(P)eek-A-Boo

“Oh my god, the baby is crying”, I shouted and Rishi took his lips away from my neck. He rubbed my neck where there was a freshly pressed love bite. I smiled at him and went inside the baby’s room. Rishi came inside within a few minutes and hugged me from my back. He smiled at me and kissed me on the back of my neck; 9 months old Maya gazed at him. “Oh the princess is possessive?” he kissed her on the forehead.

As I left her down on her cradle, she started to cry a little. “Offo. What shall we do now? Shall I carry her? You carry her all day long”, he said empathetically. “I know what to do”, I said and I took a vibrant indigo coloured shawl* and closed my face with it, I went near Maya and removed the shawl as I shouted “Peek-a-boo”. “Whoa, what is this game called?” he asked. “Peek-a-boo” I said. Maya was smiling and she was pulling my shawl to indicate that she wanted to play more.

After some time as I was bidding him bye I asked him, “Are you sure?” He didn’t respond but smiled as he left.

*Five days later*

The whole family was gathered in the garden and it was more of a gala time. I was on cloud nine; it’s been a long time since I have met all my cousins, my previous encounter with them weren’t this pleasant and exultant. As Payal finished applying Mehandi* on my hands I heard Maya wail loudly. “Oh no, that’s why I said I don’t want all these” I said sulkily and woke up to wash it off. Rishi gestured me to sit down and he played peek-a-boo with the shawl of his sherwani* with Maya. I smiled at both of them.

The next morning as I dressed up and got ready for the rituals of saat phere*, I asked him, “Are you sure?” He didn’t respond but he got up from the dais and took Maya from the cradle and took the saat phere with both of us. I closed my eyes as I recollected the last peek-a-boo my sister played with me and Maya before boarding the fateful MH370. “Are you sure that you can manage Maya?” she asked. “Yeah, I can manage her even for the whole lifetime, it is just a matter of 7 days” I said. “I would have taken her but this is an official trip for me and your jiju*”. She hugged me and kissed Maya as she left for her flight. Minutes before she boarded the flight, she called on Rishi’s mobile and said, “Take care of my two kids, one is 23 and the other is 8 months but still they both are the same for me.” Rishi kept up his promise so did I and for the first time after their untimely accidental death, I was able to smile again genuinely.

**Note : This post is written for the letter ‘P’ for us by Srilakshmi Indrasenan aka Stri who is a freelance content writer and editor. She writes technical, creative, fiction, motivational, fashion, and relationship based contents. She has 4+ years of experience in content writing and editing and also she is open to jobs like EmCee and Wedding planning. She blogs at http://www.iamstri.wordpress.com/ where she writes on categories like fashion, social issues, short stories, memoir, and humor.

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(N)utty Professors

We all had our fair share of wacky professors, back in our college days. While some took great pleasure at mimicking their ways, some applauded their teaching skills, brushing aside their unusual ways. Here are some instructors, as I like to call them, sorted according to their quirks.

1) Analogies Rule The Charts : Ever heard of the show on discovery channel, named weird connections. He seems to have been inspired by such shows. Jokes aside, boarding a local train is an art, many a Mumbaikars would agree. The repeated instructions blaring from the loudspeakers, cautioning the overenthusiastic passengers from, standing too close to the edges. That’s the query he put forth, before us, what will happen if one doesn’t comply with such norm. The class clown blurted out , the person needn’t board the train as he gets sucked inside the compartment automatically. The whole class burst into peals of laughter, which was becoming difficult to control by the passing minute. Here’s the explanation, as the train gains speed, it’s velocity increases, thereby reducing the pressure in the surrounding area, like the edge of a platform. The pressure drop is what, may cause the person to tumble over the hard surface.

2) The Moody One : Pray he is in good spirits, or the whole lecture is going to be pretty harrowing, going by his varying temper. First he scratches and separates the flaking paint off the walls. Then rolls his eyes, as if contemplating, if your said answer was right or wrong. Hurls your pouch at you, if he fails to find the divider in it. You better listen to every word spoken by him, as there’s a Multiple choice question hidden in each sentence uttered.

Confident Professor at Blackboard --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

3) The Disciplinarian : It’s raining cats and dogs, still you are supposed to put on your soggy socks. If by any chance, you are present in his class, sans the handbook, one is barred from attending lectures.

