EDITORIAL: Creative Blossoms

Hi Friends!

Greetings! Creativity never takes a break. It just takes a tiny stroll in the garden of overflowing emotion and lost reflections. It takes time out to romance solitude so that it can feel more connected with its beautiful soul. And when the time is just right, it breaks into tiny little rainbows that burst into the horizon spreading their colours all over the universe.

That’s why WriteSpace is back again here after a brief walk in the garden of blossoming flowers of thoughts and feelings connected with the world, with creation, with You!

The latest issue is all about things that make life extraordinary. Little things that we tend to take for granted which actually make life special.

Brinda Subramanian talks about her feelings for a stranger, about a special friendship that has survived with time and distance.

Sabarna Roy has come up with a unique novella which is bound to catch your attention as you walk along with the author on his literary journey.

Madhumita Ghosh’s story, The Music Room which figured in the previous issue now comes to its beautiful finale.

Again, Michael Keith’s story, The Advent of Air which appeared in the earlier issue of WriteSpace takes off to land beautifully here.

A musical review by Indrani Talukdar takes you aboard Raga Hamsadhwani, truly a treat for music lovers.

Kim Newton’s intense emotion find fruition in verse – witty, emotional and touching to the core.

Nuggehalli Pankaja takes you for a morning walk and shares her whims and fancies in her trademark humorous style.

In the Art and Artists section, L.C. Atencio helps us take a peek into the childhood of the famous writer, Hans Christian Andersen enabling us to understand the writer as a child and his inspirations.

WriteSpace is as always delighted to present to you your work, from your perspective. Sometimes, the diversity of borders, races, classes, languages and circumstances unite us as one community of humanity as we share, read and write thoughts and emotions spread across the globe.
Happy Reading. Happy Sharing!
Shail Raghuvanshi
Founder-Editor, WriteSpace

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FEMME FATALE: Remembering A Dear Friend On Her Birthday by Brinda Subramanian, USA

brinda

I remember my first day of college vividly. I was extremely excited. It was a feeling of freedom. No more uniforms, no more military bags and no more lunch carriers. I had just bought a new dress, a while skirt with blue blouse and a white jacket to go with it. I was excited about meeting my friends from school and making new friends.
I walked into a chaotic class room with my friend, Jayanthi, looking for those familiar faces but the person that caught my attention first was this girl in a yellow churidaar and purple dupatta. She had long hair which was plaited and had bangs that almost poked her eyes. She wore glasses and looked very stylish. She seemed very confident and I was intimidated. Me…intimidated. I never thought this could happen to me. I did not like the way I felt and it was HER fault, I thought. Then I started analyzing her. She seems snobbish. She will never want to be friends with me. Oh well, I don’t want to be friends with her either. I have my own circle of friends and I will just stick with them.

I noticed that there were other girls who wanted to be friends with her too and liked to tag along with her. What losers!!! I thought. I went back home grumpy. I did not know why. Why did this girl impact me so much? I had no idea. Days went by and classes went on. She, according to me, was the coolest girl too in class because she really knew how to carry herself and most of all SHE RODE A MOPED to college. I was just green with envy. I walked to college. I did not even have a bicycle.
Anyway, a couple of months after college started, my dad fell sick and my focus turned towards him and his health. On September 22, 1989, my dad passed away. I was very close to my dad and was shattered by this but I wanted to show the world that I was strong so I decided to go to college the following day.

