Monthly Archives: January 2015

Maiden Versatility!!

I am recently made aware of the fact that my blog is versatile! (jumps up and down triumphantly!)  What I mean is that I have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger award by The Catechumen’s flux. I am truly honoured and I am very thankful to Roopali for thinking of my blog for this. I started this blog very recently and keep mentioning my baby steps in the blogging world now and then. And now it seems like getting an appreciation babble from another baby in the blogging new-born world 😉 And this just encourages me to keep putting another baby foot forward on the blogging floor.

But I know very well that I couldn’t have done this without the inspiration I get by reading the posts of some of the best bloggers out there according to me. Those are the ones that lay out a path of words for me to tread on. And I shall continue to look up to them.

The rules of the award are:
1. Show the award on your blog.
2. Thank the person who nominated you.
3. Share seven facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 blogs.
5. Link your nominees’ blogs, and let them know.

So, here we go..

Seven things…

1. I really do have a good angel and a bad angel sitting on my shoulders nagging at me all the time. That’s the reason why I am always so confused. And it also doesn’t help that the bad angel usually wins…like all the time!
2. I like the smell of new books. But I also treasure old books. And I buy eBooks coz…well cheaper.
3. My husband has to hide my Library card, credit card, block kindle access to make me take a break from reading books.
4. I love all bakery products. I have a lane full of bakery shops in my home town dedicated to me by my friends. I also have platinum membership with the shops 😉
5. I am extremely lazy but I also have a mild form of OCD (like the mildest…) So for me it oscillates between keeping everything extremely clean & tidy or not at all.
6. People think that I use humour as a way to block some painful past. But, truthfully, I am just innately funny. Okay, okay, FINE! I try..sometimes too hard..to be funny..ish
7. I can just day-dream away for days..even weeks.

That’s a little seven things’ bit about me. I am starting a “Freakishly awesome yet vapidly normal” club. So do let me know if anything of the above resonates with you 😉 😛

And now onto listing the nominees.

An Armchair Perfectionist

Confessions of a Readaholic 

Myth’s reality

The open Window

Impromptu Promptlings

A Simple Life

Creative Writing For Me

A SMITH’S WORLD

It’s All About Books

lindaghill

BEAUTIFUL WORDS

Passion through Poetry

Shawn L. Bird

My Life

You are all inspiringly versatile!

I humbly thank you all a lot!

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Incessant

This one is in response to the daily prompt – Image Search
Pick a random word and do Google image search on it. Check out the eleventh picture it brings up. Write about whatever that image brings to mind.

I could not think of a word randomly. So I looked up the word of the day and wordthink.com listed their word of the day as “Incessant”. And the 11th image I found on Google for “Incessant” was this.

incessant

The first thought that came to mind when I saw this picture was my husband’s snoring. And yes it is incessant. It is quite for a while in the start, but gradually the tempo increases and he is snoring full out which is sure to disturb a person sleeping next to him. And I came across the actual sound level of his snoring quite recently. You ask how that is possible? You see, I have about a 40-50% hearing loss in both the ears. So I have to use hearing aids for listening. And at night I do not wear my hearing aids, so I am not really bothered by my husband’s snoring. Lucky me? Yes, I have heard that before. In fact it’s a funny story to tell at parties 😉

But it so happened that I took a break from work, and at that time I was reading into the night quite a lot. And I don’t usually realize that I still have my hearing aids in my ears until I am sleeping. Once the snoring reaches my aids, they amplify the sound and when it reaches my eardrums, I realize that I still have them on. These are the moments when I almost feel good for my hearing aids. All those years of ear pain, stinging ear drops, painful ear examinations, excruciatingly hurting ear surgeries are instantly forgotten.

That is when I remove my hearing aids and read my book, revelling in the peace and quiet of the night.

Spock and Piñatas!

