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coffeerelated

The making

Still remember, I was at my usual place, cozy corner by the window, sipping my black coffee.  A couple was sitting outside with their coffees, hands held and gazes locked. Strong winds began blowing, flash! Clap! Down came large drops, pounding hard. They had to run. Boy tried to protect the girl with his coat, while her red umbrella lay behind. The board washed out in minutes.  The moment froze in my eternal frame. My perfect shot!

Memoirs of a sidekick
Still remember the moment, when you picked me off Macy’s and changed my life.  You had said, when I was around, you felt safe. Ever since, come rain or shine, I was there for you, protecting.
But today’s rain, along with the board over there, washed off many things.
First, it did hurt.  But I am really happy, that you found someone, ultimately. Yet, if you ever need me again, you know where the coffee shop is.

Note: These were my submissions for a 77 word fiction contest in my office quite sometime back, where you had to write a story, poem or non-fiction based on picture in 77 words….

When you are out of ideas you recycle your old stuff like I am doing here ….

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Good-Bye

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“There he is! It is your chance now, just do it” hissed the sly devil. Marraine hesitated for a moment, he was quick as always but before he could reach for the whip. Bang! Bang! Bang! He slumped down to floor with a thud.

He was still breathing but life was oozing out, yet that didn’t torment Marraine anymore, she had earned her freedom.

“Good-Bye! Love!”. Marraine dropped the smoking gun and walked out of the dungeon into glowing sunrise. ‘Ouch! That was easy.’ the devil smiled wryly.

Mesmerized- 55 Fiction

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The news had spread like a wildfire through the entire locality that she was finally trapped.

Like everyone I too rushed to have just a glimpse of her.

Everyone stood mesmerized by her bountiful beauty. She turned and our eyes met, instantly my world froze.

My mind whispered “William Blake was so damn right”.

 

PS: This is based on true narration by one my friends who had seen a Royal Bengal Tiger of Sunderbans caught in a cage. He said that such was the majestic awe of the Lady of the Jungle that nobody dared to go alone in front of her cage. And her roar was something that made their legs tremble in fear.

Image Courtesy : http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-43890394/stock-photo-young-businessman-looking-upward-in-an-awestruck-fashion-he-is-truly-mesmerized-isolated-on-white.html

Trivia : This a century post I realized after publishing… Phew!  Finally! It took almost 2 years to reach 100 posts  😀 ….

In Pursuit of Idly

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This Post was first published @ N-zine . Could be read there as well.

1

The young boy was jostling with people looking up the reservation charts on the board, he was scanning it from top to bottom looking for a particular name. He stopped at one point, his heart started pounding, probably found what he was searching for.
“Anna, here look! Your name! Come here and see!” shouted the excited boy turning towards a young man standing a little far from the crowd.

“See! M. Subbaiah M26 ! It’s confirmed!!!” Cried out the boy in excitement.

M. Subbaiah looked up the list for his own satisfaction and smiled widely with relief.

“Great!” Subbaiah spoke for the first time in minutes and pulled his brother out of the crowd in front of the reservation board.

The brothers walked cheerily towards an old lady standing near a lamp-post and guarding the luggage.

“What happened?” asked the old lady with concern clearly showing up in her face.

“Guess!” smiled Subbaiah stopping his brother from speaking out.

“Tell me, please what happened? Is it confirmed?”

“Yes Amma it’s confirmed” the young boy blurted out unable to hold it anymore.

Amma looked up and gestured a ‘Thank you’ to God.

The brothers picked up the luggage and walked towards the coach, their mother following now that Subbaiah has a confirmed berth.

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2

The train started at right time and was slowly pulling out of the station. Subbaiah or Subbu as he preferred to be called, was standing at the gate of coach waving Goodbye to his family left back on the platform.

Subbu returned to his seat and started looking out of the window. The goodbye was not as difficult as he had thought it would be. The scenery outside the window was of buildings concealed by walls and slum shanties around the walls, the view started bringing back many memories.

