Love on Sale

LoveOnSale On a lazy afternoon, she walks through the not-so-busy street browsing through the shop windows. Suddenly, one sign on a shop catches her attention – “Love on Sale!!! Hurry,  only till the signs of love last”. Curiosity gets the better of her and she soon finds herself in the little shop full of greeting cards, gifts, soft toys, and so on.  Through the narrow alley in the shop, she squeezes her way through the chaotic arrangements, careful not to disturb the  arrangements.

She smiles at the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper returns her smile and says, ” Ma’am, pick any item with a sign of love and you can buy it at flat 50% off.”

“Flat 50 % off”, she beams and enquires why love comes so cheap.

The little man understood the sarcasm  in her tone and replies, ” Ma’am, Valentine’s day is over; the season of love. My warehouse cannot carry so much love till the next year and nobody wants the love that looks worn and torn. That’s why love is on sale.”

When she leaves the shop, she feels happier. For she is carrying so much love to be taken home.

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Fellow passenger

I was irritated. Well, that would be an understatement to describe my current mental disposition. My life was and is still surrounded by my mom’s ubiquitous pieces of advice. While growing up, I thought it is just a phase, which eventually would fade out. But I was mistaken. Now, a mother myself and she has not stopped it. In fact, she has renewed giving advice afresh with a new vigor. As though she is convinced that I, a child myself, cannot manage another child. I’m a 30 years old, still tearing my hair to shreds to keep my sanity intact at the superabundance of advice that I receive from my mom.

Today, the plethora of advice is more than I can handle. I’m travelling alone with a 6 month old baby. Mind you! the baby is mine. My mom is sure that I cannot handle things. She kept asking me “did you take the diapers?, what about the baby food?, I hope you have not forgotten her medication?, did you keep a change of dress in her bag? and don’t leave the baby in the stroller and roam around. ” I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes in frustration. I wanted to tell her, “Mom, chill it’s just a one hour journey”. But I didn’t dare. That will start a new conversation with a new set of instructions and advice.

Somehow, I grabbed my bags and baby and escaped from there. I didn’t get much time to fret. I was busy managing my child while getting the boarding pass, getting past the security check, and finally boarding the aircraft. As I settled in, the fight attendant came and briefed me the security precautions to be followed while flying with a baby. As instructed by the flight attendant, I thought I should feed the baby during take off. I started looking for the baby bag. I didn’t realize until then that the seat next to mine was already occupied by a good looking gentleman. He asked me, ” Shall I help you?” and without waiting for an answer from me he took the bag and pulled out the feeding bottle and handed me. I thanked and returned to attending to my baby, who soon  fell asleep.

Now, I turned my attention towards my fellow passenger, who clearly was in an elated mood. He caught me giving him a side glance. He smiled and said, ” You have an adorable baby.” I smiled in return and realized that he looked very familiar. He asked couple of things about where I was going and about the baby. Usually, I wouldn’t have indulged in such a conversation but he looked very familiar. He then introduced himself saying he is  Ryan working for an MNC and is currently going to his home town to marry his sweetheart. I congratulated him and introduced myself. Hearing my name Amaya, he asked me which school I went to and in which year I finished my schooling. When I gave him the details, he asked me, “Did you go for Math tuition to one Mr. Thomas?” I said, ” Yes.” He said, “I  too went there.”  Suddenly, it dawned on me why he had looked so familiar. It was the same guy from my Math tuition on whom I had a huge crush. He seemed to have changed a lot in these years. The funniest thing was I never knew his name until now. I used to keep gazing at him during the boring class. I couldn’t hide my smile thinking about it but managed to hide the fact from him. It was silly but I was excited that he knew my name.

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We talked a little about our current lives and didn’t know when the flight landed. My baby was fast asleep all thorough out.  He helped me with my luggage and the time came to bid goodbyes. I wished him the best for his new life and asked him to convey my regards to his bride-to-be. When we reached the exit he in turn told me, ” It is strange. I have an interesting little anecdote to tell my girl. Something I had forgotten for quite a long. I will tell her that today I met my high school crush and her beautiful baby and for the first time in my life, I talked to her.” I was dumbstruck. I didn’t know how to respond and then my husband came running towards me. I introduced them to each other. Then, we said goodbyes to each other and went our separate ways.

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Fighting like cats and dogs

Fighting like cats and dogs- it took a literal turn when Ajay and Tina discussed what to get  their little angel a.k.a the little monster (for those who know her true nature) for her 4th birthday.