All my friends kept coming up to me and asking me if I was ok and I pretended to be fine. We had to go to another class room to sit for Hindi …the one I enjoyed the least and hated with a passion. I did not like anything about it. When the Hindi Professor asked us to pull our books out of the bag, I realized that I had left mine at home. I was asked to stand up in front of everyone, including the cool girl, and was asked about my book. I had to tell the teacher that I had, just the previous day, lost my dad.
Before I realized, tears started to roll down my cheeks and I just let it go. The Professor asked me to take a break and go sit at the library. At that moment, all I needed was to talk to someone…a friend but all my friends were in the Tamil class. So I walked alone to the library. I heard footsteps behind me but I did not care to look. Tears kept rolling down my cheeks. I was in grief, anger, anguish and several other emotions all at the same time. I found a quiet spot and sat there still crying.
A few seconds later I saw someone pull a chair and sit next to me….a friend. It was the cool girl. I was surprised to see her. I could not believe that she was sitting next to me when I really, really needed someone. At that moment I knew that she was going to be my friend for the rest of my life. I was not that strong person I thought myself to be. I talked and cried and poured my heart out to her and she listened intently to all that I had to say. I was at a very vulnerable state at this time and I did not care about what she would think of me but the truth is that she did not either. We must have been there for a couple of hours. I am sure she missed her classes too, with me but she never left my side. That day, she taught me what friendship really meant. It was not always about having fun, eating out, going to movies, laughing. It was about being there when you are needed the most. She just knew that I could not be alone at that time. She could have stayed at the Hindi class but instead chose to be a friend and listen to me lamenting.
I don’t think I have ever thanked her for being there for me at good times and bad. She was never a snob. Nor was she intimidating. She accepted people for who they were. I have learnt a lot from her over the years, including my interest in writing but the best thing that I have learned is to be a friend. Just want my friend to know that it meant a lot. As this birthday of yours passes you by I wish you a very happy birthday, dear friend and may you be showered with the best of everything in life.

NOVELLETE: Dr. X and Mr.Y – Part 1 (Stray Voice of Mr.Y) by Sabarna Roy, Calcutta, India

sabarna roy

Chapter : 1

I met Dr. X under strange circumstances in a café. I was there to eat my dinner and as such, I had selected a café nearer my home in the northern suburb of the city.  It was a clear, cold and moonlit night. I was palpably hungry, but I had dropped my wallet, rather misplaced it, somewhere on the way. This I discovered after having gulped down my food consisting of lemon coriander soup, American chop-suey, garlic chicken and darsan. I was sumptuously full and startled by the discovery of my empty pocket and just didn’t know what to do and how to proceed. Almost by chance, I sighted Dr. X, who was eating on my next table and looking at me half-absentmindedly. It seemed he was smiling at me, at my puzzled and bewildering actions having discovered my position as a penniless man. After a few moments, Dr. X actually looked at me intently and asked me if I wanted something. I explained to him the situation I was in. To my utter embarrassment, he asked for my bill, paid it in cash almost instantaneously along with a tip. While I was relieved from a major chaos with the restaurant manager and owner, I was at a loss: How to react to Dr. X in a situation where he had saved me from disgrace and rather helped me to restore my dignity. I went closer to him and confirmed to him that I would pay him back his dues the next day early in the morning at his residence and therefore, I asked for his contact details, which he readily gave and added, “But please don’t go away Mr. Y, I would like to talk to you.” I sat down in a chair opposite to him on his table and waited. He said looking into my eyes, “I have had my food, let’s walk and talk”.

Chapter: 2

The conversation started thus, as we walked through an abandoned half-lit backstreet along a canal.

Dr. X :  Do you feel old, Mr. Y?

I :  How do you know my name? By the way, what is your name?

Dr. X :  I know your name through one of your friends who is a chess teacher in the Evergreen Chess Club. He is known to me from my school days. Nowadays, I meet him rarely. Once, he mentioned about you that you were his colleague for some time and showed me a group photograph of a picnic where you were there too. By the way, my name is Dr. X. I am not a doctor. I am doctorate in law, but I am not a lawyer even. Coming back to my original question: Do you feel old nowadays?

I : What a strange question? I have never thought about it really. But, can I ask you something?

Dr. X : Go on.

I :  Is it in line of your profession to ask that question randomly to people?

Dr. X : Not really. I ask this question to specific people, but you are more inclined to ask me – whether I am exercising my right over you having saved you from a tricky situation.

I : Well, I cannot assure you that such a thought didn’t ring a bell at the back of my mind. But, I don’t mind having a talk with you because when I will return home, I have nothing to do excepting a few practical household chores and then, doze off to sleep. I am a lonely man. By the way, I don’t have a family.

Dr. X : Thank you for being frank with me. So, I think, we can proceed with the conversation. Please answer the question that I asked you. Do you feel old nowadays?

I : Why are you asking me this question?

Dr. X : You were a Casanova at a point in time. I had learnt from your friend – you must have been very youthful, charming and efficient in those days. But, do you feel you have changed somewhat?

I : What makes you feel that? Am I no longer youthful, charming and efficient? Do I look old?

Dr. X : Well, you do definitely look older than what I had seen in the photograph. But that’s not the point. The point is: What do you feel? Most of the times there is a great disconnect between what we look and what we feel. You must be knowing about that.