Couldn’t resist writing for another prompt from Ten Quote Tuesday. I used the prompt –

  • Start your scene with this line: I don’t remember my birthdays.

Spock and Piñatas!

I don’t remember my birthdays. Not really. When I think of them, I only remember the caviar or salmon puffs floating around the room at my so-called birthday party. My party where my Dad and his associates who dressed in expensive suits discussed shop. And my mom and her friends in their own extravagant ensembles gaily gossiped away about the one lady who was not present. And me? Well I was supposed to “mingle” with my very own privileged, rich and classy friends – who by the way used to be busy with their own antics of under-age drinking and smoking. I had a few friends I liked, like Peter and Sam, but who were not invited because they didn’t come from “our world”. I don’t remember wishing on the candles or cutting a cake. I don’t remember if anyone ever sang the happy birthday song to me. I don’t remember my family hugging me and wishing me a happy birthday in the morning. There were gifts though, I think.

That’s what birthdays used to mean to me. That’s what the definition of a birthday is to me. The definition of a “happy” birthday was lost on me after 18 birthdays in my father’s castle. I never went back to celebrate my birthday in my parents’ house after that. Now, that I think, I never did celebrate my birthday after that nor did I wish to. And that is what I had told Lily last night when she mentioned about having a special birthday party for me. Of course she was surprised on hearing about my birthday parties. You see, she doesn’t come from a world like mine. She comes from a different world altogether where her parents threw birthday parties to make her happy. A world where her Dad dresses up in beach-wear when they had a pool party for one of her birthdays. Or when her mom wore spurs for her pony-themed party. A world where I found Sam and Peter again. A world where I wanted to be in, away from the world that I ran from to find my own feet and stand firmly on them. Needless to say, I am still putting one knobbly baby foot after another.

As I parked the car in the parking of the apartment complex, I was thinking of one of my birthday parties, where my mom found my sister huddled inside one of the bedrooms with one of Dad’s associates. Boy, if I was contemplating my past life so much, I truly am experiencing the quarter life crisis.

Finding the correct key, I opened the door to the apartment and a big shout of “Surprise!!” rang from inside. Everybody was there! Peter and Sam and their wives and children, my friends from office, my sister and her boyfriend, Lily’s parents and her brother Jess, Lily’s friends and Lily! And the whole apartment was decorated with balloons and streamers and happy birthday signs!I couldn’t find any words other than just staring in wonder and laughing.

As I kissed Lily to thank her for doing this, she told me that this is not all. She pulled me by my hand to various corners of the house where each corner was decorated with a different theme – A corner for superheroes with batman, superman, spiderman paraphernalia spread across it. Another one with a Star Wars theme, one with piñatas of every shape hanging from the ceiling! One room was full of games – foosball table, table tennis table and pool table. The dining table was full of kiddy pizzas and burgers with chips and sodas. A huge baseball shaped birthday cake took up the centre of the table.

“You got me piñatas!”

“You like them? I tried putting all the themes we had for Jess’ birthdays. I also wanted to put up a pony themed corner but there was no room.” She sounded like a little girl who had lost a fairy hair brush.

“Oh honey! I am sure you can keep something for my next birthday.” I said as I pulled her in for a hug.

“I just wanted you to have an actual birthday party to make up for the past 24 birthdays.”

As I looked at the love pouring through her eyes, I couldn’t help feeling that I am home.

This is my world.

A pullup!…aaaand Clank! Damn!

Another response to Ten Quote Tuesday prompts. I used the prompt –

  • Include all these elements into a scene: sports tickets, a candle, discouragement, and drawing.

A pull up…aaaand Clank! Damn!

“Need a hand with the hoop, Mr.V?” Marty, my next door neighbour hollered from his garage.

“I think I got it, young man.” I said, as I attached the net securely to the basketball hoop I had installed minutes ago.

“What’s up with the smile on your face?”

“My boy is coming over today” I told him as I checked that the net falls just above the garage door. I was looking forward to have a game or two with Jamie.

