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THE STRANGER

Her heart was failing. Her chest heaved in an irregular fashion from the effort of breathing. Her peppered hair stuck to her sweaty neck. Her lips quivered and her body buckled uncontrollably. Mother was resting her head on my shoulder.
The crowd was overwhelming even as many took refuge in the seething heat of the railway station awaiting the only train that would make a stop in the forlorn forest village.
I was not in a condition to contemplate the consequences of not reaching the hospital on time. It was half a day’s journey to the city hospital and traversing through the forest was not an option.
The distant hum of the train was barely audible before which all the people had already started creating a ruckus, pushing and pulling to assemble on the tiny platform.
The train would only stop for a minute. The crucial minute of life.
I hurriedly wrapped my arm around mother’s malnourished body. We squeezed through the crowd, her feet dragging on the platform. My feet were tiring me, I felt as if I was wading through the sea waters. Each and every part of my body throbbed to get on that ride.
The train sounded the horn as it sluggishly moved through to exit, even as the impossible throng streamed into its various carriages.
My heart clenched in fear. I had not noticed that I had started screaming, my voice carrying all those years of suppressed emotions. Even then people pushed past us, sparing glances of disgust.
The vehicle was picking up speed. Tears were making infinite streams across my face, leaking across my tired body.
My drooping eyes suddenly noticed something. Before I could register what was happening, my mom and I were dragged across to the moving train. The stranger pushed us into the carriage and we landed gracefully on the train floor.
I immediately made my way to the door lending my arm to the kind stranger. I had enough time to see the face of the young man, but we were far too gone. The man collapsed onto the platform as the train hurled the carriages away from the station.

_________________________________________________

Mother was slowly recovering. The doctors appreciated me to have brought her on time, if not, there was no chance of survival.
My thoughts were drifting back to the stranger. I made it a point to find him at once. As we reached back to the village, I immediately set out to find the young man. I proceeded to the tiny railway station to start my search.
On the bill board of people who had lost their life due to untimely medical help, was etched the new face of the young man.

“God love good people, for he takes them the earliest.”

-shreya

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THE ART OF HAPPINESS

A couple of days into summer and we had already sweat litres. Summer being one of the least welcome weathers of the year, people were already hoping for a shower that would atleast cool down the burning spirit of the sun.

Hopeless thrifty black clouds drifted across the sky swiftly ignoring people’s plea for the rain. The little drops that dusted our faces as the clouds passed by, betrayed the never ending sweat assembling on it. It was on this day that we decided to go on a walk to the temple, in an attempt to please our favourite deities.

The temple pond was welcoming. The rays of the setting sun gave a beautiful green sparkle to it.
People – young and old sat immersed in the green paradise sacrificing their breath for the immense cool of the deep waters. Ladies were gossiping while taking a dip while the men were engaged in swimming rivalries.


There was one thing that were clearly painted across their faces. They were happy or atleast free from the shackles of the real world.

It was also clear that they were not only happy because of the cold water of the pond, but also because of their close proximity to nature.


The idols stood in dashing glory bathed in sandal and incense, sly smiles painted across their faces. Even a series of complicated prayers that we offered did not seem to budge them. Well atleast that remained the same despite the “new normal”.

As we walked back home,with a jolt we realised that the the tree that had once towered our way was now merely a stump of wood standing its ground, the same way it used to, for maybe 40 years or so. The area it had shaded once now looked barren and bald.
It had been cut for the sake of “development “.

What was lost was a tree that had heard thousands of stories of the village people, a shade under which people shared joy and sorrow, a shade that had saved the people from the heat or the rain, a shade under which love had sprouted, bloomed and ended. A soul which had been the company of lost men and depressed humanity.


The sad reality of the loss jerked me back from my thoughts.
The simple joy we had once experienced while bonding with nature has simply ceased to exit, all thanks to us.

Now, we work to establish that joy in the institutions we build, fully aware that it is simply impossible!

“I had money,
I had a house,
I had things to claim my own.
Yet,
when I left the world,
I didn’t know what happiness
was about”

-Shreya

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WUTHERING MINDS

They say that real love exists,
I couldn’t find it anywhere.

They say real hate doesn’t exist,
But I see it everywhere.

People don’t really love you,
They just love you,
More than they hate you.

They say that truth is the key,
But what about those unanswered questions?

They say that lying is not the key,
But what about those underlying hipocrisies?

People are not really honest
They just spill the truth,
More than they lie.

Some say life is too short,
But its long, under troubles.
Some say that life is too long,
But its short, under joy.

