Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Wind, The Chimes and The Beast

Indifiction Workshop is a story writing workshop for bloggers interested in fiction. This was initiated by 'The Fool' who blogs at and C.Suresh who blogs at

The 6th edition of this exercise revolved around retelling of the fairy tale 'Beauty and the Beast' in a contemporary setting.  The winners of the previous edition Medha Kapoor, Prasanna Rao and Janaki Nagaraj have come up with the plot for this round which can be found at

My version of the plot:

Story Title: The Wind, The Chimes and The Beast



The sun should have disappeared by now at the horizon behind the vast expanse of the sea. I cannot see it from where I am lying but I catch the azure hue of the evening sky from the corner of my half closed eyes. I can hear the sound of the waves hitting the shore a few yards away from my seaside mansion. The palpitations in my body seem to be rocking me with a tremendous force. I feel sticky with sweat and something is trickling down my left ear, blood perhaps? A strong gust of wind blows and gets the wind chimes swinging. My wind chimes! They are hanging on my balcony right above me. Despite the shooting pain I feel near my heart, I let myself immerse in their musical noise. Then I hear that! Like it’s almost real! Laughter! Her laughter that used to dance with them every time I shared a joke with her!

The searing pain emerges as muffled growls from my mouth. I have sent the servants away and not a soul can hear me. I can feel my lips forming her name – Karishma. Again! And Again! My eyes drift into darkness and images of my past and that specific day keep flashing rapidly. The day I became what the locals call Boochandi, the beast!

Would love to hear your comments. You could leave them here or at the link above.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Woman on platform 10

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 38; the thirty-eighth 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. The theme for the month is "The Woman on Platform Number 10"
The sun had just risen from its overnight slumber and was sneaking his rays everywhere with a rejuvenated vigor.  "Hot News!East Pakistan becomes Bangladesh" a newspaper boy screamed at the hurrying passengers. 'Kaapi Kaapi Kaapi',  the coffee seller bellowed. The aroma and vapors arising from his can blended with the morning air drawing the crowd like ants to a sugar hill. Porters in bright red attire scurried their way through oncoming loads and people, eager to start a new day.
The Trichy express was expected only in another two hours on platform no 10. Due to the same and the fact that it was at the fag end of the railway station , it was relatively less bustling compared to the other sections of the railway station.
A few people were curled up on the platform on stretched out newspapers or blankets, some still asleep, some awake and aware of the surrounding activities yet reluctant to open their eyes. Hardly discernible among the stretched out men and bundles was an infant, seven months old. He was cradled between his parents, his mother's guarding hands resting around his diminutive physique. A year of trying their luck in the city had proven futile. They were now headed back to their native village. The child slightly moved his hand, whimpered and then broke into loud wails. Like a switch turned on, his mother rose with a jerk. Adjusting the folds of her sari, she gathered him in her arms, drew him to her bosom and gently brushed his soft hair with her slender fingers. His sobs now disappeared in the feeble sound of his suckling. A few minutes later, his hunger satisfied, he started staring at the lights above and giggling. When he broke into a wail again, she knew what was wrong. She gently removed the white cloth tied around his waist, now dripping wet. After wiping him with a damp cloth, she wrapped another cloth around his waist and made a neat knot. She woke up her sleeping husband, handed him the playing child and went to a tap nearby. After washing the cloth well, she spread it on her iron trunk suitcase to dry. 'Chella Kutti'(darling little one) she spoke in baby tones when her son looked at her.

Around four decades passed.

The sun rose once again repeating his act of thousands of years , yet with the same rejuvenated spirit. Two porters hurried along, one of them engaged in a serious discussion with someone on his cellphone. The snack stall at the corner of the platform had vada, samosa, burgers and pizza slices arranged neatly next to one another.
The child now in his forties, moved through the platform, slowly. The frail hand of a woman was hooked in his, that of his mother. Her skin was pale and she was dressed in a light blue robe, something that resembled a nighty. He made her sit on a bench and sat next to her. Her eyes were looking at the sights around her but without any life. She did not seem to be cognizant of where she was or, for that matter,of the fact that the man who brought her there was her son. She kept tilting her head from one side to another. He bought a bun from the stall and put it in her hands. She quickly unwrapped it and started gnawing at it. He released her hand from his own , started walking ; first slowly and then rapidly and made his exit without looking back even once. The woman finished the bun soon. She was not aware that the person who had come with her was now gone. Her bladder became full and started leaking.  The urine made his way down her legs and wet her clothing. She was unperturbed by it or rather unaware of it. Oblivious of her condition the woman on platform 10 continued to stare at the unknown.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Introduced By: C.Suresh, Participation Count: 7

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Soul Stirred

Yesterday evening I decided to take up a chore I had been procrastinating for quite some time. Its an apparently easy one but does require a lot of ones energy. Ironing clothes! Despite possessing a good quality steam iron from Philips and a really convenient ironing board its still hardwork.

I fondly remembered the man in a lungi and a colored vest standing in the corner of every street back home in Chennai with his hand-pulled cart and iron box filled with hot coal rendering his services to all the residents at such an affordable price! Ironing just meant gathering the washed clothes in a bundle and handing it over to him.

Yeah, things are different outside.Here I have not seen any ironing services so far and laundry can cost you a fortune. Best Solution: DO IT YOURSELF!

I have read theories about work being easier when its accompanied by music and yes, that's so very true. I have seen videos of women in tea plantations rendering some folk songs with gusto and the fishermen in some parts of the country singing some lovely tunes to the beat of their oars. Oh yes, these videos are from movies and I really don't know how far this is true.

Anyways I switched on FM Radio and it was the evening special compilation of Malayalam songs.

My mother tongue is Tamizh but the whole of my childhood i.e till I reached Std VIII was spent in God's Own Country. Hence I can read, write and speak Malayalam (There I go, bragging about it! Simply cant control myself on that front!). I am quite familiar with the movies and songs that were released then. But I would get a negative score if you test me on the more recent releases. I have kind of lost touch except for the occasional movie I get to catch on TV.

Coming back to the scenario, as I was ironing, a particular song was played. There are songs that you listened to as a child deeply implanted in some part of your memory. When you listen to it again, you realize you know the song but cannot recollect when and how. This was one such song. "Kanneer Poovinte " from the movie Kireedam.

There are songs which as you listen would enter your ears and then make their way quickly to the chasms of your heart, and stir your soul - gently , lightly yet beautifully. Once the song gets over, you start feeling bad that it came to an end. Yet, it leaves you with a nice feeling. This had that effect on me.

I am not sure how many of us actually have time to sit and listen to songs that touch our souls . We are caught in this world of work, chores, errands, run, run, run not to mention the dance and item numbers that seem to blare at us from every direction.

So, whoever managed to read all that I have blabbered above till this point - Go ahead. Take out your ipod, mobile phone, laptop or whatever source you have. Tune in to a song you really love and lose yourself in it. Now! Gift yourself five minutes of peaceful music. Do it immediately and rejoice. What is life after all without simple pleasures? :)