Small Things#11 – Magic in our neighborhood!

This Summer not only flowers but magic blossomed in our neighborhood.

Driveways got filled with chalk art and innocent secrets were shared. Every beetle was observed and ants ran for cover as little scientists scaled the grounds. Stories happened and games got invented! There were nasty fights, cuts and falls but all was forgotten.

There were songs sung in chorus and amazing dance moves! There were dirty hands, feet as well, and soaked muddy shoes. Round eyes laughed and ruddy cheeks sparkled as they got engaged in charming chatter.

I saw stars in their wild hair and music in the shrieks. Imaginary characters came to life and so much was make belief.

Yes, I saw it all from my brown chair…experiencing it all like lines of an old prayer.

Many many years back, I was a part of the magic… now, sadly, just an observer!

Cinderella in the Metro!

 Mr Charming tried hard to fit the footwear into her feet. Was she the girl in the metro?

He had fallen in love when he was 20. He was travelling by a metro while she slept right across him with her face hidden under jacket. But what had caught his eye were her lovely legs which rested on the seat.

At one of the stations, she woke up with a start. And before he could catch a glimpse of her face, she ran out of the train leaving behind her stilettos. The crowd enveloped her. He lifted the footwear and kept it.

Life did not move on for him, though. Professionally, he became the proud owner of a chain of hotels. But he stayed single, in search of the gorgeous owner of those stilettos. 

Occasionally, he would request a guest to try it on. They would do it willingly, but he never found the right legs.

This time, the stilletos fitted perfectly! He looked at her finger… no ring!  Elatedly, he asked her to join him for dinner.

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. For more information, please CLICK HERE. Thank you Barb for the image!

A letter to my classmate!

   
Hello,

Hope this letter finds you good. I felt an immediate need to write to you after visiting your facebook profile via our common friend’s profile. I was looking for a tall, gawky person but saw a different man there – aged with lined face and a pot belly. I was aghast! There was no sign of the boy who would enter the classroom bustling with energy, taking on the world in his languishing stride. 

It seems as if time has flown since I last saw him after our board exams (Kabuliwallah syndrome… remember the story?). We were sixteen then… fresh and so full of excitement to take on the world. I had half expected to find the same boy and initiate a chat with him. But for the first time, I experienced how much the world has changed… how much I have changed! In a flash, I felt being transported from teenage years right into my thirties.

He and I studied together from kindergarten till tenth. Although, we were never best of friends! Infact, I remember the boy was mean to me a number of times and I myself was not a model of good behaviour but we were comfortable around each other. I also visited other classmates via your profile but everyone has changed. Most of us have put on weight, have moved to different places, undergone varied experiences. Life truly has taken a toll on us.

I tried hard to find some semblance, something of the past in your picture but …I gave up.  You looked comfortable around your family…a typical man of the world who goes to work in the morning, returns home tired and waits for dinner to be served at night. Your wife is beautiful and kids are cute. One of them resembles you. I am glad life has been good to you. But again, you are so unlike him. He was fidgety and non-conformist. You are a stereotype family man!

He was ambitious, boisterous and haughty but you seem to avoid confrontations. He questioned everything and you seem to accept everything. I like that you are happy and settled but I liked him better – my happy go lucky classmate who would make the class laugh with his pranks. He was non predictable and creative, you are adjusting with what life has offered you. Good for you!

 I smile thinking that once upon a time,  my classmates were an intrinsic part of my world. I had enjoyed their encouragement and would take any discouragement to heart. Many a times, they were harsh and judgemental.

My classmates held the power to make or break me. I didn’t know then that all this would change so drastically. And that I would no longer have to compete with or conform to anyone’s notions. It felt good when I moved on from teenage angst towards maturity but in the process, I took you all for granted. I had never thought I would never find you all ever again…not in the same way. 

I get nostalgic remembering the last parting image of my classmates – excited bunch of boys and girls who loved to chat,  bitch, scream and dream. Where did they all go?

Lately, some of you crept into my memory and reminded me of those sweet-sour school years. Perhaps, wanting to re-live the past encouraged me to visit your FB page.  I wanted to meet you all and have a chat online. But I guess…I have lost the connect.

If my letter encourages you to find him – the gawky teenager, somewhere deep within you, then kindly let him know that I am thankful to him for being a part of my childhood. 

May be, my letter would make you  curious and you would want to check back my profile. But I warn you – you will hardly recognise me – a married woman with kids. You would not know what to say to me.

But perhaps if you let that tall boy visit my profile, he might find the quiet girl who loved doodling and reading. They will connect, have great conversation and laugh together like youngsters do. Please find and send him once for I am sure we all miss the innocent, musical laughter of our wonder years! Then, may be we will reconnect again with our past.

Best wishes for everything,

Your former friend

  
Images courtesy Google

Be Well Barbara! In memory of a special friend

  Remember to be well! ^..^ 

This is the last line Barbara Beacham wrote in her blog ‘Life in the Foothills’, before cancer took her away from us.

The lady was one of my first blog friends when I started blogging in January last year. Time constraints did not allow me to write long posts so I thought of taking up some 100-150 words story challenges. And then I came across ‘Mondays Finish the Story’ and her highly creative hostess Barbara Beacham. It was a fun challenge and helped me overcome my writer’s block. She ran two blogs – first was ‘Life in the Foothills’ and second, ‘Mondays Finish the Story’.

I would look forward to the story challenges every Monday and would peep at posts of other story writers and wonder at their creativity. I learnt a lot in the whole process. With time, I developed a strange kinship with the lady… I admired her story telling skills and loved it when she wrote ‘Be Well’ at the end of each comment.

What I didn’t know was that she herself needed the wish more than anyone else as she was battling cancer all this while. She did reveal to us about her illness at a later stage and expressed the hope that she will strike back…

One morning there was no ‘Mondays Finish the Story’ challenge in my inbox. I asked Priceless Joy… she sounded hopeful that BB may strike back but I think we both knew that her end was near! 

She could not make it. With a heavy heart I accepted the fact that I will no longer look forward to Mondays as I did since last year. 

There will no more be ‘Mondays Finish the Story’ from now on… The only thing is…it was too abrupt an end for me.

What I admire is the fact that cancer couldn’t defeat her optimism and creativity… She wrote and encouraged us to write wonderful stories till the very end. She showed rare courage and wisdom all this while! I miss Barbara. I miss the challenge.

One thing I know for sure – I had grown to love her. Be well Barbara, wherever you are!

This post is written in memory of Barbara Beacham – FfAW-Special Challenge for Barbara Beacham – hosted by Priceless Joy. To read other entries please click here.