Myriad Musings

Say do you care ?

Whip !

Lashes from the dreaded cane now slashed his wrists, carving new lines across his palm of blood red, the same wrists that had carried blood red roses moments ago for the woman wielding the cane. His precious sister. An embodiment of patience, the mountain of her calm had crumbled due to his misadventures and the rocks were now raging and tumbling uncontrollably.

The spell of silence she had held was now broken and words were pelting like a flurried volley of raindrops. “What do I have to do to make my little brother care ? Sacrifice my education; work to pay for his; strive to feed, clothe and educate him ? Hold on! I’ve done those exact things for a decade now. My rewards : Detention, notices from teachers and now you’ve managed to get yourself suspended! ”

The sting of her pain coursed through his body and sealed his lips shut. The flood of her burden was now creating havoc as he had inadvertently broken the dam.

“It is your indifference that hurts the most. I wish you cared about me.  I’ve been unable to take my eyes off wedding arrangements and that was time enough for you to give trouble the first invitation. Bribing me with roses won’t spare you. What was it this time? Cheating in tests, prolonged absence, talking back to the teacher? Answer me.”

She threw the cane away and shook him, as though hoping to jolt the truth out of him. He pointed in silence to the roses on the table, that were discarded when he had handed her the suspension letter. “I wanted to g-give back, I mean, give you a gift for getting married, so I plucked them from the school gardens and I-well, I got caught,” he stammered aimlessly.

The tears on her face now continued to roll, but they were tears of relief, of happy realisation. Her efforts were not futile balls thrown at baskets without hoops.

Her brother cared.

Myriad Musings


“ ~Show mercy on the poor old woman ~~ Give alms, without qualms – oh, oh, ohh- show mercy on this poor old woman ~~,” I sang. I know the word around town paints me as the “loony grannie.” Perhaps, I am. My life certainly carried sufficient trauma to justify the insanity I am accused of. A lady clad in silk by the temple drops a hundred rupee note on to my weary palm. A generous tip but my eyes don’t leave her purse. The purse draped in soft blue, like mine once was, as though wrapped in clouds of shyness and secrets.

I had accidentally forgotten my soft blue purse in the canteen, caught up in daydreams and fallacies as twelve year olds often tend to be. Lo and Behold, it turned out to be a blessing. Who returned it but the most desired chap in our grade ? One of the TDH guys- Tall, Dark, Handsome. My purse was safe, with all its myriad contents intact but for one. My photograph was missing.

I swagger up to the tea shop and pick up a newspaper while sipping my cup, uptown girl style. Vestiges of the past remain, you see. The owner still smirks at the idea of a literate beggar. Even after a routine two months, my curiosity for the news amuses him.

We were pouring over the newspaper, me and my TDH guy, surveying national problems meticulously, enraged and proud at all the right places. He says, “Our empty words are not making changes. Being is futile without doing” and I agree. My mind turns the page of every social service option until the unexpected word is hurled at me : Soldier. That’s what he wants to become. I can see his resolve in the tightened muscles of his lanky frame. I try to wear a sense of worship in my eyes, but they betray fear.

Ongoing Peace talks. Student Union Strikes again. I read the headlines mechanically. Old habits that refuse to leave like unwelcome guests. There’s one headline that clutches my heartstrings : Ring finger wrings hearts. About a celebrity’s engagement.

Tenth grade. While my peers were busy with Figures of Speech and Trigonometry problems, me and my fiancé were concerned with flower arrangements and guest lists for the wedding. The gleaming diamond on my ring finger emitted a foul smell, perceptible only to me, for I foresaw what was to come. A life of abandonment. Penniless. Widowed. Moving out of a house that was too close to “us”, away from a town whose street corners and pillars spoke my husband’s secrets. Estranged. Widowed. Penniless.

An array of excited school boys ran past me, with the vigour of an army about to launch their collective forces. A sports team. Cricket, Hockey, Football – Football, I decided. Seeing children and lamenting my childless days was a thing of the past. A pain I had grown numb to. Still, at the sight of their uniforms, a cold dread wrapped around my heart, disguised as a safety blanket, while it was in reality, a prickly porcupine shawl. I always have the sense to  go into hiding on Republic Days and Independence Days. I should’ve added Sports Day to that list. What torpefied me into submission once now startled a wail from my unsuspecting throat.

The sight of the tricolour symbols on their uniform.

Symbols that cost two lives.

One dead.

Another buried alive.

Myriad Musings


Amongst the many lies we have grown up believing, a sunny day being desirable has stuck with us till date. Its probably a cause for celebration in the West. But, in the context of India’s hotter states, the concept of inviting the sunny weather is so ridiculous it’s laughable.



Sunlight means one thing here. Hiding. Where are my shades ? Quick, find me an umbrella in case it becomes too much to take. Sunscreen lotions are scrambled for hurriedly and they form a forcefield to shield our gentle skin from the conspiring sun. We squint our eyes at anything in between the innocent sunrise and sunset and hunt desperately for the nearest shades for shelter from the rays. Even humid heat is unwelcome as it can only mean sticky sweat and huge electricity bills due to the AC running round-the-clock.



