Short Story Archive for Stories:

wistfulness

there is an inexpressible sense of cozy comfort knowing that you’ve fully loved someone who even though no longer a physical presence in your life, still thrives as a crucial part of your mind, your soul and continues to lend impetus to your imaginatively woven scenarios of “what ifs” “if only” speculative tangential wanderings giving daily life an intriguing twist and turn – an intrinsic part of life’s fabric of you as a whole ..in a gamut of speculative permutations ..

renoir

 

sensual memories

sensual memories be it tactile, sound, visual, taste et al usually embed in brain’s synapses and triggered by relatable phenomena surface for pleasurable second helpings

… this morning as I was toasting thin slivers of pumpernickel bagel and olive roll I remembered the time when fresh off the boat in 1974 winter in Cleveland Ohio … I was driven to my first job by a co-worker on cost-sharing basis.

It was either late November or December. Snow was falling rather heavily…chilled to the bone being unaccustomed to such foul weather I was hastily bundled inside the toasty office and Leslie my kind savior took me to the kitchen corner of the office and toasted english muffins in the office toaster and made a fresh pot of coffee ..then she offered me a generously lathered hot english muffin followed by a mug of piping hot java joe…they were an absolute godsend and tasted like heavenly manna…..

hence this memory got imbedded in my head … on thinking back … I would relegate it to second place giving first place undoubtedly to mom’s freshly made paranthas just the way I liked them and later at grandparent’s home …the stuffed tandoori paranthas roasted to perfection in clay tandoors truly tasted heavenly with gobs of churned butter …aroma of freshly roasted breads intermingling with simmering pickles in the winter sun … all conjure a wonderful childhood with homemade lassi and/or
thandaii as the case maybe …. they take first place hands down

* lassi : churned buttermilk and thandaii : cold milk with crushed almonds, poppy seeds, cardamom and saffron etc.. .it is delicious
..

 

leaves on fire

I look at the variegated autumn leaves congregated on our back deck scintillating in bright earthy colors in final sunbursts prior to quietly bleeding away colors pawed by weakened rays of winter sun and intermittent rains fading to mere shadows of what they once were ..and realize
this journey from spring’s greening to autumnal preening to wilting is similar to my own precarious perch on life’s sill …….

Amritsar memories …

Starry Night Drawing by Van Gogh

 

Beyond five star hotel’s wildest claims
a freshly made bed under myriads of stars
Is that priceless neck piece highlighting childhood’s
precious pearls strung in memory’s summers
Lying face up awed by glowing clusters overhead
chatter of whispered juicy gossip would fade and we’d
try to name the constellations rolling their names in Hindi
/ Punjabi and then comfortably in English
staccato whistling bursts from nearby railway lines
would puncture night’s cool quietude adding to it’s
choir of sound bytes intoned by three generations
as they settled down during torrid summer’s nights
…loving diamonds in the sky overhead I equally enjoyed
the light and dark patterns thrown in relief as crafted
by errant rays as they hit the pygmy grilled roof walls
rising from knee high concrete mosaic patterned
platforms in the roof for comfortable viewing
another purpose served was for lazily lowering empty rattan baskets with cash for buying freshly baked sweet rolls lathered in homemade butter as morning snacks with teas from the much sought baker who covered all the souks and by-lanes hawking his mouthwatering flavorful goods…
we’d always be on the lookout for him and with swift feet run down the stairs from the roof halting only when feet landed on the wooden platform next to grandpa’s stoop steps as we sat dangling our feet ..tiny mouths drooling in sweet anticipation eager for those aromatic freshly baked rolls… I can still sense that unique aroma as it hit our childish nostrils melting in our mouths amidst cries of joy
… on the roof one corner of that low platform also held that ubiquitous family sized earthen water jug…if water can be termed delicious then that is how I recall it’s taste …a drink from that “surahii” jug..was pure manna made by co- mingling of hand pumped water and freshly kilned clay jug giving it that unique strong earthy flavor that could slake the thirstiest throat
….there are so many memories milling in my greying topper as I live day to day swaying in time’s past tense and present tense’s hammock utterly relaxed ..catching life’s straight and..curved balls in my serenity’s mitt ..fully cognizant of where I was and where I now am
..
images: google

journaling….fetters …

mind truly baulks at being tied to anything yet I feel like a fraud when I do want the strength of a firm back to lean against and not feel frightened at night… a firm pillow simply doesn’t cut it… .. spoon fed most of my growing years and later after being holy-knot-hogtied to another for the first time … I never knew what true freedom meant… even my thoughts seemed as if they were in bondage … there was no sense of being absolutely free …like we did in our childhood ..running barefoot ..screaming like banshees and scaring one another …jumping off from high ground on dares…whatnot… ..
Now in my 2nd innings… since past 17+ years or so I’ve finally come into my own..doing what I please save for those working years which were a typical admix of awful to good … for in real estate you spend time swimming with sharks and if you’re a minnow…only god can help you… lol…mercifully am retired now unequivocally .. ..
being answerable to none except my conscience is a state to be in and I love this total immersion …finally allowed me… .. life is truly cyclical and now for me magical …
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