THE LAST GAME

We will adjourn for the day and deliberate again tomorrow morning at 10 AM. DInner will be ready in half an hour.

The four of them stood up, stretched and moved to their respective rooms.

Day 3 of discussions had ended. Family partition, the topic of discussion was like a lecture till Day 2. The eldest one lectured and the others nodded in agreement.

Day 3 was different; the last item to be partitioned, the rambling old house where the discussions were held now. It’s sturdy wooden pillars with carvings withstood all the heated arguments, exasperations, denials and dejections of the day

He slowly climbed the narrow steps to the attic above the staircase and gently lifted the door up like that of a box. It creaked open and welcomed him into that familiar place where now dust and cobwebs were amicably residing together.

He moved towards the bookshelf, took a book, dusted it on the table and leafed through it. That familiar scrawl in the first page in green link seemed to look at him affectionately. His father’s signature. The other pages too had some paragraphs side marked in green, good phrases and eloquent words underlined in green. His father used to mark all the books he read.

His searching hands inside the table ended on the monopoly board which was now faded and covered in dust. He took the board and one of the books and climbed down the stairs.

His three siblings were coming in for dinner when they saw him coming down the staircase.

What is that in your hand? His brother was the first one to ask.

He tilted the monopoly board slightly to show them. Our old monopoly board! His eldest brother was quite surprised to see that it was still intact though faded.

As all of them sat down for dinner his sister laughingly remarked. ” Remember how he used to be a spoilsport always while playing monopoly. He would hold one blue place the costliest, all his other acquisitions mortgaged and would never sell the blue place to anyone whatever you offer him.” And then elder brother would upturn the board, fling the cash in his hand and storm away”. All of them laughed over the memory and retired to their rooms.

This elder brother stopped him at the door of his room and advised. ” I know you are very much attached to this place but think practically”.

Sleep eluded him that night as he sat down to read the book taken from the attic. He could hear his father’s voice discussing the nuances, the vocabulary and everything about the book. As he finished the book, he once more opened the monopoly board. The blue place now faded to a grey hue looked at him.

He could not afford to buy out the house and pay off his siblings . The blue place had to be sold off for the game to continue. He was not a spoilsport any more.

He the youngest of the lot had been the more sentimental  sensitive and sensible of the four.  He accepted the reality.

via Daily Prompt: Acceptance

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BLOCKBUSTER

via Daily Prompt: Massive

The movie finally released all over the country and abroad.

This was his last straw. This movie had to click, else he would be doomed.

The story was very relevant in today’s world – conversion of religion. Why people converted to other religions?

Critical review was good, it would compete in more than one film festivals.

The public however was not impressed. The viewers trickled in to the theaters.

Today was the final day; the last show would decide whether it would be withdrawn from the major theaters.

He had waited for a blockbuster for long. Now was the time to decide.

The late evening newspapers with the headlines screaming of the his religious conversion were selling like hot cakes.

The massive crowd outside the theaters were fighting for a ticket to his movie.

 

 

 

The Artist

The Artist

I sat down  with the pencil, a clean white sheet of paper before me.

Today it will be a simple sketch, of a house, with a tree and a mountain in the backdrop, a lone bird flying. Standard picture drawn by any five year old.

I am five times older than a five year old, art was an inherited talent in my family, I too had gone to art schools in my younger days. Every other day I would sketch, draw or paint.

But never once could I draw, sketch or paint scenery that was the starting point for any artist, or a face that the more endowed excelled in.

Painstaking I would work and once completed frustration would sink in. I would feel like balling up the paper and throwing it in the dustbin. No . I did not do it lest anyone see it and realized that I was such a pathetic artist. The works were kept neatly in a folder  locked  up in my cupboard.

I gingerly put the pencil to the paper. Once it touched the paper, the tool in my hand, be it pen cil, or paint brush seemed to have a mind of its own. It extricated itself from my control and began to fly over the paper. Today also the inevitable happened. The pencil galvanized into action and I could do little to restrain it.

The house, the tree, the mountain and the bird all were there.  I examined it critically and today was not an exception.  Dejectedly I took out the current folder and inserted the sheet in. The sheaf of paper inside it reminded me of my failed attempts as an artist and in despair I threw the folder on the bed and slumped down on the sofa.

