blogadda, Stories

Game of Blogs – The Escape – Chapter 12

Team – FrontRunners

Week#2

Read the previous chapter here.

“Can we get some lights in the alcove as well? And why is the corridor not lighted up yet?” an exasperated Tara shouted at the electrician who was busy fixing the LED lights in the fake pine branch.

It was Christmas Eve and the Dutta family were throwing a private party that evening in their penthouse apartment, located in the Worli Sea-face road. Tara had been busy since morning, personally supervising all arrangements for the party and taking extra care to make sure everything was dripping perfection. Her boss from the ad-agency was coming over and she was not going to leave any stone unturned to impress him.

“Relax Tara. It’s just your boss, not effing Iron Man who’s coming.”

Shekhar had already been making lame excuses for boycotting the party and Tara could detect jealousy and perhaps a hint of insecurity in his face, so she smiled back at him.

 “What am I gonna wear?”

The question was redundant, since she had already decided the dress for the occasion, but the expression on Shekhar’s face at that moment was priceless.

An hour later, a ravishing Tara emerged from her room, wearing an elegantly cut ivory white Anita Dongre number with slits for leg and sequinned straps that were held together in the back with a single jewelled chain. By the piercing looks Shekhar gave her, she knew it was a show stopper.

Good”, she thought, “let him have a taste of his own medicine”.

The guests had started arriving and soon Tara was busy playing the perfect hostess. The Arabian Sea glimmered in the distance with the soft rays of the setting sun playing its notes on the waves. It was a perfect evening for a perfect betrayal, thought Tara. Her thoughts were distracted with the sounds of commotion coming from the lobby. The chief guest has arrived.

Aryan Ahuja was a beast of a man. At 6.1” he was tall, dark and powerful with brown eyes that had a hypnotic intensity about them, and a sculptured physique that looked as if chiseled with a hammer. His neck bore the tattoo of a Scorpio, with its sting ending right at the veins of his throat. He was dressed in an expensive black tailored shirt, but not extravagantly so, which was opened at the throat and neatly tucked in a pair of cream linen trousers. A single Tag Heuer watch adorned his wrist.

A self-made man, Aryan Ahuja was a law unto himself, completely unfazed of what others thought of him and utterly ridiculing any gift of opinion. With an icy reserve that could freeze an ice cream twice over, he would usually drawl on any and every topic under the sun until it bored him, at which point he would simply get up and leave the party, without even caring to inform the host. He was at the same time, both kind and ruthless – never forgetting a favour and never letting go of an insult – with a temper that sometimes burnt down buildings and lives alike. With a razor- sharp intellect and a weird passion for living on the edge, he flirted with life as if it was his personal mistress, which is why he was on the list of most wanted men in the secret dossiers of the Research & Analysis Wing of India.

Little, if any of this information had ever reached Tara. Blessedly ignorant, she went forward to greet the ruthless Mafia kingpin who adorned her drawing room at that moment.

“Merry Christmas, Aryan. So glad you could make it”, a smiling Tara welcomed Aryan, signalling the waiter to serve him drinks.

“Merry Christmas to you too, Tara. Glad to be invited. Here, I bought some wine.” And saying this, Aryan leaned forward and slightly pecked Tara on the cheek.

“Where is that writer husband of yours? He owes me a round of poker. It’s paytime!”

Tara was still blushing from the warm peck to reply coherently, but to her relief, Shekhar came up at that moment and she left the two to their duels.

The night was progressing smoothly so far; Shekhar had joined Aryan on the terrace and the floor was being cleared for dancing. Tara decided to hit the bar and have a punch mixed for her.

“You are giving me a heart attack right now, gorgeous.”

It was a mere whisper but it made her heart leap to her mouth, as she turned to face the green eyes that now bore down upon her, lingering on her dress just for a second longer than etiquette demanded.

Her dress had been a question that had kept her awake for the last one week. After all, her boss was not the only one coming to that party. She had discreetly slipped an invitation card under Cyrus’ door the other night, fervently hoping he would accept. The next morning he had RSVP’d back. Tara had smiled to herself as she eyed the smooth black letters – the date is on.