I :  What else do you know about me?

Dr. X : It is not as if I know much, but I know something like your love of poetry.

I : There was a time. There was a time. There was a time.

Dr. X : Are you lamenting? Are you old? Are you finishing? Are you on the verge of extinction?

I : There is a time and place for everything, Dr. X. You should know that man loses his strength over a period of time. There is a time when he feels he has led a wasted life. He is living a life, which he didn’t want. But, he knows, he cannot return and reconstruct.

Dr. X : What did you want to be?

I : I don’t know.

Dr. X : What are you now?

I : I don’t know.

Dr. X : But, you know there is a mismatch.

I : Yes. There is a great mismatch. There is an ocean in between the two. I never stood up for myself. I became what others wanted me to be. I never worked hard for what I wanted to be. I have led a wasted life, Dr. X. Surely a wasted life!

Dr. X : Do you feel the same strength for women, as you felt earlier?

I : Surprisingly, they do not charm me any more. I am becoming more and more lifeless, Dr. X. I am aware of death most of the times.

Dr. X : You are a successful man, Mr. Y!

I : Stop calling me a successful man! I hate that farce! I can almost see death staring at my eyes.

Dr. X :  You mean, you feel as if you would die soon!

I : It’s not as if I would die soon. But, I can see totems of death in my mind’s eye – my wife who died so early. I had spent fifteen years of my prime time taking care of her. She was sick in bed for too long a time, but it didn’t eat away my youth because I slept with other women during that time. I was responsible to my wife, but I enjoyed my body behind her back. I see my wife nowadays standing still looking at me from within a frost-bitten jungle. I often see the hooded-man from the Seventh Seal. I also see the expressionless face of a boy-monk staring at me from the banks of River Sindh at Ladhak as if calling me to another world.

Dr. X : You certainly do not fear death, I can assume this.

I : Well, there was a time when I feared death. I no longer do.

Dr. X : So, you are deeply aware of your mortality, Mr. Y?

I : Yes, I am.

Dr. X : So, you do feel certainly old, Mr. Y?

I : Yes, I do. I feel my time is up and I do not know what to do next.

Dr. X : By the way, this is my house. Will you care for a cup of tea?

I : I am not feeling like having one now. I will certainly meet you tomorrow morning and pay you back the amount, I owe you.

Dr. X : Do not come tomorrow morning. Please come in the evening. We can pick up the conversation from here.

I : Okay, I will.

Chapter: 3

Who is this Dr. X, by the way? How does he know about me so much? Do I look that old? He was almost sure I feel old. Do I look pent up? Do I look disinterested in life? Could he have stolen my wallet to help me later and pick up a conversation with me to give me a jolt and pass on a signal to me that I have not been able to quite fathom completely? I should have visited Dr. X’s home in the garb of finding out minuter details about him.

At one level, life seems to have stopped for me and at an another level, life seems to be endless and relentless. Would I have faced the same fate of emotions had I had children of my own? I have never been able to take care of myself very well. How would I have taken care of my children?

I frittered away my time at school, college and university. I never took my studies or my passions or my hobbies seriously and didn’t pursue anything with conviction. I was a floater and reached wherever time took me. I became good at my profession – marketing insurance products almost by default and chance because I was good with words. But at the same time, I was not serious about my job too.

One thing that I was serious about was – women. But they do not charm me any more. Life stops for a man when women do not charm him any more. Could this be because I have grown a deep hatred for women because of my sick wife? God only knows why I had to marry a chronically ill woman. I never loved her, but I exhibited my sympathies for her. I pitied her. How many times I have wanted to kill her failing at my cowardice every time! She was otherwise beautiful with a good face and big eyes, but she was a thoroughly frail woman, unaware of the tricks of love-making.

Could Dr. X be an emissary of my wife planning to avenge my sins and unfaithfulness that I committed repeatedly behind her back? I cannot believe Dr. X to be a random event in my life. He definitely seems to fall into a pattern. A pattern that I am unable to unravel.

I will definitely unravel this pattern and this will fill up my life for some more time!

.….to be continued…

STORY SPACE: The Music Room – Concluding Part by Dr. Madhumita Ghosh, Kolkata, India

The story uptil now…

Two hands leaped up from behind all of a sudden, held her in an iron grasp and two rough palms slapped on her face, shutting her eyes and sealing her mouth and nose, gagging her. She was pulled away, dragged into a room, she couldn’t tell which one and pushed and hauled down unending stairs. She slipped and tripped until she felt water at her feet………..

