Zephyr

Zephyr

It was one of those extremely hot summer days. Forty degrees, zero chances of rain, scorching hot, bad enough to make you dehydrate in a jiffy.

She’d been driving for two hours and the AC had broken down. That business meeting probably did not go well. That lunch didn’t do much except leave a bitter taste in her mouth. As if that wasn’t enough, she saw her ex and a group of his friends walk into the club and trash her openly amongst themselves. She’d left in a hurry. They’d broken up ages ago, and he resented her, every fiber of her being, and he made her want to die everyday. He’s brought out the bad in her and she hated herself when she was with him and she had no one to blame.

And now, a failed career and a slew of failed treatments later, she was fighting to survive and fight for others just like her. She adjusted the headscarf and her sunglasses and concentrated on her driving. Ten minutes later, her car ran out of juice, and she made it to the nearest gas station just in time.

Not a single leaf seemed to be quivering. It was that quiet and that still. She got a refill and got back on the road. She was growing tired and couldn’t really drive anymore, so she parked the car in the first empty patch of land she could find. It felt like a total desert. The trees looked dead and ghostly. She felt her head spin from the heat, so she took off the headscarf, and forced herself to sit on the bonnet. As she blotted her bald head with some Kleenex, her phone vibrated.

It was a new email from the investors she’d met with earlier. They said they were interested in her pitch and that women with no homes to go to and women who had carcinomas and felt like they had nothing to live for definitely needed someplace that felt like home. She’d been promised six months and she wanted to put in everything she had and give people hope. Which was precisely why she’d come back to her tiny town and made the decision of investing in shelter for needy women.

She smiled to herself as the zephyr blew in like a breath of new life.

PS: Whoa. I actually completed the A to Z challenge without embarrassing myself too much. Give me a five!!

Xenomania

Xenomania

Everyday, she would check her bank balance to see if the numbers were growing and if she’d made enough.

She would tell herself all the time that at twenty seven, she was too much of a free-spirited woman to be tied down to one spot, and everyday, her boss would remind her that she wasn’t. That she needed this cubicle and this job and the money. And she bore it all, with a tight-lipped smile.

She sighed as she looked at the list of Airbnb’s she’d favorited, and told herself she would one day, eventually, see the Pink City. And the rest of India. She’d been obsessed with the country, the customs, the lifestyles, the food, for as long as she could remember.

And one day it happened.

A million hour long flight, and a million layovers and a mile long line later, she finally took an Uber to get to her destination. She didn’t even make it halfway, she didn’t get to leave the capital.

The last thing she remembered was the knife, and she felt a lot of pain, and she remembered thinking how xenomania had eventually managed to kill her spirit after all.

The Versatile Blogger Tag

The Versatile Blogger Tag

…again.

I used to love doing these tags. And then we all got old, he he heh. Anyway, shoutout to Dhanya for nominating me – it means a lot to people like me when people like you find the time to read my stupid posts.

• The rules:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award.

2. Include a link to their blog.

3. Select 7 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.

4. Nominate those bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.

5. Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

At this point, I’ve pretty much covered point one, oh, and two. Duh.

I nominate whoever is reading this, but specially these guys –

Malcolm Marsh

Joshua with no last name 😛

Sia

Ashish Vision

Dear old P

Ely

YingLan

Seven random things about me:

• I’m a physician and I hate my job on most days. Ahahah.

• I’m the grandmother of the group, which is a pain and a boon, at the same time.

• I’m deathly afraid of snakes.

• I drink my coffee with stevia and almond milk and wveyoneb makes fun of me.

• I’m a midget and I’m only five two. Bet y’all knew that.

• My favorite book of all time is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and I wish they’d make a Netflix series out of it. So GOOD.

• I’m a teetotaler.

I bored y’all to death at this point. Oops.

War

War

I’m young but I have seen far too much

The bloodshed and suicide bombings and guns

And the weeping mothers

Mourning the loss of their sons.

I don’t have a lot, just my personal hell to bear

Tending to the soldiers with missing limbs and fingers

I remember my man lost in the war

We had two hours before duty called and yet, his touch still lingers

People divided by religion, and politics

It makes me hate it here, it’s just so sad

I haven’t been home in months

I miss Cookie, I miss dear old mum and dad

Sometimes I wish I weren’t an army doctor

That I could quit and start over

But if we all turn away, who stays to face mass murder

I pray it ends as I hold on to his dog tag like it’s my lucky clover.