“Your son, Jamie is coming over?! So you finally got the custody issue resolved, huh?”

“Not entirely. My lawyer is still working on it. But I get to see Jamie now and then and today is his birthday. That makes it all the more special.”

I knew I had a happy yet forlorn look in my eyes when I told this to Marty. I mean, how can I not? I had missed out on a lot of things when it came to Jamie, most of it my own doing, though Jeanine didn’t help much. My passion about my art kept me drifting away to the deep dark world of charcoal and away from Jamie. But now, I wanted to get to know him and be in his life. I am aware that I will never be able to be the father that he wanted but I still wanted him to be my son. And that’s what I told Jeanine, his mom when I went to see her last fall. Obviously, things didn’t work out amicably with her, or I wouldn’t be here discussing lawyers and custody issues.

“You can join us for a game later if you are free, Marty”

“I look forward to it Mr.V, and meeting Jamie, too”

“Me too, Marty, me too.”

“So you think you are ready to be a Dad?”

“Well, I think so. I cleaned the house, got a birthday candle for Jamie. I even got us some tickets to the NBA game….and gift wrapped a charcoal drawing that I did of Jamie when he was little, as a birthday present. Oh, not to forget, I got a birthday cake for the candle, too”

“Wow. You ARE ready to be a Dad now!”
Marty’s hearty laugh rang through my own happiness.

“See you later, Mr.V”

With the basketball hoop installed I was done with all the preparation of meeting with Jamie. And yet I was not. How do you connect with your 15-year-old son who you have not seen since the past 10 years? I wanted to apologize to him for all those birthdays and games I missed. I wanted to tell him how much I regret being away from him. I wanted to introduce him to my drawings and sketches. I wanted to tell him that I loved him, more than he knew.

I sat on the wall on of the garage waiting for Jeanine to pull up into the driveway. Anytime now, I was going to be able to meet my son. A car did pull up but instead of Jeanine, it was Paul, my lawyer who walked up to me.

“Nick, I did not want to tell you over the phone so I came here personally. Jamie is not coming today, Nick. Jeanine got through the judge this time. She was permitted the rights to have Jamie with her on his birthday. I am sorry, man.”

I was crushed! Jeanine had painted my heart darker than charcoal.

“He is not coming? Does this mean that I won’t be able to see him, ever?”

“No! No..See I am going to do all I can to get you visitation rights. But right now, this is it, man”

“Visitation rights? You said I could share custody with Jeanine.”

“Nick, Jeanine has pulled out all stops. She even got your half-sister to testify against you. I think we’ll have to settle for visitation. I can’t tell you how sorry I am, man”

“Thanks, Paul. I know you did all you could.”

“Take care, man. I’ll keep you posted.”

I saw Paul’s car pull away from me, the tires tearing the ground down to open up an abyss full of despair, sorrow and discouragement.

The destination is on your left. (Um..So, where do I park?!)

Response to Daily prompt : I got skills

If you could choose to be a master (or mistress) of any skill in the world, which skill would you pick?

Mental navigational ability! That is the one I would want to be the mistress of! I swear I can never remember routes! I am terrible at remembering the simple usual route that we take almost every time we go grocery shopping or to the restaurants. Even if I am walking to a certain place which I have been to before, I have to memorize the route from Google maps before hand or have it noted down on paper with me. Also I need to know before hand the details about the entrance to the parking area of a certain place I am going to, to be able to drive there. Hello?! The GPS doesn’t tell you that! Almost 95% of the times my husband who is like a breathing GPS, rides shotgun with me and acts as the navigator.  And its the same in every country I have been in. In India its still a bit easier since I have grown up there and I can easily travel to the places that I have been to a thousand times. Besides, navigation would never work in India! Okay, digressing now.