AND NOW..

madhumita

The steps descended into water and with each step the water level increased and she immersed deeper and deeper into a mass of cold water as she was continued to be pushed forward and dragged downward. This was the secret room she realized with horror, the room she had never seen but heard of, a dark room that offenders were taken into and once the heavy iron door was shut behind them, they were never to be seen or heard of, ever again. Cold fear ran down her throat like thick black liquid darkness and she lost consciousness just when she was neck deep in water. She sank to the bottom swaying and swinging, in a slow motion as the seven colours of the rainbow closed in around her. Then she awoke, in another world, far away, at another time frame, where the past and a future merged and formed a melting floating present that kept her buoyed up holding on to her life of dreams.

iii

The house stayed awake waiting for her, every night. She came, without fail, for her nocturnal tryst with the house, a house she loathed and had fled with the love of her life, leaving her servile security and her two year long indifferent unconsummated marriage behind. The musical instruments played when she came, invisible expert hands creating a divine harmonious melody, the strings of the esraj and the tanpura jingled, only too happy to obey her wish as the table played in a perfect rhythm. The envious eyes of long ago glowed with joy and her voice sang out in such harmony with the stringed instruments that the chandelier danced in ecstasy. She sat there, eyes closed, singing, one raga after another, caressing with her voice when she sang the alap in a slow tempo, invoking not just the raga but her love, playing with all the seven notes in her soul, and then her heart racing, her entire being throbbing with passion reaching a crescendo when she sang the drut gat, the fast section, the percussion joining in, the tabla playing the fervour of her unfulfilled passion. She sang her heart out, all that she had learnt long ago, in the secrecy of her room, from one who began as her teacher and soon became synonymous to her with music, her love. When he sang, her body became the tanpura, the seven notes resonated through her and she melted within, swooned with pleasure. She was forbidden to enter the music room, let alone sing, reprimanded by a stern husband twenty years older than her and a stranger to her heart and body. She hated the music room. And the more she hated, the more she loved it. So she sat on the terrace on the nights there would be a mehfil, gazing at the room below through the skylight, taking in all she could, like the terrace that absorbed the overflowing moonlight. She admired him, the singer, who seemed to be god when he sang, and devised a way to meet him and convince him of her plans.

iv

The sighs float around in the house, hit the walls and multiply. A dream shattered, a journey aborted midway. She had no qualms about leaving her husband and her home. She never had considered the middle-aged stranger as her husband. She hardly saw him. She felt relieved when he went on his trips to the city twice a month, and stayed away for a few days. Her heart sang, her spirits danced and she dwelled in the midst of love. She loved. Till he came to know. Met the lovers at the gateway as they prepared to leave. Flee the prison. Run away from the desert to the valley of flowers, love and music. The master, the proprietor, the stern ruler gave commands and the orders were executed. She became his prisoner forever. Drawn to his house, his music room. Returning every night, to drown her sighs in music.

MUSIC TO THE EARS: Lord Ganesha’s Favourite by Indrani Talukdar, Gujarat, India

Indrani

Raga Hamsadhwani, created by the eminent musician Ramaswamy Dikshitar (1735-1817), is said to be Lord Ganesha’s favourite raga. A Carnatic import, it sits comfortably in the Hindustani pantheon, like a well-adapted migrant. Given the raga’s propensity towards a sort of divine playfulness and merriness, it is easy to understand its inception in north Indian classical music inspired by Ustad Aman Ali Khan of the Bhendibazaar gharana. The latter, known for its stress on breath control and ‘open-voiced’ singing, is simply apt in terms of justifying the existence and popularity of the super-ethereal pentatonic melody.

 
A raga popularized by a Bhendibazaar exponent sounds no less exotic, though, in the full-throated rendition of the Patiala doyenne, Begum Parveen Sultana who, commencing her tarana in Hamsadhwani with a short insidious alaap, fills the senses with her crisp, filigreed singing. Her easy command over not three but five or six octaves makes the listening experience a truly magical one. The Patiala ornamentation, so obvious in her rendition, somehow, does not deter the discerning listener.
The tarana is the sort of gayaki that becomes a singer’s forte only after long relentless riyaaz. Begum Sultana sets the tarana rolling with some brilliant truly phrasings in the nom tom mode resembling alankaars. She gets the tempo going with the immediacy of a heart pang. The performance never sinks to the level of verbal juggelery or vocal gymnastics- usually a temptation for lesser artistes. The Begum is truly a queen!

