A Song Or Two

 (Written for Friday Fictioneers)

Photograph by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Photograph by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

My dearest pink cheeked lady

You make me go Boom! Bang! Pow!

My heart drum rolls every time I behold you

You are an inspiration to my musical chow.

~~

If you are the pluck, I am the string

If you are the rhythm, I am the tune

If you are the piano’s white, I am the black

For you my love, I’ll even jam on the moon.

~~

You complete the harmony of my unmelodious life

I wonder if you would like to be my wife

We’ll make songs of love and despair

If the neighbours complain, we just wouldn’t care.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie

It’s been a while since I’ve put up a post dedicated to my favourite Weekly Photo Challenge. Hopefully, I shall continue posting more stuff in the days to come (as I promised myself the last time I posted!). Also, this topic is from about 2 weeks back, but I was busy getting married, so I guess some leeway is allowed here 😉

So the deal is that I absolutely love selfies.  Here’s a look at some of Me.

Self paparazzi and the drama which follows

Selfie by Rishal Bhide

Selfie by Rishal Bhide

 

Caught in a spoon

Selfie by Rishal Bhide

Selfie by Rishal Bhide

 

Shy and demure I am…NOT

Selfie by Rishal Bhide

Selfie by Rishal Bhide

 

There was this time, when I caught myself in the webcam

Selfie by Rishal Bhide

Selfie by Rishal Bhide

 

This isn’t a bad hair day, it is a lot of hair oil and fun PJs!

Selfie by Rishal Bhide

Selfie by Rishal Bhide

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 🙂

Finding Joy In A Thrift Store

(Written for Friday Fictioneers)

Photograph by John Nixon

Photograph by John Nixon

“Ermm..how much are the china glasses for?”

“15 bucks for these, 10 for the floral.”

“P-paper cups?”

“Buck a dozen.”

“That Kodak camera?”

“4 – with a film’

“The blue suit in the corner?”

“30 bucks – that’s the least for a slow day.”

“I’ll take the brown jacket in the corner please.”

“Ok. I’ll throw in a bowtie and socks for free.”

“And the…”, the old man blushed, “And the white gown?”

“So it’s a wedding! Whose?”

“Mine”.

Arnie couldn’t wait to see the astonished expression on Edith’s face, providing little comfort for being 40 years late.

Courtesy - Google

Courtesy – Google

 

The Corner Guy

(Written for #FWF Free Write Friday)

walmart-man

I am John. Also known as ‘The corner guy’.

If you’ve been here long enough, you know who I am.

And if you don’t know me, let me clarify that I am not in-sane. I am in-love.

I still remember that day, 21 autumns back, when my dear Jenny turned around this very corner and never came back. I yelled after her despite my sore throat,

“I’ll wait for you forever”.

I’m still here as promised, but she never came back. There hasn’t been a day when I haven’t sat on this very piece of concrete waiting for her. My apartment window sits facing me grimly, but I have no intention of going back home, lest she comes back looking for me and I miss seeing her.

I regret giving her no choice other than leaving me. I was a broken man then. I am a shattered man now. With every breath I try to piece together my heart which broke into a million pieces, with the hope that when she sees me again, I shall be whole.

Maybe they’ll write a book about me someday. Maybe they’ll make a movie. Maybe they laugh at me for being the weird guy who writes and sings love songs on his guitar. Maybe they think I am an epitome of true love.

There are a lot of maybes. But just one you.  

Jen darling, if you are out there, you know where to find me. Just around our favourite corner.

Let’s give love another chance.

.

Out in the Blue

(Written for Friday Fictioneers)

Photograph by Douglas M. MacIlroy

Photograph by Douglas M. MacIlroy

“I’m a bird Mommy”, Jimmy had squealed.

“The airplane is flying, not us!” Julia had replied, her knuckles white from clutching the armrest.

“I know we’re birds Mommy, you and me”, Jimmy had whispered.

Julia was white as a sheet. But she had to do this. For Jimmy. Oh how her boy had loved to fly! And fly he did – straight in to an unfortunate mountain last summer.

Julia held her breath as the countdown began.

“3…2…1…JUMP”

She squealed and skydived right into the arms of the blue sky.

“We’re really are BIRDS!”, she shouted at an imaginary speck thousands of feet below – which looked like her son in a wheelchair.