4) Get To The Point Types : Ending up using the wrong kind of terminology, albeit, non technical ones, may land you in trouble big time. No marks for extra points, which makes little sense. The main essence of the answer needs to be compressed and limited. Maybe exam fever originated from, their stinginess at allotting marks to each answer.

5) Always Be In The Know How Types : Having knowledge about, a particular topic well in advance, before the commencement of the lecture is a must for them. The prof believes in the adage “Two heads are better than one”. If you have got any doubts, then be prepared for a wholly of questions being directed at you, as regards the topic.

 Their eccentricities, may hold our attention, but in the end they are our guiding light. They are the Nutty Professors.

***Note : This post is written for us by Madhavi S Pujari who is a female version of Peter Pan, Blogging for her is a means to tethering those, wandering thoughts at one place. Words penned down are free flowing, without any hindrance whatsoever.

She blogs at http://dawdygal.blogspot.in

(M)urder Most Foul

She looked in horror down at the red liquid spreading across her hands. She had never intended for this to happen. What started as innocent play was now murder most foul.

Rushing to wash her hands, she glanced at the knife that had done the deed. Then, back at the subject, that lay in a pool of its own blood.

She heard footsteps and quickly gathered up all the evidence and disposed of it in a plastic bag outside the door.

Turning, she smiled at her mother, who stood at the door to the refrigerator and asked her, Mala,my dear, what on earth have you done with all the tomatoes?’

 

***Note : This post is written for us by Shailaja who is a freelance content writer and blogger who shares her views on parenting and life lessons while dabbling in creative fiction. She likes to swim, teach music, read and network with other bloggers. She blogs at www.momdiary.blogspot.in and can be reached at dotingmomdiary@gmail.com.

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Go check her challenge post for M : Music in parenting

Death by (L)ove

She walked out of the house

Leaving her heart behind

For the one who although cared less

Was captive of her soul and grace

The healing would never be done

She knew it well

The forced decision couldn’t be reversed

There was too much on stake

He doubted her loyalty

And pushed her away

She guarded his life

In exchange of hers to be sacrificed.

 

**Note : This post is written for us by Kripali who blogs at Sumptuous Living 

The (K)ing Proteas

The black sedan was cruising along the mostly empty roads of Hampshire. It was early summer and the sun was just out, bathing the English countryside in a graceful yellow. The golden tinge and the slight morning haze added to the beauty of the lush green fields and the occasional panoply of trees. Adam was behind the wheel, concentrating on the road ahead. Rachel, his wife, sat beside him on the front, busy with her phone. The only noise inside the car came from the back, where their daughter Iris was having an animated discussion with her grandfather.

Arthur was slouched on the back seat, looking tired and solemn. His physique was that of a typical old man, wizened and weakened by age. But compared to his peers, he had aged gracefully. He was well into the late eighties now. Long journeys were tiring, but this was one trip he would never forgo. Iris kept him engaged with her usual joyful banter, and it did a lot to keep his spirits up.

“Grandpa! Look! ”, shouted Iris with glee, her little fingers pointing outside.

Arthur looked up to see what she was pointing to, and a beautiful sight greeted his eyes.

“Those are Lavenders, darling. Beautiful, aren’t they?” asked Arthur.

“Yes,” replied Iris, he eyes still fixed on the fabulous lavender fields they were passing by.

“Almost there!” called out Adam from the front.

The car slowed to a stop near a big oak tree. Adam got out and helped Arthur get down from the back seat. As he got out, Arthur turned and picked up the package which was on the side of his seat.

“What is that grandpa?” asked Iris, curiosity writ large in her eyes.

“Flowers.”
“Can I have them?” Iris asked, tilting her head to the side.

Arthur’s face broke into a slight smile. “These are for your grandma, dear. I’ll get you those Lavenders when we return.” he said.

The mention of Lavenders seem to have pacified the curiosity in her. She was beaming with excitement now.

“We’ll be back soon princess,” said Adam as he gave a little peck on her cheek. “Don’t trouble Mama,” he said in a condescending tone.

“Can I come too?”, said Iris, the expectant look back on her face.

Adam was at a loss of words and looked at Rachel. She had to rescue this situation now.

“Iris, darling, come here, Mama’ll show you something”, said Rachel, reading Adam’s mind.

Adam and Arthur turned and walked across the road. The sun was shining bright but the weather was still cool. Arthur was leading the way, and Adam was following, with a foldable chair and a blanket in his hand, just in case. After about a couple of minutes of laborious walking, Arthur stopped. Adam placed the chair and gave him the blanket.

