Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Colour of Winter

The colour of winter that year
Was one to be talked about.
Endless unwavering brown.
Clouds wispy in the sparse sky.
The farmers’ wives beat their breasts.
All for a drop to quench
Their parched thirst that grew.

The colour of the rings that
Sarath exchanged with the
Unsympathetic pawnbroker was gold.
He had counted on the
Winter monsoon to repay his debt.
He’d hoped for his own gold
Lining the fields.

The colour of the plate
That glinted empty before him
Was steel grey.
Oil stains dulled by the
Lack of food on it, his stomach
A meal a day
Hardly necessary.

The colour of Sarath’s skin
That shrunk around his bones
Was a vibrant brown.
A strong man was he.
The first month wasn’t bad.
He was almost getting
Used to it.

The colour of the rope
That Sarath slipped around his neck
Was bristly.
It took two weeks
For the farmers’ wives to find him.
The clouds remained
Unrelenting white.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Creative Writing Exercise

This was one of my assignments for a Creative Writing course I'm taking this semester. It is taught by an amazing professor - K. Srilata. The assignment was to use items that are personal accessories to detail out a story and move it forward. The accessories she gave us were -  business card, contact lens case and solution, ointment for headaches, pencil pouch with an assortment of stationary, battered old laptop, passport sized photograph of a middle-aged man/woman. She said to keep it around 200 words, so of course mine was about 500 words long! However, it is a relatively short piece in comparison to a regular 'story'.

I kind of liked my piece, so I decided to update my ancient blog. :) Please leave me a comment if you have one!

Diana’s veined hands fluttered over her skirt, smoothing it as she sat down. The 5’o’clock sun warmed her back gently as she resigned herself to the uncomfortable bench – it was the only one in the playground. Michael stood by her impatiently, holding her cane that was too large for him, waiting for her to settle down before he abandoned her. Sometimes he wondered who was babysitting whom. Finally, she took her cane from him. He planted a perfunctory kiss on her papery cheek and took off running towards the jungle gym. “Be careful, dearest!” Diana could feel a migraine coming, so she closed her eyes and leaned back as best as she could on the unyielding bench.

When she opened her eyes, the sun hung lower in the sky and the playground seemed emptier. Diana panicked. “Michael?” Her migraine returned with a vengeance. She fumbled for her cane, her heart quickening until she heard his answering cry, followed by a yell of excitement aimed at one of his friends. “Still here, Grandma!”. Diana exhaled, and reached for her trusty handbag instead.

The bag was ochre with blue threads woven into the soft leather to form predictable little patterns. It was quite hideous, but she had told Georg she loved it, when he had given it to her for their 25th anniversary. It was their last anniversary before he’d left. She stroked the worn fabric out of habit, before delving into it to take our her migraine ointment. Georg had sworn that it was just scented jelly, an Indian tourist gimmick for gullible patrons like her. Scented jelly or not, it cured her migraines like no other. Professor Patel next door brought her her regular supply.

Diana’s frail hands shook as she applied the ointment liberally on her forehead, with a small smile as she remembered Georg’s feigned indifference when she used Amritanjan, when inside he would be dying to tell her the hundred reasons why it was fake and she was a naïve fool.

She sighed. That had been nearly 30 years ago. As she replaced the Amritanjan, her hand brushed against the faded photograph that lay deep inside the recesses of her ugly bag. She glanced at Michael, who was still deeply immersed in his game of hopscotch. She took out a sepia photograph of the handsome middle-aged man. The edges of the picture had begun to curl, but his face was clear enough. His handlebar mustache was trimmed with not a hair out of place. His eyes sparkled like he had a secret he wouldn’t tell you, his mouth betrayed only the slightest hint of a smile. Diana ran her arthritic fingers over that familiar face softly. “Oh, Trevor...”