Once I was in Glasgow, UK – a brand new place – with no husband to navigate me. You can imagine the chaos that resulted. It took me a walk of about 45 minutes to reach an Indian restaurant which was just a15 min walk from my hotel! And yes, I still am totally embarrassed!

So, if I could choose to be a master of any skill in the world, I would choose to master the art of mental navigation or road navigation skills.

Ancora Imparo

Hi all! This post, again, is in response to A writer’s path‘s prompt on Ten Quote Tuesday –

  • Have a scene with an unorganized interior decorator.

Ancora Imparo

Ever since Mark proposed, my parents’ happiness and excitement over getting their only daughter married knew no bounds. My dad immediately plunged into the property market and my mom is digging into reams of wedding plans! And now I have to attend meetings to okay starter courses and interior designing of our new home! Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to be getting to married to Mark, I love him! But my idea of marriage was a little bit less hectic than my parents’ version. On my way to the interior decorator’s, I listed out bullet points on the list of things that I would have done differently to have a simple , chaos-free wedding.

I checked the time and saw that I was 5 minutes early for my appointment as I always plan for every meeting of mine. Lydia Wyatt was the interior decorator to go to, according to my Mom, Mark’s mom and few friends of mine. With this high recommendation, my expectations from Lydia were expectedly quite high. I envisioned an impeccable woman with a sophisticated dressing sense and a portfolio in her arms, just as they show on TV. I planned on telling her, how Mark and I wanted our home to be – contemporary modern, yet simple and comfortable. I looked forward to all the ideas that she would recommend to me.

Excited by the prospects of doing up our new home and living in it, I pushed open the door to Lydia’s downtown studio and waited in the foyer for someone to receive me. I could see the entire place from where I was standing and I was dumbfounded for a minute. The whole place was in disarray. Files were strewn across on the tables and on the floor. Curtain samples were draped haphazardly on a pipe placed on doors. Pictures of designs for the living room, bedroom, etc. were stacked on the chair, few of which had tumbled down on the floor. Pens and markers were lying on the design kept open on one of the tables. A calendar was tacked behind the chair with appointments marked on a few dates, my name was written in a green marker. Feeling my vision of a perfect interior decorator drowning in the chaos of the studio, I brought my gaze back to the wall of the foyer. A simple plaque stood hanging with the words –

Art is never finished, only abandoned.
― Leonardo da Vinci

Oh yeah! I could see all that was finished and abandoned in the studio! Such shabbiness! And to top it all off, there was no Lydia to receive me at the time of my appointment. I cannot stand tardiness and I never make my appointments wait for me, so this was obviously infuriating me. For a minute I thought I had come to the wrong address for I could not fathom anyone recommending such an unorganized person! Just as I was contemplating on calling it off, I heard someone running up the steps. A 30-something woman wearing a camisole and cutoffs came towards me extending her hand.

Hello there! I am Lydia. You must be Esmeralda, your mother called and set up an appointment. I apologize for not being here at the appointed time. I had a job to do a garden for one of my clients and I lost track of time tending to the Hydrangea. But no worries, we are here now and we’ll get right on to designing your home. I have a few ideas spread open on my desk. Why don’t you come in and we’ll have a look?”.

I thought of different answers to looking at the design to my home with markers and dusting rags on it, as she rambled on about the designs. Biting my lip I shook her hand

Nice to meet you and its Esmè.”

My hand came away from hers and a bit of dirt was smeared on mine. Seeing my aghast expression, Lydia mumbled an “oops” and thrust a sanitizer bottle towards me. This was the last straw. I cleaned my hands with the sanitizer and blurted out-

Lydia, I don’t think we are going to work out. I am sure you are good, but our styles don’t seem to match. I apologize for taking up your time. I’ll see myself out.

Lydia seemed surprised at first, but then a look of understanding crossed her face. Smiling, she nodded. Feeling relieved, I raised my hand to wave a goodbye before backing out of the studio. She caught me at the door and said,

You know, when Da Vinci painted the famous Last Supper, he had his hands, arms as well as his tunic full of paint. And when people questioned his art, he used to say – Nothing can be loved or hated unless it is first understood.

