Monthly Archives: April 2016

TaleSpin Entry #8

[Link to TaleSpin]

A Story

 – Thoughtful Thestral

I am a story, and this is my first sentence.

“Four double-­three”, the worker shouted, and TT held up his hand. He received his coffee, and started sipping with lines of worry clearly visible on his forehead. He was sitting opposite Govan, who was having his regular evening samosa.

TT started the conversation, “I am trying to write a story for Talespin, you know, the writing competition in the LitFest, but I’m running short of ideas. Would be a great help if you could suggest some.”

Govan asked, “How much have you written already? Care to share a few lines?”

TT replied, “It’s just about 8-­9 lines so far. I am a story, and this is my first sentence. “Four double -three”,… 

When TT had finished, Govan looked him in the eye and reprimanded him, “Why are you being so bland? He said this, he replied, and everything. Make it interesting. Include details. At least create a proper setting for your readers to relate to.”

So I am dull. I guess I just insulted myself.

TT took a sip and looked around. He was in his Hall canteen, having his evening coffee and snack. I shouldn’t be repetitive, it’s a bad practice. The canteen was bustling with activity. Cliches demonstrate a lack of original construction. It was close to sunset: mellow rays of the departing sun provided an accessory illumination to the place. Plagiarism is a condemnable offense.

The walls were painted with a dull yellow interspersed with orange and blue areas. A television set was mounted on one of the walls, playing a Bollywood music channel at that moment. Residents of the hall, some having just returned from classes, some having just woken up, and some who wanted a place for thoughtful conversations, like TT, were seated in chunks around black circular tables. Freshly prepared samosas and wada­pavs filled the air with a delicious aroma. Pastries and cookies were available for the sweet­toothed, sandwiches and “Little Hearts” for those in a hurry. Conversations on varied topics ranging from cricket to the budget were being carried out, Mid­semester exam marks discussed, and Techkriti pranks were being planned.

Somewhere in the midst of all this, TT was searching for inspiration. A worker shouted, “Four two nine”, and came to Govan upon his hand­waving to deliver his grilled sandwich. TT looked at his friend in exasperation, hoping for more comments and suggestions.

Govan said, after stuffing some bread in his mouth, “Create proper characters. Sketch them with the passion of a dramatist, but with the flow of a poet. Let them make an impression.” He proceeded to chew his meal slowly, relishing the mayo and the tomatoes. Govan had always been a gourmet. I think TT wrote the previous sentence only for aesthetic purposes.

“Ask rhetorical questions. Make the reader think and reflect.” Govan was never short of suggestions.

TT got up and walked out to get some fresh air. Nature might inspire him, he hoped. He was on an edge of a properly cut out rectangle of greenery in the centre of the hall, popularly known as the “Quad”. He sat down on the grass, legs folded, elbows resting on his thighs, his hands supporting his chin. He tried to probe his mind for instances that could be penned down in an interesting manner.

Soon, he got distracted, absorbed in the worries of the impending quizzes and assignments. TT was that kind of a person ­ he always had things on his mind that might be more fruitful than his present preoccupation, and the worries would drive him to reconsider spending time on all things creative. He speculated that majority of his energy must be wasted in thinking of doing things and their consequences, rather than actually getting things done. The thought made him feel sad and exhausted. If he couldn’t achieve a clear stream of thought, he wouldn’t be able to produce a coherent piece of writing.

Govan appeared in a while, and sat beside TT. He put his arm around the latter’s shoulder, and convinced him, “Come on, man. You have the ability to write a meaningful story with relatable characters, exciting twists and a language that leaves the readers spellbound. Just invoke your creative genius and start writing. What’s the topic by the way?”

TT took out his phone, opened Evernote and read out the topic, “But one can also choose to consider this entire composition as a topic in itself.”

“Sounds cool. But in writing about yourself trying to write something, aren’t you taking inspiration from a movie you watched recently? I can’t remember the name…”

“Yeah. It was called Adaptation. Kind of, yeah. But isn’t all writing just a reflection of reality, viewed through the author’s set of mirrors?” TT replied.

