Short Story Archive for Stories:

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 …

Journaling…the healer

Yesterday I saw the Hindi movie Shirdi Sai Baba with Sudhir Dalvi once again and saw how Baba absorbed and transferred all the pain and sickness onto his own frail person … It immediately reminded me of our Dajiba who came into our lives when I was merely five six years old … he was godsend to complement our otherworldly mom …I firmly believe…
Dajiba, claimed that divinity manifested in his body with such strength that he could cure with his vibrant touch on forehead. Usually after an hour of prayer to his Divine Power he was ready for healing …How many of the gathered throngs he cured is anybody’s guess as I’ve seen x-rays change from bad to crystal clear after his healing sessions…..
Dajiba transferred upon his slender self my numerous childhood fevers and nosebleeds that I was stricken with due to poor health bad tonsils etc.. He declared that he was stronger than me and could weather them fine. I never questioned it & ran off to play while he writhed in pain for a good while as mom plied him with numerous cups of ginger tea cookies etc… Later it was impressed upon me by a family elder that I should have borne this “karma” myself and not allowed another to physically suffer on my behalf. …understanding that I stopped Dajiba from healing me henceforth…
He exited from our lives when mom left us… . It’d created an abyss like void in my life especially as both my siblings were already married … now dad and myself were by ourselves ….In retrospect come to think of it- maybe mom and Dajiba knew one another from previous lives – Dajiba was a god gifted shaman, a witch doctor or a Christian divine healer with a unique healing touch …. hence this correlation with Sai Baba even though Dajiba was no divine reincarnation like Shirdi Sai Baba…
..Healing hands…
Soft feathery strokes Dancing in air Soothing calming Sucking pain Undulating endlessly Hands mesmerizing Rhythmically in motion Arms cocooning Embracing bracing Intermittently crooning Exuding grace Quietening mind Relaxing stricken Absorbing grief …Healing energy waves Encircle, succor Sick in body, mind Pain slowly dissipates Gradually evaporating healing energy enters Filling void Soft feathery strokes Dancing in air.. Soothing calming Sucking all pain Undulating endlessly Hands mesmerizing Rhythmically in motion
Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity. – Hippocrates
With the gift of listening comes the gift of healing…. Catherine de Hueck
Sickness & healing are in every heart; death & deliverance in every hand ~O.Scott Card (1951), Speaker for the Dead
image : google

journaling…telepathic connect…

I’ve been meaning to write about this inexplicable longing to reconnect with a dear friend whom I’d lost touch with since we left Bombay in 1972
….this acute longing suddenly occurred about a month or so ago quite inexplicably and was stridently persistent …so much so that finally to appease the voices in my head and heart … I scoured Facebook with possible name matches etc. hopefully relying on my erring memory
..Luckily I found my friend’s two brothers on Facebook … their dad being a famous much respected lyricist from the golden period of Hindi cinema from yesteryears …
I sent them private messages asking the whereabouts of their sister…
no response for a few weeks… I was feeling rather forlorn and down in the mouth and then suddenly I got a reply from one of them..
He gave me the info I needed and I was immediately in touch with this dear friend from college days… we’d had some great times together and were quite close …
oddly enough my friend Adarsh name Pappu was also remembering me as longingly as I was …it was definitely a Telepathic connect ..otherwise why would I remember her out of the blue after 45 odd years?
strange coincidence to say the least ..we have this saying in Hindi “ dil ko dil ki raaah mil hi jaati hai” meaning heart finds it’s own way eventually …
After connecting over the phone via WhatsApp the first words of a very petulant Pappu angrily came at me were :
“where the hell did you disappear to” I cherish her anger as she cares as deeply as me … and then we filled in the gaps of our separation in retelling and I was deliriously happy ..
one thing that she said repetitiously was how she’d visited our home out of the blue without prior messaging and had met our gentle otherworldly mom ..whom she still remembers distinctly…
.. I think she merely reaffirmed what everyone has said to me so far ..about mom being a very gentle and pure soul.. and I simply miss mom so… to this date..
footnote: I received another message from Pappu’s brother saying “She was really happy to speak to you. Was so animated as she described ur meetings” …
mysterious are the ways of nature.. telepathy and love… Thank you Facebook…images: google

Journaling…mulling over certain words…

August 16, 2017
Lillian Hellman : Julia
“Old paint on a canvas, as it ages, sometimes becomes transparent. When that happens it is possible, in some pictures, to see the original lines: a tree will show through a woman’s dress, a child makes way for a dog, a large boat is no longer on an open sea. That is called pentimento because the painter “repented,” changed his mind. Perhaps it would be as well to say that the old conception, replaced by a later choice, is a way of seeing and then seeing again. That is all I mean about the people in this book. The paint has aged and I wanted to see what was there for me once, what is there for me now.”
these words quietly resonated as I rolled word Pentimento on my mind’s tongue while enjoying the sound of it … upon retrospection correlating events “as is” when they occurred and my reaction then and now after countless years… and underlying reason’s big “why” for my reactions at that point in time being in the very heat of the moment … Pentimento I wonder about the underlying reasons now and my resultant state of bewilderment admixed with anger and my unforgiving state despite my inner serenity ….have there been subtle changes in my views as I’ve weathered and juiced life to the nth degree enjoying it’s rollercoaster ups downs accepting all for what’s it’s face value and/or intrinsic worth..
have I changed my perspective in retrospect?
… some words simply grab mind’s throat and make you confront your pet peeves…
Let yourself be drawn by the strange pull of what you love. It will not lead you astray
~ Rumi
he’d said : I feel the sea in you and I rather liked it
color blue being my favorite color as my adored Blue Krishna is my soul’s sky with it’s delightfully pervasive blueness leaches into the sea spread that is my being
I further mulled over this thought “my being a sea”
rolled it on my tongue…
took tiny sips of it with my morning chai…
bit into it with my dunking tea biscuits …
a daily ritual
and then I remembered sea glass
shiny iridescent pieces of glass thrown by passing ships and beachgoers and as these manmade bottles smash into pieces …nature takes over in shaping and crafting them…
the waves sometimes angrily and other times gently nudge and heave over these pieces smoothening out the sharp rough edges and in conjunction with time gradually soften and round them into things of beauty …
tis a role reversal in a way … bottles to sea glass
At first.. bottles are crafted by man and in their second avatar it’s glass pieces are crafted by nature … unlike fully nature made wonders…often undone by man….as in environmental catastrophes..
now am wondering about the kelp and seaweed and the shimmering awe inspiring life in sea’s belly and it fills me with the wonder of it all…
I quite like being called a sea… thank you …
I’d even be happy being just a piece of sea glass found by simpatico beachcombers and lovingly cherished in their home on the mantel as one of their many personal favorite objets d’art
images : google

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