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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Intervals

Moony music in the air!
[Source – Pixabay]

The beach was audible to her in intervals. She walked bare feet on the sand and still didn’t smile. Rhea had muffled thoughts, a cluster of it, covering her face. And that is why she couldn’t see the beautiful, starry canvas right above her. The sky didn’t twinkle, the waves didn’t play music for her. Like a ghost, locked in some tragic seconds, she moved slowly, that pale thing or maybe the world moved around her, and she stood still.

But the beach was audible to her in intervals. And she unconsciously moved towards the ocean. The interval ended, but it was too late for her to be locked back again… a wave rushed towards and caught her. Rhea took a deep breath and looked down, her feet were wet, the waves danced forward and backward. She smiled before she could stop herself.

Rhea could now hear the gushing ocean, see the sparkling stars, feel the cool wind and the cool sand. She started walking, this time not shying from the waves. She sauntered along the shore, opening her arms and welcoming the wind, the waves and the night sky… the interval overpowered unbeknownst to her.

 


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Crane on Turtle Candlestick Holder

Flash Fiction
“We are old friends.”
“Hai-hai!”

[Japanese vintage candlestick; source – ebay]

Our blacksmith picked up the mould and studied it. His expressions were not discernible, but the sweat on his forehead highlighted his precision as he poured the molten metal into the mould.

Whilst he worked, many frames, metal shapes – some contorted, some flamboyant – stared at him, acknowledging and appreciating in utter silence.

Our blacksmith, on his way back home, saw a little kid who was standing against a wall along with his friend, wasting time, living.

That little kid whispered something to his friend and they both started following our blacksmith, copying his gait.

A silly game, a random thought, a reason to smile.


Dear reader what does time say?

Time says it is next day.


Every frame, every metal shape was eagerly waiting for our blacksmith. Roller shutter made its habitual noise and our blacksmith entered his workshop, and along with him came his two buddies, those two kids we saw earlier.

Quickly they went and stood next to his grand table, jumping with excitement.

Our blacksmith finally showed them what was now ready in the mould – it was a crane on turtle candlestick holder.

The two kids laughed and so did our blacksmith. He said the crane and the turtle were friends and the kids inquired if he had seen something like that in real.

Our blacksmith nodded and said that when he was their age he went with his father to a lake side and saw a crane standing on a turtle’s back.

Childhood memories capture time that never fades.


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Unforgettably Yours

Flash Fiction

I dare you to forget not. Forget what not? Try to remember… remember that day when…

… for the first time you crawled… you struggled to walk… you hopped all along… you won a race… you tap danced with grace… you came in style… you left wearing a smile… you befriended the walking stick… you crawled for the second time…

… for the first time you were loved… you were pampered… you were jealous… you were told to share… you were lonely… you made a friend… you believed in dreams… you knew true joy… you hurt yourself… you stood up… you worshipped time… you quietly realised… you happily understood… you loved them back…

… for the first time you felt you knew absolutely nothing… you followed their path… you managed to survive… you built a new track… you knew right is right and wrong, wrong… you travelled in time… you accepted the change… you thoroughly read writings in brief… you said of course… you said not at all… you repented and laughed at the mistake… you cheered your take… you declared that you still knew absolutely nothing…

Everything is forgotten on the way, but the journey goes on… the journey that is unforgettably yours.

*

“Don’t forget now, alright? Go, leave, carry on!”
[Image by Lin Tong from Pixabay]

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Persepolis

Stories are happening, stories are being written, stories are being ended, stories that are new meets stories that are old, everywhere, in every life a story is taking place.

Now imagine a place, long back in time, a grand place, the centre of a huge empire that today rests quietly, patiently the ruins hold itself against time, vanishing slowly but never getting defeated.

Persepolis, the city of the Persians, awaits quietly and patiently a time, it stands composedly and accepts what it witnessed, giving one a good hint of its past who then leaves taking along an unfinished story that also awaits a time, a time of completion.

