I feel a mixed bag of emotions as I write the last post in the A2Z challenge 2019. I had finished my first A2Z challenge last year by balancing my writing with the needs of a toddler who started preschool in the first week of April 2018. This year, it became a little more difficult as the toddler moved on to a new school and I was left juggling between multiple tasks. Between getting the kid ready for school, preparing his breakfast and dropping and picking him up from school, I was left with limited time to write my posts daily and read some great pieces from my fellow bloggers. Probably that is why I feel an extra dose of happiness on reaching the finishing line for the second consecutive year.
When I chose the theme of school admissions, I had no idea if I had experienced enough number of situations to convert them into posts for twenty-six days. I must mention that none of these real-life stories seemed funny when we were going through the experiences. My father often says that when we look back at life in retrospect, we often find a lot of instances that could have been handled in a very different way if we could have added a pinch of humor to them. I realized the depth of this statement only after I started writing this series. There are so many times when I published a post and then thought to myself, ‘What made me react so much to rejection?’ or ‘Why was I affected the most by this new phase in Tuneer’s life?’
It’s a great feeling to get back into this recap mode sharing throwback memories from 2018. After January, February and March, April and May, we move on to the middle of the year as I cherish memories from June and shudder at the thought of July this year.
June marked my entry into fiction writing as I participated in the Write Tribe Festival of Words for the first time. I discovered my love for writing short stories and flash fiction and my blogging journey took off in a new direction.
Zain glanced through the messages of his old school buddies Whatsapp group. Most of his friends had pictures clicked during the ongoing Durga Puja as their Whatsapp status. Some of them had updated Whatsapp status video related to pandal hopping and celebration.
Despite belonging to a different religion, Durga Puja had always held a special place in his life because of his best friends, the twins Samay and Srestha. But the equations changed on a different night of Puja, twelve years back.
The three of them were soon to leave for different cities for higher studies. Zain had been dating Srestha for six months then. Before he got an opportunity to talk to Samay about their relationship, Samay had walked into Srestha hugging Zain on their terrace on that unfortunate night.
Samay had asked Zain to choose between their friendship and his love for Srestha immediately. Zain had picked their friendship at the cost of breaking Srestha’s heart. Zain left his hometown next month with a vow to never return again.
Srestha had been married to Samay’s senior in Engineering college three years back. This year, she had returned back home with a broken spirit and bruised body after months of physical abuse by her husband. Zain had come to know about it through the Whatsapp group.
Even after so many years, he had kept his heart sealed for Srestha. He waited for the day when Samay could display the requisite faith in their friendship to let him take his relationship with Srestha to the next level. Until then, Zain kept the flame of hope alive in his life through his unrequited love for Srestha.
Through the classroom window, Tiya spotted Raisha slouched on the ground. She ran down the array of stairs to call Arjun. They needed to carry her back home immediately.
“I had to give up my cricket match for this wasted friend of yours.” Arjun sounded annoyed. “You have been trying so hard but she doesn’t want to cooperate at all.”
“We have been dating for two months now but do you know how scared I would feel to even walk down these stairs alone? When I shifted from Jhansi to Delhi, I was bullied incessantly in the campus for my looks and accent. Raisha barely knew me yet she stood up for me. When she realized that I missed home, she started finding excuses to take me to her house. Her mom made me feel like family. Raisha had grown up without a father but when she lost her mom to cancer three months back, she sunk into depression and turned towards drugs. How can I abandon her today when she needs me the most?”, tears rolled down Tiya’s cheeks.
Arjun held Tiya’s hands firmly. Together, they would help a friend retrace her steps towards a normal life, he promised.
This is the second post written as part of the #MyfriendAlexa campaign as per my theme ‘Shades of Perception’. You can read the first post written around the same picture prompt here.
For this challenge, I will be using four photos as prompts to weave two flash fiction stories and one real story behind the picture. Stay tuned to read the third post that will be about this picture and its significance. You could also consider subscribing to my blog if you like reading my stories.
I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter
If someone asks me what makes me happy, I can probably recollect only a couple of things that really make me feel like I’m on top of the world. But till date, I have never really sat down and listed them. This prompt gave me an opportunity to take a break from the usual routine and reflect instead. I started remembering moments, people and things that made me happy. So here’s my most precious thirty –
The three men in my life –
My toddler, my husband and my father bring out the best in me. I am the happiest when I am around them. Spending time with my father, having a heartfelt conversation with my husband and cuddling my toddler always bring a smile to my face. Also, the story time that I have with my toddler before he sleeps every night last is our moment of togetherness and bonding.
I have a handful of friends but I am grateful for their presence in my life. Conversations with them really lift up my spirits.
