Occupying a corner of my heart

Delhi is the first city that gave me a feeling of responsibility that comes along with freedom. I had spent three years at the Presidency College Girls hostel in Kolkata during my graduation. But, in 2002, when I moved out to Delhi for my first post-graduation, it was also for the first time that I realized the state of being very far away from home. During my two-years stay there, I made some wonderful friends and was exposed to multiple cultures, languages, cuisines, and festivals.

My friend Alexa
Photo prompt – copyright@soniasmusings

After moving out to Bangalore in 2004, I never had a chance to return back here. Two months back, my husband had an opportunity to visit the city for his official work. Knowing my attachment to Delhi, he booked tickets for both the toddler and me. When we checked into the Taj hotel property, little did I expect the room to become a personal favorite! It wasn’t just the huge glass window pane that provided a gorgeous view of the Delhi sky but also the corner of the room dedicated as a working space that stole my heart. In the game of peek-a-boo between light and darkness, I sat down to write my second detective thriller.

(199 words)

This is the ninth post (nonfiction) written as part of the #MyfriendAlexa campaign on the theme ‘Shades of Perception’. You can read the seventh flash fiction around this picture prompt here and the eighth one here. For the first six posts, you can click here.

This post is part of the Tuesday Photo Challenge on the theme ‘Light and Dark’ this week.

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday created by Esha and Natasha.

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter

Running back into the safe space of your arms

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The incident dates back to July 2011. I was heading a Bank branch in Mysore at that time. It was the first month after marriage and my husband had just relocated from Kolkata. I had a strange obsession with finding an accommodation near my office. Thus with every transfer or job switch, my address kept changing. The house where we resided as tenants were barely two kms from my Bank. Mysore was a town that thrived on human interactions, so almost everyone in the neighborhood knew about my doctor husband and his banker wife.

As per our daily schedule, my husband had to leave quite early in the morning while 8:45am was when I usually took an auto to the Bank. This made locking the house my responsibility. We occupied the first floor of the house and it had two open balconies. The front one led to the main entrance and the one at the back faced an area designated for a park. It had a large number of trees. My house owner had warned me about rechecking the locked status of both the balcony doors before leaving the house. It was for our own safety, he had wisely said. Unfortunately, I neither had a chance nor considered this piece of advice important enough to pass on to my husband.

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I ran to him anyway – Blogadda.com WOW prompt

It so happened that on a particular morning in July, I had to leave the house much before my usual time to attend a meeting. I had wrongly assumed that he would check and lock both the doors before moving out. The meeting had been a full day event and I returned home directly from the venue quite early in the evening. My house owner, who was generally a pleasant man had a very disapproving look on his face. Without thinking much, I walked up the stairs to open the door.

The word ‘shock’ would be a very mild term to express my reaction next. For every nook and corner of my apartment was occupied by a bunch of monkeys. They seemed to have had a satisfying meal of fruits, chips, biscuits and whatever they could lay their hands on. The flat resembled a house struck by a tornado. I let out a scream while wondering how to get rid of the monkeys. In a while, there were neighbors from the surrounding areas near my apartment churning out ideas about how to chase the monkeys away. Some of these ideas were so bizarre that they could put the word ‘innovation’ to shame. To anyone willing to lend an ear, my owner kept talking about how he had cautioned me about the danger of keeping balcony doors open. I honestly had no clue that when he spoke of how unsafe it was, he had monkeys instead of humans in mind.

Half an hour had passed and the monkeys couldn’t care less. They had comfortably settled in. I was getting worried about the uncertainty of being a resident here anymore. Suddenly I spotted my husband getting out of an auto downstairs. I started rushing down the stairs. Mysore was still considered as a conservative city with a good percentage of my neighbors falling in the category of senior citizens. I knew that at that moment they were looking, but I didn’t care. I ran to him anyway just like Kajol in the climax of the Bollywood movie DDLJI  couldn’t resist myself from hugging him tight though I knew we were in the streets and all pairs of eyes were on us. My husband was still not sure why there was a crowd in front of our house and my sudden public display of affection but the actions of newly marrieds are rarely justified. He had attributed it to my overflowing love for him while in reality, I was breathing a sigh of relief that I finally had someone who would probably be a little less scared than me.

Finally one of my office boys arrived with a group of people who managed to drive away the monkeys out of the house. They grudgingly left but not before eating away all possibly edible items, throwing away quite a few things including one of my oldest mobile phone sets and creating havoc in the house to such an extent that the effort required in fixing it led to a slipped disc injury in less than two weeks. But that’s a story for another day.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

P.S. – I love all animals as long as they are not in my vicinity.

Mesmerized by the beauty of nature

My son has been traveling since he was 1.5 months old. We have taken him to various beach destinations. But I have always loved mountains a little more than the sea. Last October, after he turned two, my husband and I came up with the idea of a vacation to Shillong and Cherrapunji. Our memorable stay at Ri Kynjai resort, opposite Umiam Lake was followed up by the experience of walking among the clouds in Cherrapunji. The boy loved everything about the trip.

Photo prompt – copyright@soniasmusings

This picture was taken on the way during our road trip from Shillong to Cherrapunji. The windswept Kansh grass caught my attention. I stopped the car and walked outside to get soaked in the beauty of nature. A small house surrounded by hills and slopes was a soothing sight. I stood transfixed for a while before capturing this moment through my lens. This picture is no less than frozen memories of witnessing nature’s beauty at its best for me.