(PS: I tried very hard to not talk about Jihad and religion – both of which I feel very strongly about – and then my post turned into a headless chicken hunt. I’m so sorry but war poetry is freaking hard to do.)

Vendetta

Vendetta

Woke up late this morning, my alarm never went off.

Shoved a granola bar down my throat and rushed to Starbucks.

Walked into a stranger and spilled my boss’s coffee all over myself.

Overworked and underpaid for someone that happened to be overpaid and underworked.

Walked into office with my hair a mess, my shirt all stained and a headache.

Twenty two year old intern, new on the job, on the lowest rung of the food chain.

Doing as told, and then bam, the printer broke.

Tried to fix it. But in vain.

The boss gave me hell, she never showed me any mercy.

I ended up working alone that night, cold and hungry.

The coffee machine refused to work for me.

It’s like my office has a vendetta against me.

Unconditional

Unconditional

I see him everyday. He’s with this girl that never values him, and I can see that. Sometimes I add extra whipped cream to his fancy coffee just because. Specially on days like this.

He looks tired. I’m not his barista today, I’m working in the kitchen but I can see him. He sits at his usual spot, by the window, laptop open in front of him, clicking away madly, trying to make more money, presumably.

I know he’s proposed to her already: I’ve seen her livestream. And I know she doesn’t like the tiny one carat diamond because I saw her nose wrinkle and I know he’s promised her more carats once he’s richer. Because her caption said: “This is the ring he proposed to me with guys! He says he’s gonna get me a five carat one next year, yay!” I guess that’s something all influencers must do. What would I know, anyway? I’m only a barista that does college assignments between breaks. Not even in the influencer neighborhood.

My boss asks me to see if our favorite customer would like to try our new cheesecake. I comply, happily. The boy says sure and gives me a perfunctory smile without looking. A part of me deflates.

I go get a piece and take the cheesecake to him and I say it’s on the house. And my boss says that every time I give away free food, he’s gonna give me a smaller paycheck, but that’s fine by me. This boy is worth all the cheesecakes in the world.

I’m standing there and waiting like an idiot, waiting for him to take a bite and tell me if it’s good cake and he gets uncomfortable as heck and hastily takes a bite. His whole face changes. He actually looks at me.

“Whoa,” he says, “this is some good shit.”

“It’s my recipe!” I blurt out before I can stop myself.

He smiles.

“This is my new favorite. I hope it’s permanently sitting at the head of the menu. Is that a thing even?”

This is the longest conversation we’ve had and I’m about to say something when influencer fiancée walks in, heels clicking away smartly, and I’m sharply brought back to earth and I slip away like bad internet on a stormy day.

I go back to the utensil hole I came out of. Back to reality. Watching them from a safe distance, watching them together. Looking at what could have been. But accidents happen and you lose your memories and he’s lost memories of me and he had a blank canvas in his head and he is holding it together – or faking it for her, as I can see.

I’ve loved him since I was a freshman in high school, and he doesn’t remember me. And I didn’t refresh his memory. If he was given a brand new start and a brand new girl, isn’t that how it’s supposed to be? Shouldn’t I stay away, like I’m meant to, because I’m just a barista to him, and not someone he was once in love with? Isn’t that what love teaches you? To let someone go? To only see, but never touch, unless it’s something that’s meant to be? To make sure that it is – as they say – unconditional?

Truth

Truth

Helen was a sucker for rules, a stickler for schedules. She had the same routine, always insisted that her family follow suit. Her sixteen year old teenage daughter was a model student, the kind of kid parents liked to show off sometimes. Her makeup would be perfect, hair brushed to perfection, teeth in perfectly straight lines. But she had a secret, one that wasn’t hers to keep. It was almost like she had an alter ego, the pain this other girl felt was far too deep.

You see, beneath all her perfection and all her perfect scores and all her med school aspirations, she had a different dream. The one she couldn’t talk to Helen about, the one that made her let out s million silent screams. The pressure had gotten too much, and it stared to build and build. She couldn’t do it anymore, her alter ego wasn’t strong-willed. And so one day, when her mother was out, and she was home alone, pretty little girl did what had to be done, and then there was nothing – Demons, begone.