“Merry Christmas, Cyrus” she managed to blurt out.

“Four more hours to go, before you can be allowed to be merry, dear. Till then, care to take a walk with me?”

“I can’t think of a reason why not!”  An elated Tara walked into the terrace leaning on Cyrus’ arm. She smiled when she saw Shekhar’s smile freeze into a gremlin’s glare.

Merry Christmas to me, she thought and finished the punch in a single gulp.

 

Read the next chapter here.

Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.

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blogadda, celebrateblogging, Stories

Game Of Blogs – The Escape – Chapter 1

Team – Front Runners

Week # 1

She was seven years old again. The room was white and the lights were so bright, it hurt her eyes. Santa had come, along with her Christmas present – a beautiful red violin that she had seen in the music store. Only, right now it seemed Santa had decided to dress in a funny white suit.

It’s cold, she thought as she turned her eyes away from the glaring lights. Is it Christmas already?

Tara blinked at the white curtains around her in confusion. As she tried to grasp her unfamiliar surroundings, something pinched her in the right arm. That’s when she saw the IV and started screaming. Her voice felt strange to herself, hoarse and rude like an old woman. The nurses came running to her scream and tried to console her, but she would not stop.

Through her tears, she tried but couldn’t remember where she was. The room whirled around her and she didn’t even feel the prick of the needle as she started to slump again, back to sleep. As her vision blurred, all she could register was the nurse’s voice trying to soothe her.

The next time, she woke up to the sensation that she was being beaten up and punched in her rib cage. The pain medications seemed to have run its course. Thirsty and groggy, she tried sitting up. Her head was hammering away like crazy. Water, she thought and tried to look around for help, when an elderly nurse came to her rescue.

The stench of chemicals seemed to seep through everything around her; even the water tasted like medicine. Nausea racked her body as soon as she took her first sip.

The nurse was trying to console her. “Take it easy, dear. You had an accident”, she said.

Read the next Chapter here.

“Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

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Rants, WriteTribe

A Self-Help Guide to Battling  Blogger’s Block

 

When-did-blogging-become-such-hard-work

Image courtesy @ google

 Is your marriage to your blog on the rocks?

Did I dream of it or is it actually two months since I posted a single word on my Blogpage? Of course I’m not counting the last one, which was just a quick self-celebratory post of sorts. Yes, after sixty days of inactivity and countless excuses for escaping the might of the pen, I’m now officially diagnosed with Blogger’s Block. So, after a rather futile wait over several weeks for some kind of divine intervention, I decided to take matters in my own hand before things got worse and I found myself being admitted to the ICU. What was that old saying? Self-help is the best help. Yes, it is definitely working in this case.

This prompt couldn’t have come at a better time. Just the day when I finally decided enough is enough and started looking up at various writing prompts for inspiration – what do I see? This wonderful brainstorm by Vidya and CorinneThese are the little things that make me believe in miracles and signs, you know what I mean?

Of course, I won’t go about here explaining what Blogger’s Block actually is. The easiest way to recognize the symptoms is to look out for the day when you feel guilty about neglecting your blog for too long. Someone once told me that relationships are like cars. To get a satisfactory drive, it needs to be well-maintained and oiled regularly or else the hinges becomes rusty and before long it starts groaning. Think of your blog as your partner with whom you have the deepest level of commitment – you see, it is high maintenance and can’t do long without a bit of love. So without further ado, let me tell you how to seduce back your blog after a long interval of neglect and introduce to you my take on five fun ways to recover from Blogger’s Block or SILAS (Self Inflicted Lazy Ass Syndrome) disease, as I like to call it.

A note: I’m still recuperating, and yet to fully regain my rancid humour and collect all my thoughts (which means I’m still not fully functional), so kindly overlook any lapse of continuity on my part in the future. If I don’t adhere to my own medicines, it is because I have a general aversion to tablets and pills of all kinds (yes, I still flush out pills when no one is looking).