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Like most of the parents of this era, Ajay and Tina are career-driven, ambitious and enterprising folks, who have everything in the world to gift their child except quality time. So, every year Ajina’s birthday is one occasion to purge their guilt-ridden souls on not being there for her all round the year. They throw a lavish birthday party and gift her what she loves ( or rather what they think she loves).

This year, Ajay felt that it would be a nice idea to gift her a puppy. Being a dog lover himself, he felt that a dog can watch over his child and it will be loyal and a good friend to her and secretly hoped that having a dog will teach her to care for other living beings and stop harassing them. Tina who had the perpetual habit of refuting any suggestion put forth by her husband, did not fail to jump in. She voiced her thought that a cat is a better option for Ajina. She reasoned that cats are affectionate and at the same time independent. Ajina needs to learn a lot from cats and not dogs. Ajay could not believe that Tina would refute his suggestion by bringing in a feline creature known for its selfishness. To strengthen his argument he said, ” A dog is man’s best friend and it’s been that way for years”. Now, it was Tina’s turn. She said, ” Do you know that cats out number dogs as domesticated animals? In these changing times, we need cats.”

And thus the war began. They fought ferociously like cats and dogs until their neighbor, Mrs. George called in.  She barged into the house looking very furious and said ” It’s your daughter again. This time she crossed the limits of being a little girl. She took my poor cat by its tail and swung it around like a key chain in her hand before flinging it across the lawn…………….” And the accusations poured on and on.

Now, it was Ajay’s and Tina’s turn to drop the idea of getting her a pet for her birthday.

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Under the covers

They are into the 8th year of their marriage but some things have not changed. It bothers him to the core. She still remains a closed book for him in many ways. Everyone has their idiosyncrasies but she somehow drags it to another level.

She is very particular about certain things. For instance, she shares a bed with him but insists on having separate blankets. If by mistake, he slips under the same cover with her, she gets annoyed in a strange manner. Also, every night she slips under the cover completely.

One day he asks her, “Why? why do you have to pull the blanket over your head and why can’t we share the same blanket??? ” She looks amused. She is smiling because she knows he cannot get over the fact that they can share a bed and not a blanket. She also knows that the blanket is not just a blanket for him but a metaphor for the closed chapters of her life.

She smiles at him benignly and asks, ” Darling, what are you afraid of ? Are you afraid that I will turn into a mermaid and slip into the depths of ocean when I slip under the covers? He looks at her astounded and thinks , “Can she read my mind???”

She smiles again and says, ” Honey, just go to sleep”, knowing that he cannot sleep.

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The Florist

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A florist – that’s what  I am. But there are times, when I feel little hesitant to reveal that identity and during such times I intelligently mask the florist part and call myself an entrepreneur. Technically, I’m both so there is no denying about that. Oh! please, don’t misunderstand me. I love my job and I’m passionate about flowers. But people somehow don’t get it. Being a male specie, they think I should be doing something manly.

I  hate going to family gatherings of any form – be it weddings, funerals or birthday parties. But being a florist I can’t avoid it. My business thrives from such events. Be it any occasion, here is a snippet of what I typically would encounter.

” Aunt 1: John, these decorations are breathtakingly beautiful.        

 Aunt 2:  It must be such a delight for his girlfriend to receive flowers everyday. Oh! dear look at him blushing like a peony. (Pun heavily intended)

Aunt 1: Don’t you know??? John doesn’t have a girl friend. He is a florist. Which girl would prefer a florist boy friend? Any girl would want a manly guy and not someone as delicate as a flower. 

Chorus : Hahahahaha”

I feel bad when I hear such jeers because flowers make me complete and strong. This is not something that started recently. It started from the time I can remember. I always wanted to be a florist. My mother loved flowers so my dad used to say and every Sunday I used to get different flowers to lay on her grave. I do that even now. Boys of my age at school wanted to be pilot, doctor, astronaut, president etc. I was the odd one out, who wanted to be a florist. Most of them did not become what they dreamed of. At least, give me the credit that I was man enough to follow my dreams. These arguments are always inside my head. When my friends pull my leg, i just give in.

Usually, the usual sneer and jeer starts with no girlfriend fact. Maybe if I can get a girl friend. Things would change. But that set me about thinking. Every girl wants a guy who is an Investment Banker,  a Doctor, a Scientist or a Footballer.  But let me tell you something. My business is doing well. I usually bag most of the decoration orders in and around the city. And all I need to do is  find a girl who loves flowers, who can understand what it is to spend time with flowers, to water them with tender affection and to nurture and to be nurtured in their lovely fragrance.

