I shot this on my flight to Chennai. Don’t worry, my phone was on Flight Mode! Increased the contrast a little due to the glass window getting in the way. I hope you find some sort of inspiration or tranquility in this.
The Pioneers of 1885 were impelled to service by their hearts: they talked little of ‘Women’s Rights’: they were stirred to the core by women’s needs. Feeling filtered through the heart. In 1935 feeling would seem to filter through the mind. Service is inspired and directed to a great extent by politics (and it cannot be denied that politics certainly has been the chief factor in loosening the bondage of custom during the last fifty years). Women’s rights have become a slogan – rights visualized out of focus because of the belief that Western methods were to be closely imitated, and that the final achievement of English Feminists was to be out starting point … So that whereas the Pioneers relied on study of local conditions or house-to-house contact with individuals, and on personal conviction as the only stable basis of Reform, the Leaders of today would seem to rely solely on Legislation and Public agitation for the removal of social ills. And many of our too few workers are being diverted from practical personal service to public oratory.
From Our Cause by Cornelia Sorabji
Written in 1938, Cornelia Sorabji’s view seems to be applicable to the events surrounding the situation of women in India.
Outside my balcony on a cloudy day. Beautiful. Shot by my Nokia N-8
A/N: I challenged myself to write a one-shot…a…well…romantic one.
“I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger,
Travelling through this world of woe;
But there’s no sickness, no toil or danger,
In that bright world to which I go.”
He had come from beyond this world; from the sky, the pitch black summer sky. He would later tell her that he had crashed into her family’s field of Sunflowers. That it wasn’t the “aliens” per se who had made that large crater. She would then hit him over the head for making fun of her family, not angrily but affectionately.
She had found him walking among the Suns, stark naked. It took a lot of convincing and embarrassment on his part to make her believe that he wasn’t some pervert experiencing a bout of lunacy. She had run away right after, to his utter disappointment, only to return with her father’s clothes. Eyes shut, she handed those to him with trembling hands.
She had taken pity on him, but still kept her distance.
Finally in presentable appearance, he asked her, her age, not that it mattered to him, but it was a good conversation starter. Something had told him that it would be worthwhile to befriend this girl. She was 18 years old with a petite frame, yet large curious eyes of ebony. Light brown curly hair framed her round and somewhat chubby face. Her expressions seemed beyond her years as if she had witnessed all the atrocities of humanity.
She asked him why he had been roaming around naked; where had he come from? She studied him as she came to a conclusion that she found him rather….beautiful. He had dark-brown wavy hair that framed his oval face. She couldn’t help but stare at his strong lower jaw longer than was necessary. But the first thing she had noticed was his height and skin. He was very tall – may be a foot taller than her 5 foot frame? – with abnormally pale skin….almost glowing. She snapped back into reality when he answered her question with an “I don’t remember” and a “Somewhere far away.”
He knew that his lie was obvious.
She knew that he was reluctant, so she kept her distance.
Her father called for her from the porch, so she left him with a ‘good-bye’ and ‘take care’. There was no way she could provide shelter to him. Her house was just too small and her parents would never accept a stranger into their abode.
He stood there in the middle of the field, a million stars studded in the sky as he watched her retreat, dejected at his predicament.
It seems my time has finally arrived.
She wandered in the fields the next day; looking for him. She found him sitting on a boulder, looking up at the blue sky in sadness. She noticed that the paleness and glow of his skin had reduced, which befuddled her for a moment. He smiled at her and asked her if they could go for a walk.
She would later tell him how fast her heart raced every time he smiled at her.
Consequently, she wiled her day away with him, walking and answering his never-ending questions.
He found her an interesting little thing. She spoke of her life with wild gestures. About her family’s dependence on these wild sunflowers, of her nagging mother with mild irritation but fondness; of her comical father with admiration; of her younger brother with sisterly affection; of her five friends who would always get in trouble not before dragging her into it too; of the boy who had rejected her and broken her heart; of the beautiful meadow she had found while taking a shortcut towards her home.
She even spoke of the unexplainable loneliness she felt these days, even in the company of the people she loved most; also of the emptiness in her heart.
Next it was her turn to drill him with questions, most of which were left unanswered. All she learned of him was that he was a lonely soul like her who travelled to many places. It was logical to not trust him. But logic did not necessarily apply to her.
She would never understand why she trusted him. But she did and that was all that mattered.
They met every day at the same time and spot in the field and always bade good-bye by 10pm. She always brushed off the questions her parents would pose, not knowing how to explain her afternoon escapades. Nor was she a good liar.
Eight months passed by and each day they grew closer and closer until they finally fell in love with the other. He was cognizant of her feelings because of the strong bond he now had with her. She, unsurprisingly, was oblivious to his. But that didn’t matter to him.
On a hot summer’s day she visited him at the usual hour and place with the usual basket of food she had started bringing for him. He greeted her with his usual blinding smile and they headed off towards the small patch devoid of sunflowers; their usual place of supper. It was a miracle her parents hadn’t walked in on them yet. She spread the blanket on the ground and they proceeded with their daytime picnic.
He was quiet today, unusually so. She glanced up at him from her place in apprehension. A feeling of dread overcame her as she studied his stiff countenance. She called to him.
He whipped his head in her direction and gave her a strained smile. “It’s nothing.”
They chatted into the night, her apprehension not really leaving her. She smiled as his skin turned abnormally pale again and glowed a bit. She loved it when he glowed. She had once wished she was as pale as him rather than chocolate brown. She was met with a bomp! on the head when she had shared this with him.
“Have you ever wanted a wish to come true?”