As for me, I’d never pretend to be a fan of the summer whose weather can only differ among the hot, hotter and hottest. I wait for the wind that trumpets the arrival of rain, a murky climate symbolic of our longings, the secrets we hold dear and a picture that paints the uncertainty of what’s to come. Nothing beats the weather that’s somewhere in between ‘rainy’ and ‘sunny’, a weather that’s just like you and me.


WordPress daily prompt : Sunny

Myriad Musings

So I hear ..

You yell at me in fury. You make a big fuss, throw tantrums and hurl accusations. I hear the silent pleas to notice that you’re hurt : pleas muffled under your siren-like screams. It doesn’t escape my ear. I pacify.

You whisper in the language of love to me as we reminisce over sweet nothings. Amidst those hushed, soft sing-song notes, I hear your longing for more, loud and clear. I yield.

There are times when your tone is high and squeaky. In the fluctuating fervour of your frenzy, I hear non-negotiable orders for things to be done just right. I consent.

When sentences fall out of you in measured monotones, I feel the facade of strength you erect to appear matter-of-fact and unfazed. Yet, I can’t help but hear the shrieks of agony calling out for help. I comply.

You’re gone, only for the fortnight, and there is a spooky stillness enslaving the air. The roads we take and the home we made are resonant reminders that recite scintillating stories of you. Memories abound, I’m surrounded by your sound. Isn’t it funny that your volume becomes too vociferous for me, only in the silence you set free ?

WordPress Daily prompt : Volume

Myriad Musings, Poetry

Into an amnesiac’s memory

I live, as though, in another’s stead,

Images Crisp, flash in my head.

Dancing around the shrubs, one summer break,

Served sweet potato fries and delicious steak.

A spring evening, walking down the aisle,

After years of courting, married off in style.

As autumn hit, I hugged my willow tree,

Worried it would shed : My last memory.

Now winter is here, I’m only a recluse,

All it brought me was apathy and abuse.

I’m told my remembrances are false,

By aliens who define me by my flaws.

Apparently, there was no beckoning food,

No diamond rings or the willow wood.

Yet, these pictures light up a present bleak,

Give me strength, when I feel weak.

So I let my desperation and hope speak

And hold on tight with all my might

To these vivid images that just feel right.

Wipe away these memories, my past is dead,

Believe you me, with no question of ‘instead’.

Myriad Musings, Poetry


You forget your manners at tea,

Gulp an extra sip, laugh loudly;

Too simple a soul to be called elite,

Yet they call you sophisticated and sweet.

You laugh from your gut, joke around a lot,

In place of a subtle smile that appears taught.

You’re utterly free with your mind and body

Yet they call you pure, they call you refined.

Day after day, I watched you hawk-eyed,

To decipher why the world took your side.

Barriers ? They don’t mar you,

Spite ? Insufficient to scar you;

Sorrow you thaw,

Embrace humanity’s flaw.

It all fit, as the realisation hit :

Its my ideas, not your being

That need Polish  : a new way of seeing

Your wondrous life led by your own unique law

Leaving all whom you touch to gasp in awe !

Myriad Musings

Too much to take

You craved for cake the other day. I proudly served you a piece with brownie, brioche and all that I bake.

Oh ! Remember the day you whispered about a dream ? A dream on the lake wrapped under a starry night. We set sail in seas with blessed breeze, safe under the cozy cover of the moonbeams.

You beseeched me to take a wary step into the dark corners of my being and tap a little secret for the night. It instead became a night of secrets as I let you wander all over, showing you my tunnels with the same welcome with which I display my bridges. Elated you were about the unforeseen fortune !

When you felt threatened in the least, I ran to be the army you needed. It was the engulfing embrace you noticed and cherished, but you missed the fierce spear I had sharpened to sear your ghosts.

I was the safety blanket which you wore like a cloak of invincibility, until you wanted a new colour. You see, I was neon orange and you couldn’t handle the force of me. You wanted sober. Faded. So you could feel like the saviour.

By then, you’d explored my islands, plateaus and valleys and you wanted to go to a different country. Where there would be more slush and less sand, so you feel like the better man. Alas, I realised beauty can induce fear only when you were taken aback by my equally agreeable hills and dales.

So, I got you tickets to a faraway dream and waved farewell when your flight soared high. I found it strange that the reason you flew without me was I “gave you too much”. Little did you realise that it wasn’t the strokes of the painting that were too loud but the interpreter’s eyes that were sore.

Soon, you may tire of the treasures the other nations bear and all you would want will be to come back home. You’d point out your wounds the size of my mole and I’d be reminded of the monsters under your bed. So you’ll ask for a bandaid and I’ll throw in a brownie, a blanket and a blissful lullaby. As I sing you to sleep, make your choice.

For I’m in or out, you’ll never find me lingering by the door. I don’t dole out my affections in portions and titbits. If you’re asking from me, you’re always asking for more.

WordPress Daily prompt : Portion