Short Story Archive for Stories:

Fresh legs

This is about our previous regular mailman Billy.
I miss him a lot. He delivered mail on our street for over a decade and I never saw him without his ready Irish smile.
Then over a year ago the powers that be at the post office suddenly decided to change routes of all regular mail persons.
Our Billy too got re-routed.
I ran into Billy a couple of times afterwards and we caught up on our news. Needless to say he was not happy about these changes as he too had invested himself forging many people to people connections and folks on our street looked forward to chit-chatting with Billy on daily basis.
Come Christmas many people left gifts in cash and checks in the mall box for Billy and during winter months they even had hot chocolate and coffee readily available for when he came by.
Billy has only one son who was born physically challenged and both his wife and he devote themselves wholeheartedly in caring for their beloved son. Christmas money came in very handy for his son’s medical care.
I’ve never heard Billy complain about this bum deal that fate had delivered in his lap. He remained cheery all the time. He would even go out of the way to help me carry bags etc. home in case he ran into me thus laden. He’d ignore my nays and continue picking up my stuff.. this is just how Billy was…pure gold inside out.
Today around one o’clock I met the mailman who was a new face. I smiled and commented that he had arrived quite earlier than usual. He told me he was subbing for our new regular mail person and he was what the Post Office called “FRESH LEGS”
The senior mail persons logically then should be termed “STALE LEGS” I suppose.
I told the substitute mailman that I hope his fresh legs weather well without withering… He laughed saying he liked what I said a lot…and then we went our separate ways…

Journal contd.. Fireflies, glowing eyes

FireFliesInForestDeviantArt

“I am but a firefly caught in his jar and when he looks at me, I can’t help but glow.” ~ Kellie Elmore …
in light of this quote… For me it’s mom and dad all the way ..we mutually glowed and basked in “us”
~ ~ ~
and she said, “You don’t say!”
I am left wondering whether this was a robust yea or nay !
plus am still figuring out who said it in my dreams… the figure is hazy as hell.
For past two days my dreams have been peppered with eyes
full of overflowing emotions.
Chasing those eyes with my dreamcatcher reminded me of childhood jars filled with lightning bugs. Often in burgeoning darknesses of late evenings we’d capture a firefly in our tiny white kerchiefs and our childish eyes would goggle up at this marvel of nature…and then we’d gently release them…following their trajectories with “ecstatic eyes”
It did not take much to be content and happy in those days.
I digress… here I want to correlate those eyes chasing my dreams to fireflies of my wonder years in the fifties and sixties. Life was our oyster and we shucked it to our heart’s content.
In a movie I saw yesterday a brother and sister reminisce about what they most recall of their “mom” and both said in unison “she had the happiest of eyes!” After the movie was over I tried to recall what kind of emotions do I recall about those I hold absolutely dear and close to my heart… I was at an impasse.
I recall “sorrowful eyes” of mom the most esp. when I had been bad throwing tantrums about trivial stuff and when she was at the cusp of crossing over at the time of her death. She was full of worry about “unsettled”me and that is why I feel her presence around me all the time. Dad on the other hand had “happy eyes” and he simply loved putting me through my paces physically and mentally.
Mom’s eyes mainly glowed with an otherworldly light as she sang in her off tune voice from the Hindu holy scriptures. Her unworldliness filled us with tenderness for her and a fierce urge to protect her …this role reversal happened early on and that was how maturity crept into our wonder years : imperceptibly… we’ll talk of other eyes later…maybe…perhaps…who knows..
Image : Forest Fireflies: Deviant Art

Journal

March 10, 2016

He stirs in his sleep as I stir my hot chocolate…..stairs continue creaking softly prior to settling down for balance of night….
Then he mumbles in his sleep and I wonder if he is talking to his amma (mom) his yardstick for correlating
Life in general and cooking in particular…. Magic touch of lovingly cooked dishes somehow anoint for life ….regardless of age ….umbilical cords stay put in phantom form…. I gently turn him while settling down once again….now back to counting sheep chasing elusive sleep …..