Govan lifted his chin and nodded. “You’re probably right.” The two of them started walking across the Quad, heading towards their rooms. TT was still lost in thought when Govan started speaking again, “Another point ­ your story has a very plain start. I think an impactful story must have abrupt beginnings and endings. That makes it all the more effective.”

 

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TaleSpin Entry #7

[Link to TaleSpin]

Memory? Maybe

– Surreal Kishi

There’s this memory I have had.
(Or rather some fantasy!!)
Rectangular legs of cotton,
with endearingly curvaceous and
strong holders.
To hold me in past,
memories so selfish.
Thick to thin with a mesmerising blow of appeal;
Those black shiny grounders,
striking on my head palace
and so apt on the creme abstract rectangle;
The beauty immense enough to behold,
immense enough to distract.

Indian cotton per se!
Brown and creme from the land of nagas
A design crafted in the rendezvous
Of some great Rangrez with colours
and his blocks.
(Or by my distinctly clouded memory)
Splashy I rise,
Dumb
I fall
loud and sensual,
Pure and curvaceous.
Desire of half possession of others.
With a locket blue as ocean,
hanging over the valley.(oops!)

Above I climbed in hesitation
eyes still arid, lust still young.
Amidst of snow and wheat
lies a beautiful field.
Lying there nude; so so eager!
Waiting for Zeus to taste it.

A stem so virgin,
Even ripe grapes would eschew.
Bold yet fades away in just a touch!
Don’t  know if memory’s getting hazy,
Or Words have deserted this dare
Of describing further.

Beyond the abstractions of
round and long lies
perfection,
pure maiden perfection.

Let the flow change.

Dark sparks neither too long
nor too short.
There to savour the grain,
but to leave thou sere.
Palace of beauty and might
Of memories in fact!
(I am not part of)
Dark and endless
Surrounded by a web so fine,
Of spider sunk in blue.
Careful yet intriguing,
covered in snow white!
Two apple dumplings,
Christened by Aphrodite.

Sharp you look,
Sharp you go within.
Sharp is the pain.
Of thou getting in.

Two piles of wonder,
Slight a mystique up.
Crush of sugarcoated cherry,
touch so balmy,
flesh so polite!
Its been too far,
for a memory that hazy.
But only if it was one.
I hope it was not!!

 

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TaleSpin Entry #6

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Mirror – The Silent Spectator

– Shivani Saxena

The mist of morning wintery
Covers its surface gently,
The glassy figure, it stands
In the corner, silently.

The fair reflector of beauty
Yet, fails at true revelation.
The mute spectator sees
All the stories’ creation.

It’s the spy of spies.
It’s the best secret-keeper.
It’s the witness to crimes bold.
It stores thoughts deeper.

Legs dangling from the fan
Of a student totally broken
Companion in his struggle
Spoke nothing to none.

The clamour of words harsh
Thrown like knives between him and her
The dark depressed girl rejected for marriage
Oh! If it could embrace her.

It watches her yellow feet sleep
With one man and tomorrow, another.
Her soul when peeped through eye hole
There is nothing left, all wonder.

The mangled face that wakes up
Eaten by the acid, looks up.
It knows all her feelings and fears
Still dumb! Atleast cheer her up.

Observer of the unsaid and unheard
Glows with the match of dowry.
The scream of abused child echo
In its heart that’s cold and unweary.

How could it still remain-
The spy, the witness, the spectator.
Well- aware of the plans of devils,
Rapists, hypocrites and murderers.

Shatter the glassy mask down
Rip your brimming chest off
Speak to hapless, be the savior
Oh! The world be so well-off.

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TaleSpin Entry #5

[Link to TaleSpin]

– Thanedaar

If you are reading this, I am grateful to you. I am no writer, I just Googled ‘define grateful’ to be sure it means what it sounds like. And now I spent some time going over the previous line, may be ‘I am no writer’ suits better to a rap song. I would no more bore you with my apathy for words. Wait, for words sounds like forwards, should I change that? Urghh!

