Dress in the closet,
Eye-brows are done,
Invites are sent,
I love you so, hun!
Gifts are packed,
The menu is spun,
The venue is decked up,
Oh darling, we can't be outdone!
Bridesmaids look gorgeous,
and friends are having fun;
The uncles and aunties,
you bet, are overdone!
Dress is now out,
Fake lashes, a breathtaking bun,
Stars on my lips,
Soon, I won't be a maiden!
As I slip on the dress,
A change in my disposition,
As I look in the mirror,
Red's my complexion,
Spiders crawl my back,
Stomach's in contraction,
I wonder if I can do this,
But, I love you so, hun!
It's time to walk down the aisle,
and my feet are frozen;
My body's all ice,
but, I love you so, hun!
From Miss to Mrs.,
the leap's a big one;
From this house to that,
a change of foundation!
The life that's gone by,
a kaleidoscopic procession;
The life that's to come,
coz of you, a worthy proposition!
You my darling, are
the sign on the side of the mountain;
With you on my side,
I'm ready for this expedition!
Little joys of life
I sit at the terrace, looking at the sky as the sun begins to go down. The bright orange of the sun diffuses to form a dull gold that spreads across the evening sky. The bright green leaves take a blackish hue against this backdrop. Birds start to head towards their homes in whatever foliage still covers the skyline. My dogs are playing their usual games, sometimes to amuse themselves, most of the times to catch my attention. As they see me get up and head towards the terrace door, their activity comes to a halt. All four of them have their eyes on me, asking, "Where are you going? Don't you like our antics? We are doing all this just for your entertainment!" A smile flashes across my face and my heart fills with happiness. I count my blessings, as I open the terrace door to leave.
#joy #life #happiness #dogs #nature #dusk
Respect got a new meaning
It was about 14 years ago when I was visiting Vietnam for a Youth exchange program from India. The city was Hanoi. We were a group of teenagers, most of us visiting a foreign country for the first time. It was during the day and we had some free time to roam the city. So we were taking a stroll near the hostel where we were put up.
It was one of the strangest but most beautiful things I ever saw. The city had many people riding motor bikes and they did follow traffic lights very religiously. There were no dividers on this road and two bikes that were coming from opposite direction had a head-on collision. Both the riders fell off their bikes. We froze on the footpath. We thought they'd be injured. Thankfully neither of them was. The next thing we thought would be a scuffle or a verbal fight. To our surprise, both the men got up, picked up their bikes, bowed their heads and smiled at each other. Then, they sat on their bikes and set off in their respective directions.
This was a show of mutual respect in a situation that usually elicits negative responses such as anger, fights - verbal or physical, calling the traffic police etc. That was the day respect got a new meaning for me. It meant that if we respect and show love to our fellow humans, we can solve tricky situations with a lot of grace.
Broken but repaired
It was a long time ago (if close to a decade qualifies for a long time ago!) He was my second boyfriend but my first true love. Yes. I had learned to understand what "love" was. It wasn't just a fleeting sense of physical attraction but a pure wholesome feeling. The one that can take you to the realm of bliss.
I really did love him. What's more, he proposed the relationship. I was over the moon but I wanted to bide my time before I said that we were boyfriend-girlfriend. Though sparks had flown the very first day, it was still too soon. We had only interacted for about 15-20 odd days in office and outside of it. So, I wanted to be sure that he was serious about the relationship.
My delay in saying yes, made him feel I was disinterested. By the time I felt I was ready to say yes, he had drifted. However, my feeling were strong. I wanted him back, and back he came after a few months.
The relationship was full of crests and troughs, probably like other relationships. Though, I did not like his frequent mood-swings and his lack of commitment. I've always felt relationships must be rock-solid. They must stand all the trials and tribulations. It might be too idealistic or romantic a viewpoint, but then it's just how I am.
So, when we broke up the final time, my heart sank. It sank so deep, I felt I was at the end of the world with nothing to look forward to. My hopes, aspirations, ambition all lost to this one relationship. I was broken. Even suicidal.
Something, stopped me from going the distance with my suicidal instincts though. It was the love for my mother and my family. I saw their broken faces when I tried to commit the felony.
