Top 10 Authors I Really Want To Meet

A few weeks ago, a friend and I were having a discussion on the places we would visit if we ever have the money to time travel. The first entry on our list was USA and the main reason we wanted to go there was to meet Mr. Rick Riordan, the author of the best-selling Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicles. So when I saw this week’s prompt from The Broke and the Bookish I pulled my laptop close to me and started frenzied typing that scared my colleagues at the office I am interning.

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  1. Enid Blyton: They didn’t specify if the author had to be alive and I grew up reading Enid Blyton’s mysteries and short stories. Meeting her has been a childhood dream.
  2. JK Rowling: A die-hard Potterhead like me had to include her in the list.
  3. Rick Riordan: Most of the Percy Jackson books have an ‘8+’ sign on the cover. I started reading them when I was 16, and still couldn’t get enough of them.
  4. Dan Brown: Technically speaking I have ‘met’ him, if you call attending a talk delivered by him to be a meeting, but so witty and eloquent was his speech then that I still wish to engage in a direct face-to-face conversation with him.
  5. Khaled Hosseini: I have read every one of his books at least three times and with each subsequent read my admiration for him has increased tenfold.
  6. Agatha Christie: Any lover of mystery has to have fallen in love with the Queen of Mystery Novels! And to think she started writing mystery novels only because a friend made a bet with her!
  7. Suzanne Collins: The exulted author of The Hunger Games, my all-time favourite dystopian novel. I have read the trilogy consecutively for three times once, and would have continued doing so if my mother hadn’t started fearing for my sanity 😛
  8. John Green: One reason I was often disdainful of teenage ‘coming of age’ novels is because they fail to effectively capture the contemporary teenage voice, till I read John Green. His novels capture teenage angst and triumphs beautifully. His novels have made me laugh and cry, and I really want to meet him.
  9. Oscar Wilde: I admire him for daring to write about the topics he did in the times he was born. I admire his courage, his wit and his literary style, and would be absolutely delighted to meet him.
  10. Louisa May Alcott: Last but not the least, I would really like to meet Louisa May Alcott, an authoress I have admired for quite some time now. I first picked up her book, ‘Little Women’ when I was in my adolescence and her poignant novel about the four March sisters was my guide. I used it as a self-help book, using Marmee’s words of advice to her daughters in my own life.

My Dream World

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There was this little world I had made,

In my childhood days.

I had woven it with care.

Nurtured it with love, and to me it was dear.

Small and bright,

Clean and white.

Located in a fairy castle on a hilltop highimages (2)

Up amongst the clouds, in the sky

Full of fairies, kings and queens

A child’s dream, a child’s fantasy

Many a playtime I spent here;

Many adventures I had there;

All my dreams came true here;

My wishes were fulfilled there;

It was a child’s dream, a child’s fantasy. images (3)

But one day, I heard this shout,

Calling me to the world out

I poked my head out and saw,

And, Oh!  How lovely the things seemed to be,

“Come out, and play”, they called to me.

I left my little world and came

But, Alas! Everything was not the same,

As they had before seemed to be

Oh, how true the old sayings are,

Grass always looks greener from far.

This world is full of deceit and lies.

Betrayals, broken promises and painful cries

Terrorism, Corruption, Pollution

Is there an end or a solution?

My little world was still there,

Free from such worldly affairs.

Unpolluted from all these worldly pains

Unaffected by the troubles of men

But I couldn’t enter it again

Not now, never again.

It was a child’s dream, a child’s fantasy

And I had grown up.

I wrote this poem, nearly six or seven years ago, when I was 13 years old. It lay forgotten in some dusty folder on my computer, stored along with other childish scribbles. I hadn’t thought about it in all these years, till I saw the weekly prompt by Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. 

This poem was, according to me, my best work in verse when I was thirteen, and probably for quite some time afterwards. And hence, I had never shown it to anybody, lest, somebody make fun of me, or the poem. It was a little too close to my heart back then. More than half a decade later, I am willing to unveil it to the eyes of the world. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated 🙂 

Daily Prompt: Truth Serum (*side-effects include a little occassional rambling*)

Writing a blog together is something me and my friend, Kate (you can check her blog here) have been planning for a long time. So, when we saw today’s daily prompt, we both decided that this was our chance to find out some choice secrets of each other and also write a post together. Me being and her being K, here is how our conversation went:

A: So who goes first?