For You. That Thing Called ‘Love’

She sits by the window, watching life rush through; Change comes fleetingly, in numbers too few

Stuck in a routine waiting to break away; To uncomplicate the simple on some fine day

A sadness clouds her pretty little face; Lost in memories of her thoughts’ crystal maze

She swims in and out between the present and past; Unnoticing people and things that run away fast

She’s the girl with the book and a pen in hand; Dreamily drawing doodles, the mind in a faraway land

A smile that is smiled but doesn’t reach her eyes; A laugh is laughed but is far from nice

Then the café door opens, a wisp of wind brushes by; It whispers sweet nothings, no one knows why

She knows that he is somewhere out there; Her cheeks flush red, sweat drops from her hair

She sees without seeing, his eyes sweep the throng; She hears without hearing, he hums her favourite song

He’s tall, he’s quiet, he slicks behind a table; Nonchalantly orders his beer and switches on the cable

Loud blares the music but he doesn’t give a damn; He breathes in her presence, as slow as he can

In the far corner of the room he sights her there; As she sips hot coffee and munches an éclair

Their glances meet, an electric bright start; Love at first sight sails through the heart

The din that surrounds them is rendered unaware; They hold each other in a minute’s constant stare

Out of the blue things take a quick turn; Salvage for the prolonged heart burn

A reason to be happy, a reason to celebrate; A curtain is raised, she feels so great

Then begin the musings and all grief is lost; Innocent brushes of the hand and soft talks at the most

She loves his warmth that bathes her so; She reaches out to him, asking for more

She’s set free like a bird wafting through the sky; Her clipped wing ceases to make her shy

A glimmer of hope out comes to shine; Forever us, she tells him, forever mine.

 

More Than Words


He saw her first. Her skin glistened with sweat droplets on the hot afternoon – like illuminated diamonds against her wheatish skin. They sat next to each other at the bus stop. 

His musky smell is what made her look at him. A stray lock of hair flopped on his forehead – giving a boyish charm to his strong masculine jaw. Aware of the bustling traffic, loud honking, jostling crowds, screaming kids and screeching tires – yet unaware.

Fingers gripping the railing- a breath of fresh wind humming through their hair. Not a word passed between them for a long while. But it felt like the best conversation two strangers could ever have.

“You are something else you know”, he said to her as she walked towards the bus. And she knew. Many had called her different, mysterious and one-of-a-kind – but she could never figure what they meant. But she knew the meaning this time. She climbed into the bus, and smiled for the first time in days.



The Best Date Ever

        No, there weren’t any roses, no quartet of musicians, no fancy restaurant, no three course meal being served by butlers, no dressing up…and yet it remains forever lodged in my memory as the best [and most unexpected] date ever –

‘Shifting sucks. Unpacking is suckier. And being stranded alone in an unknown city is the suckiest of all.’


    This had become my anthem from the past five days since shifting my base to Mumbai. My belongings had arrived two days back along with a message from my would-be housemate and current best friend that she would be shifting after a couple of weeks due to some emergency back home. I had neither kith nor kin in the city to turn to in case I needed someone to talk with. I was not even friends with the neighbours yet.


    Luckily my company had provided a nice accommodation in South Mumbai, a mere 10 minute walk from the famous Marine Drive. I planned to start sightseeing as soon as I had managed to convert the house into a home. I spent the entire day among cardboard boxes of varying sizes which held all the stuff I owned. Clothes were put in the cupboard, books placed on the bookshelf, kitchen utensils stored in the kitchen and a general tidying up followed to make the house more inhabitable.


    At the end of the day, I donned my favourite pair of pyjamas and plonked tired on the slightly creaky but comfortable sofa. A cacophony of emotions ran through my head, where each emotion tried to gain a dominant position in my mind. Lonely, angry, lost, betrayed and…wait a minute… sweaty? While I was lost in my own woes, I failed to notice that the electricity had suddenly decided to bid adieu. How in the world could this happen? Wasn’t Mumbai supposed to be the ‘City of Blinding Lights’ and all that razzmatazz?? Things were just going from bad to worse, and I didn’t know what to expect next.


    I had a horrible time hunting for some kind of illuminator as I had suddenly become disoriented in the not-yet-familiar place. Finally I chanced upon a box of candles by the bed-stand. As I lit one, I heard a loud knock at the door. The sound caught me by surprise and I whammed my knee into the table. I let out a shrill scream, followed by self-directed curses.


