A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)


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Serendipity

Apparently this is one of the most difficult words in English to explain. So, what does it mean? How ’bout we try and figure it out? That is if you haven’t figured it out yet. Errrmmm… you go. I understand. You don’t have the time, and you’d rather be told, so that you can go on to that other bit of reading you had to do; (or watch that episode of the serendipitous Once Upon a Time, which, incidentally I’m watching, yes, FINALLY. S01E04 done. Yeah. I got a wayyy to go, and don’t you dare tell me the story, most of which I already know, being that die-hard romantic. Serendipity. I tell ya. I had to watch it, and now is the time 🙂 ) Sigh. There I go again. So, no spoonfeeding, hence we try to unravel it 😀 What better than a wee story?

It was Aashna’s comment on Day#2’s story (LINK) that made me want to use it. The gleeful way she jumped at me, tugged at me and implored, in askance, that she be given space. Serendipity. Not Aashna 😀 (One of these days, I’ll probably be begging her on her space 🙂 )

Therefore, a new fable.

Serendipity

It wasn’t the first time Mishika noticed that whenever she happened to go to the Library, he was there, either just before her, or maybe a little while after. But then there were others too, and she couldn’t be sure. Now you, dear reader, must probably wonder why Mishika should notice only him? Ha! Indeed. Something there is that warms your heart, does it not, when you think that?

But Mishika wasn’t the sort to moon. She noticed a lot of things. The way that burnished leaf hung for days on the badam tree, late January, and how a multitude of butterflies of different colours came by the gulmohar trees, sometime in February. The distant pigeon, seeming aimless in their sudden flight, circling, to yet again come back to their perch just between the roof and the netting of the Auditorium. There was a keenness in the way she even looked at you.

Others looked through you sometimes, but not her. I had always noticed that about her. She saw. She noticed. She did not simply hear, but listened. And, that, he noticed too. That charmer, the sportsy, artsy, n’er-do’well rakish mop of deliberately ruffled hair shouted in wild abandon at who he was, a devil-may-care cuteness in the bland practised wickedness of his “look”. A bad boy indeed, was the assessment, many a time from many a teacher, whose misfortune it was to engage him in serious study. He gave elaborately devious answers, laced with subtle sarcasm, that quite went above many a teacher’s head.

I watched, sometimes in sheer joy, as some of them got their comeuppance, them “teachers”. There are times, you know, when some of them do get on their high horse, and their *&@*#$@ in a twist, when what they say isn’t implicitly “obeyed”! For Chrissakes, these are kids, I want to tell them, not soldiers on the field! But who’s to listen, and who’s to fight for them? Duh.

You know what they say about how good girls love bad boys? Cliché, perhaps, but then there was something to it. Mishika, dreamer, listener, charming, piquant girl, came up to me, all of a sudden, one day to talk. I’m easy to talk too, you know. As much as I love to talk, and watch, I do love to listen to those stories. And believe you me, everyone who comes, of their own volition to talk to you has stories within stories, that have wheels within wheels. We’d been on easy terms, she and I, but never had any confidences sprung between us.

Is it okay if I talk to you? She asked one day.

Uh uh. Sure, come sit by me.

It’s something I feel only you can understand, that’s why I wanted to give it a try, She said.

Okay, I said. What’s bothering you? Or should I ask who?

Oh no no no no no… she laughed, and then held that grin, that suppressed a guffaw. I imagined her mocking my earnestness- my inquisitive tone 😀 It isn’t me. It’s him.

Oh. Who?

You know, our in-house wannabe rake. That RDJ look-alike. Raksh. God! He even has the same letter for his first name! I’m positive he’s going to change his name to Raksh Stark one of these days! Giggling, that.

What happened to him now? Got into trouble with the Math teacher? He’s always needling her!

Well, not exactly. You see, we had group work the previous period. We’re in the same group, you know that, and I didn’t get back to my place because he began to sell me the idea of reading JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Boy! That guy knows how to tell a story, I tell you!

Okay. But what’s the errr… problem?

Well, he got asked by the Math teacher to report in the Staff Room where he was asked what was going on between me and him.

And…?

He simply guffawed, I believe, and said nothing. That laugh was the problem!

And…?

And nothing. You know, something’s going to happen between us. He isn’t the only storyteller around. Beaming, she left, just as suddenly as she came.

I wanted to call her back and give her a thumbs up. I resisted. After all, I was that nerdy guy in the class, one without the extreme feelings. Or so everyone thought. I just wished she would some day say she wanted to be part of my story too.

I still wish. Why?

I believe in serendipity. There is a world of meaning there, most of it built on hope.

****

Day#4 of #RamblingsInFebruary

february ramblings

4 February, 2016

This is Chapter ONE

Chapter TWO (LINK)

Chapter THREE (LINK)

(Thank you Aashna 😀 )

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Just around the corner

… is also where you may find it most of the times 🙂 So let me guess what you’re probably wondering, given that this rambler has made a habit of taking the long way to getting to the point.

