Sunshine and Word Mine

Thank you for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award, Confabler. Thanks to your wordy creativity and my own fortunate chance, we found one other on this platform and since then have been nothing short of supportive and encouraging.

Now, the answers to your questions (that strangely demanded insights into myself):

  1. If you were to choose an insect that would take over the world after human extinction, who would that be? 

An ant? Ants are industrious and responsible. After human extinction, I strongly feel ants can take perfect care of our world.

  1. How old were you when you first read Harry Potter? And your favorite author of course?

I remember reading my first Harry Potter  in my eighth grade (I know it is late… isn’t it?), but I have been watching the series on Pogo’s May Movie Magic for a long time prior to the books. My favourite author is Jeffrey Archer. No one who has read him can disagree with me.

  1. If you were invisible what is the craziest thing that you would do?

Would head straight to my library and remain seated there on the aisle between stacks of books; though I know I would have a very hard time pulling books from their places without making people around me think the books are moving on their own.

  1. What food makes you feel like a hungry hyena?

Anything that is off my mother’s stove. In particular, hot and thick Dosa with spicy tomato chutney (Coriander-sprinkled).

  1. A song that makes you dream?

If you want one immediately, I would settle on Sangathil paadatha kavithai (its Hindi equivalent is Gum sum gum).

  1. Have you ever planted a tree?

It is embarrassing to say ‘No’, but thank you, your question has made me want to plant one soon.

  1. Choose your man: superman/ Spiderman/ iron man and if he was your best friend one thing that you would make him do?

David Carradine would shout his life out for Superman, but I will go with Spidy… only since your options lack Batman. Uhh, if he were my best friend, I would ask him to milk more cash from Jonah Jameson and secretly click a photo of him when the guy is irritated. I like JJ when he is irritated.

  1. How much time do you spend in front of the mirror everyday?

Being a man, I think I can get away with 5 minutes of mirror-time. (How much do you spend?)

  1. Why you started blogging and tell us about the post enjoyed the most making.

Started blogging because I wanted to share my words with more people, and importantly, with people who are avid readers and are equivalently passionate about writing. The post I most enjoyed making was, and will remain so forever, Thy Eternal Summer shall not Fade. It is something personal.

  1. Which social media platform are you addicted to (including WordPress)?

Facebook (‘addicted’ would be an overstatement, but I spend time here that I don’t later regret.) WordPress would qualify perfectly for an answer to your question.

To take this further, I would like to nominate the following writers:

  1. Twinquill (Urvashi and Mansi, reply individually!)
  2. Success Inspirer 
  3. Little flame, I don’t know your name
  4. Fathima
  5. Shreeka
  6. Selfdestructo
  7. Venandi Vita
  8. Foodies
  9. Bhavana
  10. Mahiself
  11. Jia (If I can ping you back…)

The questions I want you people to answer:

  1. What is that one book you keep going back to?
  2. Do your deem your existence worth recounting in a biography? If not, why?
  3. What is your taste/genre in Cinema?
  4. Any sins you are proud of?
  5. Any achievements you regret?
  6. Do you see yourself as a successful author in future? If yes, then of what kind of book?
  7. What are your 3 most favourite blogs on WordPress?
  8. According to you, in a line, what is the future of Indian writing in English?
  9. You must be moonlighting as a writer. I am sure. What is your day life, and how passionate you are about it?
  10. What is your one-word description of yourself?

Thanks for following me and being a very sincere reader of my posts.I take this opportunity to say I loved your blogs to the same extent, and that I scroll down my Reader page on WordPress with eager expectations of reading your new stories.

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Sorry, Harry!

With pouring sweat blurring my sight,

And puny Harry refusing to bear my weight,

I decided to walk, albeit with a reluctant gait.

 

My legs trembled, for tiring was the hike1

And my gunny sack I found difficult to hike3

Through the harsh land of this vast rike.

 

Far away showed up a stony inn.

We ran the remaining road to happily jump in,

Wishing with all hope for a pony of gin.

 

Looming over me stood barman Bob

With a jug of ale as was his job

And a little watch by a golden fob.

 

While Harry smiled over a pack of hay

Drinking the ale, I said ‘Hey hey!’

