Too tired to come up with a title (Marathon blogging day 14)

I ran. Fast. Out of breath. Lungs bursting. Legs hitting the earth. I thudded up the path, around the corner, right up the stairs and reached the door. I flung it open and ……………..

 

…encountered that familiar smell again. Oh dear God, the watchman was right. I really had messed up this time.  It wasn’t the first time that this had happened, but it seemed to have hit a new high this time. As long as my sweet but overly alert and mildly inquisitive landlady didn’t get to know of it, I was ok.

Like many times before, the milk had been kept to boil on the stove…. and conveniently forgotten; only to cause much inconvenience after it had boiled over and spilled  all over the stove and the kitchen counter.  This time the milk-boiling-over situation had reached a new level. I was out on my evening walk when it  happened.  Absent-mindedness was at its best  thanks to the completely warped work-life balance that had caused a serious degree of mental exhaustion that compromised the short-term memory.

The spilling milk had exhausted the stove fire and a mix of leaking LPG and (nearly condensed) milk permeated the air. The smell was so strong that it  had wafted downstairs  and  reached the laid-back watchman. It stir him out of his inertia and he alerted me when I took a second round around the block and crossed the house.  Fingers crossed, I ran up the stairs. This better not be very bad, I said to myself, else you are in big trouble. It was bad. The house stank, there was milk all over. But at least it hadn’t lead to a more serious situation.

All windows were opened and fans were run on full blast to quickly rid the house of the smell. The landlady didn’t come up to inquire  and I was saved ten well-intentioned but tedious questions. After a lot of wiping and mopping all traces of the spill were gone and I headed off for my walk again- this time in the direction of the Mother Dairy.

 

NB:

  1. Marathon blogger,  I am very late on this. Please bear with me for this. And for the terribly unimaginative e story is terrible!
  2. Story inspired by daily life. The milk boiling over is  a regular feature of my life.

 

 

 

The bench

The bench was originally meant for the constables stationed at the run-down traffic police booth under the fly over. For years he had used it and they had let him. Like clock work he appeared at six in the evening, sat on the bench and watching the flowing traffic till night fell and it became hard for him to see.

He left his house at a fixed hour each day and walked towards his favourite bench. With each passing year his pace became slower, the steps more painful and the distance longer. In spite of the deteriorating physical condition, he never let go of his routine. No one really understood why a man his age walked all that distance to sit on an oddly-placed bench, wordlessly watching the traffic, ignoring everything and everyone else around him. He knew no one really could understand why he did that.

To others it was a mindless activity but to him it filled a void. Peopling zipping past meant that they were in a hurry to reach somewhere.  If they were driving that fast at 6 pm in all probability it implied that they were in a hurry to get back home. Home- a place where loving families eagerly awaited the return of their family members. A place filled with happiness, love and laughter. A place where people felt at peace.   If their homes didn’t possess these features, they wouldn’t be in a rush to get back, would they? They would then be like him- alone, unwanted and unhappy.

At his advanced age all he wanted was a loving family. He knew that was something he wasn’t going to get. He wished his children loved him and cared for him as much as his wife had. But they didn’t. And he had learnt to live with that. That’s why he spent so many hours watching traffic. It made him think of happier families and for some reason beyond logic, it offered him solace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture credit-Google Images

Note: as usual,this is a reality-inspired story.

The girl

This was where her toys used to be kept. This was where she used to sleep. Fights with her brother would occur here. Her loving mother would cook her favourite meals in this very place.

Reduced to a large heap of rubble by the City Municipality, this is where her whole life used to be.

Note- The story is again inspired by reality. But this time I have managed with exactly 55 words. Finally.

Joy ride

She thought he was a friendly colleague. He though she was a colleague who could be turned into more than a friend.

Her naivety was the reason he could take her for a ride. She knew better now. No matter what the repercussions, she was going to bring this “joy ride” to a halt. May be he didn’t realise it but the happiness of his wife and child depended on it.

Note: People, I have managed to write this one in 70 words, but I want you guys to tell me if you are able to understand what I am trying to say ..So bring on the comments please!

Soon ..very soon..

Ouch!!!” she yelled in pain, almost losing her balance. This was the second time in as many minutes that she had stubbed her toe.  If she kept walking like this, she would need to forget about going home and head to the doctor’s clinic instead.

The road -or what was left of it – was littered with assorted, rough-edged stones, chucks of tar coal and discarded pavers. Forgetting her pain for a minute, she smiled to herself “BMC has dug up everything!! Surely the monsoon is on its way!”