 

Do log on to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piLxdDDNlSI and pay a tribute.

STORY SPACE: The Advent Of Air – Concluding Part by Michael C. Keith, USA

The story uptil now…..

A photograph captioned “Miners suffocate in cave!” showing the bodies of several Chinese workers being laid out near the entrance of a mine drew Jason’s attention. In another photo, an Asian man of unusual height stood proudly and defiantly before two armed white men. An inscription beneath it stated, “Chinese labor leader Deshi Peng protests mining conditions.” In another photo, Peng was shown speaking before a group of his fellow laborers, his arms raised high and his fists clenched. What a brave man, thought Jason. His mood suddenly turned dark when yet another photo showed the rights activist being led away in chains. Its caption read, “Troublemaker led to gallows for inciting a riot resulting in two deaths and several injuries.”
“That was wrong. So wrong,” grumbled Jason. “He was standing up for his people . . . my people.”……….

AND NOW…..

Michael keith

Jason continued to read the website article and when he finished he was thoroughly committed to informing his class about Deshi Peng’s courageous acts. In the two weeks leading up to his class talk, he continued to research the plight of Chinese workers. To his disappointment, however, he did not come across any further information about Peng other than a photo of his newly discovered hero standing on a hangman’s scaffolding with several white men clad in black. A rope dangled above Peng’s head. There was no account of his actual execution. They hid this injustice from the public, he reflected feeling his sorrow and anger increase. He made a copy of the photo and kept it close at hand to help him maintain his indignation over the tragedy.

* * *

When the day of Jason’s oral presentation arrived, he was filled with feelings of both dread and purpose. He tried his best to concentrate on conveying the important message he wanted to get across in order to dispel his jitters, but he was only partially successful. Give me strength, Master Peng, he repeated to himself, as the appointed hour of his great task arrived.

In his seat in the back of the classroom, Jason waited for his name to be called. I can do this, he kept repeating to himself while he fought to draw air into his compressed lungs. This must be how those men felt as the oxygen was used up in that collapsed mine.

“Mr. Wu, time for your presentation,” declared Professor Black.

Jason felt light-headed as he stood before his classmates.

“Go ahead, Jason. Your time starts now,” said Black, activating his stopwatch.

“My report is on the plight of Chine . . . “ gasped Jason.

It felt as if the last bit of air in his lungs had been used to say those words. He stood staring at his classmates as they returned his stare. Then he noticed the copy of the photograph of Peng had partially slipped from his notebook. He turned to it and was shocked by what he saw. It had morphed into a grotesque scene. The figure he considered his noble ancestor now dangled from the end of the hangman’s rope. The sight of it was like an electric charge to him, and he suddenly felt fully restored. His lungs filled with oxygen, and words began to flow forth from his previously frozen lips with a power he had never experience.

“Chinese miners were treated like slaves and forced to work in deadly conditions. They gave their lives so that their American employers could become rich . . .”

Jason finished his speech with a flourish just as Professor Black announced that his time was up.

As his classmates applauded enthusiastically, his professor nodded in approval. Jason returned to his seat feeling exhilarated and relieved. Yet he was curious about the strange thing that had just happened. The photo, he thought, turning to it. “Dong!” he blurted in his native tongue.

Again he could not believe his eyes, though this time the transformed picture provided him with great joy. No longer was Deshi Peng dangling from the end of the hangman’s rope. He had vanished from the scene, and his executioners stared wild-eyed toward the sky as if their prisoner had floated off into thin air.

ART AND ARTISTS: The Childhood of Hans Christian Andersen by L. C. Atencio, Florida

LeandroThis article discusses Hans Christian Andersen, the master storyteller, and a brief summary of the first fourteen years of his life. The Danish and prolific paper-cutting artist, novelist, singer, playwright, fairy tale writer, and poet was born on April 2, 1805 in Denmark on the island Funen at Odense among a scenery of beech trees and clover fields. His father was a shoemaker and his mother a housewife, whose devout love for him went across the European isles.

