Lake Irai : #WordlessWednesday

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May 15th 2014 – Lake Irai, Tadoba, Nagpur

We reached Tadoba, it was scorching hot in the month of May. I was continuously wondering the wisdom behind our decision to visit this place with a toddler in tow.

But, as soon as this serene patch of blue presented itself into my vision, I forgot all my angst and my worries. It instantly cooled me down even when the sun hadn’t lost any of its fervour.

I am participating in #WordlessWednesday hosted by Natasha and Esha.

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Posted in My Ramblings | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

#TellTaleThursday – 25th October 2018

The rules are simple:

  • Write a story, complete in itself.
  • Check spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Copy and paste your Story URL to the inLinkz list.
  • The story should be up to 250 words.
  • Add this line < #TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya > at the end of the post.
  • Read, comment and share – spread the love.

Halloween is round the corner. How could we claim to be fiction writers and not spin a spooky yarn on the most awaited scariest/spookiest festival of the year.

So here’s the prompt for this week!

halloween - 25th Oct 18.jpeg

Word count – 244 Words

Trick or Treat?

She was not too enthusiastic about this Halloween party. If truth be told, she was scared of anything that reminded her of ghosts, witches, sorcery or anything paranormal. But, she couldn’t afford to miss this one. It was a new job and the invitation had come from the boss himself.

Around midnight, she reached the address mentioned in the invite. The driveway was decorated with huge jack-o-lanterns; each carved pumpkin more sinister looking than the other one. Berating herself for the wild imagination, she entered the house.

There were many people, but she couldn’t spot anyone from her workplace. She headed to the bar. A few drinks inside her system and she felt confident enough to sway on the music.

When she woke up, her head was pounding. She didn’t feel like opening her eyes. But she had a feeling she must. She opened her eyes and what she saw made her close them again. She had seen an empty house with no door, broken windows and giant cobwebs hanging from the ceiling.

Where was she? Where did others go? There was no trace of the party. Confused and scared she went outside. This was the same house she had entered the previous evening, but it looked so different in the daylight. It was an abandoned house. Had she dreamed it all?

Just when she decided to get her head examined she saw a jack-o-lantern hiding behind the bush. No, she hadn’t imagined it.

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Book Review – Forty Rules of Love

Elif Shafak is originally from Turkey who now resides in the UK with her two sons. Though her first language is Turkish, she prefers writing in English. She has expressed her thoughts too on the subject at the end of the book.

So the book Forty Rules of Love has two stories in parallel – one that takes place in the present century and the other that runs in the thirteenth century.

Ella is a 40-year old domestic goddess who doesn’t let her family that consists of a husband, one adult daughter and two teenage twins step out of the house without feeding them homemade breakfast. She attends cooking clubs, keeps herself busy in her kids and looks after the needs of her husband. However, she is one unhappy woman. Always one to abide by the rules and keep herself in the limits of the codes laid down by the society, she now feels stifled. Her husband is cheating on her; however instead of confronting him, she chooses to stay quiet. She fears the ripples of consequences her action would set in motion. She has lost her belief in love and thus ends up alienating her grown up daughter and has no clue what’s going on in the life of her twins.

She joins a literary agency and is given a book to read and prepare a report on. This book is written by an unknown first-time writer – Aziz A. Zahara. Reluctant to read, but still willing to give her best shot – she begins to read the book called ‘Sweet Blasphemy’. It’s a book based on the lives of 13th century sufi scholar Rumi and his mentor, Shams of Tabriz. Now, we all know how Rumi is – a sufi poet, but not many know that it was Shams of Tabriz, a wandering dervish who was responsible behind Rumi being a household name even after 700 years. Sweet Blasphemy is a book about knowing oneself, loving oneself and loving without questioning.

As Ella reads the book, she is intrigued by the author of Sweet Blasphemy and reads more about him. In a moment of impulse, she writes him a mail. The writer, a practising sufi himself, replies her and thus starts pen-friendship between them. Without meeting him, Ella falls in love with the writer. The two finally meet and profess their love, however, fate has different plans for them.

Will Ella re-write her destiny? Will she step out of her comfort zone and embrace love?

These questions will be answered when you read the book.

Forty Rules of Love is not a mere book, but a guide in love that makes sense and is relevant even after seven centuries. It shares forty rules of love that can help any individual in this world to love unconditionally one and all. The best thing about the book is that it doesn’t preach. With the help of interestingly woven stories, it sends the message across. Each and every character lends his essence to the book and makes the reader self-reflect and self-meditate.

Some of the precious nuggets of wisdom:

“Every true love and friendship is a story of unexpected transformation. If we are the same person before and after we loved, that means we haven’t loved enough…”

“You can study God through everything and everyone in the universe, because God is not confined in a mosque, synagogue or church. But if you are still in need of knowing where exactly His abode is, there is only one place to look for him: in the heart of a true lover.”

“East, west, south, or north makes little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within. If you travel within, you’ll travel the whole wide world and beyond.”