 

1. Deal with it:

Tell yourself, it is just plain old Laziness. Had it been like the old days, you could get your mom to thrash you out of the slumber and into the writing desk. Though on second thoughts, it’s still not too late in the day. So, let’s get to work. Who is the most aggressive, the most doggedly persistent person you know in your life? He is your redeeming angel from now onwards. Call him up, now! And put him to task, by putting him hot on your trail, so to speak. His sole task over the next fortnight or the month (or as long as it takes for you to be ready to pull your own hair out) will be to nag you to death and push you to write at least a word each day.

 

2. Let’s take a walk, artista:

Get out for half an hour, early in the morning or late in the evening, depending on which is your favourite time of the day, geared with nothing but a small notepad (or your smartphone). Look around, look inside. Notice the wonderful thing called life happening all around us. What appeals to you most? What makes you happy? What makes you sad? Sketch, jot or take notes – whatever you do, keep your hands busy and your eyes roving like a flirtatious good-for-nothing loafer. Trust me, before you go home, you will find something or the other scrawled into the pages of the notepad that would be oh-so-worth writing about.

 

3. Take a jog down the memory lane:

If you are too busy (or too lazy) to get that ass up and going out, take out the oldest photo albums and peek into the dusty lanes of your childhood or better still, redo your wardrobe. You might be amazed to find that old knit blouse that you paid a mountain to buy out of your meagre pocket money and yet never worn twice. There are apparently two benefits to this – you find something to reminisce (and hence to write about) and at the end of it, Tada! Your once improbably messy wardrobe is now neatly organized.

 

4. Let off the steam:

Make a nice strong cup of coffee and give it to your inner editor – the one for whom none of the posts are good enough to publish – and ask her to take a day off and hit the spa. While she is busy enjoying the coffee (or the spa), open your laptop/notebook and start scribbling the first thing that comes to your head. Don’t wait to think or edit. The bitch will do it for you anyway, as soon as she returns. If nothing else comes to your mind, bitch about the bitch – write about all the time she made your life miserable by trashing all your beautiful words in the recycle bin! That always works… and who doesn’t love a juicy bit of gossip about that little snob?

 

5. Go window – shopping:

If everything fails, start retail therapy – and let me tell you the secret to make this actually work. Grab your purse with nothing but enough change to make it to the nearest mall and back. Give your eyes a treat and make a mental note of the cute li’l dress or that yellow bag or that colour-blocked pumps that made your heart skip a beat and flutter about madly (to the point you could actually see yourself hanging your tongue out lustily towards its general direction). Now, make a deal with yourself. The next time you stick to your schedule of writing at least 500 words a day for an entire fortnight (or whatever that is your goal), you are treating yourself with that piece of lusciousness you made a mental note of…..that should definitely do the trick. See, lust is good! You only need to make it work to your benefit.

 

Linking this to WriteTribe’s Wednesday Challenge

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Rants

And the winner is…..

So, I had recently entered this flash fiction contest arranged by tell-a-tale.com in collaboration with youthopia.in: My Pocket Storywhich was totally on a whim and almost at the last moment; and guess what!! I was declared the winner!!!

mypocketstory-winners-copy

 

 

Never mind that they got the spelling of my surname wrong, the important thing is I need to thank all my readers who took the time out to visit and vote for my submission!! Yes, the final score depended upon both the judges’ score and social voting score, which means I have YOU to thank for it. And this means, after years of blundering through numerous career mistakes, I’m finally doing something right!!

A big, heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you wonderful people! You all made my day!!

p.s: to read my submission, click here: The Solo Cafe

 

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Stories, WriteTribe

No Promises

 

Leave me alone!

The door banged with uncommon brutality, as she ended another showdown with her husband. The migraine seems to be splitting her head into two. It was one of those days. Dhruv wanted her to leave her job and come down with him but something was stopping her.

She realized that she could no longer hide the truth from herself. She was selfish; but then she just wanted to be happy.