Note: I managed to write this one in 88 words. Better than last time! 😀

There are threads of fact in this piece of fiction too. ( I will evnetually move to an all-out fiction..just like I will one day write within 55 words! :P) In case you think I am kidding you, I suggest you visit our city and see the wonderful state of the roads for yourself!

Fight for 55

Like I mentioned in the last post, a friend suggested I should try my hand writing fiction. Then yesterday Bruf asked me if I would like to try my hand at 55 fiction and I though to myself “Why not? How hard can it be?”  Turns out, pretttty hard!

Before I began writing,I dug out some history on Fiction 55. I needed to know the exact rules of this new game. Wikipedi, as always, came in handy.

The origin of 55 fiction can be traced to a short story writing contest organised by New Times , an independent alternative weekly in San Luis Obispo in 1987.

A literary work will be considered 55 Fiction if it has:

  1. Fifty-five words or less (A non-negotiable rule)
  2. A setting,
  3. One or more characters,
  4. Some conflict, and
  5. A resolution. (Not limited to moral of the story)

Many new versions of the 55 Fiction have started to modify on the rules by either ignoring the rule to include conflict, or basing it on a true incident and dramatising it.

So here’s my first attempt at 55 fiction. You are not allowed to laugh! ( ok , you can laugh, but I better not hear ya!). Indulge me for a bit folks. Oh! Before we go on to the story, I may as well tell you that I dint manage to tie it all up in 55 words. I used 94. Hopefully I’ll be better next time around.

“Its your fault!” ” No! its your’s!”

The high pitched shrieking voices and the banging on the door became unbearable. She had to do something to make it stop or she’d go out of her mind.

She opened the door to give the nuisance- aka the neighbour’s kids an earful. They were getting worse by the day. She opened her front door to find them kicking the door, yelling at each other. They spotted her and stopped immediately. She raised her eyebrows in question. They replied sheepishly “Sorry aunty, we have locked ourselves out!”

Rain drops

She woke up at six in the morning. The wind was billowing outside. The rain was tip-tapping at her window and the sky was still dark. Taking care to not awaken any of the other members in the family, she quietly opened her cupboard, pulled out her favourite cream coloured sari along with her matching hand-knitted sweater, soft Kullu shawl and socks. Dressing quickly, she softly opened the door to her balcony and stepped out into the light rain.

Feeling the sharp chill in the air, she wrapped the shawl tightly around herself. Leisurely she walked around the periphery of the balcony, enjoying the rain, watching the deep orange sun rise slowly at the horizon and hearing the birds chirping in the early morning hours. After spending 20 minutes or so absorbing nature’s beauty around her, she slowly walked back inside her room to find her son standing there, frowning and looking a little upset. He looked at her wet socks and chappals and the droplets of rain water clinging to her shawl. Disapprovingly he said ” Amma-ji you should not venture out by yourself so early in the morning. It is cold and dark, and it’s raining too. You have to be careful at your age. What if you had slipped and fallen?”

She replied “I wanted to enjoy the rain. It was beautiful. You missed it.” Saying so she smiled gently.  Her heart-felt smile dissolved his annoyance in an instant.

At 90 her enthusiasm for life often surprised her middle-aged son. He spent most of his time in high rise buildings, sitting through top-management meetings, taking key decisions for his company. He rarely had the time to appreciate the small, beautiful things in life. He knew they existed but it was hard for him to slow down and really look at them. His mother’s child-like enthusiasm about the smallest and simplest things in life made sure that every now and then he would step back, pause and view things from an entirely different point of view. Her point of view.

His mother was a refreshing change from his monotonous, almost drudgerous life. She helped him see beauty. She helped him see the bright side of life. She helped him appreciate things that held the capacity of giving true happiness. He was grateful for all of that. He wished that he had inherited some of his mother’s enthusiasm.

Note: This is a slightly fictionalized version of a real life incident that I encountered. I don’t know how I will fare as age catches on. But I know this for sure, I would like to be like Amma-ji – genuinely happy, enjoying the joys of  each passing day and spreading cheerfulness all around. (At least I hope I will be like this!)

This was my 100th post. I spent a lot of time thinking about what to write but couldn’t come up with anything worthwhile. I didn’t want to do another post mentioning how things at office were. Or how strangely cold Mumbai had become this season. Or any of the other mundane things in my life. I wanted to write about something deeper, more profound but couldn’t find anything. And then this incident came along. It just had to be recorded.