The door flew open and my best friend barged in. She was a much acclaimed artist who specialized in portraits. She turned around to sit on the bed when her  eyes fell upon the folder on the bed with the sheaf of papers was strewn on the bed. There was nothing I could do to hide it.

She seized the papers in a deft stoke of hand and started looking at each of them.  I hung my head in shame. When I looked up she was still looking at my creations her eyes wide, her mouth agape.

“Those were just pastimes, nothing serious”  I managed to mumble.

“These are your pastimes? ” She exclaimed

“Amazing art, this is what is called a inborn talent! These pictures are straight out of your heart and they convey a much deeper message. Only an art lover can decipher the meaning of your sketches”.

She immediately made a phone call to a local art gallery

Here I am today inviting all of you for my first art exhibition “The Abstract”. Do drop in!

via Daily Prompt: Abstract

I Am With You

I Am With You

The policy was almost finalized. Ethics sauntered towards the door as profitability was ushered in. Enthusiasm was at an all time low in the meeting room.

He heard the voice. “I am with you”.

“I do not agree to this policy”. His voice was sure and steady. Heads turned, disbelief descended on the face of the proposer.  Meeting adjourned without making a decision. Ethics had hopes of remaining in the company.

“I am with you”. Two decades had past still the memory was vivid in his mind.

He was an average student of class five attempting the annual examination. His name never appeared in the list of failures, but his grades were not encouraging as well.

The exam was a cooperative effort in that class. Stretching exercises were done at their best and the camaraderie among the students was worth praising.

He was a loner in his own class. More importantly he did not form a part of the Mission Examination. He collected his question and answer sheets, wrote whatever he knew, handed back the papers and left the hall.

That fateful day, a wind blew through the big window and his neighbor’s   answer paper was at his feet. He gently lifted it and was about to hand it over back when the supervisor caught him “blue handed”. The ink that from that answer paper that had not dried had smeared on to his thumb.

The supervisor confiscated both the answer sheets and took them to the Principal’s room along with him. The neighbor as well as five other students roped in as witnesses to the incident also followed suit. A grilling by four teachers and a stern Principal as well as the blackmail of informing their parents of this “incident” made others bleat that they had exchanged answer papers in that class not only today but on earlier days as well. He was the only one who did not “confess”. He was issued a disciplinary warrant. If he had to continue in that school, his father had to meet the Principal.

His father was very strict, a man of principles. Father was shown the disciplinary warrant by Mother and he enquired what the issue was. Mother herself afraid of Father’s ire just said “some issue of copying”.

The morning dawned, the skies were cloudy. Rain was expected as he and his father walked to school. His feet were wobbly, his hands clammy as he clutched his father’s index finger. The arch of the school gate seemed gigantic that day and the corridor to the Principal’s room lengthier than on other days. His mind was surprisingly blank. And his father never discussed the issue.

His father took a chair in front of the Principal .The Principal took a long look at him and summoned the four teachers and the six other students.  Once again questions were asked and all the six confessed but he did not. The teachers pointed to the evidence of smeared ink, the other students said maybe he would have copied but he was adamant.

The Principal now turned to his father. A mistake can happen to anyone but to not admit it was something unforgivable.

That was when his father stood up and said “My son will not do it” It was pin drop silence for a minute before the Principal and teachers could speak.

This time his father was authoritative “He might be a loner, his grades may not be high, but he will not cheat”. He hugged his father’s legs, the tears cascading along his cheeks.

His father knelt on the floor, cupped his face, wiped away those tears and said “ I am with you” . He looked out of the window and saw a rainbow with vivid hues with the sun coming in out of the clouds.

via Daily Prompt: Vivid

The Centre

30 years of employment had ended a month before. He had a prefix to his designation now, the honorable word “ Retired”. They had lived across the length and breadth of the country, his job assured that they made a National tour all in the name of employment. Never did he frown upon a transfer to any distant place but both of them considered it as an opportunity to get to know those places. The children survived the upheaval thanks to centrally governed education system.

The past month has been the most difficult one in their lives. Never did they have to choose where they were to live, the Company decided it. Now it was their choice.

The amenities at the Metros were in for a tough competition with the nostalgia of their place where they were born and brought up. Though the children favored Metros, the ultimate choice was their own small state at the bottom tip of the map of the Country. Now the choice was which city or town in that small state. Section A of the exam completed, Section B was tougher!

