Monday, August 25, 2014

Writing Challenge - Day 6

He hadn't expected this. I mean, he had, but not like this. In his mind he visualized her being wheeled into the labour room on the day their baby was due. He would stay next to her, help her breathe during her contractions. And then they would be in the labour room, she pushing and he encouraging her to push harder.

But then life happens when you are busy planning. And it did happen. The seventh month just gotten over and she had to be wheeled into the labour room. He wasn't prepared. This was not how he had envisaged it. This real life drama was more than what he could handle and all that pushing and encouraging that he had reserved for her was now being used on himself. He kept chanting,"You can do it! Of course, you can do it!" And there she was. That little bundle of joy. Their world. He held her in his arms. What an angel! This little blob of cotton will soon grow up and he'll teach her to walk. He'll teach her to ride the bicycle.

"Mr. Nair. Mr. Nair." There was a pat on his shoulder.

"ഈ ലിസ്റ്റിൽ കാണുന് സാധങ്ങൾ വാങ്ങി വരൂ." It was the nurse. She forgot to congratulate him. But he did get a list of items to be purchased.

He rushed to departmental store close by. He picked up a pack of baby powder, sanitary pads and a powder puff (how thoughtful). And being a man with foresight he picked up a pen to fill details in the document for the birth certificate, a punch so that the papers can be neatly filed at the earliest, a pen, a pencil, a paper weight and a box of his favorite Pringles, in case he felt hungry. Oh and paper plates for the friends and relatives who'll drop by to see the mother and child. And a bottle of perfume. The room may smell of pee and poop. Aah, some pins too. They may come handy to fasten the diapers.



Sunday, August 24, 2014

Writing Challenge - Day 5

Powder, powder puff, pads, pins, Pringles, paper plates, perfumes, pens, pencils, punch, paper weight.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Writing Challenge - Day 4

Those mosques, they kept appearing in my dreams. The blue tiles, the mirrors on the ceiling, the pillars that stood showcasing their symmetry proudly. I wanted to touch them, breathe the air inside, soak in their timeless beauty.

Itinerary:

Fly to Afghanistan. Visit the Mazar-e-Sharif. Stand there mesmerized while the mosque staggers me with its beauty. And forget about the war.

Fly to Iran. Visit the Nasir al-Mulk in Shiraz. Lose myself in the gorgeousness of the Pink Mosque. Slip into a wonderland of colors from the stained glass windows. Stare in awe.

Fly to Turkey. Visit the Sultanahmet. Witness the reassertion of the Ottoman empire. Blow sweet nothings in the air so that they carry it to the minarets. Watch the sunset.

All done. Tickets booked. Hotel reservations down. Only insurance left.

"Hmmm…Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey."

"Yes."

"Sorry, we can't insure you for a journey like that."

Friday, August 22, 2014

Writing Challenge - Day 3

I don't remember a single incident in my life when I spoke without regard to what I was saying.

Period.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Writing Challenge - Day 2

She looked at herself in the mirror. Those hollow eyes with creases around it bore a confused look. She puckered her lips like she was ready to kiss her own reflection and then drew back. The mole on her right cheek, the scar on her upper lip and forehead, the nose-ring - they all looked like they were always there, like they were permanent residents on her face. Though she didn't recognize any of them. She touched the mole, felt it, took a deep breath and bent on the wash basin to splash water on her face. She walked out of the bathroom.

These days her mornings were pretty relaxed. The kids had moved out. The husband was traveling most of the time. She was in no particular hurry to wake up early. After all she didn't have many chores to do around the house, except for a little gardening and a wee bit of cooking. But there was something that was bothering her. She felt this constant presence of someone in the house. Someone who kept the coffee jar in the freezer the other day. Someone who left the geyser on. The microwave door too was left open. These things were disturbing her. She felt nervous, irritated and annoyed. She scolded the house help for being so negligent, who swore on her five kids that she wasn't responsible for any of the actions.

She even discussed this with her husband over the phone. All her time and energy was focussed upon trying to find the culprit. She started keeping a watch on her house help, but nothing worked out.

One afternoon, she was woken out of her slumber. She rushed to the door and peeped through the pinhole. The courier. He asked her name. She stood there looking at him, a blank stare. She tried hard, her ears constantly hearing the man asking for her name. Name… name...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Writing Challenge - Day 1

But there would always be something to fix - like the monkeys' pigheaded insistence that all their children ride in car seats

Here you can see that word 'pigheaded' has been used to qualify the monkeys' obstinacy of making its' brood ride in car seats. Pigheadedness means unyielding or stubborn. Now don't go googling pig head. Chances are you'll be tormented with recipes of 'how to cook a pig's head'. One man's vocabulary is another man's ingredient. Don't even start to think that I'm being funny. The fact remains that pig head  and pig-head are two very differently used words. While the former qualifies as an ingredient or very plainly an important part of the pig's anatomy, the latter is purely an adjective that defines an adamant, unrelenting, dogged, willful, stubborn behaviour.

I decided to trace the etymology of the word and was pleasantly surprised to know that it did not have the remotest of relation to the animal. Except for one story, that revolved around a Thai myth there wasn't much that i got to read about drawing a strong relation between the two. As a person who takes a keen interest in myths and mythological stories, this particular one did not invoke any feeling in me. It was more like a forced attempt to connect things. 

Does that mean that I leave the word and the pig alone? NO, not so soon. I can be very pigheaded about a lot of things, and the etymology of this word happens to be one of them. 

So here is another explanation.  

Apparently, this word has been in usage since the 17th century. Yes, you read it right. Perhaps blacksmith colloquialism. 

Long long ago there was a head and the head belonged to a pig, just that the pig was not all blood and flesh but a raw ingot of iron. Hard to believe, right? But this is a convincing explanation. So pigheaded meant iron headed as the ingot form of raw iron was called 'pig iron'. 

If you wish to know more about the pighead you can visit this page. It has some helpful guesses, good ones too.

http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/chem03/chem03354.htm


Monday, August 18, 2014

The 30-day Writing Challenge

I have not been doing anything interesting lately, or so I feel. With the homeschooling taking up most of my time, there's little to do or write about. Initially I thought of it as a phase that probably would fade away sooner or later, but it's been long and it is staying. And when my mind is busy wondering about what to do next, i get weird feelings. feelings that often are not associated with the kind of person that i am. i feel exhausted, frustrated, annoyed, irritated, tearing up almost everything and everyone. most of these emotions were arising from the fact that i was getting into a mechanical mode. i wasn't reading. i wasn't clicking, i wasn't standing in front of the mirror admiring myself, i wasn't baking, i wasn't traveling much. i wasn't writing. then what was i doing? or what am i doing? why an i feeling so crappy about life? why am i not creating anything? well, probably here i'm contradicting myself. i was definitely helping my brood to create. but the desire for my instincts to feel satiated was not met and hence the grumpiness. so i have decided to stimulate my creative juices by taking up the 30-day writing challenge starting tomorrow.

maybe if this was handwritten, it would have been an illegible piece of writing. but then i had to keep pace with my thoughts.