The Valentines Day Gift!

It was their first Valentine's day together. Chandan had already picked a designer watch for Payal - it didn't need much of a thought considering she has been sporting a humble HMT watch for the few months he has known her.

They were engaged to be married in few months - a typical arranged marriage they stepped about awkwardly around each other . Chandan considered Payal a bit too 'rustic' for his taste - but she had a gusto for life that never failed to charm him. Just last weekend, he had whisked her away to his apartment for a impromptu date - he rustled up the only dish he could fix with some aplomb - pancake doused with his favourite Hershey's sauce.  But the way her eyes danced with glee as she took her first ever bite of pancakes was a delight to watch - Haa the small joys of life that he relived through her.....

Valentines day happened to fall in midst of a busy work day for Chandan - as he hopped from one meeting to another, he received a call from the reception desk informing him about a parcel. He was excited to see that it was from Payal - thou was a wee bit disappointed when he unpacked it and saw a bottle of Hershey's chocolate sauce along with the regular mushy mushy Archies card. Never a ardent fan of mushy mushy things, Chandan skimmed through the card - but his eyes slowly popped out as he read the last line in the card - "I can think of much more delectable places than pancake to douse the chocolate sauce with.... Let your imagination soar ;)". He was blushing so much that he had cover his face with his hands as he lifted the phone to call her....

Picture Credit: MorgueFile (

This part-fiction was written as this week’s prompt at Write Tribe.

Write Tribe Prompt

Ring the Bell - Child Marriages!

This piece of fiction is written in response to Indibloggers "Ring the Bell" cause.

68.9 percent of the marriages in Bihar involve girls below the age of 18! You can be a part of the change by telling us how YOU will Ring The Bell, and inspiring your readers to do the same. What action will you take to bring violence against women to a halt? Blog about your experiences, your intentions, and make a promise! 

 Blog about the "Ring the Bell" cause, and for every 50 entries received, One lakh INR will be donated towards training self-help groups, community-based organizations and youth in the state of Bihar.


She was married to a forest officer for more than 10 years now. The postings were invariably in  dense
jungles with no signs of humanity in vicinity. In initial days of marriage - the virgin nature, verdant greens everywhere, the peeking of deers, peacock n other species from just across the lawn delighted her senses. But soon lack of human contact coupled with lack of technology crippled her lifestyle!

The idea of moving back to her hometown where she could pursue a meaningful career has stuck her quite often. But she has seen instances where forest officers- out of sheer loneliness - have taken in the wives of their cook\gardner\housekeeper  as concubines - the horror of it playing out in her own life had made her decide otherwise. Out of necessity, the families of the plethora of workers working in the forest bungalow became her social lifeline. Soon she got involved in the mechanics of their daily life.

One of the first things to strike her was  that while on official records the cook- Gardner - housekeeper
was always a man - his wife seemed to be the one actually getting the work done. The wives dint mind warming the beds of their master just to take home a wee bit extra money. Invariably, the husbands spent their day getting wasted on cheap spirit. It didn't take much time for her to realize that these men held the job on virtue of having passed their matriculation while the wives were all married off as soon as they hit puberty and so dint  even read or write! Another perennial problem she realised is that the men lost their lives pretty early thanks to the alcholism -  post that the Young widows(mostly in their early 20s) didn't have any many means of livelihood and many opted to become the the 'keep' for local landlords!

This issue rattled her for few days - After some mulling over, she decided to start small and took her husband into confidence. The 'saahib' threatened and bribed his cook into letting him take care of his teenage daughters education and not marry her off for the next 5 years. After a bit of hand-twisting, the cook had no option but to comply.The girl was sent off to the neighbouring town where she trained to become a 'Anganwaadi' worker. She also happened to meet her future husband there - a co-worker

In the meantime, the forest officer had got transferred to another corner of India. Few years later when she returned to that small hamlet, it warmed her heart to see that the cooks daughter and her husband were running the first anganwadi in that remote jungle. The girl was now financially independent and happily married while her friends were stuck in the vicious cycle of early marriage - alcoholic husbands -prostitution! But seeing how differently their friends life had played out, they slowly buy surely learnt the importance of educating their daughter and gradually there was as well a decrease in the child marriages in the village......

Child marriages are such a sad reality in India, especially in the rural areas.Now this thou is a fictional piece has a few things that can make a definite 'Change' - May be all we need is somebody to show them the difference education and self-independence can make to their lives, take education to their door step - make it accessible to them and lead by example!  I I am also hopeful, of a better tomorrow, when education would have deepened its roots and strengthened some more families and enabled them to break out of this evil.

The B'day!

This story is a true account of one of the most memorable Birthdays my sister ever celebrated (Its a part of the family folk lore today).....

She was the newest gal in grade three. But with her incessant chatter she made friends in no time - her best friends n she could be seen sitting cooped at the back of the class talking nineteen to a dozen in Hindi much to her teachers annoyance.

Few weeks into the new academic year, it was her birthday and amid much fan fare she came in dressed in a smart green skirt n a bag filled with goodies. Her classmates eyes gleaned with the prospect of goodies awaiting them. Post class assembly in morning, the entire class sang the birthday song for her and then awaited for the customary goodies to be distributed. But the teacher did not see the 'goodie bag' accompanying her - so assuming the gal hadn't bought along any , sent her back to her desk even as she shooed the protesting class into silence.

What transpired was - the B'day gal n her friends were smart cookies - they had decided to divide the 60 odd chocolates in the bag among themselves! A few minutes into the class, they could be seen munching on these silently! But the cat was belled soon - when a classmate who wasn't given a share of the chocolates couldn't digest this injustice and started wailing out.....