It was around the same time that I spotted her. I don’t know her name. Everyday, around evening after work, she stops in front of my shop and looks at the display I have kept in front of the shop. Maybe she wanted to buy something. As soon as I approached her she fled from the place. She had that tenderness in her eyes. Yes, she loved flowers. Maybe I should ask her for a cup of coffee. She is been coming to my shop almost daily for past two weeks. Why does she come? To check out the flowers or me? Since, I don’t have experience with  girls…I’m actually working on my opening lines.

It’s Thursday, I’ll ask her on a Friday and she might be free on Saturday, so she wont be able to turn it down. I was calculating that all along looking at her. I failed to notice a guy next to her. He asked her something and she just smiled. He called out to me and said pack these flowers for the charming lady here, pointing at a bunch of red roses. After the purchase, I saw them moving towards the coffee shop nearby.

All she wanted was flowers…I could have offered her a garden. Now, I know. I’m waiting for the next girl who loves flowers.

 

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The Decoupled Couple!

The decoupled couple – that’s how I nicknamed them in my mind.

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I have known them for years. They are my good friends. For all these years, I hated spending more than couple of hours with them.

Recently, I was on a conference and I happened to be in the same city as they live and they asked me to stay with them, instead of staying at a hotel. I dreaded the prospect of staying under the same roof with them. I didn’t know a polite way to turn down the offer either. As it turned out to be inevitable, I accepted the offer with a heavy heart.

The much dreaded day finally arrived and they welcomed me to their newly bought house. It was beautiful. I uttered that aloud and to no one in particular. Though, later I regretted having said that. That statement triggered them to indulge in taking potshots at each other.

Tina said, ” Thanks to me for finally narrowing down to this. Otherwise, he cannot decide on anything. Moreover, men do not have any taste when it comes to interiors.” Now it was Ajay’s turn, ” Yeah, that’s why we have such huge bank loan.” ” Had we settled for something I chose, it would have been a prudent financial investment and not a financial debacle like this. And Vikram, do you know the current financial situation of this country?It’s..” Before he could complete Tina barged in with her argument,”Oh, please Mister. Don’t talk about financial prudence. What happened to your last time’s prudent investment? I warned you many times. And forget about our country’s financial situation. You’re not running it, are you? And don’t you talk to an economist about financial prudence and debacles….  The whole night it went on like that. I don’t know when we moved from living room to dining room for dinner and finally back to the living room. I had come after a long tiring travel. I was in no mood for their verbal combat. I started reminiscing about their marriage. They have been married for 15 years or is it 16? Anyway, that’s not important here. What is important is that most of us  thought their marriage would not last this long. They fought with each other with such vengeance. Their views were bipolar in nature. But they were and are still glued together.

Sometimes…mostly when I’m with them and try to keep my focus away from the warfare and keep my sanctity in tact, I imagine that it is a staged drama and they play along to keep their guests engaged. Taking potshots at each other; was it their playful way of loving each other or else how can they be together???

The night wears off in the background of their verbal warfare and I retire to my room finally and they to theirs. Peace is restored for the day.

The same routine continues for the next two days. I, being, a silent spectator in the backdrop. And, finally the day has come when I take leave from them…as I’m about to get on the taxi, both of them together in union say – We enjoyed having you here.  Visit us soon!

As usual that’s the only view they seem to have in common.

 

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Glass painting

Glass painting is one of the many other things I dabbled with.

Good things about glass painting:

Anyone can do. At least, one can come up with a mediocre painting. Not expensive. Doesn’t require drawing skills.

But one of the things that you require in abundance is patience.

Here is the first piece of glass painting I’ve done. Not very impressive. But a good way to relax and try your hand at something new.

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My dad’s Superman!!!

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My dad’s Superman. I’ve always thought of my dad as Superman. But the day I said that aloud in the class I was greeted with ridicule. I remember rushing back to my seat teary-eyed. It was my first day at the school in the new city and I was asked to introduce myself to the class.

Miss Lousy, my class teacher, had a quick chat with me. Later on, I was to learn that it was her way of dealing with things. She asked me more about my dad and me. After the exchange of couple of questions and answers, everything was settled. She ironed her skirt with her hands while getting up from the seat. You can always be sure calm and peace are to be restored, when she irons out her skirt. It is as though she has uncluttered her mind. Another thing I was to learn about her in the coming days.

She spoke to the class and told the class that my dad indeed was Superman. Though Superman a mere metaphor,  this cute girl’s dad does save people from bad guys. And she asked the class to guess what my dad’s profession is. The answers were interesting – God, Police, Writer, Actor, Doctor, and on went the list.

