Expectations

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“No one remembers,” thought Liz, when she opened the door and saw the gifts.

There were three meticulously wrapped boxes and she wondered who had sent those. When she looked around hopefully, she saw no one.

She began to unwrap the boxes and smiled at each thoughtful gift. Three gifts from three lovers, but none from her husband, she pondered sadly.

This post is in response to the Saturday fiction prompt on the Write Tribe WhatsApp group. The prompt is:

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Independence

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The rains were bountiful that summer. Every part of the city was flooded. 8-year-old Aman looked out of his window and was happy at the sight. He soon set about making some paper boats.

Pleased with what he made, he opened the door. The floods hadn’t entered their home. He knew if the rains continued unabated, then they would need to move upstairs.

Aman kneeled and put one of his boats in the water. It soon set sail. He beamed as he watched it and set the next one in.

“Can I play with you?” he heard a voice behind him. Looking back, he saw it was their new neighbor who had moved in a couple of days before. His shorts were wet – he had waded through the water to reach Aman.

“Sure. It’ll be fun!” Aman gladly extended a couple of boats to his new friend.

The boy hesitated. Aman stretched his hands again.

“Can you put the boats down?” the boy asked.

Aman was confused but placed the boats down. He watched the boy use the fingers on his feet to put the boats in the water. Aman was awed by this skill and a grin formed in his mouth.

The grin vanished when he noticed that the boy didn’t have both hands. Aman vacantly looked at the happy and contented face of the boy.

“Why did you stop? Come, let’s race our boats!” the boy said excitedly.

The Nest of Songbirds

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When she moved from the orphanage to her new home, Deborah liked it instantly courtesy the songbirds and their nest on a tree overlooking the window of her room. But it was the rainy season and she worried for the safety of the birds.

A couple of days after she had moved, Deborah heard a thud outside the window. The nest had fallen on the road because the tree was being felled remorselessly.

Her helpless gaze was met by a cold stare from the contractor.

This post is in response to the Saturday fiction prompt on the Write Tribe WhatsApp group. The prompt is:

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If we were having coffee…

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If we were having coffee – dear coffee,
I would just look at you longingly,
And then talk about what you and I talk;
Of my dark passenger and the not so dark.

In the company of cakes or biscuits,
I’ll open my heart for you.
We’ll discuss days and nights,
Of good tidings and bad ones.

We will also talk about you, dear coffee;
How you taste and how you should;
How the biscuits go well with you;
How you make love in my mouth.

The biscuits and cakes now done;
Just a little sip of you left.
Lightly stirring, you wish me well,
Until we meet again another evening.

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6. The theme for Day 7 is ‘If we were  having coffee…….’

The Blue Butterfly – An Interview

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He is a blogger extraordinaire, writes stories with twists that leave you spellbound and pens poetry weaving an imagery that is truly beautiful. He is a published author – he has been part of two anthologies. His review of Ruskin Bond’s Book of Verse was picked up by Narrow Road in their latest edition. He is a great person to be with, though I have spent only a couple of hours with him. He is a good friend, very down-to-earth and is also a passionate Manchester United fan.

Many of you know him. Presenting Vinay Leo as part of the prompt to feature a guest on the Write Tribe Festival of Words. Vinay was gracious to accede to an interview. Here is what he had to say:

Can you tell us about the first ever story/poem you wrote?

My first poem was borne of boredom. A free period in class, and I was doodling. A butterfly came into the classroom, and settled down near my desk. I wrote a verse about that blue butterfly, and my co-ordinator, who came in just then, took the sheet from my hand. She read it, she loved it, and she encouraged me to write more poems for inter-school contests. Thus began a love for verse.

Your blog is titled ‘I Rhyme Without Reason’- where did you get the inspiration for this title?

I don’t remember, to be honest. I would rhyme often back in those days. I was part of a group blog of writers. We had poetry contests, and we’d post random verses we wrote. At times, we would even reply to each other’s poems with a poem. I didn’t need a reason to write or to rhyme. So I concocted the title. Since then, I have tried changing the title, but somehow, this has stuck.

Do people and things around you inspire the characters/events in your stories/poems?

Of course they do. Life can be a muse. Things around me, or events that happen in my life, observing people and relationships… these inadvertently lend a touch to my stories or poems. Nuances make a difference. The stories may not be theirs directly though.

What is more difficult – writing a story or a poem, and why?

Both are equally difficult. A verse should be simple enough to charm the reader and yet, it could have some depth in that simplicity too. A fiction should be engaging, be it 55 words, or 5555 words. I don’t think there’s anything such as a perfect story, but it’s good to try and find “near perfection”.