The walls beside the tracks were whizzing past, though much was not visible beyond the walls but Subbu could visualize every lane, every street, every shop, every house, every nook and every corner. After-all he had lived there, in that town since his birth. Naturally everything was so familiar to him but now this very familiarity was stifling him. He wanted to leave all the familiarity behind and move in search of something unknown and something new. That’s why when he got a job in a faraway place in the mountains he accepted at once. His Amma had agreed with a heavy heart as she could not see her first born suffer so much in this town. Lost in his own mired world Subbu shut his eyes and soon fell asleep.

The train was running on its own rhythm and some of the passengers were chatting, some haggling with the vendors, some reading or playing cards and some like Subbu sleeping fast and sound. Just then the Pantry attendant came along enquiring about the passengers’ dinner plans. He saw Subbu sleeping so woke him up and asked “Sir, What do you want have for dinner?”

Subbu was so startled and surprised that he couldn’t understand what the man was trying to say, so the Pantry attendant repeated his query. Subbu groggily shook his head and replied “No thanks, I have my dinner”. Amma had packed his favorite Chitranna(lemon rice), Curd rice and Aavakkai (Raw Mango Pickle, Andhra style). Subbu checked the bag containing his food once and when found it intact, he went to sleep again smiling blissfully.

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3

The next morning Subbu woke up to the famous sounds of “chai garam” (hot tea) /”coffee coffee” calls of the tea/coffee sellers. He called one of the tea vendors and ordered one cup and paid the vendor from his upper berth and enquired whether the train was on schedule or not. The tea vendor replied it was running an hour and half late, with a big smile. Subbu took a sip of the piping hot tea and told himself “A perfect start to the day! Aaah!” the tea was nice though not as good as Amma’s but still he was happy as he got his daily tea served in his bed.

After finishing tea and visit to the toilet Subbu saw the Pantry attendant coming asking for breakfast. When the Pantry attendant came to him, Subbu asked “What do you have?”

“Bread Omelet, Bread Cutlet and Upma” the Pantry attendant uttered mechanically.

Subbu enquired little surprised at the list of items “You don’t have idli/vada?”

“No sir, only Bread Omelet, Bread Cutlet and Upma, tell me Sir what you want?”

Subbu got a little irritated at the fact that a train from South India did not offer idli/vada for breakfast but did not want to spoil his pleasant mood.

“No nothing”.

The Pantry attendant turned to the next passenger. Subbu thought no problems if the Pantry doesn’t serve idli the next station would certainly have a idli/dosa stall. The thought having hot, fluffy idlis with morning newspapers made Subbu smile.

The train slowed down, Subbu climbed down from his berth and saw the train was entering a station. He put his slippers on and told a co-passenger to keep an eye on his luggage while got down at the station for breakfast.

Subbu stepped onto the station, it was quite busy with passengers moving in and out of the compartments. The different vendors were declaring their own wares at the top of their voices. He started searching for Idli/Dosa stall and started walking up and down the platform but to his dismay he couldn’t find one. He asked one of the stall owners who shocked him by saying that there are no idli/dosa stalls in the station. Subbu got totally disheartened meanwhile the train blew the horn and started moving with a jolt, he got into the train hurriedly.

Subbu was very upset and also feeling hungry but he had not ordered anything to the Pantry so he drank water and waited for the next station.

The story was same at the next station but this time Subbu had used his brain and purchased some fruits and cakes, which became a makeshift breakfast for the day. He remembered his Amma’s words “Why are you going so far away you won’t be able to get proper food. Ok let me pack some idlis for your breakfast in train” but he had refused saying that he had heard that South Indian food was very popular throughout India, he will get it and adjusting the food habit is a very small cost he has to pay for relief he would be getting by moving away so far.

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4

Next morning too Subbu had to manage with fruits, cakes and biscuits, though this time puri/sabji was on offer but he didn’t want take the risk.

His train reached its destination with about two hours delay. It was evening by then and he had to take another train to the mountains scheduled about four and a half hours later. He thought that the delay was a good thing for him as his waiting time had reduced. He felt little hungry as it was snacks time. He went in search for the coveted Idli as he thought he was in a huge station in a large metro city.