K: You

A: Ok – but let’s drink our Truth Serums first 😛

K: Okay. Let’s have our serums. 

A: *gulp* Tastes like licorice. 

10533210_717730778287836_2096986690439839837_nA: What’s my but?

K: But you over-think a lot, most of the times. 

K: My chance – What’s the one thing about me, that just doesn’t make sense to you?

A: How despite being brought up in a Hindu family you got so influenced by Christianity. I have Christian friends who haven’t read the Bible as many times as you have! 

A: What’s my most charming quality?

K:  You are always supportive and encouraging. 

K: If suppose, for any reason, we have a fight and don’t speak for a very long time, and meet after many months, how would you react?

A: Ominous question! But I usually try hanging on to friends for as long as I can. And you are a very close friend – there is no way I am letting you go. There is no way we wouldn’t have talked for months. I would have been calling you everyday, and bombing your whatsapp inbox with apology messages.
But say you moved to Antarctica and we really don’t talk for quite a long time, then I am probably just gonna hug you, and then bore you with all the intricate details of my life in the past months – all the guys I liked, all the parties I had been to, every single book I read, and all the sitcoms I watched. 

A: What’s the one quality about me that annoys you the most?

K: Honestly, I haven’t found anything “annoying” as such. But I guess, when you form an opinion about something, it’s really hard to have to change it. I dunno about anecdotes, can’t think of any at the moment. This response just came to my tongue.

K: Sort of repeating a question that you asked, what’s my biggest asset, personality/quality/character wise?

A: The way you put things across. You are witty, without being arrogant. You know stuff and you correct people’s mistakes, but you aren’t patronizing or condescending. That’s very rare among our peers. 

K: Oh my god! I didn’t even know I do that! I demand an anecdote immediately.

A: Hahahaha…uhm anecdote? Can’t recall…exams messing with my brain. My turn. one thing you wish I would start doing already? 

K: Cool down and take good and adequate breaks from your busy and extra demanding schedules. You should randomly go on mini vacs every few weeks.

A:  Hahahaha – let’s start with that Bordi vacation we keep planning 😛

K: Haha. That is a dream dream vacation plan 😛
What I meant was going solo.

A: And get accosted by strange men? I was walking down from the station today, and I swear I got stalked. TWICE!

K: Oh. Erm. Bad idea then. 

K: What’s your deepest insecurity?

A: My friends finding me repulsive and hating me, and never talking to me again.

A: Turning the sword around – what’s your deepest insecurity?

K: Not being good enough. In my own eyes. I have expectations from myself. And while I don’t go around trying very hard, I do like it if people around me smile because of something I did. And when that doesn’t happen, I feel I have failed in some way.

I think another one of the side-effects of the truth serum is drowsiness, or maybe it’s just because it’s nearly midnight here. Anyway we both decided it’s time we gave the questions a rest, and sleep off the truth serum…before some of the darker secrets come out 😉

The Storm Within: Flash Fiction

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The raindrops reeked of redemption.

He had deserved it, she thought bitterly.

From the moment he had first dragged her into the dark scullery, he should have known this day would come. Like dark clouds amassing on the horizon foreshadowing the storm.

At first she had been distraught. She knew no one else in this country, had nowhere to go. And he knew it. Her helplessness emboldened him, and when he was done filling his stomach with the food she had cooked, he would drag her to the bed with sheets she had cleaned and force himself on her. The detergent smelled of betrayal.

The kitchen had only one window. Tied to the chair, he had begged. From the safety of her mask, she had watched him flail, till his last breath dissipated in the gas.

She dropped the rope on the wet street; the mask dangled from her hand.

The clouds part. A new future on the horizon.

Inspired by Flash! Friday Prompt

A Love lost, a Love found?

It was just a photograph, yellowed with age, preserved carefully in a trunk that was never opened, with other broken dreams; preserved with care between her flowery pink journal, scribbled with blue ink, the voice of the broken dreams. A moment frozen in eternity, kept fresh by nostalgia.