This article wouldn’t be reaching  you, unless that you is me. The TaleSpin composition inspired me to write something.  The unnecessary capitalization of the letter ‘s’ shows the desperation to indicate ‘Hey, you might wanna read it again, I took pains to coin that’. I was not aware of the animated TV series by Disney, may be Doordarshan did not screen it. So I ended up reading an article discussing symbolism in TaleSpin. I’ll leave that for some other day. Getting back, the flow of the composition TaleSpin was of particular interest to me.  Pseudorandom, may be. The ideas seemed random, just flowing down when you know the deadline for this piece is not the next day. And then, the next moment you realize’ I have to finish this, let me just try to put in topics we discussed in the meeting.’

Disney taking over the world would be a child’s fantasy, the child who wants chocolate flowing down the rivers and clouds showering chocolates. Sweet and sticky liquid chocolate, burnt caramel aroma making you sick. As if the festivals are not enough for them to have enough of it. I admit, the Nankari people, well they can never have their music fantasies fulfilled in the festivals round the year. Maybe the Chotti Si Asha they have of pleasing their Supreme God – Krishna through their endless night outs is what drives them. A god, who played the flute himself, became an ideal lover and the perfect elder has innumerable songs dedicated to. The aartis adoring his innocence have been aptly adopted by the IITK students, with some minor changes here and there. If you haven’t heard it, I am not asking you to. But believe me; you wouldn’t be able to find another piece of art that manifests the innocence of youth as this particular aarti does. Defy the social norms, disregard the sentiments of the foolish and celebrate life. This state is nothing but innocence, living in the bubble of youth that is soon burst by life.

This is the same life that stops me from continuing to link ideas as I was. But the burst is inevitable. I must seek the old who have memo-rees of their glorious past, memries that have survived years of self–depreciation.

If you do reach the end, kudos to you. Kudos for reaching the end of a piece that was sent by a coward. Someone who is too shy to write in his name. Kudos to the team to bother to look into an email that has ‘spam’ printed all over it. Opening a .doc file, feeling insecure through out. And if this piece is lost somewhere in the cloud, be it so. The cloud would engulf me, a few mega bytes of information, too insignificant.

 

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TaleSpin Entry #4

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Song of Innocence

– Warren Peace

Little has been withered,
You mustn’t scrutinise too hard,
She melts under harsh gaze,
Blithely, her slimy hands would manoeuvre
Your dirty sins to ashen grounds
And there, they be razed,
Being no more than an unsolicited mass,
Prickly and sodden, too dangerous to hold,
But what can be made of her?
There isn’t long before She turns cold,
Whereas once she slept all afternoon,
Her voice now sounds introspective soliloquies,
“It’s been a while, since we last spoke…
 cautious, I will be,
 But never once will I wince,
 If serendipity doesn’t roll her dice with my name smoked in”
Little has been withered,
She did remind me, of water lilies,
Floating in tranquility, and depth unawares,
Espying her mother and father,
Fabricating herself,
I heard their insolent words echo,
Oh she’s a beautiful witch,
Little has been withered.

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TaleSpin Entry #3

[Link to TaleSpin]

Jaku

-Caustic Camel

The sky was dark and there was hope. Five hundred and one eyes looked up as the sun was swallowed by a grey behemoth of dust and vapour. The cats all ran inside and hid under the wooden beds. The lizards licked their lips as they cowered under their favourite rocks. The crickets stopped chirping, deepening the silence that had engulfed the little village of Van-Buh.  The villagers had lost their ability to speak, even the toddlers had forgotten to cry. All eyes were transfixed at the sombre sky. Old hands were locked in prayer, and young hands were cupped with cheer. The clouds above were twisting and fuming, rising and bellowing. A streak of light tore across the sky followed by a terrible roar.  The roar enforced by the silence of Van-Buh, resonated in the empty pots and echoed in the modest halls devoid of the luxuries that civilization forgot to bestow upon Van-Buh. It even penetrated in the thick rotting skulls of the founders of Van-Buh who had in the arrogance of youth decided to inhabit that arid piece of land and were now buried peacefully under six feet of dust. Riza-el the self-proclaimed spiritual and political leader of five feet two inches was rolling in his grave, ecstatic. He could not think of a more jubilant way to celebrate given the tight confines of his entombment.  After all, his prediction was going to come true, just a hundred years late.