March 13, 2016
we fit loosely hand in glove, fingers interlocked till death do us part…
two state of minds, physically from two diverse north south “bent of mind states yet we jell imperfectly, perfectly. This state did not get arrived at easily but a well dinned cultural conditioning did go a long way into more firming with categorically zero asunder as an easy out and I was no quitter.
our solemn knot stays tied to date, tad beat up and frayed at edges
like a much loved worn out pair of hush puppies snugly hugging tired feet.
this pairing is, has been a feat in the making…
daily I rise and crank my role poly over the hill bag of bones –
involuntary groans and sighs escaping and admixing with cheery garden twitter while my “now” partner in crime blissfully sleeps chasing haunting happy sad moments from past as he continues to babble in sleep… He says I snore terribly and I wonder if my snores drown his “sleep talk” …
we are quite a pair and happy for it…

March 15, 2016

routine days never turn out to be quite routine actually…
both retired, semi tired keep busy doing our own thing until we either collude or collide…
collisions usually end up in minor flare up and pouts with periods of non speaking for various lengths of time until one of us breaks this impasse
posing as if nothing had really happened…. and then we chug along as usual.
Usually I break our “silent” huffs given that I am the talkative one at home while Ganesh is more talkative abroad or when known company is present… In fact he is known to chat up any and all strangers on the street with aplomb while we cringe and try to become invisible… hahaha
I am in fact so talkative that once I was bet a grand if I could pass 24 hours without speaking… I barely lasted three, four hours failing miserably.
This enforced tongue tying made me fit to be tied considering how much hot off the press gossip, news and stuff I had that I was dying to share with my family.
As a result all of us had a good laugh at my expense amidst lots of head shakes and tut..tuttttsss…
My record for non-stop talking is 48 hours without any sleep break when we teamed up with a dear friend once during our summer holidays during our Bombay days.
life at this juncture in our lives can be dull if we let it… we try to keep it humming in our own way..
more later….

proof of god’s existence

 

 

Saw this sweet movie called Wide Awake by M. Night Shyamalan.
A little boy is quite attached to his grandpa who has terminal cancer. Even though the boy Joshua knew it was inevitable -he is unable to come to terms with his loss. What worries him most is “whether God is taking good care of grandpa” he even wants proof of god’s existence and is on lookout for some sign.
In the end, he does see a little boy in the school hallway who approaches him and says, ” do not worry about your grandpa, he is okay”! The little boy is an apparition and subsequently vanishes.
This touched me immensely as I too was rather attached to my maternal grandpa and worried in just the same way – whether he was finally at peace and happy.
Age has nothing to do with it. Its the strength of love between two generations that dictates hearts.
I was allowed to go to his funeral and as I watched the pyre smoke rise, I kept fervently wishing that grandpa was in a happy place.
Suddenly out of the blue an old lady emerged, shabbily dressed and she shuffled to my side. next she placed her hand on my head and said, “child, do not grieve, he is at peace”. Then she slowly walked towards the line of cars and vanished in thin air!
My family was watching and in those days I was a true “virgo” finicky and that shabbily dressed old lady had taken me aback. Then the penny dropped. I went over her words in my mind and suddenly my grief lightened and I felt happy.
My sisters asked me, “who was that old lady?” I simply did not answer. I was smiling broadly ..which would’ve appeared strange at a funeral.
~
Varanasi burning ghats and river Ganges- source National Geographic

VaranasiBurning ghat-ganges-01

fall

WaterfallbyRousseau

Waterfall by Henri Rousseau
~
have experienced with awe many Falls cascading from great heights
from Niagara Falls to others in Hawaii and various countries around the world including India.
Since I love playing with words in different contexts –
Have had close acquaintance with a fall when I had to hug the ground
and messed up my right leg badly during heavy snow in winter.
This mishap is acceptable.
What will never be acceptable is if I fall in my own eyes –
that would be worse than croaking …
as long as I am in my right mind …it will not happen….

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