Book cover
[Source – Cult of Pedagogy]

Marjane Satrapi has a story, it’s titled Persepolis. A beautiful way to begin a story, to merge the storyteller with her past, present and future, to the place she belongs.

Marji’s story is a story of constant reminder – a reminder about the holy myth, burden passed on by the lineage, large scale bloodshed done by mistake, wars of the sexes; it is also a reminder of true love, beautiful dreams, hope and faith, strength to stand up, courage to bow down, belief in freedom and humanity. 

Marji’s story is a fusion of all of this and more that makes life, life. Marji shares it wonderfully from her perspective and whether you know her or not, you will connect to it, for your life too is a story.

So much to be explored, many such Persepolis to be seen, a Marji waiting to tell her story everywhere, a life to be lived today, in the present, a story to be written, today in this very second.

Embark on a similar journey and you will reach a Persepolis and be enthralled by its mere presence. You will become Marji and look back with a smile.


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Two Photographs

Granny’s smile has lots of secrets and lots of memories in it. She is always smiling, beaming; we can also count her wrinkles rising from her cheeks to her closed eyes; eyes shining with childlike brightness, watery eyes speaking the language of love.

It is early morning and everyone in the house is running hither and thither. Mummy is cooking food and packing the tiffin-boxes. The children are late once again and Daddy is going to give them a lift to the school. But Daddy himself cannot find his tie and the green file and somehow Mummy is managing everything right from the kitchen.

In this daily drama we see Granny sitting in the balcony, she is combing her grand-daughter’s plaits; Granny talks about her late grandmother who use to tie her plaits, to which her little granddaughter giggles up and says, ‘Granny you also had a Granny?’

Mummy shouts from the kitchen as the clock declares it is 8. Everyone is late!

In this relay race, this cute family is asked to stop and pose for a photograph. Daddy says no but the children agree and Mummy is caught between them; while everyone else hesitates only to agree in the end, the granddaughter brings Granny inside and both of them settle comfortably on the sofa for the photograph.

Say Cheese! Click!

Daddy is awkwardly smiling with a bad tie-shirt combination making him look funny; Mummy is smiling nicely and is hiding her apron behind her; the children are looking full of life and sleepy at the same time; the granddaughter is hugging her Granny and saying cheese loudly; Granny is smiling peacefully.


Daddy, Mummy and the children wish Granny a good-bye, she waves back at them from the balcony. They leave in their car and get mixed with the ‘bhroom-honk-honk-bhroom’ crowd on the road.

When Granny is asked about the brightness in her eyes and the secret behind her smile, she laughs musically and says, ‘thank you very much’.

Enjoying the scene from her gallery she seems to be waiting for somebody. She walks slowly to the kitchen like there is no need to hurry, this is how blessed she is, maybe this the reason behind her smile.

When we are about to leave the house, she calls us and asks us to meet her friend. Back in the gallery, Granny is feeding a stale roti to a crow with extreme joy in her eyes.

She indicates us to take her photograph with the crow. She is already saying cheese. Click!


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The Keyhole Trend

Poem

An amazing keyhole.
[Source – Pixabay]

If you peep through the keyhole

The small world you see

Might look real and free

The sky, the bird, the tree

The building, the street and me

All with the round edge and incomplete

Half of the shine and half of the night

Half of the smile and half of the ride

*

When the journey ends, it ends

Though the keyholes are in trend

Laughing loudly at yourself you’ll see

One can open the door without any fee.


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What A Fool Sees

Prose Poetry
A fool knows a fool’s way and not of the world’s. He may be right, we may be wrong, we’ll know in the end.
A fool knows that a smile costs nothing and so he smiles. We know that we have money and we can afford to smile.
A fool wishes for nothing and gets it. We wish for a lot, we get some and then we wish for a lot more.
A fool leisurely thinks while we leisurely doubt and because of this we doubt a fool and we think we think wisely.
And so the fool laughs at us and we laugh at him and our story ends here happily. 

Photograph by Jagriti Rumi; Location – Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary, Odisha


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