What’s right and what’s wrong,
Remains concealed,
In the wuthering minds,
Of the withering mankind.

What do you think about this short poem? Do share your thought at https://inspiresquare.wordpress.com/2021/03/14/wuthering-minds/#respond

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HIS BELOVED

The smoky clouds parted,
Like her lips, before she’d departed,
The muddy earth parted,
As he dug the grave for his beloved.

Wisps of muddy fragrance blended about,
As if his dear lady was around,
The shovel sliced through the mud,
Like the sorrow in his heart.

The milky moon showered white,
Like her existence had, once,
But the sky was dark and blank,
Like the lover’s heart.

The trees swayed on their tiptoes,
Like her lovely hair had, once,
The wind howled through the night,
Like his quivering voice.

The rain fell in painful drops,
Like the trailing tears on his cheek.

The eerie quiet embraced him,
Like his beloved had once.

Thank you for reading, Do let me know your thoughts about this! Stay safe☺️💜

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POSSESSIONS

I scurried through the crowd without a sense of direction, letting my gut-instinct carry me along the right path. The warm and cosy airport would have been an inviting sight if it was not for the state I was in. Agoraphobia was creeping upon me even as I seated myself in the allotted terminal.

My stomach growled in frustration for I had had nothing since morning. I decided to stay hungry rather than talk to the waiters at the restaurant, the prospect was terrifying. But my stomach said otherwise.

I decided to grab a drink from the vending machine, trying my best to avoid any kind of human interactions. “Please choose your preference and drop your money!” the vending machine said. From the corner of my eyes, I spotted a kid watching me with curious eyes. “Need to hurry!” my mind probed me. I slipped my hands into my jacket pocket, only to feel the empty warmth. I hurriedly searched my pockets, my wallet had vanished. Fear was gripping at my throat even as I remembered how I had possessed it until I had entered the terminal. I have been robbed?!

My neck tingled as I could feel peoples’ gaze over me. I decided to settle myself at the corner seat of the lounge silently thanking god because the wallet comprised of money alone and nothing else of much prominence. It was true that I had to stay hungry but that was half as bad as walking around without a passport.

——————————————————————————————–The flight was roaming lazily along the runway preparing for take-off. I had skilfully acquired the window seat so as not to get sandwiched between a plump Indian-lady and a girl who looked like her daughter. However, I was stuck with the lady sitting beside me. She had that annoying habit of talking loudly over phone and fidgeting on her seat crushing me against the window.

Just as we took off, the lady asked, loud enough for the entire crew and passengers to hear, “Indian?” it took me some time to realise that the question was addressed to me. My heart whimpered. “Y-yes” I managed to say. “Haye ram! So difficult to find an Indian in this damned city. Glad to meet you young lady. Are you flying alone?” the string of words didn’t make much sense to me but I managed to stutter a ‘yes’ to her. She continued to banter on until the stewardess served the food.

It was served only to the other girl, who was clearly not the plump Indian’s daughter. I eyed the food hungrily. The girl seemed to notice my stare and ignored.

“Didn’t you have anything from the airport young lady?” the Indian asked scrutinising the situation.

“Umm…I…Uh…actually…my wallet was robbed.” I confessed with some difficulty, my heart leaping with the effort. I couldn’t believe I was socialising.

“Ayyo such a misfortune! And you look like you are hungry. Jeez, I wasted all my money in that shopping mart too. You wait!” I didn’t completely catch what she meant.

“Girl, don’t you hear what is happening, why can’t you share a morsel? Kids these days!” she bawled at the other girl. I was bewildered at how the things were proceeding. “No, no aunty. It’s absolutely fine. I will manage.” I said in alarm.

The other girl however embarrassed by her carelessness handed me her sandwich wholly, plugging in her ear pods her eyes popped out in amazement. I flushed with embarrassment.

 “Eat it!” the lady said, suddenly sounding like my mom. I smoothly obliged and swallowed it in a couple of bites. The onward journey commenced with a speech of her thoughts about the city and the people. I didn’t utter a word until it was time for us to depart.

“Young lady, it was a pleasure to meet you. Remember to be careful the next time you travel” she winked. She turned to leave and exclaimed, “Ayyo, the other girl left her wallet here. Did she leave?” I found my chance to make up with the girl for the awkward situation that I had created.

 “It’s ok aunty I will hand it over to her.” I said.

As I plucked the wallet from the seat, I was struck with the similarity it posed with my belonging. I opened to find my photo stuck along the nape of the wallet.