Helen came home with husband in tow, fussing over the state of the kitchen floor. And she saw her baby there, supine, lifeless, stone-cold. What seemed like ages had passed by, when, taped to the the fridge, she saw…

The note:

I didn’t want you to know. I was so ashamed. I’m sorry Mama, I tried. I’ve been living under your shadow for so long, trying to be you for so long, that I’d forgotten what it was like to be myself. Between school and music lessons and debate club and your anatomy lessons, I didn’t have a second to myself. I wanted to write, Mama. I managed to still finish a book and I couldn’t get it published because you’d never let me go out alone. And you never understood what I wanted and what I actually lived for. I’m depressed, Mama, truly. I’ve always been. I can’t keep up the appearances anymore. I’m sorry I was selfish, but Mimi took over and ended it. It’s always been Mimi and I, since you never let me have friends. I met her in play-school, in the mirror, a spitting image of me and we have been inseparable ever since. Mimi told me things – that she knew you had a licensed gun, for example, in your bedside drawer. That you turned into an overachiever because you had your own mommy issues. I don’t want to turn into you, Mama. I can’t be a control freak like you. Mimi is everything to me. She draws and I write and we will be okay. We love you, Mama. No matter what you did to me and how much you put me through, the truth is I still love you. Will always do.

“Sad”

“Sad”

“Hey.”

“Hi baby! Was just about to text you, what’s up?”

“I need to borrow fifteen grand. Stat. Thanks.”

“Okay, sending you the money right aw— hello? Ahahah. Oh you’ve hung up. That’s nice.”

“So A disappeared this morning, again, this time he didn’t really borrow as much. Only fifteen grand.”

“Do you see my eye roll right now, Sam? Do you? I’m your best friend and I can’t see you dating this guy and being his sugar mama anymore. Does he ever return the money he borrows?”

“That’s okay, really. This cafe is nice. How’s your cheesecake?”

“Nice try. I don’t wanna get involved anymore. If you’re happy with him, then don’t complain, you know?”

“You’re the only person I actually talk to. A never really has time to talk to me. He’s working a busy job and he’s too tired and I understand. But sometimes I get lonely, kinda.”

“Not to mention he never is too busy to ask you for favors. Not to mention he took Rachel out the other night for her birthday, but didn’t have money to take you out on yours. That’s okay, right? No cards. No flowers. No calls. That’s okay, yes?”

“Hey, birthdays are overrated anyway. Plus, they’ve been friends for over a decade now! I can’t be the jealous doubting type.”

“I can’t with you. Okay, I’ve to go now, catch up with you next week?”

“Sure.”

“A, I’ve been calling since eight, it’s dinner time. Are you coming home or – are you at the pub again?”

“Yeah, babe, it’s so noisy in here, I’ll come home late. Don’t wait up for me.”

“Cool.”

Diary:

So, A’s been unavailable emotionally for months now. I try to break up, he doesn’t let me leave. Sometimes I want to tell him that I want to be needed, and that I would love to have the old romance back, but I feel like he won’t get me anyway.

It sucks. When you’re doing a live-in relationship with someone, specially in this part of the country. What if he actually lives up to what he threatens to do, and then ends up telling my parents? What if they make me quit my job and flush my dreams down the damn loo and go back home? I struggled a lot to get where I am, and to work as the creative head of this brand I’ve adored since I was little. I can’t throw it all away for a man.

But what do I do? Keep up this facade? My Instagram is fire and my boyfriend looks cute in all those photos. People think we’re couple goals. This image I’ve created is something I can’t let go of. Isn’t it sad, what we put up with? Isn’t it sad, how we don’t want anyone to know? Isn’t it sad, that I’m a sugar mama, when all I wanted was to be loved and adored?

Rain

Rain

I detest airports. There’s no fun, being inside a building that’s constantly buzzing like a giant beehive. And I don’t like flights, either. What’s so special about a metal capsule that happens to be a cesspool of germs? Nothing.