Children of Van-Buh did not know that water could fall out of the sky. They perceived rain as fantastical as candy falling out of the sky. Also they knew that water was salty and this sweet colourless liquid falling out down from heavens is surely some new liquid candy or honey. The men of Van-Buh encouraged by the scientific temperament of the times dismissed it as some gypsy trick. The grandmothers thought it is indeed Amzwitz, the drink of gods which one of the Oshiras might have accidently tipped over during their eternal struggle in the skies. Ziba was scandalized at this. He had made a small fortune selling sweetened water called Honey, which he made by making bees drink sugar water and then collecting the vomit. The process was painful and the yield was very low. Both his hands were covered with excruciating red warts. He was annoyed that gods were squandering away their elixir, but he held back his rancor in fear of backlash from the Oshiras. His enterprising wife however collected all vessels she could find and left it on their roof.

The inhabitants of Van-Buh knew that water came from under the ground. They knew for a fact . They had been told that a 100 feet long crocodile was trapped underground, crying all the time because the fire ants kept biting it. “That is why the water is so salty and there is so less of it”, the grandmothers used to tell.  The story goes that the crocodile had been imprisoned there by the chivalrous founders of Van-Buh who had lured the beast into a giant hole that took 10 years to dig.  As the crocodile was trying to climb out, thousands of red ants covered the crocodile’s giant body and began biting it. Withering in pain, the crocodile started crying. Water started collecting in the crater and all the withering caused the earth to shake. Dirt fell from all sides entombing the poor crocodile. Between sobs the crocodile vowed that one day it shall dig out from its subterranean prison and kill all living descendants of Van-Buh and drink their bloods just as they enjoyed its tears. The wrath of the crocodile can be still felt today in the form of earthquakes which are caused when the mighty crocodile tries to wriggle the ants off its body. That is why they never dug anything deeper than six feet deep and 1.5 feet wide (much to the anguish of Riza-el) in fear of releasing the choleric crocodile.

One eyed Jaku smiled as he tasted rain on his lips. For seven years seven months seventy seven days seven hours seven minutes and seventeen seconds he had prayed to Shango. At least, that’s what Shango thought as he tore out of the earth, breathing fire out of half a dozen nostrils and spewing ash out of his ears located on either side of his six heads.

While, Jaku was beaming.

“This might just be the greatest prank I ever pulled”, mused Jaku. No, this is the greatest prank anyone ever pulled. They will erect me a shrine as big as Riza-el”

Shango stared at this one eyed monkey with utmost curiosity.

“Is this it? I’m going back to sleep” yawned the first head.

“I show up after a thousand year and this is how they summon me,” added the second head.

“Maybe the Oshiras were pulling my leg when they said that I was summoned but I did feel the divine tug or maybe that was Oba…” mused the third.

“Why is he smiling like an idiot,” the fourth observed.

“These monkeys of today have become too indignant, let’s set an example of him” answered the fifth.

“I’m hungry. Let’s cook him!” suggested the smallest head.

Jaku stared at Shango’s six heads. Shango’s five heads stared at Jaku (the first one had dozed off).

“So?” Asked head number two.

“Why did you summon me”

“I don’t know”.

“What do you mean you don’t know. You’ve been at it for seven years. Surely there was purpose”, head number three chipped in.

“Not that I can think of. Sorry”

“Such insolence. I’m SHANGO. ” Smoke blew out of the fifth’s nostrils.

“Apologies O great one. But I didn’t really summon you. I was just trying to set a world record in tap foot dancing”

“A world record? But then where are the judges?”

“Judges?”

“You know. There is a committee. Judges. Official people.”

“Oh”

“Yeah, well. I can grant you a boon if you want.”

“Can’t think of anything I’d want”

“Really? What about your eye”

“No, I like my eye-patch. Makes me feel like a pirate”

“So, nothing?”

“Nope, sorry”

With a disgusted groan, Shango muttered a spell and the earth swallowed him back. Meanwhile, Jaku was bursting with laughter. He had managed to trick Shango into bringing rain to Van-Buh.

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TaleSpin Entry #2

[Link to TaleSpin]

– Renegade Anteater

Twinkling, ringing glee
Tumbling down slopes of lush green.
Gushing memories.

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