That was the moment I came back to life. The repairing period was long, almost three years but I took up things that really mattered to me - music, dance, and writing. And so, that broken relationship actually repaired me.
Control your Life!
That's a piece of advice I've heard pretty often. Similar in frequency to the other dreaded one, "get married and settle down."
Well, for one, I don't really believe that one needs to be in control of one's life. I mean, sure, control freaks do better in the worldly ways - money, marriage and the works. And yet...
Wondering what I'm blabbering?
See, I don't know about you but I'm a firm believer of Shiva, the most powerful Indian deity or God to be specific, and I believe he has things already placed out there for me. I just need to rummage through the slush pile or in more sophisticated words, find my treasure through the hunt. Now, the hunt need not be very well thought out or planned. No plan means no control. You just go with the flow discovering clues along the way and hitting jackpot in the end!
(Please don't get hung up on Shiva. It's a belief system, and I believe in Him. You could simply believe in life itself, or not!)
I've done a great many things in life and I'm still some distance from "arriving" in life. But, I don't care so much. I care more about the "discovering clues" part of the game and discoveries can neither be planned nor can they be controlled.
So, if I were to say who or what controls my life; I'd say Shiva does. In other words, life controls itself.
Writer's block is over-rated
Since the writer's mind is never sated
Always looking for her salvation
She'd find, if not for procrastination
Ideas come and ideas go
For each she has a different "no"
Even though writing needs the flow
Strength in character, she needs to show
If every idea she does forsake
The writer's block is hers to take!
Mamahen and the Ramen Noodles
Mamahen was Yushomoto’s prized possession ever since he had moved to India. Being a Japanese, Yushomoto was extremely fond of well-cooked ramen noodles. Yushomoto himself was a part-time sous-chef in his mother’s kitchen in Japan. He knew several mouth-watering recipes of ramen noodles.
Hen comes home
It was on a bright sunny morning of early April when Yushomoto was walking down the lush Arunachal valley that his attention was drawn towards sounds of commotion. They were the joyous noises of boys being hooligans and exulting at the pain of a poor hen, with a trail of firecrackers attached to its feet.
Yushomoto was a compassionate human being who found the sight utterly disgusting. He quickly shooed away the boys, and then, with the help of his pocket knife, carefully removed the firecracker trail. The distressed hen was completely confused of its whereabouts and just ran into the squatting Yushomoto, who was carefully observing her.
Yushomoto looked nearby to see if there were any claimants of the hen. When he found none, he picked the hen in his arms and walked up the valley to his home. Yushomoto was a timber merchant and had a nice big place he called home. He had constructed the house using wood as the chief material and concrete was only sparsely used. He had a beautiful front garden as well as a plush backyard. He lived there alone. But this was going to change, now.
A name means everything
On reaching home, he decided to name the hen. He called her Mamahen.
The story behind the name was poignant. Yushomoto had lived all his life with his mother, a single parent. She was a tough task-master and provided for their living by selling ramen noodles in various flavors to the local working classes. He learned his discipline and her recipes, both, in her kitchen.
But just like other mothers, Yushomoto’s mother was equally loving and caring. She stayed up nights when he fell sick with jaundice. He hardly saw her sleep those days. His slightest needs were met even at midnight without as much as a grumble. When he recovered, he had to toil hard like always; and to that, she allowed no excuses. She was his role model.
In her last days, Yushomoto’s mother had grown frail but her spirit was still steel. She did not suffer any specific diseases but the battering of life had weakened her. The three main teachings she gave Yushomoto were a disciplined life, honesty towards work and people, and compassion towards humans, animals and plants.
After his mother passed away, Yushomoto was alone. He had learned the workings of the timber business from one of his uncles. From his mother’s kitchen, there was a huge amount of savings. When he heard of a good timber business opportunity in Arunachal, he shut down the kitchen in Japan and moved there. His mother was his sole companion throughout life and thus, he missed her every day of his life. Not anymore. In Mamahen, he sought his mother; and this, was his own little secret.