I quit my job as a Banker to chase my passion for writing last year. And till date, I consider this to be the best decision of my life. When I write, I am the happiest.
The tag of a published author –
This year in the month of May, I published my debut novella ‘Deal of Death’ on the Blogchatter platform. Until then I was a blogger but this opportunity made me an author. While I am still giving it finishing touches before putting it up on Amazon, I will always consider the moment of transitioning into a published author as one of the happiest ones of my life.
I love the rainy season, especially if I have the option to stay indoors. The smell of the earth after rains is probably one of my most favorite ones.
Purchasing and reading them, especially thrillers gives me a high. I am still orthodox in the way I read my books. I prefer to hold them while reading instead of the e-book version. Also, the smell of a new book is beautiful.
This Sunday morning, I woke up to the ringing of the alarm bell again. I had forgotten to turn it off over the weekend. It was only 7 am which meant I still had the luxury of sleeping for another hour. My normal working hours begin post-mid-night after my toddler goes to bed and stretches till wee hours of the morning which makes me grab every extra minute in the morning to catch up on my sleep. While locking the mobile, I realized that there was a missed call icon. With trembling fingers, I dialed one of the two most important persons in my household and soon my worst fears came true. My cook had stretched her leave without permission to one more day. This was going to be the fourth consecutive day of her playing truant. I shuddered at the thought of the other important person planning her leave in the same sequence next week. My maid was a huge believer in the tit-for-tat theory and together these two could give me a cardiac arrest any time soon.
I got out of the bed worried about the distressing day. The tornado aka my toddler was turning out to be quite a night owl like both his parents and had maintained his record of staying up till 12 30am last night. So I knew he was going to wake up a little late today. As I was preparing to share the shocking news to my husband, it was a surprise to see him come towards me with outstretched hands. I was wondering if India has won the England test (that’s the only thing he seems to be worried about these days). Instead, he greeted me with a smile and “Happy friendship day”. We have been friends for over two decades now including the years of dating and seven years of being officially married. Of course with time, our conversations have started including grocery lists, our toddlers’ antics and many other typical Indian household topics. Yet I rush to him at the slightest of positive ideas and difficulties till date. I hugged him as another bright idea dawned on me for handling the situation today. “Let’s celebrate our friendship by ordering lunch from 6, Ballygunje Place today.” I could feel the frustrated sigh coming out of his soul which I conveniently chose to ignore.
I was sipping my morning tea when the mobile kept beeping because of the multiple friendship day messages that kept getting delivered. More than 90 percent were forwards that kept getting recycled again in various watsapp groups. I checked my inbox to see if the two people I consider my closest friends had bothered to send a wish. Honestly I knew that none of us really cared for such formalities since our friendship went beyond years. AT and RK live in two different parts of the world now – London and Sydney respectively. I have met them at different phases of life yet our friendships have managed to survive changing times, countries and situations.
Trilok rantowards the assembly hall at the sound of the school bell. He had been playing football and barely noticed the playground becoming vacant. The class monitor was sure to reprimand him for coming late again. He could never convince anyone that his motivation for the school came from its playground.
After reaching his class, he was surprised to see a new girl sitting on the same bench that was designated for him and his friend Tushar. Tushar had moved to the bench in the next row. Their class teacher Nalini announced, “Class 7B, this is Trisha Sen. Her father has recently been transferred here from Delhi. Please extend your co-operation in helping her settle down.”
Trilok gave her an annoyed look. Their school had seating arrangements according to their names in the alphabetical order. That’s how Trisha had replaced Tushar. He decided to ignore her.
For Trisha, this was the fourth city and third school change. She was tired of adjusting to a new environment every few years. She was an outstanding student and very soon became a favorite with the teachers. However, that became a deterrent to fostering new friendships. Her bench mate Trilok had become quite vocal about his dislike for her. For the past one month, the jovial and friendly Trisha had started withdrawing into a shell.
The first time that I met T, I was coming out of my chemistry tuition classes. A lean fellow then, he looked way more arrogant than his seventeen years. Our twelfth board exams were due to begin in three months and he joined my tuition batch for joint entrance examinations. I had already lost my heart to chemistry and the only reason I was part of that group was that I wanted to pursue higher studies in the subject from a premier institute. I don’t remember ever interacting with him while he always nurtured an irritation towards me for consistently topping the class tests. I got through my dream college in Kolkata for pursuing Chemistry Hons. He got through the most coveted medical college there for pursuing M.B.B.S. The funny co-incidence was that our colleges were adjacent. The day we went to bid adieu to our Professor was the only time we spoke wishing each other luck for the future.