus was familiar and unfamiliar at the same time and they weren’t ready for it. And then I sneezed. Dang, I muttered to myself, as I saw a message pop up on my device.

INCOMING MESSAGE: ORDERS TO QUARANTINE ON PLUTO BEFORE RETURNING TO PLANET CURIOSIX.

#10MIN10DAYS Challenge – Day 1 : One Man’s Trash

I signed up for the #10MIN10DAYS challenge hosted by a very talented writer and friend, Tammy. You can check our the original challenge and her writing blogs here.

Each day she will give us a prompt and we have to set the timer and create something with that prompt within 10 minutes. I decided to try my hand at free flow writing or flash fiction using the daily prompts, to practise my writing. As for my accountability, I will try and post each day’s output on my blog. I would love to hear feedback from you, if you choose to read it 🙂

Day 1 Prompt

One man’s trash can be another man’s cash. Or should I say another woman’s?

We met in the elevator one afternoon. She was trying hard to hide her tears, but only a woman notices these things. “Are you alright?”, I asked.

“Yes, sorry, I didn’t want to create a scene.”, she spoke softly, between small sobs.

Its easy for a woman to talk to another, especially when she has gone through something almost every woman experiences one way or the other. Over a cup of hot chocolate that I insisted I paid for, she told me her story. They’d met at work, and she smiled when I rolled my eyes, not speaking out what I meant to say – another office romance?, oh please!

Yes, they met at work, and she was the smartest accountant in her team. She was single and always volunteered to help others in the team out. She worked overtime, for free. If you had a family, you could bank on her to take up your workload, so you could be with your wife and kids. And she wouldn’t ask for anything. He had noticed this, and her brilliant mind. He had praised her every time she helped him out. He said he had family – an ailing mother he needed to take care of. She did a lot of work for him. But in the end, he was the one who was promoted. She never suspected, how. They became closer. Until one day, she received a rude call from another woman.

“What an asshole.”, I muttered.

She had waited an entire month in the solitary darkness of her apartment, feeling used and rejected like a tissue paper, until she found the courage to walk to his door demanding an apology. Only, that didn’t go as expected. He had slammed the door on her face saying he had guests and family over and he couldn’t do this now.

“Im glad we met. Because that guy works for me and I was on my way to his house for a dinner party he was hosting for the bosses. Also, I think I’d like to take you out for more than coffee next time,” I said, with a wink, that I hoped would convey to her, what I wanted to say.

Books to Movies – My List #2

Heylo beautiful people!! So, I just finished reading two more books that were made into movies, and watched the movies after reading the books too. I have done a part 1 of this post, so if you are interested in reading some more of this, you can check out my post here. 🙂

So, here is part 2 of my list of what I thought about the movies that were based on these books that I read 🙂

Book: Simon Vs The HomoSapiens Agenda by Becky Albertelli / Movie: Love, Simon

Ok, I loved both the book and the movie. The book is different from the movie in the sense that it doesn’t just focus on Simon, but also on Leah, his sister and the ending is different from the movie. But nevertheless, the acting in the movie, and the choice of cast could not have been better. I loved everyone in the movie and I felt the same mushy feeling at the end of the movie that I felt at the end of the book. I would recommend both the book and the movie to everyone out there- also, it is not necessary you read or watch it in any order- I think it will be worth it 🙂

Favorite Song from the movie soundtrack : Troy Sivan’s Strawberries and Cigarettes song- to die for!!

Book: Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman / Movie: Call Me By Your Name

Its unusual for me to find out about the book from the screen adaptation. Usually, I read the book and later find out that it might be made into a movie or a series. With this however, one day while I was mindlessly scrolling through YouTube, I found a song by Sufjan Stevens, featuring two very handsome and talented actors – Timothee Chalamet and Armie Van Hammer. I dug for more and found out that the song was from a movie. Then I dug some more and found out that the movie was based on a book! So I went ahead and instantly bought the book and read it. I loved the book and the story. There was some sexual content that felt was a little explicit for my own comfort, but otherwise the story and especially the setting in the book – an idyllic summer with a talented and artsy Italian family in Italy, seemed heavenly. Then I watched the movie and oh my goodness, I loved the movie even more!! The soundtrack, the acting, the cinematography, the fact that the movie stays so true to the essence of the book – everything was superb! I loved it and the songs stayed with me for a week and have become a recent favorite 🙂 I cried at the end of this movie, but they were good tears 🙂

Favorite song from the movie soundtrack: Mystery of Love by Sufjan Stevens 🙂 (I love all the three songs by him in this movie actually, but this one is my favorite)

Have you seen any of these movies or read the books? What were your thoughts? 🙂

March Musings – Why won’t women eat first?

