Let There Be Rain

As if it would rain when we proclaim…I wish it were like that…like we see in movies where a swish of the wand is all that is needed…

Day #4

The early morning rains are an excuse to squeeze in few more minutes of sleep…Every time the alarm rings, gratitude is expressed by touching the snooze button…as if the alarm needs to be consoled for crying out to wake us up…

The curtains in my room have been taken off for their periodic water service…and the open windows let in the light as well as the cold morning air…the morning rains are a treat to watch through the windows…the little drops falling off leaves, trickling down to the next set of leaves, and slowly being escorted to the ground beneath…little twinkling drops, the pearls that sustain our existence…

HM_6

Looking out of the window, I could see the red hibiscus flowers swaying in the breeze, dancing with the raindrops…Nature just seemed to enjoy bringing another day to us…

Gaata Rahe Mera Dil

An obligatory introduction for that heading can take a back seat , I guess…

Day #3

The moment of the day was sponsored by Google…

Today morning after booting my system in office, I was slowly settling into the usual routine…Google is high up there among the favourite links, and out of habit I made a visit to the site…and it gave me goosebumps with the below doodle…

Kishore Da…he would have been 85 today…thanks to Google for the pleasant smile…and for bringing back an assortment of memories…and the first encounter with his voice is still fresh, like it happened yesterday…

It goes a long way back…to my primary school days when we were tenants in a housing colony nearby our current residence…it was the video of the song caught my eye initially – Amitabh Bachchan dancing with an array of decorative lights on his body…made more vivid by Dad’s commentary…and the scene is complete with the distinctive motifs of a bygone era – BPL colour television, the Doordarshan logo by the corner and the Sunday special Rangoli… ‘Saara Zamanaa’ still resonates…though there are innumerable melodies and intriguing eccentricities associated with the legend, this song will always remain one of my favourites…

Small makes it Big

Well..not exactly small as in minute…Nature has sprinkled beauty into everything, and it is for us to let it inside…

Day #2

I used to like the company of nature, to have solitary walks…along the road that led to my school…through the gates of Loyola College…the road lined by big trees create a beautiful canopy…the golden rays of the evening sun finds its way through…that calm, soothing atmosphere has a permanent residence in my heart…

Even though I was in touch with nature always, it took me a lot of time to appreciate…it was always there…it always is…The beauty of flowers, butterflies,rays of light filtering through the leaves and branches of trees…the colours that lie hidden in the midst of the smaller beings…

I am forever grateful to a wonderful bunch of photographers who inspired me…it is the spirit infused by them that led me to explore more…to actually see more…it is a humbling experience to realize that our existence in this world is part of a much larger picture…

It is the small, seemingly insignificant bits and pieces that add up to form the big puzzle…whether is it life or a jigsaw, the pieces need to fit together…in case of life, they come in all sizes, shapes and colours…let us fit them together to form a beautiful world around us 🙂

Three-O

I would rather kick the starter rather than push the ignition button 🙂

The engine sputters and dies down…starting trouble, I guess…

Getting off the mark with Project 30 and I have titled it ‘Three-O’.

Day #1

Erratic spurts of rainfall accompanied by strong winds have become common here in Trivandrum. Dark clouds gather around pretty quickly, and we look forward to a fairly good amount of rainfall…and it comes, and goes in a jiffy…

Our plans to go for a photo-walk went for a toss as the clouds threatened to let go in the morning…and I thought I would just walk around the house and click something from the garden…

As it was overcast, the light wasn’t all that great…but the sight of this bright yellow flower made up for that…

It was facing down, looking at the ground beneath, yet to wake up from the slumber…yet there was a beauty and elegance that I couldn’t help but admire…well, it would probably have sprang up if there was some sunshine!

