War and Pieces #Barathon Day 4

I’m using this picture and creating a Toy Story kind of poem for the prompt:

My beauty cast a spell on him

He brought me home for her

She smiled at me and hugged me tight

A love, I knew like no other

The sun takes time to call it a day

But I hadn’t the luxury of an hour

Soon enough I was forgotten, thrown, mishandled

Any wonder all over I feel scarred?

She dressed me up and dressed me down

Just when and where she pleased

The queen looked on in great despair

As she tortured me and teased

Today, I knew it was the end of me

Between the prince and princess

They showed no mercy and tore me apart

Their war had led me to pieces. 

This post has been written as a part of #Barathon on Blog-A-Rhythm

Today’s prompt: War and Pieces

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Of Ice and Men #Barathon Day 3

Mita’s workplace ensured that there wasn’t a dull moment around her. True, the occasional dry lulls made her cringe, retrospect at her career choice and wonder whether enraging her entire household to do what she felt was a perfectly normal thing for her, was really worth it. Today wasn’t one of those days.

Much to the dismay of her parents, as a child Mita was curiously drawn to the neon lights of a bar close to their house. It hadn’t downed its shutters even after continued efforts of the residents of the area. While Mita’s father reprimanded her if she even walked past it, on one occasion when the front door was left open she had observed in amazement a bartender performing some incredible fire tricks.

She had her heart set on it then and there. She wanted to do it too. Taking her parents’ threats and warnings of disowning her and not funding her education on her chin she went ahead and got certified. Mita was now a pretty girl who could rock even her drab bartender attire.

Standing against the backdrop of an assorted collection of shiny international labels and beautifully arranged colourful bottles, in stark contrast the bar counter she was currently working at looked overused and unkempt. She looked harried and slightly overwhelmed herself. Some India vs Pakistan cricket match was playing on the huge LCD screen inside and people had gathered there is hordes to watch it.

“Can I get a Vodka Martini please?” a female voice asked Mita as she took a moment off to press her fingertips against her temples which were throbbing with all the commotion. Immediately, she turned back. The lady was polite and a regular fixture at their lounge bar but hardly ever spoke more than a few words. Mita was surprised with her choice of drink today. Didn’t she always order a diet coke?

As she handed her the drink, Mita noticed that the lady wasn’t escorted today like always and had a deep cut on her lip. As if aware of it the lady blurted out, “I wonder how you survive in this man’s world. You’re so pretty. Don’t people come on to you, especially in a place like this? I bet they feel entitled. Ask me!” Absent-mindedly she brought the ice-cold glass near her lip and touched it there momentarily.

Mita half-smiled and said, “Ma’am, I’ve been doing this for almost a year now. I hear stories about lost love and broken hearts every day, every hour. I’m not sure if I can handle it. Of ice and men which one is colder, I have yet to figure out. Until I do, I have my uninhibited candour, karate and pepper spray to take care of myself. You must try it too. It’s awesome!”

This post has been written as a part of #Barathon on Blog-A-Rhythm

Today’s prompt: Of Ice and Men

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Life of Pie #Barathon Day 2

She hated herself. She hated her parents. She hated everyone! What had she done to deserve this? Why did she have to pay the price for someone else’s doing? If not then, they sure could’ve consulted her on this later on?

Her name, and also her nick name, was Pie. It so happened that her mother was baking a Pumpkin pie when she went into labour. In addition to that, at twelve pounds Pie was a beautiful and round-like-a-pie baby. Both her parents had a sweet tooth and having heard the story behind naming of Apple Computers they felt it would be kind of quirky and innovative to name her after their favourite dessert. Sigh! 

Pie spent her entire childhood being picked upon by her friends for her different name. She disliked it so much that for the longest time she refused to have pie! Her mother tried to cajole her that it signified that she was sweet and desirable but she would have none of it. As she grew up she considered getting her name changed officially but the love and happiness of her parents stopped her in the tracks. 😦

It was all in the past now though. After assisting her ailing mother with her still pouring-in baking orders, over time Pie developed a deep liking for baking. Her daringly inventive methods of subtly mixing flavours and creating designs while maintaining the traditional festive charm soon made her a famous name. Pie, the food as well as her name, didn’t seem so bad anymore.

She had maintained a food blog for four years and finally decided to graduate to her own domain. Sitting in front of her computer, Pie was now looking at the design of her swanky new website. Christmas, Easter, birthdays or anniversaries, she had something to offer for every occasion. It was an extension of her, her dream, and it was only fitting to call it lifeofpie.com. 🙂

This post has been written as a part of #Barathon on Blog-A-Rhythm

Today’s prompt: Life of Pie

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The Fault in our Stares #Barathon Day 1

They sometimes talk too much

And sometimes, tad too little

They are comforting on occasion

And on other times, commit treason

The look in a hungry child’s eyes

At the sight of a morsel of food

Or the naughty way to suggest

That tonight, I’m in the mood

Stealing deliberate glances at someone

Who currently rules over our heart

Or putting an argument to rest

With a look to tear the other one apart

It can be used to discipline anyone

Without raising a finger or word

It is a compliment if you make it one

Or makes one’s thoughts a sort of discord

We may as well call it ‘the fault in our stares’

For a person judges us by mere look

The world isn’t made of black or white

So think once, the person needn’t be a crook.

This post has been written as a part of #Barathon on Blog-A-Rhythm

Today’s prompt: The Fault in our Stares

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Tears of #gratitude, because of her

Life is the best teacher. It teaches us the most profound lessons in the most unusual circumstances and in the simplest ways. When some things are easily at our disposal, we often tend to overlook their significance and it takes no less than a rude reality check to make us wake up to the gratitude we must feel for what we’ve been blessed with.