Seeing us, what would the sun say?

 

Barman Bob hiked2 the cost of the drink

So much that the pay would push me to the brink

And would even cause Harry’s forehead to wrink.

 

What could I do other than to sell Harry?

And return home with skin so tarry,

To breathe of barmen always wary.

 

Hike:

Noun

  1. A long walk or walking tour.
  2. A sharp increase, especially in price or cost.

Verb

  1. Pull or lift up (something, especially clothing).

What to write tonight?

In writing, consistency is very important; a writer ought to be in touch with his pen (or the keys) on a daily basis. My head nodded with agreement, and a decision was immovably cemented when I read this online.  This is my attempt – a sincere one – to write a few words tonight. If you ask me whether the cemented decision would stay so forever, I can’t answer positively. Let us be content with tonight’s writing and leave tomorrow until tomorrow.

But what is the subject of my writing tonight? The hour hand of the clock on my writing table is between ten and eleven, the minute hand is pointing at seven and the second hand… oh forget it! the time is 10:35 p.m. It feels like the equivalent of a drunk blabbering in his smelly sleep, only I am not drunk. Anyways, what am I going to write on tonight? A short story based on the trending Cauvery issue? Self-immolation of a youth in his protest against Tamilians being attacked in Karnataka would make an excellent plot point. And imagine, suppose he had a girlfriend waiting for him back in their college classroom… that would be intensely dramatic. Moreover, what if the youth had not immolated himself but had in actuality been set on fire by a loyal-but-wicked partisan in his attempt to sensationalise the issue? I am writing this story next!

I understand it is socially irresponsible to write such a story without the slightest intention of spreading awareness of this sensitive issue but only with the idea of creating a self-satisfying blog post. But writers are deplorable and selfish opportunists who are always on the lookout for stories to shout and words to vomit. Cry out of pain and misery to a writer that your 5-year relationship broke up because your girl is no longer your girl but had overnight become someone else’s, he will, as you would have expected, console you with carefully chosen vocabulary that is extremely tear-wiping. But that same night he will sit at his table and turn your heartbreak into an interesting drama, with his eyes displaying the joy only a tired fisherman would experience on feeling a school full of fish unknowingly enter his hungry net.

So let me not be a writer at all; let me be a man who writes. Like you when you write your exam. Like your father when he records his monthly accounts. Or better (I love this) like a kindergarten child when learning to write the alphabets.

Anyways, what should I write tonight? I got a one-word prompt to write on from an online blogging site. ‘Fragile’, the word is. I am not getting any idea around this word. Everything in my life suddenly feels so un-fragile; except this writing. This piece is so very volatile and baseless that it has changed my attitude and modified my question.

Should I write tonight?

Sadly Happy

(Based on the great writer Sujatha‘s short story)

FLASH FICTION #05:

Chandran and I, in our private corner of the factory canteen, were speaking about the health insurance he had taken for his newly-born. While I was showing aversion to insurances and saving schemes, Chandran, in his responsible tone, explained the advantages of saving for the future. He sharply departed for his shift when the bell rang, leaving behind his close friend carelessly picking his teeth.

Thirty minutes later, I received a call notifying me of the death of Chandran in the nitrogen-chamber of the assembly hall.  As I was his only close friend, the management asked me to personally visit his house with the HR, and break the news of his death to his young wife.

After a reluctant travel – reluctant because I wished to stay away from this whole episode – in the management car, absorbed in the sudden, radical change of the normal course,  we reached his modest house. The HR rang the bell and urged me to step in front of the closed doors.  A child was crying far inside. My would-be wife swung open the doors.

Thendral Vanthu Theendum Pothu…

The 21-year-old bent forward, restlessly, on the cushioned wooden chair he had been sitting on for many hours now. His face was covered with a film of oil secreted by itself. Thin and short hairs had sprouted under his nose; a few were scattered on his cheeks. Behind his lenses were two troubled eyes, staring straight ahead.

His head was filled with incomplete images of Her. Sometimes Her eyes. Sometimes the hand he had held in his. And sometimes… some images. He was throbbed by the forty kilometres between them… He didn’t know when he would next meet those eyes that made him feel his masculinity, and sucked time enough to make even those rare long trysts painfully short.