To his delight he spotted a stall which had Idli,Dosa,Vada etc on its menu so he very excitedly placed the order for Idli only to be told that Idlis were not available as all were sold. Subbu’s frustration knew no bounds he felt God was playing a strange game with him. He didn’t lose hope he asked the man at the stall about any other place where he would get Idli. The kind hearted man told him about one of the South Indian restaurants in the city.

Subbu immediately set-off after calling his neighbor Saritha Aunty about his safe arrival at the city and leaving his luggage at the railways locker . He was overwhelmed by the large city and its tall buildings and wherever he looked there were swarm of people moving around hurriedly, vehicles cramming every nook of the streets and lanes. It seemed everybody was in a hurry, no one had a moment to spare. On reaching the said restaurant he was informed rudely that they don’t serve snacks at that hour only meals were available. He decided to return to the station as he didn’t have much time to left for his train to leave. He didn’t want to be stranded in such a heartless city.

He reached the station barely fifteen minutes before his train’s departure. But he got into train just in time after rushing around. He was cursing himself for venturing into the hostile city for Idli in the process couldn’t have or pick-up any dinner. It was a night train so didn’t have any pantry services only water, biscuits, cakes, chips etc light snacks were available. He somehow managed with them. The journey was teaching a number of lessons to the small Towner like him thought visibly distressed Subbu.

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5

Subbu’s train reached at the scheduled time in the morning stepping at platform he could feel the chill the mountains. He got out of the station and took a taxi as he was instructed by his employer. After travelling a while he could see the majestic mountains ahead and the taxi began it’s ascend up the mountainous roads. The scenery was so beautiful that it took out all the bitterness and frustrations residing in Subbu. The driver was very cheerful and showing him places en route. He was playing very beautiful songs in his car audio in a language which Subbu didn’t understand but liked every bit of it.

When he reached his cottage the old caretaker and his grandson came running and helped Subbu unload his luggage and took him inside.

The caretaker told Subbu to freshen-up, while he is laying the table for his breakfast. Subbu smiled wistfully at the mention of breakfast. He quickly got fresh as he was hungry and reached the dining table and was almost in tears when he opened the lid of the container.

Dear Amma and Srinu,

You will be very happy to know that I have reached here safely and settled without much difficulty. This place is very beautiful, people are also very nice, kind and helpful. There’s a lot to write about but right now I am little tied down in taking over my new job.

This year during Srinu’s vacations you all should visit here. Yes don’t forget to pack enough Idlis to last the whole journey. Rest all is fine here and don’t worry you’ll get hot and fluffy idlis with coconut chutney and delicious sambar served to you every morning right here.

Yours Loving,

Subbu

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Note : This is work of fiction any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely unintentional.

Goodbye!

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This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 13; the thirteenth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