 
He grew up in a humble house with only the bare essentials needed to survive. But among those essentials were books of songs and fables. To credit the trigger of his imaginary inventions, and rather the awe striking events that appear in his stories, his real life situation, circumstances, and surroundings must be brought to light, as he himself declared that they played an integral part in the development and creation of his fairy tales. For instance, the garden in The Snow Queen, published in 1845, was inspired by his mother’s garden.

 
Generally, he was always surrounded by the sad, historical accounts of his relatives, though he didn’t let it detriment his spirit. His mother was once a beggar. His father, a dissatisfied shoemaker, polisher, and carpenter. The grandmother on his father’s side was a gardener of simple trades, who resented running away from her family and home to the arms of a “comedy-player,” or so how she recalled him.

 
Hans Christian Andersen was a loner of sorts. He preferred playing indoors with the toys his father had carpentered, and making clothes for his dolls. His mother believed he would become a tailor, though Hans Christian Anderson would rather go to the theater and play roles like the actors.
People were often kind around him, and he was both brave and cautious about his actions. Not reckless. Not entirely brave. Curious, darer, surely, yes. Superstitious, too. A lad with a good sense of humor, most certainly.

 
After his father’s passing, Hans Christian Andersen became more interested in poetry and plays, and soon he found that he was reading Shakespeare and acting out Hamlet in his puppet theatre. To his great delight, he was enjoying something of his taste. He was so inspired by Shakespeare that his first play was a tragedy, of course. He entitled this piece “Abor and Elvira.” His voice in equal measure, from the sound to the page, brought about the attention of familial audiences in Odense. Such virtue, as one may label it, gave him the remarkable chance of meeting with Prince Christian through Colonel Høegh-Guldberg, the statesman who partook interest in the youngster. Shortly after the meeting, Hans was sent to a charity school where he was to study writing, religion, and arithmetic; however, so badly did he learn such subjects that he could scarcely spell a word properly or solve arithmetic calculations. Against the poor system of his education, he continued to write poetry, but whether it was grammatically sound is still questionable today.

 

Even though the beginning of his life was somewhat filled with encouraging messages, as he reached his teenage years, more and more perceived negative messages came in, warning him of the benefits of a so-called “rational” career. His mother believed he should be a tailor. People scolded him. Children ridiculed him in the streets, and it was not seldom that he would be behind closed doors, weeping in tears.

 
The parish he belonged to segregated him from the children he aspired to be close to, the fortunate ones who could afford going to grammar school, as he valued books and the power they could instill in anyone. As far as his relations went . . . as a young boy he was fond of girls, but especially fond of a young girl who gave him a rose. He was so cheerful of the gift that he was overjoyed! At the age of fourteen, he received permission from his mother to go to Copenhagen. He pestered her so much that no choice was she left with but to comply with his request. Such was the trip that demonstrated his initiative at learning the ways of a great man. As he once said, a great man comes from grave calamities, and he was surely right in that he arose from under them and won his well-deserved success, a product of hard-earned work.

Works Cited:
Andersen, Hans Christian. The True Story of My Life: A Sketch. London: Spottiswoode and Shaw, New-street-Square, 1847. Print.

POETRY IN ACTION: Don’t Mind Me. Just a silly poem about a dog. . . RIGHT? by Kim Darby Newton, Alabama

Kim Newton

My husband went to work today and some trash(I mean . . Treasures)
Caught his eye.
He saw some wood that he could use
To build something, but
Then he heard a baby cry.
Not being one to ignore
The less fortunate (grateful for that)
He. . . Looked.

……

And there The Captain lay (told you it was a silly dog poem)
Turns out that the old lady who was
His Mama died.
And her relatives were much too
Preoccupied dividing her furniture
To nurture what the old lady
Had probably loved most
In life.
So they took a box of clothes that
Nobody wanted to use
And threw him in there
Too.
He was just an old dog. . . RIGHT?
Easily disposed of, in fact
Hubby said that
He saw the dump truck pulling in
As he was driving
To bring the old dog
To me.

…..

See, this is just a silly poem about a dog,
But there are certain
Facts that have the power to distract me
Me from realizing that.

…..

Have you ever loved somebody?
Have you ever felt safe?
And then had it all end
Without knowing why?
Ever felt helpless?
Unable to change
Your fate,
Unknowing of the dangers
Awaiting you
Until it’s too late?
Have you ever been
Thrown away?
Cast aside before getting
The chance to grieve
For the life
You thought you’d always have.

