Part II – What the boy thought

Cars honk at each other. He looks to the road while sprinkling water on the pots. Few drops land on his bare feet. The water feels cool.
He wipes his face and runs a wet hand through his tangled hair, more white from dust than the black he was born with.

Bikes and autos honk and beep, trying to wiggle out of the crowd.
His friends hop on the pavement across the street. Work done, maybe he can join them.
Mother calls out to him from the doorway. He keeps the mug down and runs off…heels kicking high.

Just another day at work

I look out and see him sprinkling water on the pots. Tangled mane…face streaked with dirt… dressed in ragged shorts.

Bikes and autos honk and beep, trying to wiggle out of the crowd. The car starts moving.

There’s a modest block with a hole in front. Maybe that’s his home…?  I see a person call out to him. He is not alone.
He keeps the mug down and runs off… heels kicking high. That should make me feel better.

Day disappears in the routine chores. I talk and smile.

And still, nothing shakes this feeling.

Just another day at work.

How do you like yours?

That’s probably what I would ask you if we were meeting for the first time.

Did you have any trouble reaching this place? The traffic has been so crazy of late…

If we were catching up over a cup of coffee,

I’d probably begin by asking how your day was. I’d ask how things were in general and with people you care about…that and whether this was your first time in the city and where all you have been…

I’d check if you preferred sweets to the savoury. If you’d like to try something savoury – nothing like hot pakodas with hot tea or coffee even, in this weather. What are those you ask? Deep fried savoury goodness, stuffed with onions or potatoes. Maybe something similar to onion rings? But better 🙂

Too much? Would you prefer something sweet instead? This café serves a lovely banana cake as well. Best tried hot.

I have grown up being force-fed banana cakes. Mum had phases where she’d pick a fruit or veg, make it the star ingredient of a cake and bake one every week for months, trying to perfect the recipe. Banana cake was a resident, although carrot did come over and stay with us for quite some time. I would think I’d had enough of them, but this one changed my mind.

I like the decor here. The tables have been arranged comfortably enough to allow space and conversation. I like how they have turned used bottles into a string of overhanging lights!

Oh, I didn’t notice this one earlier, your cushion is called “chat“! How cute. Well, let me find “chit” and we can officially begin…(although I have been talking nineteen-to-the-dozen so far…)

If we were catching up over coffee,

I would like to find out what your hobbies were and how life has been treating you.

I’d tell you about one of my trips to Bhutan. It is such a beautiful, quiet place. It’s a beautiful mountain kingdom and more should be written about it. Just what I needed at that time. The trek to Tiger’s Nest was taxing, but worth it! I loved the scenic beauty, the monasteries and their prayer flags.

I’d tell you how I plan to sign up for a photography course once I finish the one on writing. While I am enjoying this, I am looking forward to that too…In fact, on the topic of photography, I wanted to buy a DSLR camera for beginners – do you have any suggestions?

Ok, enough about me. How are things with you?

Real Neat Blog Award

Thank you Storyville; Stories,Tales,Yarns and Other Adventures for nominating my blog for this award. I am humbled and honoured.  and unfortunately for my family, encouraged 🙂

How this works:

  1. Thank and link the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Answer the seven questions the person who nominated you provided.
  3. Nominate seven other bloggers.
  4. Create seven new questions for the people you nominate.
  5. Display the logo somewhere on your blog.

Let’s see if I can do this justice. These are my answers:

Do you believe in ghosts.

Yes. and I pray really really hard that I never see one. Can’t outrun a ghost…

Can you explain the LBW rule?

Thanks to my family’s obsession with cricket and my brother’s tendency to disappear with the remote, it was all I got to watch for weeks at a time. I think I can give it a shot.

When a ball, that isn’t a no ball and has been pitched in-line (or sometimes on the off side), hits a batsman (or his knee/ leg guard) before touching the bat and would have gone on to hit the stumps had it not been blocked so, LBW comes into play.

A healthy dose of vehement disagreement from the opposition’s supporters, seems to be a requirement as well. Howzzat?

What is your favourite film. Truthfully now, not the one you tell your friends to look cooler.

:D…ok. Godfather and Kill Bill II. Honorary mentions, The Holiday and First Wives Club.

How many of your Facebook friends would you actually go for a drink with?

3 – they are the only ones who can’t drink me under the table. However, if they ever manage to, I can trust them not to immortalize the night on You Tube. I have more dope on them.

