Smile

“Smile”, says the Girl and Laughs

Flash Fiction
The grand mountains and the evening sky = peace.
Image by enriquelopezgarre from Pixabay.

What a wonderful, serene scene this is… I love mountains.

[Dev breathes in the cool air, then walks ahead and clicks pictures using his new camera; the funky-funny-machine-like clicking repeated sound is in sharp contrast to the peaceful silence present.]

Hmm… Hey, Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me/ I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to/ Hey, Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me/ In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come following you…

[Dev walks ahead; his rough shoes making imprints on the kind earth; he continues humming and the wind plays the tune; he then stops and clicks another photograph.]


Who’s that? Does not look like a tourist… she is… why is she standing… on the edge of the cliff?

“Excuse me, you are standing on the edge… the cliff is quite steep… just, just be careful.”

[The girl does not pay much attention to him; she is looking at the grand mountains and the evening sky.]

What is with this girl… she is clearly… oh!

[Dev suddenly starts running; camera in one hand, he rushes, gazing like an eagle at the girl.]

“Hey! Wait! What… what are you doing?”

“Calm down, it is alright”, said the girl curtly.

[Dev halts; panting he takes a step forward and then looks up in the sky; he then presses his forehead with two fingers and sets his hairstyle before looking at the girl again.]

“I thought… I… I thought you are about to jump… sorry!”

[The girl smiles and goes back to looking at the picturesque scene. Dev feeling embarrassed hits his head gently and starts walking away.]


“Will you click a photograph for me? Such a peaceful place this is”, said the girl mesmerised by the view.

“Oh, yeah, sure”, said Dev.

Should I take her photograph or just the mountains…? Oh, she is looking at me and smiling, definitely posing for the camera.

“One moment, please”, said Dev.

[He changes the settings on his Canon DSLR and then gets ready to click the photo.]

Hmm… she is beautiful…

[As Dev sets the frame with the girl to the left side and the mountains in the centre, the girl takes a step backwards and jumps. The camera slips from Dev’s hand and he rushes towards the edge.]

Oh, no, oh, no!

[Dev gulps dry air and peeks down the cliff, he cannot see her anywhere. His heart beats madly and his head starts to spin.]

What just… she, she… jumped!

*

[Dev again looks down, a gush of wind hits him, this time it is playing another melody. Dev fails to recognise this tune. Dev steps back from the edge of the cliff, takes out his cell phone and turns; he dials the emergency helpline number and looks up. The girl is standing with his camera in her hands.]

“Smile”, says the girl.

[Dev blackouts. The girl laughs.]

*


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The Multitasking Voice Within Learns on the Go

Poem

A machine mind never stops thinking.
[Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay]

The multitasking voice within learns on the go

It hisses, swishes, cheers, jeers and almost always forgets the flow

Running slowly when you are fast and rushing when you are slow

A confidant and conspirator, the voice knows

Nothing that you do not know

*

Castles, ruins, castles, ruins

Building, hiding, building, hiding

Honest and unashamed of it all

When needed, clever as a Jackal

The voice, so ambitious, hates to stall

*

But it obstructs, this friend and foe of ours

Especially if one is not aware of the day or the hour

When quiet, it forgives and forgets

The voice then patiently sits and looks

At us and smiles, waiting for us to calmly turn and smile

*

The multitasking voice within learns on the go

One life, one journey, one flow!

*

“To gain your own voice, forget about having it heard. Become a saint of your own province and your own consciousness.”

Allen Ginsberg

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The Better Way

Kavya was searching for a book to read, only to pass that foggy evening. She was in her grandma’s house for vacation. Nothing but memories was left of her grandparents. A faint picture entered her mind every time she thought of them- she is sitting in her grandpa’s lap and her grandma is reading a book, they are in the balcony, soon she falls asleep but nevertheless feels the warmth because of their presence.