It was a whisper loud enough to shove her into reality. She swallowed the view of his glowing form. Was he becoming translucent? No, that was just her. Yes, it was her imagination.
She looked up at the stars in admiration. “Everyday”, replied she.
He committed her voice to memory (would he remember?) as he observed how every minute muscle around her mouth stretched and strained enough to grace her face with the blinding grin he had come to cherish.
Time was running out and if not soon enough, he would be too late and too gone.
“And what would your wish be?”
She looked him in the eyes after a minute and he drowned in the intensity of her longing and genuineness. The next thirty seconds were a flurry of emotions, ideas, ambitions, dreams and wishes.
He raised himself to his feet and signalled her to follow. “Choose the one most important and make a wish.”
“I’m not some ten-year-old in a fantasy world. Wishes aren’t granted in reality”, she scoffed.
He raised his arms to the Milky Way. “If you wish hard enough, if your heart is true enough, and if you are consistent enough, your wish will always come true”, his eyes burned in her direction, “Now wish.”
She was not convinced. Or was she? There was a small blimp that believed his words, almost. And when she closed her eyes to what she thought was her humouring him, her conviction in his words surfaced to make that wish. That one wish she wanted most.
And when she would open her eyes, escape from the intensity of the moment, of all the memories washing over her, she would be alone and he would be forgotten. Her love would be forgotten.
And in that moment of disappearance he would see her future and would rest in peace.
It’s the day to rejoice because I’m finally done with the damn exams that had been held up for about a month (more on that later)! Yet, while everyone I know are out and about enjoying (or trying to) the holidays, I’m here, stuck to my chair with the bright white screen before me, deleting junk from my folders.
How productive is that? Seriously.
One good thing happened though. There was a day when
my friends coerced me with abuse I had built up the courage to audition for the Creative Writing category of Malhar. Surprisingly, I had got in.
However, as cowardly as I were, I backed out later. To this day, the amount of severe regret has not reduced a bit.
Why am I telling you this? Well, while my conquest to make more space, I found my entry for the festival. When I read it now, comparing it to just how much I’ve improved in my writing abilities, my entry is a complete piece of boomshk. But, I’m posting it here either way because I’m a masochist. This is my punishment. Were the other entries so bad that mine got through? We’ll never know.
10 THINGS TO DO WITH A BRICK
- Play brick-ball. Much like the American sport of Baseball, only devoid of the use of the harmless rubber ball, replaced by the bone-breaking red brick. Guaranteed hit among adrenaline junkies. Pun intended.
BEWARE: No responsibility will be taken if players die of concussion or haemorrhage.
- For the desperate smartphone-junkie, the new bPhone: A smartphone that looks like a brick, feels like a brick and smells like a brick. The number one device to hone one’s imagination.
- Stare at it, especially for developing the effectiveness of your stink-eye.
- Play Truth or Hit. Period.
- Homemade UFO – Attach a bulb to it’s side, stand on the terrace of the highest building in your locality – at night – and catapult it high into the air and as far as possible. Should be done at night in a moderately populated area. Totally newsworthy.
- You can imagine it to be the prefect girlfriend – no ranting, no stupid questions, nothing! (OR) You can imagine it to be the perfect boyfriend – no stupid answers, will listen to you 24×7 and be your ideal protector!
- Dress it as a doll and gift it to someone.
- Draw stick figures on it, place it in a cave and lead an archeology team towards it, proclaiming it to be a precious artifact of the Indus Civilisation.
- Ice breaker in awkward conversations. When in pause, smash brick on ground.
- Disguise it as a brick.
A NOT SO SEXY INTERVIEW WITH JOHNNY DEPP
YS: What is your favourite colour?
Johnny Depp: Pink. After all, pink is the new black…..right?
YS: What was the last book you read?
JD: How to Be Sexy.
YS: While taking a shower, which part of your body do you wash first?
JD: (Weirded out) Listen, I’m not some Korean pop star….
YS: Have you ever been tempted to taste your laundry detergent?
JD: Why, yes! The other day, while I was waiting for my clothes to be washed in the laundry room, I noticed a box of Tide on one of the counters….all lonely-like, ya know? I’m not sure if I was sober at the time, but I had this sudden urge to see what it tastes like…….and so I did.
YS: (Fascinated) What did it taste like?
JD: Like butt.
YS: Have you ever flashed someone?
JD: My father. Little piece of advice: NEVER drink with your dad.
YS: Have you ever walked into a spider web?
JD: Well, no, but my neighbour did. I was ten at the time, sitting outside on the porch. Mrs. Parker was heading out the door but she was too busy with her purse to notice the massive spider web across the doorway. She screamed bloody murder and ran around the house for the next ten minutes, until she tripped on a root and lost consciousness.
YS: That answer…and the Tide one…they sound awfully familiar.
JD: Oh psshhh! How can that be? *laughs awkwardly*
YS: Have you ever taken drugs?
JD: Not actually. I’m afraid of ‘em you know? I was 15 and my friends and I attended one of those god-damned rave parties. While everyone were getting high and dry, I – still clear of drugs – headed to the bathroom for a piss. In there, I noticed a white-ish powder – which suspiciously looked like pot – on the counter. Not wanting to be the only one who doesn’t know what being high feels like, I inhaled some of it. I spent the next few hours sneezing my heart out and disappointingly sober. Tell me, what IDIOT keeps chalk powder in the bathroom? Highschool kids….bah!
YS: What do you fear the most?
JD: My mother…………….and clowns.
YS: Do you have anything to say to your fans?
JD: Sure! Stalkers……..beware.
Oh! And love you all!