“Are you not staying?” asked Arthur.
“No dad, I’ll be over there,” said Adam, pointing towards a small hillock not too far away. “I’ll be back by the time you people are done.”, he said and walked away.

“He has not changed much has he? Your son?”, said Arthur, a light laughter lighting up his otherwise solemn face.

“He works too hard Kathy; you know how it is. Poor chap worked late night yesterday. But he is a gentleman, oh yes, I tell you. Never said a word of disdain today morning. He knows what his old man likes” he paused. “He is so much like you Kathy.” he said with a smile.

Adam had trudged along to the hillock. It provided a splendid view. He was still feeling a bit drowsy and knew he was up too early today. But he didn’t complain – he knew how important this day was for his parents. It was only once in a month that Arthur comes to visit Katherine. It is just so much that he could do for his parents. Adam turned and saw Arthur chatting away. He looked so much better now. Turning the other side he could see Rachel and Iris, engrossed in something. Adam wondered if he could ever love Rachel the way Arthur loved Katherine. Of course he loved his family – no question about that. But would the love stand the test of time ? Arthur’s and Katherine’s love was one of a kind, he mused.
With a shake of his head he dispelled the thoughts and turned back. He could see Arthur was standing up now.
Looks like he is done talking, he thought.

“You see Kathy, Iris is real dollop of love. She has got your eyes, you know, the same shade of blue” Arthur said, his face flushing with colour now.

“And, what’s more, she loves flowers, just like you do. We saw a wonderful field of Lavenders while coming here. You should have seen her face then. Cherubic. I have promised to get some Lavenders for her. She’ll love those. You’ll love them too, Kathy.”

The air was still cool, and all the talking was making Arthur’s voice more hoarse. He was wheezing a little now.

“Is it getting cold in here, dear? Don’t you feel cold? What an irony, with the sun still shining bright.”, said Arthur, adjusting his blanket around his neck, and suppressing a cough.
”Oh, don’t you worry, this cough is nothing. It’s probably the pollens. I am still allergic.” he continued.

“Oh, I almost forgot this!” said Arthur, as he took out the package he was carrying. “Now, now, don’t go on rebuking me. You know I was always forgetful.” he managed amidst his coughs.

Arthur opened the package and took out a beautiful bouquet of two big King Protea flowers, surrounded by numerous little Baby’s breaths. The flowers looked stunningly beautiful. Adam had reached his side by then. He just stood there, watching Arthur.

“Look what I brought for you,” Arthur said, holding the flowers, “ your favourite flowers, just the way you like them. I still remember this from our wedding day, dear. Do you?”
He paused. The look on his face became dull. The smile and laughter gradually settled down to the previous solemn look.
“Of course you do.”, he said, and placed the flowers on Katherine’s grave.

“Dad, we should get going.” said Adam. He had noticed the roughness in Arthur’s voice.
Arthur looked at Adam and back at the grave.“I’ll be back soon Kathy,” he said.

He turned and started walking back. Adam stood by his mother’s grave for a moment and then picked up the chair and followed Arthur, keeping two steps behind him. From the distance, Iris’s joyous laughter could be heard. Arthur was mumbling something under his breath.

“Dad!” said Adam, “did you say something now?” He asked.

“Lavenders.” said Arthur, his voice almost choking, “I should get Lavenders for her.” and he walked on.

**Note : This post is written for us by Vaishakh who is a compulsive thinker ¤ Aquarian ¤ Bibliophile ¤ Curious by nature ¤ Perseverant by choice ¤ Smitten by Music & Life ¤ Occasional shutterbug ¤ Sporadic blogger who blogs at The Museum Piece – http://themuseumpiece.wordpress.com

(J)olt

Mike really wasn’t sure about this. The throne-style chair in which he sat creaked, the dust made him sneeze and the room was smelled lightly of petrol. The hospital so bright and clean compared to this, the pastel green paint may be peeling, but the floors shone and huge windows lit up the wards and offices. What the hell was he doing down here with this guy?

The basement had a small rectangle window close to the ceiling that was caked with dirt, letting in a little light and the odd flash of a shadow passing by.

People walking past the window.

People walking.

Some of the equipment was familiar and reassuring, such as the needles on trays, the ECG machine and its stickers on his body. Some needles has wires on them though, and that confused him. They shone under the dim lights, clean and sharp. He didn’t know what to expect.