I decided to write about women this month. If February is associated with love, then surely March is associated with talking about women right? It being International Women’s day and all? So I decided to dedicate an entire month to thinking about women, standing up for us, celebrating us, and basically trying my own version of Women’s month series 🙂

When I was little and lived with my parents and my little sister, my father had this rule at home. Everyone will eat together, the food will be laid on the table, and whatever mom cooks will need to be eaten. So especially during dinners and weekends, all of us would help laying the table, and then we’d eat together – dad, mom, me and my sister. We helped lay the table and eat together. Dinner was my favorite meal of the day.

Then I became a little older and on one summer vacation at my grandparents house, I realised that the table seated only six. How could all of us sit on the table together and eat? To my dismay, I found out that the problem was solved by serving the men food first. And not only did they have their food served first, it seemed they also deserved the best pieces from the meal cooked. Then the children were asked to sit and were served. And finally, my grandmother and the mothers sat and ate – way late into the night, with what looked like leftovers and only gravy to eat. When I asked, “but mummy, don’t you have any chicken or paneer to eat?”, she shoo-ed me away saying, go play with your cousins. I walked out wondering why my father didn’t serve food to mom, like we did back home?

Then I went into my teenage phase and started questioning everything. I asked my mom, “why do you have to eat last at grandparent’s place when we eat together at home? Shouldn’t grandmama eat with grandpapa too, if its the elders we are thinking about? Doesn’t she get hungry and tired too?” She would either look harassed with my questions or give me a kindly smile and say, “its just for a few days. Let’s not hurt anyone’s feelings by our questions, alright? At home, we will eat together, I promise.” But whose feelings were we hurting? Who decided that only women would cook and only men would eat?

In my twenties, I got married. I knew the guy I had married and I thought surely in my time, things will change. The only advice my mom gave me before I left for my in law’s place for the first time was, “Be respectful of their feelings and follow their traditions. You will be there for a short while, so try not to hurt anyone.” In the first week, I realised, that I was re-living my mother’s life. While my husband had the best intentions when we were at our own home, when we were with the elders, it was back to the men first and the women last. I couldn’t bear to let his mother eat alone. So I thought to myself, the same thing my mom said to me, “Its only for a while. I can adjust.” And I ate last with his mother.

When I became a mother, things changed. At least until the baby was a baby. I was asked to eat more and eat better than before. But once my daughter grew out of her baby phase, things went back to the previous expectation. It was then that I realised that I didn’t want to set the same example for my daughter. I had had enough. I was not going to eat last. I was going to eat with her. And if I could manage it, I would make everyone eat together.

Now, the elders or some family members sometimes pass snide remarks about my decision to eat first. Sometimes I end up eating before anyone else. I eat with my daughter and I ask everyone to eat with me. When I’m at my parents or in law’s place, I tell them, I need to eat on time and I need to eat right. When they still don’t understand, I tell them, “Remember how the air hostess says, during turbulence, wear your oxygen mask before assisting a child or an elderly with theirs. Its the same with food.”

I eat on time and I eat well, because I care about my health as much as I care about my family’s. Its high time that we question the tradition of eating last and eating leftovers. Don’t you think so? 🙂

Book Talk Series – Ten recent reads and what they made me think

It has been just two weeks and I already feel like Ive been on a long hiatus from blogging. My regular day job has taken over my life completely and is depriving me of all the things I love doing – running/writing/reading/blogging. I managed to squeeze out some time today and so happy to start this new series on my blog 🙂 I hope you enjoy reading it!!

As avid readers, we read a lot of books and if you’re like me, you’re probably devouring one splendid book after another, thinking and then jumping on to the next book almost instantly. But I also do realise, that most of the books I read, make me think and question a lot of things about life and what we take for granted, or things that should change.

So, I decided that instead of writing a monthly reading wrap up, or book reviews (unless its of an ARC or recent release), I would write about the books I read that made me think, or question things, and what was it that I thought about while reading each of these books 🙂 This will be a bi-monthly series.

Without further ado, here are the list of books I read in the last two months and the things they made me think about:

What would people say about my book shelf? I wondered after reading this hilarious illustrated book. Maybe a romantic idealist? Or a dreamer? An escapist perhaps? I was really curious what my bookshelf would say about me to another reader, but alas, this book didn’t have the answer to that question 🙂

This one was such a dark book. What I wondered was, how far would I go to protect the ones I loved? Would I skew my moral compass for them? How far would you go?

Thoughts while reading Margaret Atwood’s poems were mainly focussed around my own feelings with respect to death and ageing. I also wondered what kind of a world we were leaving behind for our children. The picture was bleak. I also found a poem that resonated with a story I was writing – about women and abuse and what should be done to the perpetrators.