    “Are you alright?” a smooth male voice called from outside the door. Replying with a feeble yes, I hobbled towards the door. The man identified himself as my neighbor [which I confirmed by noticing the open door across the hallway through the peep-hole]. I opened the door and brought the candle in my hand to lighten the caller’s face. It was probably the face of the most handsome guy I had laid my eyes upon. Boyish looks, a day’s stubble, curly hair and almond-shaped eyes which made me go weak in my [already hurting] knees. My hand involuntarily flew to adjust the strands of my unruly hair, but then I realized that this was unnecessary as my checkered pyjamas were already making a style statement of their own!


    I must have missed something he said when he asked, “Would that be fine?”. “Huh? What?” I replied immediately, snapping out of my reverie. “I asked if I could use your phone to make an urgent call as my cell phone is not charged and I have no landline”. “Yeah sure”, I replied coolly, embarrassed by my lack of attention. I handed him my phone and tried to ignore his conversation about some railway bookings.


    He thanked and left, only to return twice in a span on 30 minutes to check whether there had been a call for him. I invited him to stay in the house for sometime till he received the call. It’s funny how two random people just meet and click from the word “go”! He had an easy going manner and a smile that lit up his eyes instantly. It was almost an hour and half into our conversation when we became aware of the hunger pangs in our tummy. Considering he was shifting out the next morning and I hadn’t quite settled in yet, availability of a proper meal was out of question. We scoured about in our respective houses for some quick bites. He came back with some leftover pizza, home-made cookies and a carton of apple juice. I furnished a bowl of maggi noodles and potato chips.


    We continued talking about our hobbies, jobs, pets, childhood, hometown….Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, The Eagles, Kenny Rogers and the likes keeping us fine company all night through the songs playing on his I-Pod.


    And then it began to rain. A drizzle at first and gradually pouring in its full glory. The first rain always has an inexplicable way of lifting your spirits so high that it almost feels un-worldly. The pattering of rain sounded like music to my ears. We sat by the window, watching the rain..letting it do all the talking for some time. The street lights enhanced the beauty of the rain drops to an ethereal level. I was mesmerized by the quick transformation of Mumbai from a sad and lonely city into this beautiful place which seemed to have the potential to fulfill all my hopes and desires.


    A sudden craving of tea ended in a frantic search for tea powder in his house as I hadn’t stocked my kitchen yet. Unavailability of gas led to the bright idea of brewing tea over candle flame. As we continued talking about our dreams and ambitions, we took turns at holding the tea vessel over the flame of 5-6 candles. It almost took ten times the time required to brew tea, but it was the most amazing cup of hot steaming ‘cutting chai’ I ever had.


    It was about five in the morning when we decided to take a walk along Marine drive. The roads were still glistening with last night’s rain. The smell of fresh earth filled our nostrils, driving home a sense of pleasure. Early risers gathered around the tiny tea-stall at the corner of the street, to enjoy a hot cup of tea and biscuits before beginning their day. As we walked towards Marine drive, it only seemed natural to hold each others’ hands. It felt as if two old friends had met after a long time and only had one night together to do all the catching up over the years. Watching the sunrise that morning was one of the best experiences I had. The sun seemed to be performing its routine activity of rising with extra beauty and grace today. The sea shimmered effortlessly in the virgin sunlight to provide a breathtaking visual.


    We walked back home in the sanctity of silence; replaying the events of the night and savouring every moment. It was mutually decided to refrain from taking each others’ contact details and leave it entirely upto destiny to decided when and where we would meet next. The idea of mystique sounded great. We said our goodbyes at the door and then went our separate ways.


    I hit the bed immediately after coming back home. He had probably left while I was enjoying my beauty sleep because his door was padlocked when I went out to check. It sadly struck me that we had completely forgotten to even ask each others’ names..it just hadn’t seemed necessary at that time. It was then that I noticed the parcel lying outside my door. Hastily packed in newspapers was one of the little oriental cups we had used from his house to have tea the previous night. The note next to it said – “Hopefully there will be more of these”.


    You can have the best of the moments in the most unlikely of the settings. In my case, all it took was two lonely strangers, a leftover pizza, maggi noodles, old hindi music, great conversation, rain and hot steaming cutting chai.