Until Dr Morgan started pressing the needles deep into his legs.

He screamed.

No one heard him down in the basement, under the layers of concrete.

He wasn’t sure if he passed out or threw up. Possibly both, the air smelt foul but Dr Morgan had finished with the needles. Through the blur of tears, the doctor looked different now, wild hair and wide eyes, shaking hands and quick movements.

“Are you ready?”

Mike couldn’t find his voice, couldn’t tell him no, that he’d changed his mind, that maybe they should do this later. Maybe they shouldn’t do this at all. He wanted to walk again, he needed to walk again but he was doubting his decision now. Doubting his own desperation even. He’d been desperate to walk again but not like this.

Morgan smiled at him and Mike watched as the man followed the thin red wires to a set of generators, some with handles, some without and bizarrely, Mike thought, every one a different colour. The doctor started turning on switches, each one roaring until Mike was deafened by the sound and tried to close his eyes to it, as well as press his hands down hard over his ears. Tapping his arm, Morgan asked him if he was ready, mouth moving slowly, making each syllable visible. Mike nodded. He felt they had gone too far anyway.

Both he and the generators were attached to a little black box, no display and just a single switch.

He closed his eyes again. Tried to remember how the hell he’d ended up down here in the first place and he heard the final switch turned.

There was pain, bright and burning, his legs kicking up, jerking and jumping. His legs – heavy and hurting – were moving, for the first time in months. He smiled, forced his lips to curl up through the intense burn of the electricity flowing into his muscles. He tried to open his eyes to look at the doctor, but then, then when he did open his eyes there was nothing.

Nothing at all.

 

***Note : This post is written for us by Rhi who is an anxious geek and poet, living in Wales. Blogging, writing and sleeping as much as possible and who blogs at www.scruffy-duck.net .

(I)llusive

The Sun rode away in his chariot for a hike
Leaving Dusk in control
She handled the show for sometime
Before the moon marched on with his starry army
To take the empty throne Sun had left behind
Moon took it in a swift show without any struggle
Only to have forgotten that his evil and powerful big stepbrother Sun could turn the tables around
The time fluttered it’s wing signalling the Moon to hide
Dawn was here announcing of Sun’s arrival and his claim of the throne
Moon decided to sort it out once and for all with the big brother
Deciding who is the rightful claimant of the throne
The vivacious Earth with her drop dead gorgeous looks walked in right then
And settled the ages long battle with her brilliant yet simple solution
That Day would be Sun’s assistant and Night would be Moon’s
Maintaining their calendars of time being divided equally
And implement the solution effectively by Moon and Sun taking turns in being the rightful owners of the throne.

 

*Note: This flash fiction is by Kripali blogging at Sumptuous Living for the #atozchallenge for the letter ‘I’

(H)EARTBREAK

Asif walked up to Amirah, determined. The moment of truth had arrived. He tapped on her shoulder and asked her for an audience in private. She nodded and followed him outside. They stopped on the far corner of the garden outside the canteen. Asif looked right into her eyes, and she looked back. Any doubt or fear disappeared from his mind, it was indeed time.

“Amirah you know we have been friends for 3 years now. Best friends for 3 years.”, Asif spoke slowly but confidently. Pausing to let his words have affect. He put his right hand into his pocket and squeezed that small note he had written last night. He didn’t have to read from it, he remembered every word of it.

The first time I heard about you, was from Akash. It was on one of those get together which happened every night during the first days of college, where every fresher trusts every other fresher with his life, and all of them share the names of the girls which they had marked out for themselves. It is as much an expression of first love as it is a message to others to back off from that particular girl. I had no names mind you, simply because I hadn’t been to enough classes. Even if I did, I wouldn’t have bared them to boys whom I had known less than a week. Akash was smitten by you. By you curly hair, your big eyes, you wide smile. Most importantly he said that you were only an inch taller than him, which was something he could live with. We all laughed, promised to help him out and moved on to the next guy.

Next day, or was it Monday or Friday. I don’t remember. What I do remember is that it was our first class of Engineering Drawing. I sat on the 2nd row of the middle column, with Akash right beside me. I sat behind a group of girls, giggling away to glory. We were coming up with a plan on how to start up a conversation with them, when one of the girls dropped a pencil and it rolled over to my feet. I picked it up and a girl with long curly hair and big brown eyes turned around to face me. She smiled at me, and I smiled right back. She asked for the pencil, which I obediently handed over, grinning like a stupid fool all the time. The girl was dressed in white kurta, wore a silver wrist watch, had pink nail polish on, and a bit of lip gloss. It’s amazing how I remember all these little details and yet managed to fail my Mechanical that year.