Adventure or Security. Pick One

Security – with relationships, finances and passport.

When did you last laugh uncontrollably?

2 days ago.

Do you have someone to love?

Yes :). Many – and they make up my world.

Okay, now my questions:

  1. Cricket or football. And why?
  2. What are the three things you can’t live without?
  3. Share a favourite quote
  4. What are the top 2 points on your bucket list?
  5. What are you reading/watching these days?
  6. Fortune or Fame? You have to pick one too.
  7. The last time you danced or sang to your heart’s content.


I nominate:

Pairs well with…

the geek couple

Little Yak

The Practical Historian

Joy Loves Paris



From Mrs. Hore’s English Class

A while back, we had to do a writing assignment based on a prompt. While another one spoke to me a little more at that time, I decided to revisit a few that whispered. One in particular struck a chord – Teacher’s Pet.

Its not really about being her pet or anything, but more about something she said once, which has stayed with me ever since.

She taught us History and then English through classes 4 and 5. Once, after our finals I guess, she wrote the following for me:

Do what you think is right,
Do it to the best of your ability.

She spoke it out aloud as I took the book and read the two lines. She asked me if I understood what she meant and I remember repeating the lines and replacing the word “right” with “best”. She corrected me immediately. I remember asking her “aren’t we supposed to do what is best?” I had learnt by then that we were. It wasn’t safe to do what I thought was right. It hardly ever seemed to be the best option, it could hurt someone, be inconvenient and get me into loads of trouble…which seemed like such a lot of unwarranted effort, for quite a bit of unnecessary pain.

I don’t remember what I said to her, something to the effect of “shouldn’t it be “best””, or “are you sure its not best? Isn’t that better?”. She assured me that she had not made a mistake. She meant to write “right”, because “what’s best may and can keep changing, what is right won’t”.

I remember asking her “how’d I know what would be right?” She said “you’d know”. I was dubious, but thought I’d give it a shot once.

Its been 20 years and ma’am, I haven’t stopped giving it a shot since.


A life, in 100 words

She picks her way over the stones carefully. Her sight is not what it used to be. It was never strong but age has affected what little there was. There’s no work now – they asked her to leave when she fell ill. The bag she carries is all she has.

She stops to adjust the pallu over her head and wipe a bead of sweat off her brow.

She has found a place for the night. But food is a different story. She pauses to look for a place to sit, right here on the roads she used to sweep.


Letting the scene speak

There is this weird sound, like when the edges of a paper curl up, charred by the flames as they continue to rise and flicker across its width.
It’s 3 AM and a lonely dog howls on…

The road has almost been destroyed by the indifferent and callous work done – there are deep ditches which the rain fills up…A few stray cars pass by, splashing water as their wheels fall in and out of those holes. Has it ever struck you how similar the sound of distant traffic or a truck speeding off is, to a slightly noisier version of a strong wind coming through and fading away?
All through this, the clock ticks on relentlessly.

Continue reading “Letting the scene speak”

Things I Like

Till a few months ago, I was a compulsive list maker. And they all go the same way- scribble furiously on a notebook or even a scrap of paper, listing things I need to do/ general tasks etc, think of more things to add if I hit a roadblock after point 7, once I run out of the more plausible ones by point 13, add things I don’t really want to do but think I’d like to; lose the scrap of paper or never look at that page again…and once the notebook is used up, shred the whole thing.

Although I have made a list on every possible topic, I never thought of making one on things I like. I came across this site Things We Like the other day and thought I’d give it a shot.

  1. A hot cup of tea when its raining and I can hear the rain and smell the damp earth, while letting the mug warm my hands
  2. Listening to an old song, suddenly on the radio
  3. Charcoal grey t-shirts
  4. Walking or driving down a tree lined hill road, with the sun streaming through the canopy
  5. Weekend brunches with friends
  6. A lazy Sunday stretching ahead, without plans
  7. The smell of roasted coffee beans
  8. Catching a movie or hanging out with my friends impromptu, in the middle of the workweek
  9. Teasing and laughing my heart out with my family
  10. Sometimes, dancing bare feet
  11. The idea of travelling for a month or two, without sticking to a schedule
  12. Me time
  13. Driving with the window down
  14. A book or a movie which suits my mood
  15. Comfy denims and ratty old t-shirts

What’s on your list?