The money looked exactly as I had left it, just two notes missing, which probably went into buying the food that had filled my stomach.

Indeed I was full!

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AND THE GHOSTS LAUGHED…

I entered the eerily dim lit room furnished with shaved skeletal heads and bones that lay spread-eagled on the floor. The door opened to a void of darkness. As if this wasn’t scary enough, I sensed a pair of eyes watching my movements. The eyes belonged to a mass of cloth that hung above the door frame, my heart skipped a beat.

I had enough of my weird imagination! I immediately proceeded onto what I had come to do in my bedroom upstairs that lay deserted in the midnight hour, lest the cloth started moving.

But wait………….Was that mass of cloth laughing?

(Later I realized that it was just my mom downstairs )

THE THEORY

Wearing a milk white saree with flowing hair on a windy night in India typically invites the comment that one looks like a run- away ghost. But the true element of horror is the laughter. If your laughter emanates from the soul and resounds all the way around a mile, congratulations! You are an officially accepted ghost.

It all began with the Indian Cinema whole-heartedly welcoming the concept of horror into their films. Indian movies flourished in the early 20th century only because we had that secret weapon. Drama.

The lover throwing the flowers melodramatically and running through yellow mustard fields is only one example of how vivid the movies can get.

If we are overjoyed, we cry our heart out, and if we are upset, we cry our soul out, all with some dialogues that are thrown randomly at the protagonist/antagonist to catch him off-guard.

This is when the concept of horror-movie arose. The poor ghost dudes had no choice but to set a trend in this ever-sobbing film-industry.

They laughed. Laughed as if they were almost crying. Thus, the laughing ghosts became the National symbol of terror and fright for the country woven in drama!

So, the next time you witness an Indian ghost in your neighborhood, be sure to chuckle along and there, you have got a new buddy!

THAT WAS A VERY SMALL PIECE OF WORK. HOPE YOU ENJOYED!!

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OUR OWN SMALL WAY

The damp afternoon wind warped up by the unduly showers was clambering through the bones making me numb and cold. The hearty mid-day meal triggered my drowsy eyelids, making it flutter in an uncontrolled manner.

Sleep was threatening to take over my half-conscious self but my hands kept me awake as it was sprinting through the long white book unaware of what was happening to my head. I wanted to laugh at my uncoordinated hands and brain but it was difficult because I was trying to focus on the screen.

Almost all my online classes in the afternoon went like this. Not that I wasn’t listening, I do, and take notes and stuff, but somehow it all seemed unearthly.

From time to time, I tried to find reality by checking the class chat box in which my classmates’ names were proudly labelled. The comments usually went like-

Yes ma’am, no ma’am or clear ma’am or buffering or failed to load…an annoying thread of chat for the teachers but a rejuvenating one for us. Those perfectly synchronized chats, however small, is a humongous treat to the eyes, provided that you have not met them for over 6 months now.

“YOUR VIDEO’S STUCK!!!” I had bellowed in mom’s ear one night (as explained by her in the morning). The last trace of sleep that had desperately come her way flew into the dark night. This was only one of the many ways that the online classes were affecting me and arguably my mom too. My dreams are more thrilling than the TV series my grandmother watch.

It hurts to remind oneself that whatever had once been under our control is now totally out of control.

No matter how many times the virus will undergo mutation, human minds are far more adapted to changing circumstances. It is one of our power to find a silver lining, no matter how small. It’s difficult to have a hearty day, but it’s not difficult to find packets of happiness in this dark void.

Life’s sluggish in this unfathomable dark times of the world. Each soul is praying for the end of the war with this vast clan of tiny warriors, it will happen only if we fight it our own small way.

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THE GAME OF FLAMES

Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

I am just a trivial piece,

Till I spread my arms and feet.

A blob of light; that’s what I was at ease,

But, now I am a towering castle.

I can conquer heights,

When my flames endeavor,

I can bow to depths,

When the time is ripe and right.

My frolicking flames: they create.

My searing flames, they destroy.

A small scratch, a small flaw,

This is from where I am born.

But this doesn’t affect my flow,

‘Cos it is who I am, I am FIRE.

I am your friendly neighbor,

Or I am your deadly predator.

I am the beginning, I am the end.

I am the alive, I am the dead.

The poem is up to a degree about the real fire. But it is easily relatable to the fire inside us; the fire that drives our life force. What do you like the most about fire? Let me know in the comments.

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OLIVIA

A Black Woman Reading The Newspaper and Colonial Mansion House ...

