Tag Archives: writing

Inspiration

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I’ve driven through the mountains in search of you; I’ve crossed boundaries – on land and sea – in pursuit of you.

I’ve seen what you can do to people – build them into more than humans and then cause them to crumble. You’re as dangerous as fire, a threat graver than death but you’re salvation, a fate better than heaven.

I remember the first and the only time we brushed shoulders – in a crowded train, in my crowded brain, you entered and left a lasting impression. I remember the moment our eyes met and I’d realised how inept I was at hiding my feelings.

That day, that time, that moment, I was no longer safe – from feeling incapable at life, having lived so many years in your absence. At the same time, your sheer presence in my life, in my brain and in my heart – harmonized all my thoughts, my dreams and my future and merged them with yours.

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Hostel Diaries #1

I choose to write fiction (and will continue to do so) because I love the idea of creating stories that you and I could live but haven’t yet. This blog post and the #1 in the title shows I have another reason to write: I am experiencing new things and meeting new people that are just as spectacular as any fictional characters I have read and written about. I hope you enjoy what follows.

 

When the decision was made to pursue an MBA, I knew there was a minute chance of staying at home: a big negative of living in Mumbai is that all the institutions here are in high demand. Nevertheless, I found my new home at SCMHRD – roughly about 150 kilometres away in the city of Pune, The Oxford of the East – after working not-especially-hard at the preparatory MBA entrance examinations.

“The course is unforgiving”, “You won’t get room to breathe in the first semester”, “You’ll soon start treasuring 4 hours of sleep” were just some of the tales shared by fellow pursuers of the famed degree and, more importantly, those that had already gotten through it. I knew for a fact that the next 20 months would be demanding, but it wasn’t the lack of sleep or the unforgiving schedule I was worried about – it was the people.

For the first time in my life, I would be staying away from home – I’m not referring to the actual structure that I reside in but the protection of people, places and feelings that surround me. Needless to say, I have lived in a variety of places during my travels or functions but those were all temporary arrangements. This would be something else; this would be shifting home base – and I wasn’t confident in my abilities to handle it.

What exactly went through my mind when the process began, which activities I enjoyed and which ones I didn’t will be shared at a different time. I write this blog post as a celebration of the many relationships I and countless others have formed as part of our #scmhrdxp.

 

The term ‘Strange bedfellows’, as coined by William Shakespeare, comes to mind every time I walk through the corridors of D-Hostel (the one with First-year boys) and see a few of my classmates smashing buttons and smashing heads over a game of FIFA or when I see a good dozen of them huddled around the unfortunate birthday boy who is moments away from a sore back and hundreds of hugs and wishes. In any other world, these guys would never be friends but as observed in the past six months, they are inseparable.

The women do not fit this narrative. They are still carefully colouring within the lines, not trying to step on anyone’s shoes or trying anything different. There are few weird friendships, yes, but largely, you can place these girls into various compartments and every compartment probably has a secret handshake and BFF group on Whatsapp. However, who hangs out with who in their hostel rooms is anybody’s guess; all I get to see are the many factions taking rounds of the campus, with the rest being conjecture.

I’m comfortable speaking about the Boys’ Hostel because I live and breathe in it (sometimes wishing I didn’t have to breathe in it). Coming back to Day 1: As someone who finds it difficult initiating meaningful conversation with strangers, I thought I would have to spend most of the first month looking up at the sky and discussing weather trends. I haven’t looked at the weather forecast once since joining as the boys’ hostel was brimming with conversations and handshakes during individual first meetings. As things go, I’m close friends with some, enjoy the company of some more and don’t mind being in the same room as the rest, but there’s a sense of camaraderie and understanding with my hostel-mates that I wouldn’t have bet on, before walking into the college.

I speak about this now, after about six months of silent observation for two reasons:

  1. I’ve only just gotten the time and motivation to write and update my blog
  2. My Facebook newsfeed is full of odd couples travelling to various parts of the country

The second point is the beauty of the D-Hostel – you see two guys renting bikes and riding their way to Goa, you see five of them boarding a bus to Bangalore on a moment’s notice with no bookings and, most surprising of them all, you see two classmates who seem to have nothing in common enjoying Arthur Lake, Bhandardara.

There is something about hostel life that makes you dependent on the people around you: It could be the limited resources or the realization that you are stuck with this bunch for 20 months. Or it could simply be that you learn that people who differ from the normal bunch of folks you hang around aren’t alien or weird; in fact, they’re unique and special.

Here’s to another 1 and 1/2 years of 2AM celebrations!

FFfAW – The First Walk

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Today is like any other; I feel isolated and scared – life goes on.

I often travel to the city’s most populated spots, hoping to find comfort being part of the crowd. The crowd rejects me. They realize the fraud that I am and I am shunned, pushed aside, left feeling alone and hollow – life goes on.

I am on the beach today; the family with their three kids, the teenagers and their game of football have moved across the sea just to keep me away. I want to be a part of their day, I want them to be part of mine but a body of water separates us. I feel betrayed – life goes on.

I step towards the water; the sand moves away, they don’t want me close. I continue moving forward and the water parts. Am I untouchable?

I walk forward on the path now uncovered; the teenagers wave at me, the family has saved me a spot. I feel accepted and happy – life goes on.

 

Word Count: 170


Thank you, Priceless Joy and Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers for the prompt. For other stories, hit the blue frog below!