Happy and excited to be here after a long gap…and hoping to turn over a new leaf..Revive an old one, rather :-)…

…Down The Slope…

Something was out of place there. The table looked slightlyaskew but I thought the balance was sufficient. I was closely scrutinizing it when the slow slide commenced. The little pool of water followed by the shining white pearl beads, then the red coffee mug. The beads rolled over faster than the stream of water. I vaguely remembered something about mass, velocity, acceleration and the dynamics of motion. I rushed to place a vessel to catch them. They were too precious to be lost.I was wondering how to catch the red coffee mug when the books began their slide in style. The letters were jumping out and slid down the slope with glee like kids. I had heard of crossing the T’s anddotting the I’s but how on earth could I pick them by their ears!  All this was happening in slow motion, though. Soon it was an avalanche of characters sliding down the table. The letters were pouring out from the pages of an action thriller. There was little time before the guns would set the table ablaze. It would soon be a light and sound show!

Sandy broke my chain of thoughts with some advice – “You should probably correct the tilt in your clicks”.A few minor touches, few clicks of the mouseand the tilt was set straight. The characters soon traced their way back to the bunkers, the coffee mug was saved from disgrace, and the pearl beads twinkled in approval. As for the stream of water – well, I cloned it off as it had spread a little too much.

The Ring Finger

The Ring Finger

Three diaries were placed on the table – three identical ones. Bound in dark blue with golden letters. Officer Tom Blake was staring at them for a long time. He was perplexed and sweating profusely. In his hand was yet another identical diary – bound in dark blue with golden letters. The diaries on the table belonged to his friends who were killed in the space of three years. The killings were identical too – a slit across the throat, hands placed over the heart with the ring finger cut off and placed beside the diary.

****                                     ****

31 December 1989            Sunday                 11:30 PM

…Half an hour more, and I am a free man. Waiting with bated breath for the minutes to pass. Time is moving agonizingly slow. Will he come for me now?…

Sunday 11:55 PM

…Five more minutes. I will live…

Tom closed Steve’s diary. Steve had lived only for five more minutes. The body with the cut-off ring finger made the headlines in the morning.

****                                     ****

30 December 1990            Sunday                 11:50 PM

…Let my fear be lost in your love, my Lord. Forgive me for my sins…

Percy repented for his sins, yet he was killed. The same slit across his throat, and the ring finger beside the diary.

****                                     ****

29 December 1991            Sunday                 11:50 PM

…He will come for me. Please leave my children alone. Let them live their life. My Lord, I seek thy kingdom. Steve and Percy have left. Only me and…

Allen’s diary had a blot of blood that obscured the few words and the name at the end. The hands were clasped across the chest, throat slit and the chopped finger found beside the diary.

****                                    ****

Tom stared at his diary again. The fourth person was him. Steve, Percy and Allen lived in fear for the entire month of December before being killed. They had become insular and locked themselves up. They never answered calls. They never called back too. Tom realized with a shudder that he had been doing the same for three weeks now.

On the first day of this December, he had received all the three diaries along with a letter. The letter said – “Three down. One more to go. It’s December”. Tom had tried connecting the pieces of the puzzle for two weeks – December, ring finger, death. He had slowly become paranoid. A stare from strangers set his heart pounding and his pulse raced in anticipation of an attack. Nothing had come so far. His mind was echoing Steve’s words – I will live.

I will live – and he finally got his clue. It was the last words he had heard in a prison cell years back. On a December evening – the last Sunday of a cold, windy December. He could see the impending disaster. The psychopath serial killer they had imprisoned and interrogated that day. He was on the prowl.

****                                     ****

27 December 1992            Sunday                 11:00 PM

…I will beat him to it. Here lies my body, finally at peace. I don’t want to lose, and I will have my victory today…

The killer was gazing at the page laid open in Tom’s diary. Tom’s lifeless body was on the floor – slit across the throat, hands clasped and ring finger beside the diary. The killer looked at his own hand and the missing ring finger. It was over – all of them had lost their ring finger on the last Sunday of December. He smiled – they had lost more.

(The End)

****                                     ****

This story was written in the space of an hour for a short-story competition in office. There are loose ends in the script. Kindly bear with them.

The Times That Changed….

Nostalgia struck when I woke up early in the morning, earlier than usual. It has been more than ten years since I walked out of school. And today morning, I walked back to those days. A few steps from my bed, and I felt ten years younger (though my body and looks wouldn’t agree)! Certainly things were much better those days. Or was it actually so simple? Well, it seems to have been.