You have been blogging for 11 years now – which year has been the best and why?

Ah. I don’t know. Each have had their moments, each have had their lows. How can they be compared? Thankfully, with each post, or with each year, my writing seems to improve. I’ve felt so, and some of my friends and readers have felt so too. I think, in the end, that’s what matters.

Here’s wishing Vinay all the very best not just for his future writing endeavors but also generally. It has been a pleasure to feature you on my blog. Thank you, Vinay!

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6. The theme for Day 6 is ‘Feature a guest – a guest post / an interview’

A Father’s Letter

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Dearest Kichu & Kunju,

When you read this letter one day, I’m sure you will understand what I’m trying to say.

The two of you are undoubtedly passionate. I’ve seen it when you are playing with toys, engaging in fights with each other or listening to the stories I tell you. I want you to sustain this passion for as long as you can. You will be living in an era where technology will rule the roost. Amidst all the hullabaloo of the future, be good human beings. There’s only so much technology can do; it cannot, however, be compassionate. Help people when they need it and help selflessly. I feel that being helping and humane is going to be a great asset as we move forward in world. Have passion in compassion!

Both of you are ambitious – do reach for the stars. But don’t forget that life is not about the marks you secure or the grades you attain or the designation of your job. Life is about contributing to the world. Don’t think your contributions are zero – everyone does bits and pieces to make this world a better place. It’s the little drops of water that make the mighty ocean. So, whatever you turn out to be, always believe that you are contributing.

I know both of you like elephants a lot. I want you to understand that life is like an elephant. You feel intimidated by it sometimes. You feel it’s gentle at others. The important thing is not to be afraid of it. Adore it, embrace it, but be always in control of what you are trying to do. There may be stages when you feel life is unkind – that’s where you need to cultivate patience and bide those times. Treat the good times and bad times alike – nothing’s going to be permanent. Be happy always. And when you do feel down, you will always have your mother and me to talk to.

The famous German writer and poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once remarked:

“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.”

Never forget your roots even as you soar high with your wings. Stay blessed, my sons!

Love
Achan

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6. The theme for Day 5 is ‘Write a letter’

The Missing Plate

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Morning

Grandpa was morose. Navya asked her mother what the problem was.

“We can’t find his favorite plate. It has vanished!”

“What? That cannot be!” exclaimed Navya as she ran to the kitchen. She joined in a frantic search for the plate but it was nowhere. She let out a groan.

Grandma tried to console Grandpa but to no avail. He sat poring over a book, pretending to read.

Navya’s brother Tushar too tried to get some life out of Grandpa but he wouldn’t flinch.

Breakfast was somber. The home felt like someone had died.

Afternoon

The whole morning they searched every nook and cranny of their home for the missing plate. Everyone was tired.

“Are you sure you kept it at the usual place after you had washed it?” Navya asked the maid even as she prepared to serve lunch for the family.

“Yes, it was there when I left last evening” the maid responded.

Grandpa refused to have lunch. He was becoming difficult. Dad and Mom tried to convince Grandpa to eat something in a different plate for the day.

“You wouldn’t talk like that if you knew the history of the plate!” Grandpa retorted.

Lunch was also a low-key affair. Tushar and Navya knew that they had to find the plate soon.

Grandma recalled how the plate was a gift from her brother for their wedding forty years back. It was a story everybody had heard many times. With the plate gone, there was a sadness to her voice.

Night

Tushar and Navya went about searching the house for the umpteenth time. They looked under tables, inside cupboards and even the garden. No, that plate had indeed vanished.

Grandpa had been in bed since lunch. Grandma was beside him. Dad and Mom were getting worried by the hour.

Their dog Bailey had also been acting strange. He seemed like he was in pain. When Navya touched his jaw, he showed a lot of discomfort. Tushar was bemused as well. They now had another thing to worry about other than Grandpa’s missing plate.

They followed Bailey into their parents’ room. Once there, he began chewing something. Tushar and Navya exchanged glances. They stealthily got behind the dog and looked over. To their astonishment, he was chewing on Grandpa’s plate! No wonder they couldn’t find it and no wonder the dog’s jaw was paining, Navya wondered.

She swiftly grabbed the plate from the dog and ran to Grandpa. Bailey woofed like he had lost the bone he was playing with.

“We found your plate, Grandpa. We found it!” she exclaimed.

Grandpa was thrilled beyond words. He seized the plate from Navya and announced that he was hungry.

Mom went into the kitchen and cooked up some delicious dishes. Dinner turned out to be a hearty affair. How the day had turned!

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6. The theme for Day 4 is ‘Feature a day in your life or someone else’s life’