I pass by the play room in my home but a strong, peculiar smell pulls me back. I inspect the room and realize that the smell has travelled here from the apartment above that is undergoing maintenance. However, the chemical odour seemed oddly familiar, like some long forgotten friend. My brain processed the mystery quickly and I remembered that my grandma’s tiny house used to smell like that.
The smell pushed over a wave of nostalgia over me. This house was the place most of my childhood vacations were spent in. Although having a small capacity, those days when we used to go for vacation, all my maternal cousins used to join us in my Nani’s house. The fun we used to have playing hopscotch, the thrill of riding bicycles on unpaved dirt paths, the sheer joy of collecting marbles, I missed it all. Early morning, my Nani used to sit on a small stool in the kitchen, beside a gas stove, preparing breakfast for all, tending to each one’s demand. Some of us wanted ‘chai roti’, which is made by breaking down the normal ‘paratha’ into tiny pieces and soaking them in milk tea. But I always wanted Nani to make ‘shakkar ki roti’, a form of paratha with a filling of sugar. I have eaten the best pastries of the world yet I always desire to eat the ‘shakkar ki roti’ made by my Nani. During the monsoons, my uncle used to get hot and spicy savories like ‘mirch pakodas’ from the nearby road stalls. All of us used to munch on these, over lame jokes, rounds of Antakshari (a game where players sing songs from the last letter the previous player ended at) and ghost stories.
I usually move on from things and get bored easily. I am also quite forgetful and absent-minded but somehow my mind never fails to cling on to these memories. Someday, I want to re-create those days with the same people. But people change. I doubt if the attempt would provide the same outcome. Nevertheless, I would try once. To make it all the same again.
Corresponding to daily prompt, SHINE
Everyday, from a population of 7 billion people, a major fraction wakes up into a fresh morning, some happily, some crankily, some hopelessly and some ambitiously. No matter how lazy and forlorn one feels when they first open their eyes in the morning, their dread and gloom lessen considerably when they step out from their homes and the sun’s rays shine down upon them. Following that, hearts becomes lighter, moods become brighter and thoughts become wiser.
I sometimes imagine how life would be without the sun and shudder at the thought. Just contemplating upon this creation of Allah makes me feel so grateful to Him. It also amazes me how a celestial body, around 145.6 million km away from our planet, has the potential to change one’s outlook towards life so substantially. This morning sunshine radiates positivism and propels one to outshine everyone in the dark struggles of this life. It inspires one to engulf others in affection and spread love, joy and happiness. It makes one believe that no matter how bad last night was, we still have today to make things alright. We still have a day to make the world SHINE, even after the sun sets. This sole belief gives life what it usually lacks- a direction. And when one has a purpose, life becomes tolerable to a great extent. Then, all you need to shine is love- give it, receive it, share it- just do it!
via Daily Prompt: Disagree
Most of what I see on the news these days, makes my insides recoil in shame, pity and anger. The mounting tensions all over the world, the pools of blood formed everyday in the name of God, the false hypocritical talks of a certain Drumpf (and similar prototypes budding in every country), the advancement of vulgarity labelled under ‘freedom to live as one wishes’, the consecutive invasion of once-revered morals, the violation of souls whose bodies are raped, the ever-growing gap between the poor and the rich, all of it hurts me and shatters my illusion that humanity will embrace peace someday. I disagree with what the world has become. I disagree that good times are soon to come. Yet, a tiny hopeful part of me disagrees with myself, and argues. That it is all for the good. That the human in all us of will outperform the devil. But I won’t be deceived again. I disagree until I witness that sheer moment of unparalleled brilliance.
When a person with a sedentary lifestyle decides to embrace an activity, pain is an unwelcome accompaniment . Waking up in the morning with a sore body is one thing, but when those pains remind you that you have to eat clean for the task to be fruitful, it is another blow to the mind of a foodie like me. Yet, I continue to tread along this new path I caught on to almost a month ago. Keeping aside the positive impact on my physical aspects, this has also been therapeutic to my mental well-being. You want to ask what triggers my endorphin secretion these days? The park.
So this park is my new-found happy zone. The place where I walk and walk and walk and think and think and think. As my body warms up, my ears are abuzz with colorful sounds, children playing gaily on the swings, women chattering away to their delight, ‘Turn up the music’ playing on my Galaxy and the much quieter chirping of the insects in hiding. As I cross the first 100 meter mark, I see the guy in the orange t-shirt, sitting on the same bench where he always sits. I pass by him and feel his eyes on me. I ignore and walk on. I wonder whether this guy does anything else in the park besides staring at every woman who passes by. I walk on and I see a cute African girl with hair in piglets, running towards me, her mother chasing her. I pause to avoid the clash, put my hand on her little head, smile at her and resume my walk, agreeing that beauty knows no race or color. This girl looked just as cute as the creamy Filipino kid on the bike and the brown dimpled girl cradled in the arms of her Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi mom. I realize my thoughts have slowed down my pace, and I gear up to cross the South Indian man who is talking a bit too loudly on his cellphone. It is a relief that I do not understand a bit of it, because his face has an unpleasant expression which means its no good. I turn my head to the left and see the ‘Yoga Group’. It seems to have grown in number courtesy to the kind couple who first initiated the free classes in the park. I ponder that how a small thought channels so many thoughts and unites people. I start walking faster because I see a slender figure in black shorts and a purple Nike jersey jog by. Motivation? Nah. More like envy, 😛 . I cross the 800 meter mark which is covered by dead leaves of the trees above. Its so humid that I begin to smell salty. When I reach the 900 meter mark, I inhale and exhale in joy, because I love how my nose is treated to a variety of fragrances here. Reminds me of Lily, Jasmine and some scent I had first encountered during my trip to Singapore. Lovely.
I finally complete one round. There are 3 more to go. But I know that I won’t be bored. There would be new faces to see, new perfumed bodies running beside me and new lovey-dovey couples who walk hand-in-hand on the jogging track in a most annoying fashion. When I am done with my last round and I sit finally, I notice a white cat with specks of brown on its fur. It looks a lot like my Simba. I tear up a bit. I try calling it to me. The cat meows softly in response and walks away. Sitting alone on this bench, blood pumping across my veins faster than ever, I realize how our ecosystem evolves constantly. Diversely. At times, for the worst, but mostly for the best.