Anyways the girl said thank you and turned back around. It wasn’t that awkward Thanks that a girl says to a boy out of necessity and manners. It was a friendly and warm greeting, with a genuine feel behind it. I nudged Akash, “What’s her name?”, I whispered and pointed with my eyebrows. “This is the one I told you about, Amirah. Awesome no.”. During those times, your friendship was measured by actual distances. The further a person lived from you, the lesser a friend he was. Akash was my room-mate at that time that made him my best friend by that rule. I was all for to see him happy, and somewhere in my mind I crossed off the name Amirah from the list of eligible girls. “Awesome indeed”, I said and went back to the plans we were making earlier.

And here we are 3 years later. There is no Akash around. There is no Shilpa or Megha either. Remember them, the 2 girls that I dated. Look around and there is no Suman and Shiv too. Those are the 2 boys that you dated. During those 3 years, we have been together Amirah. Acquaintances, friends, confidante. The two of us have been right here next to each other. We saw people come together and fall apart, thinking it will never happen to us, and yet here we stand at perhaps the most important cross-roads in our life.

I believe when we meet people, we start a new chapter in our life. I have had some good ones and some bitter ones; same as you. But through all those chapters we have been recurring names in each other’s books. Lately times have not been good. The two of us have found each other on opposite sides of an argument. Be it fuelled by rumours, or our own foolish mistakes, we have drifted apart. But I can’t let that happen now. At least not before I can tell you what I have always felt about you.

Amirah, I have blabbering on for a while. But there is a point to this. I am in love with you. I was in love with you when I was trying to set Akash up with you. I was in love with you when I was going out with Shilpa. I was in love with you, when I showed you those answers during our back papers together. I was in love with you, when the two of us had dinner together, even when all the other bunked out. I have always been in love with you, even if I didn’t know it was love. The truth is I have been in love with you ever since you turned around and said Thank You.

I don’t know how you feel right now, at this moment, but I know for sure that you have loved me back too. Even if it was for a single moment when I complimented you and you smiled back at me. Or for longer when you told me that I always make you feel better, better than any boyfriend you have ever had. Maybe I was a fool to not say this then. Maybe I am fool to say this now. But I can’t wait any longer.

Amirah, we have been friends for 3 years. Best friends for 3 years. We have asked each other hundreds of questions. But this is perhaps the most important of them all. Your answer today will decide whether this chapter between us ends today, or we end up writing a new book, together. Amirah can you love me back?

“I know we have been friends for 3 years Asif.” Amirah cut him short before Asif could continue.

“But I have seen friendships that have lasted 6 years gone down the drain.”

“What? Amirah…” this was not what Asif was expecting.

“I am sorry Asif. I think we just need to give each other some space. We are good friends you know that right. And it’s not you it’s me. I just need some time to clear my thoughts and decide how I feel about everyone.”

Asif let out a sigh and his shoulder dropped.

“It’s not the end of the world Asif. I know I can’t live without you. I am going to realize that and come running back in a week. Just you see.”, Amirah said encouragingly.

Asif nodded, smiled a faint smile, turned around and started walking back to the hostel. Amirah didn’t stop him either and went back into the canteen. Asif knew she would never come back. Asif was right, she never did.

***Note : This post is written for us by the one who answers to the name of Ayush. Blogs by the name #IndianNoob. Web Developer, ardent gamer, enthusiastic cricketer, book lover, and a wrestling fan, Can be found in a forever struggle with his open shoe laces.

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To know more about him click here .

Gaming at IndianNoob

Everything Else can be found at 1HundredWorks

The story is part of a series, that Ayush does at 1HundredWorks with the name The Rail Trip chronicles

(G)lorious Death

Hundreds lay at his feet
Sweat trickled down his forehead
The one that was approaching seemed like the last
He loosened the reins of his horse
And rode into the approaching one
One swift move and the enemy was slayed
Only then did he notice
The dagger struck in his torso
He had no regrets, for they had won
He held his head high
And with a bow to the battlefield
Said his final goodbye.

Note: This flash fiction is by Kripali blogging at Sumptuous Living for the #atozchallenge for letter ‘G’