Friday, August 26, 2016

Nothing is Forever

Tashi Chodron was a symbol of peaceful resistance, women’s empowerment and brilliant literature from conflict.

She was born in McLeodganj, her parents had moved there from Tibet a few years ago. Her father started a school and provided her and her siblings good education and a comfortable life. As soon as she was in high school, proposals for marriage came pouring in and like all traditional parents the best prospect was soon arranged for her.

The first few months were stuff that dreams were made of. He was an upcoming writer, traveled a lot, was used to fans and publicity, but soon she realized he was also used to something else - violence. It was the kind of vicious violence that happened in the closed confines of bedrooms. The scars of which are too personal to reveal and too hurtful to ignore.

Still she carried on for three long years because “abandoned” women were not honorable in their culture. It was another “episode” as he would call them later, when he pushed her so forcefully against the wooden railing that she knew he had killed their third baby instantly. She walked out, blood running down her cotton trousers, straight to the police station.

Four days later as she lay in the hospital, she saw her mother sitting by her bedside. She knew the same rehearsed lines would now pour at her about tradition, marriage, and hope. Her father and brothers were waiting for her to gain consciousness so that she could withdraw her complaint and not ‘disgrace ‘the family. She didn’t. Hers became the first case from their community about marital rape and violence in Himachal Pradesh High Court.

The most expensive case for her, it took away everything- her home, her marriage, her social status and most importantly her family. She was disowned and all ties were severed, so much so that even relatives or former friends looked away when they saw her somewhere in the town.

Tashi took refuge in books. She read Buddhist literature and every book she could lay her hands on. In the next three years she survived on charity by tourists and odd jobs but completed her graduation and teacher’s training via correspondence courses.
She stared writing a blog and small assignments for local magazines and newspapers. A year later she was teaching in a monastery’s school and also working with an NGO for women. She now realized she had to let go of her family and unborn children to find a much larger family of distressed like herself.
Today the auditorium was bustling with literature enthusiasts, critics and Buddhist monks. One of their own would be here later for an event for her much-acclaimed poetry book.

Tashi walked onto the podium to read her favorite piece. Her voice faltered a little in the beginning, as she remembered the “no” that she could never say to her father when she was married off young, or the ‘enough’ she should have said to her husband.
She read:

Look out
At the cages
Ties of blood and race
Family and society
And then look in
Towards freedom
Find the peaceful place
That says and repeats
‘Nothing is permanent’
Be your own Buddha.

Amidst applause Tashi saw faces of women from her NGO, her students, and in the last row her ex-husband holding a copy of her book. The dedication of that book read – To Buddha, who said “nothing is forever.”

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Living & Dead

Each person can save eight lives by organ donation
There is no count of lives we don't save
Due to lack of meaningful conversations

A neighbour mourns her dog
She had brought her up for twelve years
Ultimately life is the price we pay
For everything we fear to lose

The  collar still hangs on her gate
And the hollow in her soul

Humans- same mud
Capable of so much love
And such immense indifference

Mind is a battleground
And a graveyard
Of buried happy dreams
And meaningless mazes of consciousness
I am here and not here
I may live and yet not live another day

I may die someday and be already dead. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

AN OPEN LETTER TO SOCIAL MEDIA # FlashFiction #99words #Barathon

Dear Social Media,

I promise to focus more on your media part and be a little less affected by the social one.

I promise that I will never judge life, people and situations entirely based on you.

I promise that I will not expect you to bring me truth, solace, enlightenment, evolution or relationships.

I promise I will be online a lot and yet not forget LIFE is often an amazing offline thing.

I promise I will try to keep up with you and yet stay rooted in what you now romanticize as “memories” and “throwbacks”.

-An avid user

This post is part of a themed BARATHON here.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

TRICKS OF THE TRADE #FlashFiction #99words #Barathon

She had spent more than a decade in Mumbai now. She remembered her village and family back in Assam in faint flashbacks and the nightmares of the flood that devastated everything. Her uncle brought her here.

Soon she was on her own, by the time she was old enough to plait her hair herself she was already learning the tricks of the trade. She was almost twenty now, had taught herself to read and loved watching travel shows.

Someday she wished to travel and be free, till then her wishful thinking needed to be supported by trading her body.

This post is part of a themed  BARATHON here.

Friday, August 5, 2016

SINGLE PARENT #FlashFiction #99words #Barathon

In the prestigious function for National award winners and their families , sat Mangla a reclusive single parent, conscious of all the curious eyes turned towards her and yet immensely proud that her daughter’s first film had made it big.

They had just returned from several successful international film festivals. Jyoti had lived up to her name, other than her exceptional work with the LGBT community in Delhi her first film about them had achieved this.

Mangla, the guru of hijras in Delhi had found Jyoti near a garbage heap, her tiny shoes peeping out of a plastic bag.

This post is part of a themed BLOGATHON here.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

HAPPILY EVERAFTER #FlashFiction #Barathon #99words

Their marriage was just a business alliance. Two major business families came together with their union but unfortunately even a decade later it did not evolve into anything more than that, despite the kids.

They both had the same address but separate bedrooms now. She was in Goa for a business conference; he was holidaying with his boys’ gang.

On New Year’s Eve after a mad beach party, they both emerged from adjacent shacks. He was with a Lebanese aspiring model and she was with a young DJ. They both pretended to be strangers, no one was caught red-handed.

This post is part of a themed BARATHON here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

MISSING #FlashFiction #Barathon #99words

He was a theater legend by the time he was forty. In Delhi’s theater circuit he was the renowned all-rounder, writing scripts, acting, directing plays that became legendary, that had full shows even after decades.
At home he was the loving dad, the perfect husband. Suddenly one day the nightmares started-eccentric hallucinations, loud babbling, violent episodes, loss of memory and the suicide attempts. He responded to no treatment, his condition worsened.

The stage forgot him, his children feared him and his wife despised him. Two years later he went missing. His most famous play is still staged- Fragile Lives.

This post is part of a BLOGATHON here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

SUICIDE #FlashFiction #Barathon #99words

She was always the loudest parent in PTA meetings, her attire as loud as her voice, a complete contrast to her ten years old son, who was the most reclusive child in his class. The other parents did not like her much though her models were always the best and her ideas the most innovative.

The news of her suicide was gossip material for all. No one discovered the scars from years of domestic abuse; no one knew the eclectic fashion was to cover up her bruised body and confidence. What you don’t know is often the true story.

This post is part of a themed BARATHON here.

Monday, August 1, 2016

FAN MAIL #FlashFiction #Barathon #99Words

He was a famous writer with thousands of fans. He met hundreds of them at events, book fairs and tours; of course he didn’t remember most of them later.
In her first letter to him, Anne claimed she had met him at a book event earlier that year; he had no reason to doubt it. Her handwriting was calligraphy.

After a year the monthly letters ceased arriving. A month later while travelling to Manali his car rolled down a gorge near a haunted British bungalow, the same place where the letters came from. Anne had died there in 1873.


This post is part of a themed BARATHON here.


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To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher in the Rye
Animal Farm
The Alchemist
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Romeo and Juliet
The Odyssey
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Count of Monte Cristo
Eat, Pray, Love
The Da Vinci Code
The Kite Runner
The Silence of the Lambs
The Diary of a Young Girl
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Notebook
Gone With the Wind

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario
my work on display there !!!!!