Hindi film actresses like Hema Malini, Saira Banu, Sadhana, Asha Parekh, Mumtaz, Sharmila Tagore went bolder and experimental with dress and make up during the era. Ladies extensively used winged eyeliners while beehives and fringe cut went on to be a rage. Old teen age pictures of our mothers say it all.
I have once again used pastel pencils and chalks here. As I worked on it continuously for about two hours, I felt I needed a lot of practice to understand the tricks and techniques for blending colours. Do you have any idea how to blend pastels?
Little Brinda could not comprehend how it happened! All she saw was a jar containing some spice getting attracted to the old lady’s fingers. Her hand seemed to be sort of magnet! Was this lady a witch?
She watched as the scrawny lady grinded all kinds of spices. She kept murmuring something and Brinda got scared to even breathe in that strangely aromatic house.
“I shouldn’t have listened to grandma,” Brinda thought. But grandma had bad cough and the doctor’s medicines were ineffective. That morning granny said to Brinda,”Only old Khakhra can help me. Can you get the cough mixture…but don’t tell your parents.”
She agreed for grandma’s sake but knew that Khakhra was weird!
The mixture was almost ready and Khakhra smiled revealing crooked teeth. Brinda accepted the medicine bag and planned to run.
But Khakhra clutched her hand. Brinda held her breath as she pressed something into her palm and released her.
Once home, panting and jittery, Brinda opened her fist – it was her favourite orange candy!
(The character of Khakhra is based on a lady in my maternal grandmother’s village. She was rumoured to be a witch but actually she was quite nice. I met her when I was little.)
This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the lovely Priceless Joy. We are given a photo prompt and approximately 75-175 words with which to create our stories. This challenge is open to all who would like to participate. Please CLICK HERE for more. Thank you Maria for the image!
I have been in a pensive mood lately! Felt like reconnecting with my old friend – Art. It has been long since I painted something. This time, I thought of trying pastel pencils. They are safer with kids around.
Love and light to all of you! Stay happy and safe!
Dear Mr William Wordsworth,
If you were alive today, I would present this letter to you in person. It concerns your timeless ballad, “The Solitary Reaper”. I gather that you created this classic wonder while observing a farm girl reaping in the fields and singing a Gaelic song.
The poem says that you were not able to decipher the content of her song because of the language but you could feel the ‘melancholic strain’ in the lyrics.
In the course of your poem, you make guesses regarding her deep melancholy.
Was she sad for old…far-off…unhappy things? Or was it for battles, familiar matters? Or perhaps for natural sorrow, loss or pain…?
But you overlooked one big reason for her sadness that was so evident – her solitude! In that big corn field, she was intimidated by her job of reaping, overwhelmed by the enveloping solitude, and helpless due to the lack of human companionship.
The highland lass was so alone… doing cutting and reaping, all by herself. I could not help suggesting Sir, that if you would have stopped and not ‘gently passed’ by her, she would have felt better in your company. But I think you have had your reasons.
Her melancholic song resonates even today everywhere…because most of us are solitary. We look for friends in the big virtual world but all is artificial there. The touch, feel and presence of family and friends cannot be compensated with messages, jokes and ‘connectivity’.
In the real world, we are growing private, we have trust issues while making friends and we have embraced isolation rather than staying ‘in touch’ physically. We are afraid of going out in order to save ourselves from hurt. We are trapped trying to ‘touch’ others through mobile screens rather than fingers.
Even if we summon our courage and cry out, very few hear as everyone is looking and listening to their phones.
Alone we are “cutting and binding the grain”, and there is no one to listen to our “melancholy strain”. So guess, our plight is worst than the solitary reaper! She had you to applaud her Sir, we have no one.
If I were to meet you in person, I would urge you to write on “our solitary generation” too. But this time you would know the reason for the ‘melancholic strain’ in our lives. I really and truly wish you were here today to sing of our solitude.
I thank you profusely for this poem and applaud its relevance even in our world.
I beg to remain, Sir, your most humble and obedient admirer.
Images courtesy google