It was Lily who said Doctor. Miss Lousy then told the class that my dad was unlike the stereotype Superman and did not wear a fancy costume or stir up any drama while rescuing people from the villains. He being a doctor rescued people from the villain called diseases. Then she asked the class, how many of you want to be a doctor when you grow up? . And everyone’s hand shot up in the air. I loved that instant.

This was a year ago. My dad no longer acts or looks like a Superman. He looks tired and exhausted and cries most of the night. I have been moved to the hospital. I like it here because I can be closer to my daddy and I know most of the hospital staff. They call me lil doctor and are very sweet to me. I know, this time the villain is mightier than what my poor dad can handle.

I keep telling him that he is my Superman and that seems to trigger his agony and he simply rushes out of the room, ever time he hears it.

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My Little Parakeet

She was my little parakeet. That’s what comes to my mind every time I think of her.

I met her on a train journey. I was going on a usual business trip and she, a student, on her way to visit her aunt. We were sitting next to each other. Her chatter is what caught me. Initially, she wasn’t talking to me. But to herself, which were rather loud. I was little confused who she was speaking to…Was it for the sole benefit of her or her fellow passenger too?

Later, I learned that it was my corporate attire, which made her nervous and vocal. Nevertheless, I was amused by her chatter and the innocence in it. By the end of the journey, I was smitten by her. Luckily, she turned out to be much older than I had initially assumed her to be. Was it her naivety or mine? Don’t know. Before long, we found ourselves  united in matrimony.

I took her to travelling and even to most of the parties. Her parakeet like charm and innocence was too contagious. Everyone loved her. People were amused and charmed by her presence.parrot

That was during the initial period. The novelty soon started to wear away for people. Including me. I started finding faults in her parakeet nature. To start with she was too verbose. Every time she had to speak something, that too in the most verbose manner. She never knew the beauty of brevity. Soon, I started longing for brevity. Among my friend’s circle, I was a joke. People called me the aftermath of a cyclone or a verbal diarrhea.

I stopped taking her along with me to parties. I thought that will reduce her verbosity. But I was mistaken. She would narrate the smallest incident that took place at the supermarket and that too with most of the details. Soon she realized I was loosing interest in her and that increased her insecurity along with her verbosity. She would recount every incident and conversation that took place while she went out with the finest details and in verbatim.

Days went by. My silence grew and her chatter too. We no longer  talked to each other. She talked to herself aloud. But as days went by, she looked like a withered flower. The melancholy in her eyes and voice were too much for me to bear. I made attempts to talk to her but the moment I talked, she withdrew herself into silence.

I realized that this can’t go on for long. It was the same time, I got a foreign assignment for 2 years abroad. After a lot of thinking, one day I presented her the divorce papers and broke the news that I am leaving the country and I wanted to set her free before I leave. I expected her to break down. But nothing happened. There was a strange calmness and without any delay, she signed the papers. I told her that she could stay here as long as she wanted or until she found an alternative place. I didn’t linger on. I went to office. I made my travel plans for the next week. During the week, I saw very little of her. I was mostly at office and even when I came home, I didn’t get to see her. She was still there, I knew.

The day I left, I waited for her to come out of her room. For a final goodbye. But she didn’t. Instead, I slipped a note under the door and left as I couldn’t wait any further.

These two years I didn’t think much of her. Yes, my initial concern was -will she stay in that house forever??? But after two days I got a call from my neighbour saying she handed over the keys. I asked where she went, to which I didn’t get any answer.

Now, back in my home after 2 years. I feel weird. The silence is somehow resonating and I long for my parakeet’s chatter.

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Bead Freak

I realized I was rapidly turning into a bead freak, the day I got myself hooked to jewelry-making. I have tried experimenting with semi-precious beads. I have made mostly necklaces and matching drops to go with it.

 

Here are some of the pictures:

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Black crystals enhanced with additions of garnet beads and enameled embellishments.

 

 

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Black agate magic in maroon crystals.

 

 

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Black charisma around your neck.

 

 

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Classic beauty of garnet made threefold with enameled embellishments.

 

 

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Green green the beauty queen in agates.

 

 

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White and brown necklace with matching ear drops.

 

 

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The Classic Beauty with large agate and small golden beads.

 

 

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A fusion of agate and tiger-eye, mingled with antique finished silver beads and to top it – a beauty of a pendant.

 

IMG_20140613_093647214A simple and elegant bracelet with black crystals and brown beads.

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