Thursday, 22 June 2017

Tunnel of Hope

Man caught in the light at the end of the tunnel

The dense forests seem to limit their boundaries abruptly and refused to inch further. A perennial

waterfall cascaded in slow motion. Her hand felt ice-cold at the spray of waterdrops. Her body

shivered. Nikhil handing a warm shrug to her, cautioned ,“ it will be cool and moist inside”.

“ He knows this place so well”,  she said to no-one in particular.

They entered the rough stony entrance hand-in-hand.

Nikhil sprung surprises and kept her adrenaline juices flowing. She had always reciprocated his

antics with open arms and whispered romantic words in his ears. This was her third surprise in the

last month and the thrill increased with each frequency.

She had worn rubber gumboots on his insistence. The pink and blue flip-flops was her choice but

Nikhil had struck it down. Her feet felt water running and the gentle roar of the waterfall seemed

fainter. She had no idea how long they had walked into the tunnel. She forcibly blinked her eyes to

avoid the blackness getting into her. The slight palpitations worried her. Her thighs ached at the force

of the water dragging her. Claustrophobia surrounded her. She had never been greeted by fear.

Involuntarily, she rubbed her palms and found solace in the friction and cupped her chin. The  rising

warmth renewed her energy.

“Nikhhhhhhhil” , she yelled loudly extending the last part of his name with urgency.

“Where is he?”, was the obvious question to his sudden absence.

Had he slipped and fallen down? Nay. She would have felt his grip slip away.

Should she turn around to go towards the entrance of the tunnel? She had travelled that dark path.

She remembered her Appa’s words. The erudite astrologer could never go wrong. People from

distant lands flocked for his advice. And his own daughter refused to believe his prognosis.

“Nikhil will lead you into the dark dungeon with no light at the end.”

How prophetic were Appa’s utterances. But she had refused to hear them let alone believe the

wisdom of the prophecy.

She dragged herself deeper into the tunnel. There was nothing but more darkness welcoming her.

She could feel her eyes swell into tears.

Appa had asked her to look beneath the veneer of his suave  and polished personality. She had

dived deep into the pool of his heart and was bathed in his courting finesse.

“His planetary alignments spell doom to you”, pleaded and thundered Appa in the same breath.

Helpless and lonely in the abyss, each word of her father resonated and drilled sense in the

labyrinthine maze of her grey cells.

“He will desert you”, concluded Appa and they had tied the knot without the blessings of the senior


She had never felt so lonely even when her mother had succumbed to the dreaded disease. The

feeling of being lost and betrayal exacerbated and she wondered how she would face Appa.

She took a deep breath and inhaled the musty air. There should be light at the end of the tunnel , the

adventurer in her consoled herself.  

Her cloudy dark pupils saw creepers hanging down. Lo behold the tunnel had ended .

She dragged her weary feet to the incoming diffused light.

With yellow tulips in his hand, he smiled and spread his arms at her.

She was a bag of mixed emotions. The 'dark' thoughts which she had harbored sometime ago


"No more surprises ", she begged and  she filled herself in his masculine embrace.

She looked up . The Sun was shinning brightly. The stars were asleep .The planetary 

configurations are far away. What mattered was Nikhil . 

                She would work to build a bridge between Appa and Nikhil.

           written for Sue Vincent's Thursday Photo Prompt


Appa means father in Kannada( an Indian language).


                        Haiku Horizons


Welcome to week 173 of Haiku Horizons! The prompt for this week is “bright.

tiger tiger burning bright

penned william blake

shooting, poaching tiger, extinct 

                           Image result for pic of dying tiger

                       written for :  HAIKU HORIZONS

                             Click HERE to read all the wonderful haiku .

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

arduous climb

                                   Image result for lone man on the mountain

Laughter is the best medicine,

Laugh , laugh till you are fine.

Laugh at yourself, laugh at yourself

Embrace your weakness, it will help.

Have fun with all brothers,

Make fun not of others.

                           Race heartily to the mountains,

                           Leave behind  aches and pains,

                           Shed the cloak of fear,

                           Shield of adrenaline, wear.

                           When on top,

                           Inhale and stop.

                           Look around,

                           Far is the ground.

                           Up there you are lonely,

                           Atop there's place for one only.


of Ice and men


          Barathon 2017: Day 3- Of Ice and Men

Detective Karamchand hovers around with nonchalance .

The ceiling and the table fan are doing what they are supposed to do.