Three Line Tales – Bridge of Love

 

I was very lucky that I stumbled upon Sonya’s Three Line Tales the moment I got onto WordPress. I had this odd feeling I wasn’t going to get any writing done today until I saw this photo prompt attached to a tiny little update post. Suddenly, in a matter of seconds, the entire scene played itself in my head. I could see the characters on that bridge in a made-up town in a made-up country living their entire lives, giving me the responsibility to write their story. This is why I love writing!

The Bridge of Love

 

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It was here that we first met; it was here that our eyes, our minds, our souls – everything –  merged into one.

It wasn’t here.

The moment your breath filled my lungs and my heart pumped your blood, it wasn’t here; we weren’t here; we weren’t anywhere and we were everywhere.

The Exam Collection

I haven’t updated my blog in a while – roughly 40 days – however, this is far from a dead blog. While I haven’t had the time to sit in front of my laptop and churn out a large piece of fiction or write a post about my study experiences, I’m constantly jotting down notes at the edge of my textbook or typing out rough ideas in an appropriately named Android app called ‘Scribble’.

 

The following two flash fiction pieces were two of my earliest, edge of the textbook notes. Hope you don’t find them as traumatizing as my college professor, who read them after catching me not paying attention in her class, did.


 

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She wrote down her darkest secrets on paper.

They found her with paper cuts on her wrists.

 

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An illness took her child and left her depressed.

“Woof”

She heard the sound and felt like a mother again.


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NaNoWriMo – It begins!

November 1st is almost here, and NaNoWriMo is just hours away!

All the very best to all those taking part in the annual writing extravaganza that is National Novel Writing Month. Unfortunately, I will not be taking part this year (which was supposed to be my first attempt), thanks to a dozen examinations over the next 40 days, forcing me to shelve my ever-so-exciting novel yet again.

However, this is not the end! The excitement in the blogging world and the online world in general has given me enough motivation to start writing a full-length novel as soon as my tests are done. I know I can rely on some brilliant writers and readers who regularly read my blog, to act as my writing buddies all year round.

Speaking of writing buddies, just because I am not officially participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo, does not mean I am not available for advice, critique and beta-testing. At any point in the month or over the next year, if any aspiring novelists need any help with their project, you can reach me on my Facebook or Twitter accounts. Also, you can add me as a writing buddy on NaNoWriMo even though there won’t be too much writing from my end – click here.

Once again, I would like to wish all participants the best of luck, and congratulate you for taking this important step in your journey towards your goal of writing your own novel.

Soul Searching

This story is in response to a Reddit Writing Prompt.

You are a burglar that leaves valuables in the homes you burgle.

What do you leave? Why are you doing this?

Soul Searching

Soul Left

“I need more diamonds … We’ll need to pick up some more from Him.”

‘The Master’, who was also my wife, walked into the bedroom dressed in all-black, from the scarf covering her head to the slippers on her feet. She was tired and in pain, yet she stood perfectly erect, looking directly into my eyes, “You’re getting addicted, again. I shouldn’t have to remind you the most important rule over and over: we only burgle one place a week – no more, no less – it’s dangerous to burgle any more than that. Pick the right house, place five diamonds, and we’re set for the rest of the week, easy. If not, we have our reserves.”

She was right. If there were too many cases of diamonds suddenly appearing on people’s nightstands, someone would notice and that would be devastating for her entire community, which relied on these burglaries for their survival. However, there has never been a media report on the sudden appearance of diamonds. Why would anyone disclose such a thing to anybody?

As I looked at her, she was walking slowly towards me with a smile on her face. She said, holding my face in her hands, “I know you worry about me, Collector, but you don’t need to. I’ve known my fate since I was a little girl, even when others didn’t; you can’t change the future, you can only do your duty.”

In the community, all Masters are assigned a Collector when their health deteriorates and they start performing their role for the organisation: stealing a part of people’s souls and sending them to their Supreme Leader. Ours was a relationship, different from that of a Master and a Collector; we were lovers first.

Arshiya, which is what she was called when I met her seven years ago, had yet to fully develop her powers. The community shunned her as an Obsolete – someone whose powers were out of date, useless – no Collector was assigned to her. It wasn’t until after our marriage that her powers were on par with the rest of them, and she started getting sick. As her hair started to fall and she grew tremendously weak, she told me everything about the Soul-saving community, and, together, we requested the Supreme Leader to make me her Collector – I didn’t want her to have to leave.

I said, “I understand, Aru, I do…But those poor souls are stuck in the bodies of humans that don’t deserve them, and with every soul you pass on, your health temporarily gets better. Remember last week? You felt strong enough for us to go out for dinner. I want you to experience these things rather than be stuck behind these four walls like a prisoner.”

She replied, after a moment’s hesitation. “I experience life through you, Saumil. We’re not a normal couple, you know that…”

Before she could try and change my mind, I decided to reveal to her why I needed those extra diamonds from the Leader.

“Aru, your community, for decades now, has been stealing the souls of those that are in need of money, as that guarantees they’ll pick up the diamonds for personal benefit. You see, none of you are entirely human and that’s probably why you never noticed, but I am, and I have: Humans will pick those diamonds up, irrespective of their economic standing, how much money they have – whether you’re lying on the street with no clothes or on a waterbed inside in a mansion, there’s not a human in this world who’ll reject free diamonds.”

Her eyes lit up, and I continued. “The richer their bodies are, the more desperate the soul will be to be freed. Tomorrow, I’m going to burgle the richest man in the city, steal his soul in exchange for a few diamonds, and I’m going to grow old with my beautiful, healthy wife.”


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