“Submission does not mean being weak or passive. It leads to neither fatalism nor capitulation. Just the opposite. True power resides in submission a power that comes within.”

“A life without love is of no account. Don’t ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, Eastern or Western. Divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire! The universe turns differently when fire loves water.”

After this book, I am tempted to know more about Rumi and his works.

My verdict: As a bookworm, you end up reading a lot of books, however, not all appeal to your taste or sensibilities. But, when you do come across a book that checks all the right boxes, you feel you have found a new friend. Forty Rules of Love is one such book, or should I say, a friend that you would like to keep close and refer to from time to time whenever you are feeling down, disappointed with yourself or life or want to break free.

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Guardian Angel

PHOTO PROMPT © Jilly Funell

Hosted by Friday Fictioneers

“I badly need coffee.”

“Let’s go to the tower first. Visiting hours will end soon,” she urged.

They got a panoramic bird’s eye view of the city. But he could only see the people sitting on the road side café and enjoying their coffee.

“Let’s leave,” he said.

They heard a loud explosion and the tower shook. It felt as if the earth had moved from beneath their feet. He looked down where thick clouds of smoke and dust were rising up. He could hear sirens in the distance.

Where did the café go?

Posted in Short Stories | Tagged , , , , , | 39 Comments

#TellTaleThursday – 18th October 2018

The rules are simple:

  • Write a story, complete in itself.
  • Check spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Copy and paste your Story URL to the inLinkz list.
  • The story should be up to 250 words.
  • Add this line < #TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya > at the end of the post.
  • Multiple entries are welcome.
  • Read, comment and share – spread the love.

This Thursday instead of a picture prompt, we decided to have fun by writing a story that starts after these lines…

In the hallway they saw a corridor with several doors leading off it. Everything in the hall was covered in dust, as though no one had touched it for a hundred years. From the book ‘George’s Secret Key to The Universe’ – Lucy & Stephen Hawking

Word count – 195 Words

Treasure Trail

Related image

Image source – dark-parables.wikia.com

They heard the sound of water and followed it. They soon came upon a giant gargoyle spitting water in a shallow pond. The mouth of the gargoyle was large enough to fit one person. The captain first went inside the mouth. Others followed suit. They climbed up the gargoyle’s narrow, wet tunnel. The water stopped gushing out after a few metres which made the work of the team easier. Soon, they found an opening and jumped.

It was a vault full of precious stones – glittering diamonds, sparkling rubies and stunning emeralds. The team cried in joy. All those harrowing nights where they were chased by man-eating animals, mischievous jungle spirits and blood-sucking giant mosquitoes had finally rewarded them. They soon filled up their rug sacks and prepared to go. But where? Where had the opening from where they had come disappeared?

Now, it was just a room with 4 closed walls. Then the captain saw a heap of skeletons lying in one corner. There were old rug sacks too. The realisation dawned on the captain at the same time it did on his team.

No wonder no one ever came from back from this treasure trail.

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Hide and Seek

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Hosted by Friday Fictioneers

Words – 95

“Kids, don’t go far and come before the dusk falls.”

Brother and sister found an abandoned cottage near the woods. The broken roof, smashed window panes and missing door appealed to them. It was an ideal place to play hide and seek.

“You hide, I shall seek,” said brother.

“Are you ready?” He shouted.

No girly voice answered.

“Where are you? Don’t play your silly games with me?”

He went inside the cottage, climbed up the attic but sister was nowhere to be found.

“I had told you not to venture too far.” Mother cried.

 

Posted in Short Stories | Tagged , , , , , | 27 Comments

#TellTaleThursday – 11th October 2018

The other evening, as I was walking in the park with my daughter, yellow and orange leaves fell on us heralding the arrival of Autumn. That gave us an idea! We thought Autumn will be an ideal prompt for our second week of #TellTaleThursday. What say!!

Let’s make an ode to this golden season with our pen and imagination.

The rules are simple:

  • Write a story, complete in itself.
  • Check spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Copy and paste your Story URL to the inLinkz list.
  • The story should be up to 250 words.
  • Add this line < #TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya > at the end of the post.
  • Multiple entries are welcome.
  • Read, comment and share – spread the love.

Use the graphic prompt given below, weave a story, and add to the linky.  Have fun!

Lady in Red

Image Credit: Giphy.com

Word count – 159 Words

Lady in Red

She was waiting by the tree, resplendent in her favourite red dress, enjoying the pretty autumn colours. She loved when the yellow, orange and red leaves fell down and became one with the earth and the crisp mountain breeze made her hair fly. Pity most people didn’t see it that way – they only saw the barren trees that reminded them of their twilight years and impending end.

She looked up and saw a couple coming her way. The man whispered something in the woman’s ear and she laughed, love shining bright in her eyes. They were pushing a stroller with a cherubic 2-year old. The toddler looked up at her and waved. She waved back. The couple looked around, but saw nothing. They hurried their steps and left the park.

She sighed. Some people had it all. But, she was happy with her tree, her red dress and wind in the hair.

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