A friend? A heist? An opportunity? That house you spent an age hunting? That kirana you were told about where you might get narangamittai?? Alright, alright, I’ll let you into that direction where I’ll ultimately get to what I want to say, except that I might not, given how much I get off the track 😛 😆 And yes, I shall try and control the urge to spread smileys like they fell off an 18 wheeler, on the corner of my page. Pakka. See, I’m not grinning, though I so badly want to!

Back to the blog. And the roundabout route. Around the corner, most times, here on this blog, is where you find love. Love. Loads of it. Even in the angst there is that. And I’ve been thinking, as this has been the chosen theme (whether it stay chosen you’ll know by the 29th day! ) it’s bound to turn up sooner or later, again, and all over again 🙂

Yesterday, in Chapter One, (LINK) She peeked, and he was enveloped 🙂 Remember the physics of light, and how light can bend? What if they were at right angles on that metaphysical corner?

****

Chapter Two

She’d always known about him. Not known. But felt.  Unassuming, yes, but with a quiet ferocity of steel running through the line of his sight, as he engaged in various activities, in conversations, in debates, in jokes shared with mutual pleasure, in the circle of his many close friends. She was the extrovert, and always thought him to be the introvert, no matter what debate he got into. She’d never been able to catch his eye, ever. Except for brief, casual acknowledgements in general discussions.

It wasn’t that he was shifty-eyed. He just did not notice. Deliberate? She gave a mental shrug. It didn’t matter, but it rankled. Inadequacy wasn’t in her and he made her feel that way. Something not quite there. So she was determined to make him “see”.

No less than the Apsaras of yore, she set out, with that determination to warm the steel, and sneak a smile, in fun, out of him. The direct approach seemed best. So, one day, at the end of the English class, she walked up to him. He was turned the other way, laughing at some wisecrack his neighbour made.

Hi, Pratap, I was wondering if you’d be interested in the debate that’s coming up. Ma’am said we could form a group here, and…

Oh, hi, errr… Lekha, which debate would that be? His smile had sort of frozen. If she didn’t know better, she’d say he felt awkward. But she’d seen him and his easy camaraderie so this was surprising. Hmmmmm, she thought. Interesting. 

The one during the anti-corruption week. Ma’am said she’d wanted the class to be represented, in one of the teams, and everyone’s fed up of the corruption topic, so I can’t find anyone who’d join. You want to try? Sneaky, sneaky, nonchalantly, that one. She was dying for him to say yes.

Now Pratap was at the corner, wondering if he should turn. Lekha had caught his eye and fancy, quite earnestly for a while now, and in typical adolescent fashion, he did what the guys normally don’t do. Made this grand attempt at feigning disinterest. He did not reckon with a similar interest from the object of his own. (The rambler writes, Imma dyin’ to use a smileyyyyy!!!!!)

Oh. Okay. What’s the plan?

****

Finis 😀 Sometimes, all it takes is two short chapters, and the story is told 😛

Day#2 of #RamblingsInFebruary 🙂

february ramblings

2 February, 2016

Chapter ONE (LINK)


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Spring is in the Air

For wont of repeating a title already used here, Love is in the Air (LINK – dedicated to a young newly married best friends couple of the elder son 🙂

So, to Spring. The season, which begets new life, new breath, new ummnhhhnn… feelings, shall we say, and not use the “L” word yet? 😛

The Basant Rithu (बसंत ऋतु), Ponn Vasantham (പൊന്‍ വസന്തം), as we see it in or “know” it in India is the time when there is blossoming, and fragrances of sweet sweet emotion in the air. So why am I waxing lyrical about the season?

For one, I do that pretty well – ramble, sometimes lyrically, sometimes wax nonsensically too 😛 A second reason is the way the season sprang on me this morning – when I actually thought of breathing new life to this space, that has been rather badly neglected. Thanks to Shail’s invitation to join her in the “February – a month of ramblings” mission again, this year. The #FebruaryFlows, or the #RamblingsinFebruary (LINK) was the first ever challenge I managed to complete – so it is with the past success in mind and the hope that the words will visit, when I have time on my hands (and that I have time each day 😀 ) that this year too, I shall spruce up, and let Spring into this garden 🙂 🙂

february ramblings

Sigh. The thought of Spring, the knowing of February, and the L word pops up! How can it not! So, it is with Love: Khalil Gibran puts it so well, in “Song of the Rain”

So with love –
Sighs from the deep sea of affection;
Laughter from the colorful field of the spirit;
Tears from the endless heaven of memories.

I’ll let the tears and memories wait for now. It’s the beginning of the Love Story here. Stories. These are going to be my ramblings this month I’ve decided for now. I hope I don’t change my mind, but if I do, I’ve already told you I might 😛 😛

Chapter one is a Haiku 🙂

She peeked through lashes

Eloquently silent; Love

Enveloped him!