He loved goodbyes!
‘He’ or “Abhi” as his father had named him. His father had said “Not Abhi-k or Abhi-sek or Abhi-jit or  Abhi-roop  just Abhi, short, sweet without any baggage”.  Abhi’s father was in Army and would go away to the border for long periods of time.  He missed his father but the best part of his father’s leaving home for duty was saying good bye to his dad. He loved the railway stations, the ambience there, the chugging away of the trains thrilled him to no end. Once during vacations Abhi’s dad had arranged a trip to the hills where Abhi’s dad was posted. Abhi was really excited by the idea of travelling by train like his dad. But he was utterly disappointed when no one had come to say goodbye to him and his mother.  Family for Abhi meant his mom and Dad. Abhi’s parents had married against the wishes of his grandparents so their respective families had cut-off all relations from them. Hence there was no one to see them off at the station when they left for the hills.  But all his disappointments and heartbreaks melted the moment the train entered the destination station. His dad was there, waiting at the platform with a huge smile and open arms to receive them.  Those fifteen days were one of the best in Abhi’s life and while returning the goodbye was grand as his dad’s colleagues had come to see them off with a number of gifts for him and most importantly his dad was coming home with them.  That day little Abhi had decided he would join the Army like his dad and work in the hills. Dreams, ambitions and lives are shattered by war. In one such war Abhi’s dad had returned home in coffin wrapped in country’s flag. He was still very young to understand the final goodbye he had so say to his father when he lit the pyre. But seeing his mother’s stony silence he realized, that he will never be able to join the Army.
As we know life doesn’t stop or slow down, Abhi too was growing up rapidly as per the nature’s rules. In the process he had made many friends but one among them was his best mate. Sundar was a back bencher like Abhi and that’s how they became close. They would bunk school and go to the sea shore and wave goodbyes to the passing ships.
Abhi remarked one day “I envy those sailors” popping 3-4 peanuts into his mouth and passing the paper bag to Sundar.
“Yes! I wish I could be one” Sundar replied.
“To be a good sailor you need to study, study really hard, boys” a voice remarked from behind breaking into their conversation.
Abhi and Sundar startled by the voice, turned to find out the source.
An old man was smiling at them.
“Sorry boys broke in like this but take it from a retired sailor, go to school and study hard, and then one day you’ll see yourself captaining a ship into the oceans” said the old man looking far away into the sea.
The old man’s word had magical effect on the boys and they went back to school and never bunked classes again. A few years later, one day, they were back at the port. Sundar in a sailor’s uniform and Abhi was there to send him off.  No, Abhi couldn’t become a sailor, his mother was very ill and he couldn’t leave her alone in that state. So he took over his mother’s Gift Shop. But he was happy for Sundar. When Sundar’s ship set sail Abhi had waved to him and uttered “Goodbye my friend, do  keep sending postcards of the lands you visit”.
Abhi with his hard work and ingenuity had expanded the gift shop and in a short period his shop was the best in the city.  But his mother’s deteriorating health kept him concerned.  Her memory was wiping off progressively, initially she used to forget names, then she forgot faces including Abhi and finally she couldn’t do basic day to day operations. He helplessly watched her losing herself. One night she fell off fatally from her bed. Abhi didn’t even get a chance to say his final goodbye to her.
Life couldn’t be all that harsh with him. He met Suzanne in his shop; she had come to his shop looking for gift for her kid brother. Abhi helped her in deciding a perfect gift. They kept meeting often and steadily they became very close. Finally Abhi proposed to Suzanne and she accepted. They got married soon and when they were setting off for honeymoon, Abhi was overwhelmed by huge set of Suzanne’s family and friends at the railway station bidding them goodbye, as the train rolled out of the platform Abhi waved at the crowd.
Indeed he loved goodbyes!

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Rain Dance

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I

aay bristi jhepe, dhan debo mepe, dhaner bhitor poka, jamai beta boka” (come rain full speed, will give you measured paddy, but the paddy has pests, jamai raja is a fool) Tinni was uttering the Bengali limerick and dancing with joy in the rain.

Tinni, come in immediately…” scolded Bishaka.

No! Not now, so early” grinned Tinni waving one of her little hands with her other hand on waist.

Come in quickly I am telling you…Silly girl you’ll catch cold” shouted Bishaka getting worried.

He! He! He! How can I catch cold when I cannot even catch the rain…see ma” chuckled Tinni trying to grasp the rain drops with her tiny fingers.

Bishaka smiled secretly and she covered her head with her sari holding it tightly with one hand and jumped into the courtyard to catch hold of frail Tinni and picked her up and ran back to shade. …

Read the rest @ N-Zine

Wish

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“Papa! Look what I have got from Kolpotoru Dadu this time” exclaimed an excited Drojo clutching a new Noddy book wrapped in coloured cellophane paper.
“Very nice! ” I smiled at my little son.

Today, let me tell you the story of Drojo’s Kolpotoru Dadu, my Kolpotoru Dadu, our Kolpotoru Dadu.

We had just moved into Flat No- 61A, the south facing flat on 5th Floor of newly built Vishal Towers, 5A/1 Gangullypara Lane. I was living there with my parents and two little sisters, Dimpi and Tinki, who were twins. I must have been of Drojo’s age then, 6 years and my sisters 3 years.
The school bus would not enter our lane and drop us at bus stand on the main road. Since our apartment was inside the lane, we had to walk about 500-600 meters from the bus-stand while returning or going to school. Ma would escort us between the bus stand and home.

………

Read the rest @ Neha’s Blog

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