He peeps outside the window , the frame laced with nylon net. Legs ambled on the cobbled streets 

down wrapped in heavy shawls. The tea vendor did brisk business.

His microscopic eyes shift to the interiors of the one room tenement . the modest space is shorn of 

any piece of furniture . It is stark naked . He is awaiting for the autopsy report. 

There is no trace of a suicide note left behind. 

The coir rope had been untied and Raghu's mortal body brought down from the hook. Neighbours 

tried to crowd the over-flowing space with their noses held tight with a cloth or end of sari pallu. The 

ambulance had arrived with a screech .

Kitty dashes through the open door, panting , visibly excited at her findings.

" Aakash Cold Storage had delivered a huge block of ice at this address 36 hours ago".

Karamchand's dead pan eyes and inscrutable countenance altered showing some signs of 


But they were far from happy. 

"Sir Sir, how did you suspect the block of ice " , still trying to catch her breath.

"Kitty, look at the few drops of water under the hook. Even in this chilly weather the fans were 

deliberately rotating ", Karamchand gaped at Kitty  and continued," not to dry clothes".

"Gosh", exclaimed Kitty, "Now I get the connection".

"Kitty, send a telegram to Raghu's parents in Haridwar.

                      linking my post to Blog-A-Rhythm

                           Click HERE TO READ ALL THE WONDERFUL ENTRIES

Hairy tales

Image result for bald baby indian girl Image result for girl with 2 ponytailsImage result for girl with 2 plaits

I was born bald.

And I looked cute and innocent. My maternal grandma proclaimed that my fertile pate would sprout 

abundant black hair. And she did not fail in her prognosis.

In the first grade , my hair was harnessed in place with two black ribbons tied into ponytails. I hated 

the ' bondage'  but school dictates had to be followed sacrosanct-ly.

Back in the early seventies, hair spas and parlors hadn't mushroomed nor made their ubiquitous 

appearance. And hence my mother 'headed' the tresses department. As the black forest cover grew at 

a fervent pace , the monthly trimming was a ritual for her and an ordeal for me. The earlier day's 

newspaper was spread on the ground. The ceiling fan was forcibly put off as not to disturb the paper 

and the droppings on it. I sat in the center of the black and white print while my mom wielded the 

pair of sharp scissors to precisely chop off my hair.  I held my breath and  sat with my eyes closed . 

The  five minutes that mom took to discharge her ritual were the longest 300 seconds of my life.

After she had  finished her surveying  for a proper finish, I got up and  brushed off the tiny shards of 

hair (yes they pricked  my tender skin and my body resembled the surface of the cactus plant) . I 

glanced down at 'shredded' strands and was quickly ushered  for a bath. 

The next day girl-friends teased I resembled a hen shorn of feathers/plumage. How I hated them!!!

I grew taller and so did the length of my hair. The adolescent hormones ravaged my mind and I f

found  fault with myself. I loved Ana's silky soft hair and cribbed for not being suitably bestowed . 

Anju's short pruned head appealed to me and my mom would not have any of my tastes. I felt 

miserable. Jayanti's curly curls at times fascinated me though wasn't envious. I wished the length 

and  texture of  my hair varied  and changed with the rays of the Sun. Wish I had a magic wand for 

'heady' pleasures.

The monthly ritual gave way to occasional trimmings to avoid split ends. My zodiac sign 

representing the twins troubled me further. While a part of my mind was happy with long tresses the 

other half 'itched' for a short bob-cut. I was strait jacketed  by the dual personality just like Jekyll 

and  Hyde. 

My braided  long hair was strong like the coir rope much to my mom's delight. Roses and Indian 

Jasmine flowers adorned my hair. I loved the fragrance.

                                                                Image result for an indian girl with gajra in her hair

Time moved on and other vexing things occupied my brains. College grades , the anxiety of my 

maiden office job and thrill of the first pay packet kept my focus slightly altered from hairy woes.

Marriage and subsequent motherhood left very little time to fuss about.

The hairdresser at the parlor replaced my mom with scissors. The length of my hair waxed and 

waned akin to the moon. With age the texture became a tad coarse.

Half a century and three years on  Earth, I have acquired grey streaks interspersed with natural 

black hair. Now I understand the ' salt n pepper' concept. The hairline is receding slowly. And as I 

face the mirror , I smile and admire the wisdom accumulated in my crowning glory. The ups and 

downs, the trials and tribulations have metamorphosed me into a content person.

                                                         Image result for an indian  lady with grey streaks