……

Ever been saved?
When the battles you once fought
Overcame you?
If the answer is yes
To any of the above,
Then you already gotten the hint
That this might more
Than a silly poem
About a dog.

HA! HA! HUMOUR: Morning Walk by Nuggehalli Pankaja, Bangalore, India

pankaja
“We will start our morning-walk”- He declared suddenly.
“You are putting on weight”.
“You are fatter than me” I wanted to return the compliment, but refrained, lest, affronted, he walked away alone. No, I would not miss the exercise for the world.

 
Dressing up hastily, with great enthusiasm did I start. What fun accosting people in different types of dresses trotting, jogging! Meeting friends-relatives after a fairly long time was a rejuvenating experience. Naturally, they too were pleased to see me, and of course we had to exchange a few words of greetings, the social enquiries snowballing into spicy gossip. Indeed, it was an embarrassing situation for all the escorting spouses needless to mention ‘HE’ who showed mounting displeasure in his own silent ways. The climax came when he snapped this question, “Were you silly women discussing the ‘Idiotic serials’? About whether the foolish heroine really eloped with the no-good hero during the power-shutdown? Or, how to prepare jelabi thissabji, that pulav-chutney-salad etc?”

 
Deliberately putting on a stiff face, I walked ahead. Are we women fit only for discussing serials and cookery items? Don’t we also read papers, and hear news? Come to think of it, it is the men folk who avidly watch the serials, especially the romantic ones while we women are forced to attend to kitchen. “Next time the serial comes, I am going to switch it off”-I decided—“And watch the fun”.

 
Coming back to our walk, in-between bridegroom-hunters swooping from nowhere and pelting questions regarding the eligible boys in our family, a grand time enquiring about the girl’s accomplishments, basking in their adulation while all the time knowing not a wee bit about the boys in question.

 
Oft would I lose myself viewing flourishing trees, burgeoning flowers, twittering birds, blooming sun. And stand in the middle of the road offering prayers to the sky-deity, with eyes closed…and lo! An auto or motorcycle would swish past, sparing me by a margin!! Immediately he would rush back with panic to verify whether I was alive or dead, and if alive, show surprise, then bang me like anything (no, certainly not for being alive). “Poor thing, some inspiration to scribble poetry must have overtaken her”. When some fan who recognized me sympathized, he would walk away with ‘Have all the accidents in the world madam poetess, I don’t care!’ attitude!

 
Perhaps he is jealous of my celebrity status? As the husband, he should be proud of me, but no, ‘Man’s ego’ raising its hood!
While walking, routes are another problem. He can maneuver roads filled with litter, water, dogs but for the life of me, I can’t. And he doesn’t even turn around to see whether I have slipped, have been bitten or have been kidnapped.. Disgusted, I really revolted one day. I stood in the middle of the road like a statue, refusing to follow him. A jogging girl stopped in her tracks to help me out. Very smartly, I pointed to the side road. Reluctant to give place to any scene, he took that road, while I jubilantly followed. Alas, my exhilaration received a terrible jolt, for there was water-water everywhere what with the car drivers bathing their cars! We had to really do circus-tricks to reach our destination.

 
And his mood? You can guess. . . .Blood pressure, heart complaint, what not, made a beeline towards him. I took refuge contemplating the temple nearby.
Yes, having a penchant for temples, the moment it looms into view, I stand before it immersed in fervent prayer till his ‘ROAD-LECTURE’ arrests me…
Same restriction when I try to purchase some urgent provision for breakfast on the way home. “No shopping while walking”. Invariable rejoinder to my argument is “Purse at home”.
But He learnt his lesson this morning when the watchman grumbled “Couldn’t you buy bread on the way back instead of sending me now? I am also an old man, older than you.”

EMOTION IN VERSE: All Is Not Lost by Shail Raghuvanshi, Chennai, India

shail

All is not lost yet.
Even with hostility, insensitivity and strife
There is place for harmony.
Even with rape, robbery and rioting
There is room for redemption.

…….

All is not lost yet.
As long as one believes
That things can mend
As long as there is unanimous hatred for inhumanity
There is hope for a better tomorrow.

……

All is not lost yet.
These lines of verse that slowly
Tread into your consciousness
Create a united reservoir of eternal sharing
That You and I shall always possess.

…….

Serving,
Wishing
Praying for a world united
In deed, thought and emotion.
Always!