Marriage should be among equals was the adage. And so was theirs. It was a marriage among equals. The  famous arranged marriage where each aspect was balanced; name, fame, financials, assets, careers.

But nothing is perfect in this world. Destiny had married him of , a native of the Southern most part of the state to her a native of the Northern most district of the State!

Similarities confined to worldly possessions, financials and religion. Dissimilarities surrounded them. Both spoke the same language but they could not decipher many words used by the other. Same word had different meanings. The slang made it unique that while one seemed like singing pure classical music and the other was into rock and roll. While language made him a butt of joke  in her place , the same language made her a laughing stock in his place. The relatives on both sides laughed their heart out.

Hers was a predominantly non vegetarian family where fish and chicken were a must for any function be it marriage or festivals. Though his family ate non vegetarian food, it was taboo for all auspicious occasions and festivals. Dishes with same name tasted totally different and had different ingredients. Their cuisine had a wider range with food from both cultures, where one week it would be Northern style and the other the Southern style.

They weathered the minor storms of such regional differences and being employed outside the state was a boon.

Vacations included travel for a day from his place to hers and vice versa where they would board the train early morning from one place and reach the others place late into the night. But now it was not a vacation where they could stay for a few days here and a few days there.

Some relatives thought the decision was very simple. A wife stays in the husband’s place, so they ought to settle in his place. But his place was very developed now and almost resembled a Metro. He wanted to settled down with some land to tend to with trees, engaging in backyard gardening, having a pond to bathe and also temples to visit. The serene and calm atmosphere was his dream. And her town offered all these.

But serene and quiet was what her town was. She wanted to read, discuss and debate, watch dramas and other literary functions. She could not think of a life devoid of friends with whom she could have small parties, exchange books and shop around. His city promised her all these and many more.

Once Metros were out of the race,  their children settled elsewhere were not interested in the decision. The children assured a yearly visit wherever they were settled.

As they boarded the train from his place, the indecision hung in the air. The towns passed by quickly, green topped hills loomed ahead, a tunnel passed through. They started discussion without interference from anyone. A newly developed city offered refreshments of varieties, paddy covered fields, signs of development, rivers and more rivers passed by. Traffic on the roads chased the train as they ran parallel to each other, aroma of a different cuisine wafted through the air. Bridges both old and new were crossed, red capped hills began to loom ahead and again a tunnel was crossed. They reached her place. None of them shut an eye through the entire journey, they savored the natural treats offered by their small State.

A short stay at her place and they were back again for the return journey. This time both were in a reflective mood. No discussions on where to settle but memories of various places where they had spent their years together were refreshed. Sleep eluded them in the return journey too.

It was she who spoke first. The thought had already crossed his mind.

They decided to settle at a town in the centre of their small state. A town which had a quietness about it but also a big library, theatre and the likes. They would be that midpoint which would connect both their families at equal distance. The children were happy to have airport and other facilities just an hour away.

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Center

Arid Mind

My first post after ages… to be precise after three years

A writer I am not, rather far far away from the creative environment. Figures are my companion, consultancy my bread and butter. Then what am I  doing here?

Accidentally stumbled upon a blog in a blogging site, was drawn to the idea of blogging and lo and behold I too started blogging. Every inconspicuous thing stirred my imagination, tried to find an inspiration for a blog in mundane daily occurrences and  succeeded.

Sunday afternoons released the ideas from my minds, some in the form of stories, some as articles and others as travelogues. Contests provided the carrots, recommendations and review from fellow bloggers the tonic, showcasing of works the ultimate bonus.

Contests waned, ideas flew away, my mind was arid. An oasis appeared at some corner, wanted to blog often but the infamous writer’s block sneered at me.But then a writer I am not!

The climate in my city is humid now, the rainfall due in October shied away last year. The grounds are arid, and summer showers are awaited upon with much hope.

Last night they descended, the summer showers, welcomed by everyone. The thirst not quenched, earth not satiated but still a relief.

Daily prompt an unknown catalyst lay there waiting for me. The prompt for the day couldn’t have been more apt ” Arid”!

A small trickle of water in my arid mind! My first blog post after three years!