Winking at me, she closed the door to the studio.

I relayed the morning’s events to my mom including Lydia’s cheeky comment. I had expected my mom sympathizing with me and apologizing for recommending the wrong decorator, instead she was reprimanding me for walking out on Lydia! She got a few magazines and photographs and ordered me to have a look. The pictures were of homes with beautiful furnishings and elegant colors, exquisite artwork – all that I would want in my home. The styles of the rooms ranged from sumptuously lush to strictly tailored, that emphasized crisp execution, commonsense comforts, and brisk organization. The designs could almost be the handiwork of the Billy Baldwin of the 21st century! And the decorator was listed as Lydia Wyatt! I found it difficult to relate this clean and organized work with Lydia.

Realizing that I had let appearances deceive me, I wanted to give Lydia another chance. Her comment about Da Vinci rang in my ears, as I climbed the steps to her studio for the second time that day. This time she greeted me at the door dressed in an impeccable suit, with a friendly welcoming smile on her face. Embarassment filled me at how I had treated her, but yet I asked –

You never told me what Michelangelo used to say..?”

Shaking my hand with a clean manicured palm she smirked and said –

Ancora imparo – which means I am still learning

Write your own

It’s great seeing you all on this side of 2015! Wish you a very happy new year again! My first post of 2015 is in response to the weekly post – Ten quote Tuesday by the writer’s path. The post is a little late (life keeps happening!) but better than not. With this post I wish that we all write our own 2015 😉

I used the prompt –

  • Start your scene with this line: I found life’s instruction manual.

girlreading

I found life’s instruction manual….! I couldn’t believe my eyes! I had found life’s instruction manual!!! A brief slide show of my life’s most difficult moments passed through my vision and I felt a great sense of elation….elation of finding answers to all that went wrong with all those moments. I am a big day-dreamer and as such I started building castles in the air of how I would build up my castle of life by gathering all the sands of strength and purpose and achieve a foundation of fortitude. I saw my heart floating lightly on the balcony of my castle, free of remorse, guilt and grief.

Feeling slightly happy I gathered my crumbling self and sat down on the floor with my back resting against the wall. My hands held the book reverently in my lap. It was a sturdy book, a little worn on the sides due to age but still quite new. And it was quite heavy too. A pair of cerulean blue eyes looked over at you from the cover picture. If I looked at them I felt a myriad of feelings within them…sometimes compassion, pity, remorse, anger, determination, joy and love! I opened the book and in the centre of the page was the text –

“If you have found this book, this book was your destiny. Use it well.”

Yes! I thought! This book IS MY destiny! I couldn’t wait any longer to gorge on the ambrosial words in the book. I turned the page but the next page was blank. I turned this one, too but the next was blank, too. A little more than disappointed, that was starting to drown out my earlier enthusiasm, I flipped through the pages of the book and discovered that the whole book was blank.

I sat there stunned as though having lost heaven through my fingers. I felt my walls collapsing and loss, despair and hurt flooded my heart and leaked out through my eyes. As I was starting to curse destiny, the last page of the book fell open in my lap and it read –

“This is your life, your destiny. Write your own.”

The words like swords pierced through my despair and touched my soul. I could sit dwelling in the life that was dealt to me or I could look forward to something I could make for myself. Life has been hard until now, but I hadn’t done much to improve its quality other than mope and wallow. The words gave me a new lease of life. I can still have my castle, my answers, my joy! They will all be my own! And I don’t have to depend on anybody else to get all those! As I contemplated on the possible morrow, I felt my heart get lighter and a smile linger on my face.

With a new-found fervour, I picked up a pen and wrote down the first line out of many more to come…

“This is my life, my destiny. I will write my own”

-Sheetal

photo courtesy: Google free images