And yet, there I was, laptop and tote bag in hand, waiting in line to check in. And then bam, they announced the two-hour delay. Just peachy. The sky matched my mood, it was grey and gloomy and I was grey and gloomy. If there’s one thing I hate more than airports, it would have to be weddings. I hadn’t been home, and I hadn’t even seen my friends – in ages. But when your youngest cousin is getting married, you’ve to act happy, right? You can’t be a grumpy sourpuss and try to rain on someone’s parade, you know. Never mind the fact that you’d just started a business and had to take your work with you, even to the washrooms. No, siree.

I was pushing thirty, they liked to say, and still single – and was therefore, the black sheep of the family. All my cousins were married with kids and dogs and big a** houses, and here I was, the sore thumb, holed up somewhere, living a life that was falling apart and with no prospects, they liked to point out all the time, all by herself.

I never really feel sorry for myself. I’m doing okay. I have a custom clothing business that’s rather popular with influencers and I have a team and an office and everything. But I’m not a doctor or an engineer or a chartered accountant, and therefore, I’m unsuccessful and dumb. And I feel dumber when I’m around my family. So yay, go me, on my way to a wedding where I would be taken apart and scrutinized. FUN.

When I finally boarded, I made sure to enjoy the last few hours of peace. I guess I did enjoy that flight.

Nobody came to pick me up: no surprises there. I was adamant about staying at a hotel and nobody objected. Needless to say, my relationship with my own parents is strained and there’s no fixing things now.

I changed and did my makeup quickly and got into an Uber. It was the sangeet ceremony and I was already late. The instant I got into the backseat, it started pouring. I had to do a bit of a headless chicken run trying to get inside the damn venue. Try running in a lehenga that weighs as much as you do, and you’d know that’s some serious cardio right there.

When you’ve got Pammi aunties and Jaya aunties around, your life becomes a movie and these guys only exist for one sole purpose – fake constructive criticism. I had to endure some body-shaming and some makeup-shaming and some career shaming and some unmarried status shaming before I broke down. Indian weddings suck. I mean, I never cry. But that was a long flight. And I was hungry. But they also called me fat and ugly. My mother wasn’t even looking at me. I kept wishing she would just come over and tell me it was okay, but she seemed way too busy with the wedding that she would never get to have for her own kid, and so I left her alone. I went out and stood by myself in a corner, getting more drenched.

It was pouring. Tears were pouring.

I kept wishing I’d never shown up.

And then he showed up. And he had the kindest eyes. And he had booze. And we downed our sorrows. He was cute. He had the nicest smile. And no wedding band.

As we talked more, I realized that the rain had finally washed my mother’s misery away.

Quest

Quest

Hey guys. I hope you’ve been liking the posts I’ve been doing these days – the A to Z challenge is a toughie, not going to lie. But isn’t that what motivates you to keep writing?

I made a post back in the day about why I choose to write creepy content. I’d mentioned that I don’t like to be the regular, and I still don’t. Still going to say that I don’t like my characters clean or nasty – I prefer them to be a good mix of both. I like spectrums. I adore deviations. Blogging has been such a journey – from doing rants to fashion to makeup and now dark fiction, the genre keeps changing. And I love that. I live for that. It’ll keep changing till I find what fits me best.

This has been a quest. Pretty much how everything in my life has been.

I wanted to be a journalist when I was young, but I was fueled by this need to prove to people that I could go to med school and become a doctor. Halfway though pharmacology, I lost interest when they maimed rabbits – not really maimed but we did cut off their lashes – and the whole thing left a bitter taste in my mouth. Once you lose interest, you start to fail. I’ve failed academically but I managed to graduate and to work happily. For a while, I loved it. And then I rediscovered my love for art, lost interest in that when internship got crazy and here we are – floating, always floating. Some of us choose to go against the current, some of us go with it, but we’re all constantly on the move and we’re on the mend and we’re constantly finding something and we’re constantly evolving. And working towards a something that’s actually solid.

Someone complained to me that my writing was getting way too dark now, but that’s fine. It’s not like this genre is going to stick around forever, you know? Maybe someday, I’ll be doing historical fiction and turning into a Diana Gabaldon minus the meaty content. Ahahaha. Sometimes I don’t even know where I come up with stuff like this.

Anyway, I was just wondering – how did you pick the genre of your blog? Do you have a specific theme you stick to?