She was young now and restless. An idea came to her, she imagined herself sitting the way her grandma was sitting and reading, she felt that if she copied it she would get some of the serenity that her grandma had on her face. Kavya could see wholeness and contentment in the eyes of her grandma; calmness on her face; as if she is telling everyone to have faith…to believe; all this through a portrait of her. Kavya knew that it wasn’t the magic of the artist but her grandma’s as she trusted her memory and the single thought that was still clear in her mind.

Finally she picked a book and went outside in the balcony. Pulling a chair towards her she sat on it. She sighed…what for…she had no clue herself. Was it something in her life or was she simply missing her grandma? Maybe she sighed because we sometimes do, without knowing that we did.

There were two more pages to finish the first chapter, checked Kavya. She always did so. Kavya didn’t count herself in the category of the fervent readers, but among those who read because others read, because books are there to read and because they know reading is a good habit. There is nothing wrong in being in this category; it is just that you lag in one or the other way.

Trying to sit in a comfortable position Kavya got up and dragged the chair but while doing so she dropped the book. The book was old and some pages peeped out as soon as it hit the floor. ‘Oh!’ said Kavya. They say what happens, happens for the good. While placing the pages properly she found a folded piece of paper. Curiosity made her eyes big. She opened it; her grandma’s handwriting spoke to her. The words were few. It said ‘Just smile…it is the better way’ and under it were the initials of her grandma.

How quickly can things change, how strangely can people change, how fast the light passes in the darkness, right? Kavya couldn’t believe that she was suddenly full of happiness; spirited to do anything. She looked at the piece of paper once again and said, ‘Thank you grandma…thank you so much.’ She got up and left the balcony.

One thing is sure that Kavya didn’t finish that book but then she had something else to finish. The old book is back in the shelf but the message is with Kavya, which will stay with her forever.

   

Big Words Are Going Somewhere

Poem

Time is a big word

And a big cheater

It swears to stay

But never stops to say

Even a goodbye


Love is a big word

And a big cheater

Love is what is beautiful

Though not without pain

At its best when slain


Life is a big word

And a big cheater

Full of opposites

Charming by nature

It tricks a keen creature


Death is a big word

And a big cheater

Feared by the greatest

A truth that stands tall

Accepted in the end by all


The big words are going somewhere

With a small word ‘smile’ I stare  

Dorjee’s Smile

Total number*- 99
 
Young feet on the wet green ground looked like pink flowers common in spring. But still, something was uncommon about the young feet in the slippers.
 
The mountains, the trees, the stone huts, the flourishing flags, everything in the valley was enchanted by the young feet. Earth was happy to be the closest one.
 
Dorjee was running happily through the valley in jet speed. He was all alone but was smiling about something or maybe it was his natural look.
 
We all had this look, like Dorjee, when we were 10 years old. He was about to reach his house when he met one of his friends and he went with him instead. To play, play and play was all that Dorjee thought of.
 
Total number*- 105
 
Dorjee loved whatever his mom cooked. He liked his food hot. Often his mom would say, ‘You’ll burn your tongue Dorjee!’ And he always just smiled.
 
His cheeks were red like cherries. Eyes were watery. The valley lived in him. He lived in the Tibet valley.
 
Mysticism took home here once and quickly entered its soul, to stay forever.
 
Total number*- 109
 
Dorjee will soon become a monk. He knows it. His family has told him. He is happy about it.
 
Most of his friends will do the same. In fact, he is excited to be a monk. His mom told him once, ‘Dorjee, it is not as simple as you think.’ He replied again with a kind ‘cheese’ and his eyes were not visible.
 
Why did Dorjee always smile? Why? Maybe he knew what Percy Bysshe Shelley said the ‘Skylark’ knew. A heavenly secret.
 
His smile attracted the soothing valley towards him, his smile attracted mystical purity towards him, his smile attracted the one we cannot see yet we feel is.
 
One day Dorjee was bound to leave. For the designer of Paradise missed his favourite smile, his Dorjee.
 
Total number*- 112
 
You left us Dorjee. We have adapted to the ‘burning alive’ but we don’t know how to smile anymore.
 
*
Read about Self Immolations by Tibetans here
 
The post is written in remembrance of all the lost souls.
 
 

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