Getting to know each other
He carefully constructed a spacious pen, for Mamahen, in the backyard. Mamahen was also slowly developing a fondness for Yushomoto. When he was not at the timber factory, he was busy having fun with Mamahen in the backyard or having silent chats with her inside the house. Yes, Mamahen was allowed inside the house when he was home.
Once, during one of the quiet chats while sitting on the floor, Yushomoto was fondly telling stories about his mother to Mamahen. She was looking at him intently and responding with prompt intermittent clucking. In between, she would also keep looking for any stray insects on the floor whom she could convert into a nice warm meal. But the house was clean and so, she had no luck.
Suddenly, even Yushomoto felt hungry. So, he got up and went to the kitchen. Mamahen sauntered behind him; knowing nothing better. She thought she might find some stray insect in the kitchen. But the kitchen was clean too. So she kept pacing the kitchen and clucking intermittently while Yushomoto told her the ramen recipe of the day.
Sharing the meal!
Piping hot ramen noodles with a savory aroma were ready in no time. Mamahen was lurking nearby, unaffected, despite an acute sense of smell. Perhaps, the search for an ill-fated earthworm, or any other stray insect, which she could convert into warm food for herself, demanded greater attention.
Yushomoto sat down at the low-height dinner table and began savoring the tasty meal. Suddenly, he started missing his mother who would often sit across him while they both had dinner. He wanted to share the meal with someone. Just then, it struck him that he could share it with Mamahen! So, he picked a long noodle strand with his chopsticks, kept a saucer on the floor, and placed the noodle on it. After that, he called out to Mamahen.
Mamahen was still busy looking for food when her attention was caught by the saucer and something on it that looked like an earthworm. Her irises expanded, she quickened her pace, and reached out for food! She pecked at it till she thought it was dead. Then, she ate it, piece by piece, with the flair of a conquering knight.
Yushomoto was amused and thrilled at the sight. Never before had he thought that a single strand of noodle could be a reason for so much pride for someone. He felt a filial bond forming between the two of them.
After finishing her noodle, Mamahen looked at Yushomoto with a slight tilt of her neck. Her eyes intense with expression. At that moment, Yushomoto knew that they had formed a close bond. He decided to not just treat Mamahen with ramen noodles every time he made them from then on but to spend more time with her.
~This story was written earlier for a contest on another writing platform. Even though the story got a lot of attention and good comments, it did not place. Since it's a piece from the heart for children, I thought this is a good place to submit.
“Is life a mystery,
which so many want to sort?”
I once asked this question
and the reply was a retort:
“Woman, is it your mind that you have lost?
Time is of essence
Don’t waste on such a quest
Don’t squander what cannot be retrieved
Go on, don’t think of rest
There is no mystery
and, there is no puzzle
Life is a river
and each day a new bank
a new discovery
Sometimes, it’s pristine sand
Sometimes, dirt and water you can’t tell apart
But what you see each day
is not the same as last
Flow – the purpose of a river
Flow – the purpose of life
The very effort to stop the flow
can bring a flood
and spell doom
So, don’t stop to solve the mystery
Instead, just flow
And discover what life has to show.”
~ ©nehasri/Neha Srivastava
P.S. ~ This poem was published in 2016 in The Ibis Head Review. Usually I would write a new piece for all Prose challenges but I believe this is one of the biggest lessons I've learned in life. Most often we get caught in the web of life or stuck in situations which require us to simply go with the flow. Time is not just a great healer, it is also a great puzzle-solver. Sometimes what time shows us is way beyond our imagination.
#ProseChallenge #CotW66 #itslit #getlit
Contest on Amazon U.K.
Guys, here's a very cool opportunity I came by. A contest on Amazon U.K.
If you have an old manuscript gathering dust on your shelf or lying cold in a folder on your laptop, make it hot!!
Yes, submit your previously unpublished books on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.
The winner gets a cool prize of £20,000, roughly $25,000.
The book will become published and will be considered such by other publishing houses.
For more information please go to:
Let's all submit a book!
It isn't compulsory to submit the complete manuscript. Though there is a minimum requirement of 5,000 words.
More power to all Prosers!!