Walking alone in the suburban was not as demanding as the prospect that lay ahead of her. Olivia was going to attend to what she felt, as the first real responsibility that had come her way. Her mother had deemed all the offers and finally decided to buy the house that lay just close to the city outskirts and now, it was Olivia who was going to check out the supposedly white mansion.

As she rounded the last corner of the street, she came to a halt. On either sides of a great banyan tree stood two beautiful mansions like she had never witnessed before. ‘Mansion’ was an understatement for the two seemingly spectacular buildings that were demanding all her attention. The duo were casting a whitish glow to the entire locality.

The contract manager had promised to be present just as she arrived, but there wasn’t a single soul around. The mansion to the left seemed to fit the description her mother had been relentlessly speaking about all morning. Now, driven by curiosity, she floated to the front gates that lay open.

The house was so humongous that she felt she might get lost if she ventured alone, so she decided to stay back at the entrance. She let her mind wander along the beautiful garden that surrounded the mansion, the mango leaves were fluttering, birds were chirping and the sweet fragrance of roses were playing in her nose. Just as she began enjoying the orchards, someone entered through the front gate.

Olivia had never expected the contract manager to be a boy of nearly her age. He looked close to eighteen and as he approached her, he was flashing a brilliant smile that lit his face just as much as the white mansion.

“Thank you for being on time.” She mumbled as he came closer.

“I am really sorry for keeping you waiting, I am Kevin.” He said, smiling and extending his slender arms. Olivia clutched his palm and shook it gently, “I am Olivia, now can we get on to the business. I am dying to explore the house.”

“Yeah sure, follow me.”

The way he show-cased the house was every bit as boring as it could be, but Olivia was finding the boy to be much too charming. She couldn’t help but keep staring at him as he grinned and ranted on about this and that. She had long since lost interest in the mansion and her eyes were always on Kevin. He didn’t seemed to mind her stare and looked on it, as if it was what he went through every day. Finally they sat down, back where they had started.

“So, what do you think about the house?” he asked her. “Fabulous!” she said without thinking.

“I guess you liked the chandelier in the dining hall the most, didn’t you?”

“Yes, absolutely. How do you know?” she echoed, her thoughts seemed clouded.

The boy laughed out loud. “What?” she demanded. “It’s just that the house doesn’t have a chandelier.” He said between fits of laughter. Even as she was ashamed of the way she was behaving, she was mystified by the beauty of the boy.

Olivia tried to collect her thoughts just as Kevin’s phone rang. “Just a sec.” he said and moved away from her view to attend the call.

As she wondered about the weird way things have been proceeding lately, a car came to a screeching halt right at the doorsteps of the veranda. A man in his mid-thirties stepped out in a flash and half- ran half- walked to her.

He said, “Hello ma’am, I am Kevin, the contract manager and I will be leading your house tour, sorry for arriving late. By the way, I am glad I found you here, this is not the mansion I was talking about, it is the other one, you see.”

 

 

 

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DESOLATION

sad-male-character-sad-male-character-standing-under-rain-overcast-weather-emotions-solitude-concept-flat-vector-illustration-150652647

This poem is trying to depict the contradictions felt by a person isolated from humanity or in simple words, fallen into the trap of depression. Each situation, sparks within him a tiny bit of hope which is almost immediately replaced by the sorrow that rests deep within him.

DESOLATION 

What is that distant hum I hear?

Is it the long lost humanity that speaks?

Or is it my severed soul singing?

 

The tiny beam of light that I see,

Is it a ray of hope?

Or is it the power of the teeming darkness?

 

The drops that falls on my palm,

Is it the rain from the heavens?

Or is it my own toxic tears.

 

The words that my lips pronounce,

Is it a merry song I sing?

Or is it my hollow chatter?

 

The dreading weight on my chest,

Is it a swell of hope I feel?

Or is it the burden of my grief?

 

My limbs that are slack against my bones,

Is it from the efforts of chasing my dreams?

Or is the pain of running away from them?

 

The blood that gushes through my veins,

Is it from the courage that I used to feel?

Or is it the cowardice I had fallen into.

 

The final smile that parted my lips,

Was it the breath of my victory?

Or was it my own escaping life?

 

Being alone doesn’t make you lonely, but being lonely can make you alone.

This circumstance has brought with it even a greater threat than the virus itself. Loneliness. It is not an illness, it is a feeling than can be cured.

This pandemic period, keep your relationships taut, be there for each other even in the worst of times.