It was all that took to set the waterworks running.

They both knew, right from the beginning, that it was never going to work. But they wanted a little more: some more time together, one more stolen kiss, one more moment of togetherness. 

Even today that is all her heart aches for.

One more moment in the green meadow, with the hills echoing with laughter.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.

Rumi

Writing 101: Day 16

A Dream From The Past

flashficShe takes a deep breath and inhales the salty wet smell of the ocean. The breeze lifts her hair and it flows behind her like a veil. She screams – a sound of pure, unrestrained joy! She is 18, and Life stretches in front of her like an ocean of promises. 

She is 42 looking at a faded photograph. The walls of her house in the suburbs suffocates her, like a caged canary, who forgot how to sing. In the photoframes on the mantelpiece she searches for an innocent, carefree teenager; eyes brimming with wistful dreams. She sees a dutiful wife and a doting mother. In the mirror she meets the disillusioned eyes of a middle-aged woman.

The king-sized bed with its satin duvet is too soft for her – she longs for the granular sandy ground under the nylon sleeping bag. In the sparkle of the chandelier she searches for the soft twinkles of the stars. In the ceiling-mosaic she looks for the white swirl of the clouds.

Her house has four bedrooms, but she longs for a blue four-seater van. She would happily forgo her walk-in closet for one black-and-red rucksack – her entire life for one more vacation with her friends. 

“Wasn’t that the definition of home? Not where you are from, but where you are wanted?” Abraham Verghese

This post is in response to the prompt on Mia Madison’s blog.

Moving Into Sunshine

jennifer-pendergast4I set down my suitcase and stare at the stone portico. I stand in the shade, overwhelmed for a moment by memories, cruel till the end, unwilling to let go. I remember a dimly lit room, torn scribbled in books, the wail of shattering glass and the sharp crack of a leather belt.

Then the moment passes. The leaves flutter in welcome, flashing smiles of orange, gold and green. The breeze wafts through my hair – like a caress. It brings with it memories of bedtime stories and lullabies from a long-forgotten childhood.

I clench the scholarship letter tightly, and walk through the university gates, to a fresh start, away from my step-father. It’s all downhill now.

This story is posted as a part of the Friday Fictioneers.

Holding On

This story is in response to the Flash! Friday Prompt by Rebekah Postupak. Partly written from personal experience.

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I walk into the garden, tears running down my cheeks. We fought again today – he and I. The wetness on my cheek reminds me of our first date. I had sobbed with joy when he first kissed me. I loved him so much. Where had all that love gone? All I feel now is an empty hollow ache that demands what once was mine.

I am scared of being without him and tired of being with him.

I turn the corner and come face-to-face with ‘The Earth Goddess’ exhibit. I watch her serene face with its closed eyes, and hear the ripple of water flowing from her outstretched palm. What would happen if she clenched her fist and refused to let go – it would flow away anyway. And all that would remain is the soft memory of silken caresses, the whisper of a gurgling laugh… and cool moistness in the light summer breeze.

If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.

– Khalil Gibran

 

An Unpaid Bill and The Pink Envelope

Letter boxes, Area 51. Public domain photo by MartinStr.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.

Rumi

Grumbling I drove up to Steve Medlin’s farm, 15 km away from town. At the post-office we had a joke – a postman goes everywhere the Sun does. This was the 3rd time I was coming here in the fortnight – the credit card company had been sending desperate reminders, and I was getting a little angry at this man for not paying his bills already.

The last envelope was still lying untouched, and the one before. Curiously I opened it and saw the list of billed items:

  1. Gold Eternity Ring – Diamnte Wedding-Jewellers
  2. 3-tier cake – Creme Patisserie
  3. 2 Business-Class Tickets to Paris – Air France

I picked up the pink envelope that had been lying here from day-one. Somehow I didn’t think I would be sued.

Dearest Robert,

Forgive me but I can’t go through with the wedding. I don’t think I love you. I don’t think I ever did. Ken wants to get back together. I wish you all the best in life.

Mary

(This post is in reply to the Flash! Friday Challenge by Rebekkah Postupak).