His room was dark, but not bleak. The windows and the door that led to it were firmly shut. Inside, he was alone with a radio singing for nobody. The combination of 21 years and a beautiful girl in it can make you play life strangely. More so, if you are living far away.

 

Nesam poranthale udambellam eno silirkuthuSruthi

Aalam vizhithaaga aasaigal oonjal aaduthu…

 

He inclined on the armrest to reach the radio. Going backward on the tape and turning the volume knob clockwise…

 

Oda neeroda intha ulagam adhu pola

Odum athu odum intha kaalam adhu pola

Nilaya illatha ninaivil varum nirangale…

 

Again going backward on the tape…

 

Nilaya illatha ninaivil varum nirangale…

 

‘Shades that recur in the wavering memories,’ he translated silently, and meditated, reclining moodily on the sofa, upon the words that wafted through the many holes in the frame of the radio woofer. Taken away farther and farther from the room, dissolved in the female voice rendering the song, he discovered that, after all, She was with him… in the lanes of memories opened to him by the song… bending and curving in accordance with the mesmerizing melody and the voice faithfully producing it.

 

Vanthu vanthu poguthamma, ennamellam vannamamma

Ennangalukku etha padi vannamellam maarumamma…

 

Images, complete enough for him to tangibly feel Her, began to take control of his feverish mind. She was there right before him, leaning on the closed door, arms folded, one leg close in front of the other, smiling invitingly, and eyeing him affectionately. The image was a carefully made collage sourced from his memories of Her. The dark room and the gliding lines gave Her a dreamy aura.

 

She was indeed a dream.

 

Thendral vanthu theendum pothu enna vannamo manasula

Thingal vanthu kaayum pothu enna vannamo ninapula…

 

[Click the above lines to hear the song… you would love to!]

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How to Source Your Inspiration?

1.     Hesitant Holding of the Pen

If you are here, you either must be a (imagesnot-always) passionate writer, or an avid reader. You can read on if you are planning to write a book in the future, or are already holding the pen poised over the intimidating blank sheet. Has your personal life intervened and stopped you in the middle of your magnum opus, and you realise that after all you don’t like your story? Read on. Because, we are here together for you.

2.     Your Path is Treaded

Just to ease you a little, we have undergone all that! Your writing career or path may seem nebulous because of personal problems, but believe when we say, it is treaded by similar folks. And they had also stumbled at all the places you have. So when you feel lonely and miserable, know that it is natural, and tighten your grip on the pen. Your book is soon going to come out of your creative womb, and for now, all you need is some getting-to-know of the life lived by successful writers and bibliophiles.

3.     Google Your Favourite

Whenever you fall down, the advice is not to try and get back up, but to search for the marks of others who have walked and fallen before you. Google about your favourite author. Wikipedia would spring up most probably within the first three finds. Click the link and read about the writer. Go through the Early Life or the Biography section, and you will know that these writers have lived a life very comparable and relatable to your own. They weren’t/aren’t aliens from Ridley Scott movies.

4.     Now Walk the Path

If you have read the Wiki pages, you would understand that the writers whose books you adore and keep on your bedside table are just people who would have been no different hadn’t they written the book. Guy de Maupassant, master of the short story form, had to live without his father because of his mother’s early divorce. Tolkien was forced to abandon his love life temporarily and concentrate on academics; and the man lived for five years without any correspondence with his lady. Dickens had to leave school and work ten hours a day at a warehouse when his father was taken to debtor’s prison.

5.     Pause and Ask Yourself

Now that you have understood the core point that rules every writer, it is time to get back up and keep walking with head high and mind focussed on your book; but not continuously. A short pause in your journey to reflect on the road you are on and your predecessors is essential now and then for an assessment of yourself and for the reaffirmation of the fact that you are not alone, but the masters are just before you.

Who is your favourite author? What were the tribulations he had to face? Does his path resemble yours?

Practice

Google about one or two random authors who have attained success in the realm of writing, and read about their early and personal life. Try to find that point of inspiration that had uplifted them, and see if you are feeling differently after reading it. Pick your pen now and write a short piece on how the life of an author had an impact on his writing, and yours.