Lets see if the Spring Season with spring a few surprises, spur me on with this story, nascent in thought, wispy tendrils of the narrative slowly forming, perhaps to blossom, for real 🙂

A toast, then to The Season. Spring. The Flowering of Feelings. Gently leading into Love. For Love!

Anniversary Wishes to a beautiful person, and her equally wonderful partner through Life. Nandini and Gopichettan, may the togetherness of your days find more meaning yet, as you voyage on to new adventures and happinesses 🙂 🙂

1 February, 2016

The sequel is here (LINK)

(Under 500 words! *pumps fist in air* 😛 )


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The Ballad of the One Who Stayed

I watched “The Lunchbox” recently and was reminded of this write here, called “The Nit Picker’s Ballad”, which I then shared on my Facebook Wall. That in turn brought me a couple of requests for a different ending… or the extrapolation of the narrative with a different ending. Here goes 🙂

On the shores, bereft, he stood
(Though it should be she
He having left at her honesty
At her gift of love)

Gazing long at the loyal waves
That came back again and again
Asking him, beseeching sometimes
To find his peace.

He was young, they seemed to say
Love will come around,
Their quiet murmur consoled
The soft splash had nothing to do
Really, with the twin trails of tears
That found their way down his eyes.

Oh no! Not love. Not forever.
He knew they did not exist.
It was a lesson he was taught.

But.
A niggling doubt, a tiny seed sown
By her yearning eyes. Her silent plea.
By her unshed tears, and brave smile
As she watched him back away.
As she watched, and did not cling.
Did not pursue.

Was he wrong?
Must he unlearn?
He would try, he had to try
He knew.
Else there would be no way
To ease the agony of his heavy heart.

Back he went, his footprints
Erased by each happy wave
That egged him on, to seek, to love
Then hold on, and never give up
Or give in, to the
Traitorous thoughts that reneged
On faint promises made to himself!

He followed, swift, the trail of wet prints
In the soft moist sand, landwards
Till he came upon her, seated
Knees drawn up, chin on knee
A faraway sadness enveloping…
In the shadows of her thoughts,
And the small fishing boat!

May I sit? hesitant, he asked.
Mute, she nodded.
May I simply hold your hand?
His voice trembled as he asked.

I couldn’t stand for you to then leave, she said
I won’t, a soft whisper from him, if you’ll let me stay.

Let you stay? When did I ask you to leave?
You walked, away, away…
And will you, again? she did not look at him
As her pain reached out and pierced his heart.

I couldn’t leave, I couldn’t leave…
I went away, but couldn’t leave,
Hoarsely he repeated over and over…
There were loveless shores of such emptiness
He’d wandered, that he knew, unlearned,
And learned yet again…

Trust or not, Love or not,
Forever or not…
His survivor’s heart needed her saviour’s heart…

And as they simply held hands
Leaned into each others’ love,
A flash of insight struck his mind –
He who was doomed to wander ever
Would now find safe harbour

In his sails wafted promises of another day
Another moment, another soul
To love, to be loved.

How glad he was
He chose to stay!

Online, 29 June, 2014

Under 500 words. 😀


15 Comments

Nit-Picker’s Ballad

On the loveless shores of dissatisfaction
He wanders, dark and sombre.
She said she loved him, you see.
And he wonders why.

You, the reader, would now smell a skunk.
You don’t? You’re supposed to. There!
Why does he wonder why! Because, you think?
Fine. But why?

He wonders, that’s why.
Now, why he should, does it matter at all?
No, you think? Why not, I ask.

Walking the shores, with promises of love
Given endless dreams, and lustrous hopes
A hand held warm, a heart cosseted gently
Why would he wonder? Why should he?

But then he is that alter ego of everyman
The one that never takes on trust,
The one that fell foul of love
The one who found no love within.

And yet that one, too, is he
That quietly stood, and braved the angst
When she lost her mooring.
Gathered her when she was washed ashore
From a tumultuous voyage, bereft, and battered.
She knew. Though he did not.
Saviour he was not. Survivor, he was.
As was she.

A pause to this tale, here now;
To tell you how love, it creeps upon you.
Perhaps to envelope, perhaps to smother,
But always to fill each pore, till replete it is.
And so it was, with her. She knew.
And so it was, with him. He did not.

So there comes, then, this moment:
Survivor to survivor; the honesty of a heart,
The unfathomable depths of utterance
And the incomprehensible betrayal of the ear.

She confessed. He ran.
In circles, on that loveless shore afore mentioned.
What then? The storyteller is asked.
What then? And you wait with bated breath.
Willing a fairy tale to happen.
Knowing that some things are never to be.

Will he stay?
Will she accept, then?

But ah! The threads, they dissemble, the weave fragmented…
And the spell of the storyteller is broken.
He sighs. His gnarled fingers wrap themselves around his staff.
And on, he plods.

Thinking, dreaming, of what could have been.
Had he stayed.

1 March, 2013
Online, on yet another silly line of thought 🙂

Part II of this ballad, so-called, is here (LINK) – edited to add on 18 Jan, 2015