Till death do us part. What happened to the promises of young love, she wondered? Or was that a lie too?

Does selfishness and happiness go hand in hand?

***

As she stood on the porch waving her sister goodbye, her knees threatened to give way to the strange shiver of emotions. She has been strong so far, readying herself for this moment from the past one year, since the day they told her not to hope.

The strong gust of wind tore through the silence that had descended on the now empty house, carrying along with it her white dupatta in the dusty air. No color from now on.

She realized that she could no longer hide the truth from herself. Finally, she was left alone. Forever.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

The Institution of marriage has always had me befuddled; how is it that some times, two people who were sworn lovers become sworn enemies? Why does it sometimes become so hard for two people in love to even bear to stay together in the same room? And then you see them who had made it to their old age, struggling, fighting but staying together and it makes you wonder.

Two stories, interlinked, based on the same prompt. Linking this to 100 Words on Saturday, though it comes a bit late in the day. My post – A TO Z – laziness syndrome is finally wearing off and I’m glad or what!  Recuperating slowly but steadily!!!

Do me a favor, listen to the song if you haven’t yet. It’s  beautifully rendered and one of my favorites. I promise you won’t regret listening to it!!

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Stories

The Solo Cafe

There are two things that I have learnt from my travels. First, you can be pretty miserable almost anywhere. Second, being your own porter of a luggage weighing twenty-something kilos can suddenly transform you from a beautiful Diva to a sweating club fighter.

This is an excerpt from my short story submission on the online short story contest – My Pocket Story conducted by tell-a-tale.com in collaboration with youthopia.in

Since the results would take into consideration social voting, I would like to request all my readers to go check it out at this link: The Solo Cafe and vote for it there itself, only if you like it. The deadline for voting closes on 7th May I guess, so please make yours count!!

 

Thanks in advance!!

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A to Z 2014, Poem

Zodiac’s 12 signs: A to Z Challenge Day # 26

First comes the adventurer, carefree and wild

Life has got them completely beguiled.

. . .

The raging bull will always love a treat

Bit of a stubborn, but really very sweet.

. . .

The twins come strolling by, always confused

As they quarrel on which dress to choose.

 . . .

The crab might shield itself under a hard shell,

But home is ultimately where its heart dwell.

. . .

Roaring with pride, flashy and gay

The king of the jungle is here to stay,

 . . .

Then comes the maiden, pristine and white

Imperfectionism is not in their stride.

 . . .

You know in the world everything is alright

When the scales of judgment leans towards the right.

 . . .

Mysterious secret keepers, passion is their thing

Beware of these bi****s ‘cause they can make you sting!

. . .

The archer will explore everything under the sun

Seekers of truth, they love to have fun!

 . . .

For the Goat, the way up is never too long

One word at a time, to create the entire song.

. . .

The water bearer has an inventive mind

 Their vision is a better world for all Mankind

 . . .

Kind and caring, the Fish likes to dream

If they are sad, just give them an ice-cream!

 ———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Z

 

As the great cook likes very little salt, she compensates adding pepper. Wondering if the challenge has finally driven me crazy? You wish! What I have written above is just a little mnemonics for you to remember the 12 signs of the Zodiac.

Now, did you know that the entire astrology is not some hocus pocus but based on the same elliptical coordinate system used in astronomy? Yeah the same NASA uses. Now, just by assigning each constellation and planet a specific set of characteristics (read data) and then predicting the planetary positions, you can actually predict a man’s future. All this discovered in the 7th Century BC and compiled by 2nd century AD by none other than Ptolemy.

Pretty cool, isn’t it? So, next time when the universe is trying to strike up a conversation with you, don’t take your signs lightly.

The challenge is over and I’m secretly heaving a sigh of relief. I have met some wonderful bloggers across the month, and while I couldn’t really give a shout out to all of them, I did try in my small way to appreciate what we all are trying to do here. It has been a wonderful experience, and in a few weeks you might even here me say, bring it on a second time; but for now, I’m donning my blanket and going off to a much deserved siesta.

Signing off, until then!

 

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