Invariably the best days of my life were spent in school. I never realized the value of those days. Life has taken twists and turns, climbed uphill and fallen off the edge. Yet when I think of my days in school, it warms my heart like no other. When emotions seem to take me for a roller-coaster ride, I tend to take refuge in the comfort of those memories. I guess we all have similar comfort zones. For me, it is school – familiar, friendly and secure.

Memories of school are not restricted to events within the school. Not to studies either. Perhaps it has got more to do with things other than studies. Some of the small, subtle things came back to mind today morning. The routine was different then. To be up from bed at six was considered normal (whereas it is a struggle to wake up at half past seven nowadays)! With a cup of steaming hot coffee in hand (thanks to mom), newspaper was fetched from the gate. Cricket and football mattered more than the political headlines on the front page. It happens to be so even now, if the newspaper is given a glance (another forgotten habit).

Newspaper was soon dumped in a heap on the table, and the dash for bath is made. Needless to say, the dash was made to escape the stares from around the living room. It was a time when early morning rituals were followed diligently (wait! the reference is to the religious ones!!!). Prayer was a time for concentration with a flow of spiritual energy. The transition from college to work took away some of the habits and this was one of them. My parents are disappointed but I always feel that the drive should come from within.

Once the prayers are done, stomach starts anticipating a typical South Indian vegetarian breakfast. The feeling of hunger was habitually related to the time of bath. Till the point my bath and prayers were done, I wouldn’t have thought about breakfast and wouldn’t have felt hungry. Thoughts would turn to food once the rituals were completed. Those were times when both my parents were working in central government establishments. They had to leave for work earlier than my time for school. Breakfast with my brother was always eventful – debates, quarrels and what not! Ceasefire would have to be declared by our maid. Fortunately, we had a full time maid – we never treated her like one though. For us, she was as much a part of the family as everyone else. Her efficiency has been integral to the smooth operation of the household.

The time immediately after breakfast was devoted to two activities – ironing my uniform and listening to the radio. Cable TV had not yet become popular, Doordarshan offered sufficient entertainment and the radio was still an essential element in the household. My dad loves music and I was fortunate to know about the music of the yesteryears from him. His addiction to the radio caught up with me too. The FM station in Trivandrum, currently christened Ananthapuri FM at 101.9 Megahertz, had started its trial run during my higher secondary school days. The trial broadcasts from the FM station were the best that I have ever listened to, for the variety of music. Once it was officially inaugurated, it became formal but didn’t lose its charm. With the music set to high volume, ironing of my uniform would commence. White shirt and black trousers – thirteen years passed in this attire.

Those were the times when a day at school was never a chore. We looked forward to being at school. It was a symbol of freedom for us and we believe that our school has been integral in shaping our views and character, and we are proud of it too. It was one of the most celebrated boys’ schools in town – one with a legacy of its own. After classes on a regular day, we would be on the grounds to play. The school buses, six in number by the time we passed, had a regular evening trip immediately after classes were over.  One of the buses would make another trip later during the evening. This gave us an opportunity to play the sports we all had grown to love – cricket & football. By the time I reached home, the white shirt would be soaked in sweat and would have turned almost brown in colour. As time passed, I was given an order not to use my uniform while playing and I started taking a spare shirt with me.

The evening rituals were followed diligently, similar to the morning rituals. It took me five years into my job to realize how much my persona had changed. The positive energy and a composed visage gave way to lots of negative energy and an inconsistent expression. The price was paid in the form of several painful moments, physical and psychological. A diary was maintained to pour out my thoughts and several of them were burnt at a later point of time when it turned into classified property. The times have transformed and the comfort has shifted from scribbling out characters on paper to typing it out on a screen.

And as I lie down to sleep, thoughts race around like cars in a circuit – making extremely swift laps in the same route. The moment sleep arrives is actually pure bliss – it is me and my world. Into my silent private world I shrink – I have my own demons to fight and my own battle to wage for the betterment of my world.