(161 words)

This is the sixth post (nonfiction) written as part of the #MyfriendAlexa campaign on the theme ‘Shades of Perception’. You can read the fourth flash fiction around this picture prompt here and the fifth one here. For the first three posts, you can click here.

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday created by Esha and Natasha.

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter

The history and mystery surrounding the steps

This January, I decided to work on a travel diary based on the rich historical background of my home district Murshidabad in Bengal. I had moved out of my hometown Berhampore in 1999 for higher studies. For sixteen long years, I stayed in different cities owing to education and job assignments. When we moved back in 2016, Kolkata had become our new home. In the backyard of my memories, Murshidabad always had a strong influence. I extended my stay at my in-laws for a month this time. Every alternate day, I visited places of historical significance in Murshidabad to understand the folklore surrounding it, read up history books, listened to a tourist guide’s version of its history and clicked numerous snaps. This series formed a part of my BlogchatterA2Z challenge based on the theme ‘A dollop of Bengal”(letters H – M).

This photo was clicked at Nasipur Rajbari (Palace). This palace used to be the court of Debi Singha – the tax collector (in)famous for his atrocities towards the poor. A portion of this property has now been converted into an art museum and library. These steps with a tainted history of bloodshed and pain evoked a feeling of eeriness in me.

(198 words)

When the steps decide between right and wrong
Photo prompt – copyright@soniasmusings

This is the third post (nonfiction) written as part of the #MyfriendAlexa campaign on the theme ‘Shades of Perception’. You can read the first flash fiction around this picture prompt here and the second one here.

This post is part of the Tuesday Photo Challenge on the theme ‘Backyard’ this week.

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday created by Esha and Natasha.

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter

Thirty things that bring happiness to my life

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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 –

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30 things that make you happy – BlogAdda WOW prompt
  • 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.

  • Friends

I have a handful of friends but I am grateful for their presence in my life. Conversations with them really lift up my spirits.

  • Writing

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.

  • Rains

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.

  • Books

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.

Continue reading “Thirty things that bring happiness to my life”

The circle of kindness to keep humanity alive

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Last week onwards, I have started an initiative called the detox day. On a predecided day of the week, I stay away from mobile, laptop, and all social media apps. For these two weeks, it has been Saturday. I spend all my time with my family. Now, I’m the kind of person who promptly responds to a phone message, a DM or a WhatsApp message but I am a little lazy in making and receiving calls. Most of my family members keep complaining about my non-accessibility over the phone, especially the bad habit of rarely returning the calls.

But this week was different. I’d really been affected by the news of the flood-hit Kerala. Quite a few of my B-school batchmates were from this state. After my detox Saturday, I started my Sunday searching for a Kolkata based NGO who were planning to carry relief items to Kerala the coming week. Three numbers were listed. Finding the first two numbers busy, I called the last number.

“Hello Sonia,” a deep voice answered.

A few years back getting addressed by name by a stranger would get me worried. But these days True Caller made that look plausible.

“Hi. Apologies for unable to address you by name because Facebook only had the numbers mentioned. Actually, I have called to ask about the process for contributing to the relief items. I have clothes that could be of help to someone there”

“That’s a noble thought for a good cause. But you need to call the volunteers for this”

“Oh, aren’t you a volunteer?”

“Well, I am expecting some funny reactions to this but I am God. You can choose to call me anything – Bhagwan, Allah, Wahe Guru, Jesus, Almighty.”

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conversation-with-god-blogadda WOW prompt

“Oh really! Good to see that at least the names belonging to different religions can co-exist. Here we do have a tussle at intervals to figure out whose God is the greatest.” I said sarcastically. This man was wasting my time.

“You still don’t seem very convinced about talking to God.”

Continue reading “The circle of kindness to keep humanity alive”

To a unique and special kind of relationship

Hey Blue-eyes,

The first time that I laid my eyes on you, my heart nearly skipped a beat. It was love at first sight and I was sure that we were meant to be together. The year was 2002 and I had moved to Delhi for my first post-graduation. Amidst adjusting to a new phase of life and struggling with emotional turbulence, you were the reason I stayed connected and never felt lonely. You were privy to the most private conversations yet I felt comfortable in your presence. The fact that you came into my life with my parents’ approval made it easy for me to take care of our joint finances.

Two years later, I moved to Bangalore and you chose to come along. Initially, you had little reception issues but you coped up quickly. As I joined the corporate world, you became my go-to medium to stay connected with the world. I accept that I had random thoughts about approaching some better prospects as my affordability increased but eventually I shunned them away. I could never think of replacing you.

I tried various options to keep you updated with the latest trends in fashion and technology but you were simply not interested. Many a time, I bore the brunt of sarcastic jibes because of my attachment to you. Then suddenly you started showing signs of mood swings by intermittently blocking all modes of communication. I grew exasperated.

We were both trying to decode each other and the future of this relationship as I started a new journey as a B-school student. You completely refused to co-operate then and I had no option but to seek a new relationship with a good-looking, sophisticated and updated support system.

To a unique and special kind of relationship
To a unique and special kind of relationship

Continue reading “To a unique and special kind of relationship”