Criticism never kills

(Written for Daily Prompt – Tell us about the harshest, most difficult to hear — but accurate — criticism you’e ever gotten. Does it still apply?)

 p20121127-095213“Writer? You want to be a writer? Where has that sprung from? Can you even write?”, Dad asked me incredulously.

This was a question, yes, but it stung me as though judgement had been thrown in to my face. But then again, I knew better than getting miffed with Dad. I had not shared a word of what I wrote with my parents, or anyone else for that matter. So obviously, I couldn’t expect a better reaction when I told my parents that I wanted to be a writer – a copywriter specifically.

Mom gave me a look which said “There goes my daughter with one of her harebrained ideas which she won’t see through till the end…again!” She suggested I get a regular job (in line with the masters degree in marketing I possessed) and then write as a by-the-way thing. I stood my ground.

I wanted to be a full-time writer.

But then, my parents’ reaction forced me to question my career decision again. Did I have it me to be a writer? Would I stick with this choice? Did I really possess the kind of imagination that might interest people in reading my writing? Luckily for me, the strangling question of will I earn enough? never occurred to me. I sought creative satisfaction over material comfort. I’d rather be happy with my limited amount of money than be rushing through a round-the-clock job that leaves me with no mental peace.

That was the last time, however, that I questioned my choice. And thankfully, neither did my parents.

Today, I’m glad I took that step and listened to my heart. I’m glad I made friends with words. I’m glad I’m doing fairly decently in my chosen field.

And it feels so nice when I see Dad sharing a piece written by me on Facebook 🙂

The Old Man by the Window

(Written for Daily Prompt)

window

Bent back

Unshaven cheeks

Baseball cap on

Baseball cap on

Wispy white hair

Old man by the window

Old man by the window

Coffee gone cold

On a Sunday morning

On a Sunday morning

Lonely bearing

Brimming eyes

Brimming eyes

Vacant to happenings around

Troubled mind

As I sat composing this senryu, I wondered what this old man’s story was. Maybe his wife had died, or his son had forgotten him, or a close friend had deserted him. I searched for some meaning in his unfocused eyes. The waiter, noticing how I was trying so hard to read the old man, settled the doubts in my mind.

“The chap’s just zoned out ma’am. It’s the same every weekend.”

No story there then.

I Am (my own) Rock

(Written for Daily Prompt)

Self Portrait by Rishal Bhide

Self Portrait by Rishal Bhide

With self reliance comes a great responsibility. There is no one to blame for that wrong decision you made, no one to question when things don’t go according to the plan, no one to lean on in times of distress.

But, there also comes a great sense of freedom. Of being independent. Of being responsible for your own actions, and their own outcomes.

I am that kind of person. I don’t like to burden someone else with my life’s issues. That is something I have to deal with on my own. And most times, I do a fine job of it. Writing helps me a lot these days. Writing about what I feel, why I feel that way, unspoken words – all find their way into my stories (maintained in a separate private blog). At the end of the day, you need an outlet – and writing is mine.

However, it does get difficult to grapple with issues especially when I am down on emotion. But what is gained from such experiences is the ability to take a multi-sided view of situations. I look at things from different perspectives even when the situation concerns other people. At least for me, it helps me empathize with them in a more effective manner.

But the downer on this is I come across as someone who doesn’t share stuff with others (which I obviously am). I see people trying hard to get through to me, while I fight to keep them at an arm’s distance. Don’t want to  too many people getting to close to me, and in the process getting hurt.

This has miffed a lot of my closed ones. I’m trying to strike a balance somewhere.

Sometime soon.

Look what I saw on the streets today!

(Written for Daily Prompt)

Ol’ Lily Fairweather

(Written for Daily Prompt)
banzai-s1e1-old-lady-wheelchair-chicken-challenge_200x113

Ol’ Lily Fairweather sat in a wheelchair

In her favourite plaid skirt and done up hair

Her ninety-fifth birthday was very pompous

A barbeque party, though she couldn’t stand the ruckus.

She quickly looked around and saw no one in sight,

Slowly and steadily she began to tilt to her right

A helpful nephew quickly propped her straight

Said, “You ought to be in bed, it’s quiet late.”

She sighed and looked again, no one was around

She began to lean to the left without the slightest sound

“Grandma are you sleepy?” asked her pretty daughter

“Or are you feeling unwell, should we call the doctor?”

Lily brushed her off and was left all alone

She began to bend forward with a slight moan

A pair of hands quickly pulled her back at once

Her son quipped, “You’ve not visited the doctor in three-four months!”

The family thought the old lady was losing her balance

Began fussing around her, to talk she was not given a chance

In the end ol’ Lily Fairweather could take it no more

“How do I fart if I don’t move, you morons?” she loudly swore.

The Little Angel

(Written for Daily Prompt)
 
IMG_2114

Photograph by Rishal Bhide

She peeped out of the car; and wished she could play in the sun

Temple visits were so boring; a place you could never have fun.

 

She saw a lump by the shoe stand; a bundle of blankets entwined

Curiosity got the better of her; the bundle plagued her mind.

 

She stood by her mother and tried to pray; but her thoughts kept darting back

Were they goodies or toys in there; or just a boring empty sack?

 

She slipped out quietly; against the priest’s dizzying chants

It was a chilly day in December; she shivered in her sweater and pants.

 

She tiptoed to the blanket; and poked it with a stick

Imagine her fright when she saw; how the bundle jiggled a bit.

 

Surreptitiously she looked around; and carefully pulled an edge off

A small nose jutted out; with pudgy lil’ fingers so soft.

 

“It’s a baby!” she exclaimed; But what was it doing alone?

No sight of a searching face; to soothe it’s aching moan.

 

Cross-legged she sat on the ground; with the bundle in her lap

“Has anyone lost a baby?”; She wrote on a paper scrap.

 

They sat there for a while; waiting for a helping hand

Passersby ignored the odd pair; But she didn’t seem to mind.

 

Parents finished the temple offerings; and what a sight their eyes met

Their little girl with a baby on her lap; what had transpired they could not get.

 

Explanations were given to all; an orphanage was then found

They had left the baby in able hands; of this the parents were proud.

 

She walked out with deliberate steps; turning back again and again

Thinking “When I went to school for the first time, did mummy feel the same pain?

 

She wished she could somehow help; Have a baby brother for life

But there wasn’t much she could do; For she was only five.

 

Red Pill. Blue Pill

(Written for Daily Prompt)

 

(This post does not endorse unhealthy eating habits in kids. It is just a creative take on how children usually feel about food – especially when they are forced to eat stuff that they do not like (despite being healthy) instead of being allowed to go out and play.)

The lil’ kid looked down at his plate

Silence accompanied everything he ate

Steaming soup lay expressionless in a bowl

Lack lustre dull white, without a soul

The ratatouille smirked – daring him to taste

The purple brinjal looked vengeful at best

The greens were just too green

If you know what I mean

The soft rice tasted like baby’s food

“Don’t be fussy”, said mummy, “the rice is good”

Healthy fruits were the next course

But felt more like a medicine dose

“How I wish I could just skip this meal

At my age, it is frankly too much to deal

More fun and play is what I need

Eating is a waste of time indeed

Wish a better idea strikes mummy

To not eat food and still have a full tummy

When I grow up, I’ll find a cure

So that food you have to eat never

It’s a super thought, I’ll tell you

Just pop in one pill red and another pill blue