I, for one, got a taste of one such thing recently. A Jr’s school reopened this week after a long and seemingly never-ending summer vacation. On his first day the rain Gods seemed like they had gone into hiding in fear of the stubborn sun who had taken it upon himself to burn us all down, sooner than later.

While A Jr looked decent in his cap, I and Angel cutely resembled gun-wielding terrorists in our goggled, face-covered and scarved look. No one else does that, I wonder why I do it! Anyway, not knowing where his new class would be, I unknowingly parked my scooter at the far-end school gate and we had to walk down in the sun to the other side.

While dropping him off, the rush of making sure he gets in on time, running into known faces and basically dodging the justifiably confused crowd, I didn’t even realise the heat and briefly, paid no attention to Angel who was resting silently on my shoulder. However, while coming back, the hot air hit us in the face and made me run for cover, pronto.

Angel clung on to me tightly, meekly mumbling, ‘Ma, ta ta lag raha hai’ (Mom, I’m feeling hot.) and refused to look up. I remorsefully wrapped her safely in my scarf such that she wasn’t even slightly exposed to the sun and literally ran to my scooter, which was thankfully parked in the shade.

As I was putting her down, my gaze went to a beggar woman sitting in the shade of a tree on the other side of the road with a baby sleeping in her lap. The heat didn’t seem to bother her, nor was she trying to shield her baby from it like I was. As she robotically aired it with the corner of her dirty ragged sari, she seemed to be present somewhere else. Nothing of her surroundings mattered to her.

I don’t know why, but this scene hit me very badly. I quietly came back home after that but just couldn’t get it off my mind all day. When A got home that evening I narrated this whole incident to him and involuntarily burst into tears while doing it. I had a home and air-conditioner to come back to. I had means to make life comfortable for my kids. Had I ever felt any gratitude for it? No! 😦 😦

Can we imagine how people who live on the streets or even who are financially less-fortunate go about their lives? Have we ever thought what such parents go through when their kids want something and they don’t have the means to provide it? Parental love doesn’t belong to any economic stratum, does it? Shouldn’t we take a moment to thank God for showering us with his choicest blessings?

Celebrations and Food

Expressions are tricky business. For some people conveying their thoughts and feelings in the right manner is challenging while there are some who are at a loss of displaying that they acknowledge and accept what others do for them. A belongs to the second type.

This Saturday was A’s birthday and, as one would expect, the celebrations started much before the weekend did and extended till, well, this morning. As always I was super-excited about making it a memorable experience for him and had involved A Jr closely since the planning stage. Where to go, what to do and which place to dine in, we had it all figured out.

However, one can trust A to pour cold water over our spirited birthday mood by refusing to step out anywhere and insisting that we keep it quiet and simple. Not just that, he subtly pointed out that posting a lovey-dovey (or otherwise, too) birthday message for him on social media was tacky and he would like me not to indulge in any kind of PDA. Sigh! 😦

Not the one to let the birthday boy down, I adhered to everything he wanted. His birthday was a strictly family affair where we all sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to him at midnight and fed each other cupcake, I made his favourite dishes and we all had a lovely time together at home; eating, watching movies and lazing around in each other’s company.

I couldn’t resist posting the pictures of my food on Instagram though (as always 😛 ). For people who don’t follow me there, here they are. I’m allowed to do this much, right? I’m sure A won’t mind.

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Red velvet cupcakes

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Scrambled eggs with lots of veggies stuffed in mix herbs bread loaf and Barbecue Nachos. Don’t miss the cute mug I got him. 😀

 

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Vanilla ice-cream with chocolate sauce and cranberries

 

Why mothers are called the first teachers

Long serpentine queues.

Designated counters.

Questions and answers.

Confusions and confirmations.

Anxious and harried parents.

Kids dragged and/or saved from being crushed.

No, this isn’t the picture of any fish market or any teeming railway platform; however admittedly, it is reminiscent of the two to a great extent.

The first time I went for A Jr’s admission to his ‘big school’, the disturbing scene I shared above welcomed me rudely and took me aback. Here I was, a 3 year old cranky boy in tow, with all documents and cheques in place but slightly overwhelmed and rather clueless with the hurried activity around that place. Everyone was there for the same reason, what was the need to be so impatient?

Every year since then it is the same people (well, mostly) and the same sight. Whole families seem to take a holiday for the ‘big day’ to disperse expertly and hog an enviable position in the line at the admission, school-bags, books, shoes, etc counters. The authoritative air around them is unmistakable as they victoriously zoom past sweating late-coming losers like me.

I almost feel dejected when I have to do it all alone. As I kid myself about hiring someone to do the waiting for me there is always some heavyset lady who despite her massive frame manages to jostle her way ahead of me. One would expect me to protest but when it comes to big ladies with scary eyes I’m, humbly, at best a lousy dissenter.

This year A Jr entered the fourth grade and I reckoned he was old enough to be responsible for his own stuff now. So while I waited to get his uniform, I handed him the cash to get his books set. The boy happily grabbed Angel by her finger, secured the money in his other hand and marched towards his destination feeling all matured and important. The set was heavy for the new portion, but yes, he carried it back and measured the change correctly too.

That was a moment of pride for me as I didn’t see any other parent or child taking notice of this possibility or arrangement. My little boy had not only agreed to do something I asked him to but had also helped save time and effort, all the while keeping a close protective tab on his baby sister. When I asked if he would like to do this henceforth, he simply shrugged and said ‘Ok’. When did he grow up so much? Where did all that time go? Did I miss something?

This experience was also a revelation as I observed that children were more organised and well-mannered than their respective elders. Do we parents need to do everything for them even after they grow up? Can’t we let them be accountable and take charge of their lives while we take a step back and supervise when required? Wouldn’t it be a valuable experience and life lesson for them? Shouldn’t schools suggest and encourage children to get more practical training?