The teacher had to come into the scene and soon the entire story emerged. The B'day gal and her two friends were made to open up their bags n the chocolates were confiscated! After a stern talk-down the B'day gal scowled n distributed the chocs among her preening classmates ;)

Nee its not her B'day today - this is rather the response to the prompt "Birthday" posted as a part of The Writer's Post Thursday Blog Hop.

Here is wishing my little imp of a sweetheart all the best as she is on verge to start a new chapter in her life!


Write Tribe Prompt

This is in response to the  7x7x7x7 Writing Prompt
  1. Grab the 7th book from your bookshelf.
  2. Open it up to page 7.
  3. Pinpoint the 7th sentence on the page.
  4. Begin a poem/a piece of prose that begins with that sentence
  5. Limit it in length to 7 lines/7 sentences.
The book I happened to Grab was Mathew Reilly "The Six Sacred Stones" and the line was-

Carved above it was a small symbol that made wizards eyes widen with delight....

With his weathered face, worn hands, wise eyes, flowing pearly-white beard he was called "Wizard" by the old and young alike. He had left the village many many moons ago - nobody knew where or what he was doing all this while -  His stubborn silence despite the rumors that ran wild and far just added to the aura of mystery around him.

On the eve of full moon night, less than a week after he arrived - the wizard rounded up all kids as the dusk fell and set about. There was a eerie silence, the only sound was that of the howling wind -the whimpering, quivering kids followed him through dense forests, endless streams and valleys till they reached what seemed like a temple dedicated to Goddess Tia (Goddess of death!). The wizard started searching around like a mad man in the holes and crevices of temple wall until he came across a beam - carved above it was a small symbol that made wizards eyes widen with delight.

He pulled out a knife from the folds of his robe that gleamed as the midnight moon hit it and thrust the hands of the smallest kid into the hole even as he whispered something into her ears. After what seemed a eternity, as the shrieking kids(thinking of the horrors that awaited them) looked on awestruck the little girl bought out a tiny little flower that none of them had ever set their eyes on - the Wizard called it "Kadupul Flower" (A flower that blooms at midnight and withers by morning - as a small boy the wizard had drawn a symbol for him to identify the cervix under which this flower bloomed :-D)

Why I write....

Honestly, The only writing I really do is on my blog here. Now if you scroll back right up to my first post, you will see it was written within a fortnight of my daddy's death! I was always a daddy's girl - his unexpected death shook me up in more ways than I could even comprehend then!

That fortnight, the house was full of friends and relatives. Though I agree they may mean well,howling my heart out in front of them wasn't really something I was comfortable with. I am one of those who cringes away from sympathies! So all I did was put up a brave facade n wait for the life to move on. But I hadn't even grieved properly n inside I was chipping away. Thus was born this blog - a place for all the emotional outlet!

Somehow writing(even if its on a unrelated topic) has a therapeutic effect on me and thus I began  writing.....

This prompt is in response to WriteTribe prompt "Why I write"

Beautiful Eyes.......

Dressed in pattu paavadai, colorful bangles, bejeweled sandals complete with anklets, hair neatly oiled, plaited and decked up with flowers– she could recite slokas with correct intonation. The daughter of the  temple priest in the society– she was indeed the ‘ideal’ kid that every parent living  in the apartment wanted their daughters to emulate!

But her eyes spoke another language – a shadow of grief  always engulfed them.  For they have seen the lure of  running amok in tattered jeans with hair flying all over, in bickering with friends, of burgers and pizzas....

Haa to let your child be a child!

Introduced in February 2013 – an invitation, a prompt, a linky. Write exactly a 100 words on the prompt and publish it on your blog – a story, a poem, a mini-essay. The linky will be open right up to next Friday.  100 Words on Saturday will be up every 2nd and 4th Saturday.
100WordsOnSaturdayEverydayGyaan zps523cd9d5 Beautiful Eyes (100 Words on Saturday # 12)

Book Review: And The Mountains Echoed

Pic Courtesy Google!
The latest book from the writer of "Kite Runner" and "Thousand Splendid Suns". Now let me acknowledge that I have not read either of this books - for no reason this writer intimated me(!!). This weekend, the weather was just right to curl up with a book and the book that I happened to pick up on whim was "And The Mountains Echoed". Errr I happened to finish the book from start to finish in literally one sitting :-D - So hooked was I to the book.

The central theme around which the book revolves is the story of a little gal "Pari". There are many
other stories running paralelly - Its the story of - of a bro-sis whose relationship was nipped even before it started - the heartburn that it ensues thru the life, of a lady who is in a perpetual state of unhappiness, of a chauffeur who doubles up as the care-taker and even becomes the gay-lover of his master, of Talibans, of War Criminals, Of refugees, of social workers working in war prone countries and may other interesting character sketches!  But each story ties up v neatly to the main story...... A delight to read!

Indeed Khaled Hosseini is a master story teller! N no prizes for guessing how I landed up with the book ;)

A Fistful of Rose Petals.....

She was in love with a boy from a different state, different language, different backgrounds! For all her parents loved her - she knew at the back of her mind that this is a match they will not agree to in a hurry. Truth be told, theirs was a hurried match - all the friends were of the unanimous decision that they made for each other - the gal and the boy just went with the flow! So she always wondered - are we only just good friends??

She believed in astrology n so with great gusto she digged out both their horoscopes! Imagine her happiness when it mentioned that years 2005, 2007, 2008 will be ideal years for "Shubh Karmas" in both their respective horoscopes! She built dream castles around n spent many a happy days living in them...
Year 2005 - He cracks his Civil services n she gets married
Year 2007 - He gets his posting in his dream location N She moves into a new home in her dream location
Year 2008 - A fistful of rose petals is showered to bless them - She for her baby's first B'day and he for his marriage! 

This post is written in response to WriteTribe Prompt # 4