It was such a huge book and just the first book of this series or saga if I must say! But what I really wondered was if this is how it would feel when we settled on Mars? A planet of sand dunes, where water was the most precious resource? Or are we already turning Earth into this desert?

One of my favorite reads from the last two months 🙂 If only we had the power to take back what truly belonged to us, without hurting others. If only, we were living in a time when our sexuality wasn’t questioned, but just accepted.

Oh my gosh, another classic and another five star read that I read in Feb this year. I wish I could write satire like Vonnegut. All the time I was reading this book, I wondered if we aren’t already practising some form of Bokononism already. And the best question of all, which is already answered in the 14th book of Bokononism – what hope can a learned man have for human kind, after looking through the history from the past million years? Read the book, to know the answer 😀

What is the purpose of religion, if it only caters to the well being of one or few section of the masses and condemns another section to abuse for eternity? How can educated people allow themselves to do this, in the name of religion? Can the caste system really be abolished?

My favourite part about the book wasn’t the context or all the amazing things Glennon Doyle talks about, about being a Cheetah! It was simply the fact, that here was a woman who managed to re-write her life at 40. And that was something that made me sit up and realise that its never too late to change your life and make a better version of you 🙂

Ohhh, so many thoughts and questions while reading this book. But the one that I thought about the most was, are there really parallel universes? As a person with a scientific bent of mind, it is strange that I cant wrap my mind around quantum physics. And also the fact that it seems to be coming into my life constantly, in the form of everything I read or watch..

There are few books in the fantasy genre that make me think about life lessons. I’ve been reading this series and I wasn’t a fan of the second book, even when the author provided a feminist take on a fairy tale, I found it annoying that our leading lady, despite all her strengths, needed another man to validate her. When will we stop having the need to be validated and appreciated by others?

Have you read any of the books above? If yes, did you think about the same things I did, or did you have different questions or thoughts in your head? I’d love to discuss any of the books above if you’re interested, in the comments section 🙂

The Liability of Privilege

Privilege (Definition): a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.

Oxford Online Definitions

I was having a book club discussion on Dr. Ambedkar’s speech – Annihilation of Caste, two days back. When it was my turn to introduce myself, I said, “I didn’t even know which caste I belonged to, until I went to college and some seniors thought I would make a good choice for a wife because I was a Brahmin (aka upper caste Hindu)”.

My co-readers said, “The fact that you didn’t know what your caste was, shows your privilege”. And how true it was.

This made me think about all the conversations I’ve had, all the tweets I’ve read, all the movements going on about the atrocities people go through on various grounds, because they weren’t privileged. And I thought, privilege isn’t something to be to be taken for granted anymore. It has become a liability.

Here are some of the ways I noticed privilege, drawing in from the observation my reader friend had made regarding my privilege:

  • If you have never known hunger, you have the privilege of being rich
  • If you have never been sexually abused, molested or discriminated against at your home or place of work, or place of worship because of your gender, you have the privilege of being a man
  • If you have never had to fight to marry the one you loved, or killed because of it, you have the privilege of being straight or affluent enough to get away with it
  • If you have never been tortured or humiliated or discriminated because you were born into a lower caste, you have the privilege of being born into an upper caste
  • If you were never stopped from doing something or never been enslaved because of the colour of your skin, you have the privilege of being white
  • If you have never faced caustic comments for being from a different race or religion, you have the privilege of belonging to a race or religion that holds a position of power
  • If you have never been held captive or bred for the sole purpose of feeding another species, you have the privilege of being human

I’m sure this list is nowhere close to being complete, but I have been trying to accept my privilege and trying to see the liability it is.

When you are at a position of privilege, it is easy to feel victimised, even without actually being a victim. I would think, why is the world so angry? What do they want from me? Why can’t they leave me alone? Oh gosh, I’d rather not read the news or discuss this subject because it affects my anxiety and my depression. I feel so helpless! What can I even do to help? I’m afraid..what if I stand up and am noticed by someone who holds a position of privilege and power? What if I’m trolled? No matter what I do, someone hates me..

And yes, a lot of those thoughts and fear and anxiety come because of my privilege. I don’t want to lose it, I realise. This liability and this safety net. I know it makes me a coward in many ways. But then I try. I try to read more, discuss more, and acknowledge that I don’t have to think about half of these things because of my privilege, whereas there are millions who don’t have that luxury.

My friends say, sometimes, just talking about it is enough. Just stepping out of your bubble is enough. The fact that you’re trying to empathise, is at least a start. If we don’t talk about it, how can we even begin to make the world more humane?

So, I’m trying…and I’ll keep trying…

P.S.: My intention was not to sermonise or hurt anyone’s feelings or sentiments by this post.