Ignorance and Vanity

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 Image Credit
 Mrinal was en route to the airport when her smartphone rang .Her mother's number flashed on screen and despite her nervousness of flying alone to a new city for the first time , she smiled. 
Moms are worrying. Always . 
Just like fathers are busy. Always.
Despite herself she felt her mouth turn bitter at the thought of her father. He was never home, a blessing, considering the way he used to treat her docile mother. Being an illiterate girl from a poor family was the biggest sin of her mother whose beauty and the planetary positions of her birth-chart tempted Mrinal's famous and rich astrologer grandfather to handpick this gem for his foreign educated lawyer son.
It was a sad and loveless marriage full of disdain, contempt and scorn at one end, and duty, agitation and perturbation on the other with two daughters working as a weak bridge. 

She took the call. It was her sister mumbling something amid sobs about an accident ... of her father.

She missed the flight.

                                                                         ******
Years flew by and she never got another reason to fly. Today once again en route to another airport in another city, memories of that fateful day came back rushing in. She was surprised to find  them to be so vivid, stored somewhere in the realms of her mind in such a well preserved and pristine condition.

                                                                     ******

That day ,on reaching home she had received the rude shock of her father's murder faked as accident. He was a barrister reputed for his honesty and justice. It had paid .

A few weeks back, Mrinal had topped Kumaun District college and had secured a seat in a reputed PG college in Delhi. She could have got admission anywhere but her artistic temperament pushed her to be amid Delhi's Art and Literati circuit.She was hoping to enter the NSD and like her ideal Girish Karnad dreamed of a career in writing and theatre both. 
But on that day it all changed. Unable to leave her timid mother and a 9 year old sister, she joined the local college and started giving home tuition as a means to pay the bills.
The distant relatives were even more distant during her father's last rites. And the near ones turned strangers after learning that Barrister Shamsher Pratap's sprawling  bungalow had to be sold to clear the debts acquired due to his honesty and snootiness.

Mrinal  had noticed everything ... including .... that Samar was there on the funeral day .
                                                                  ******
Eight years have passed since college but on looking back it still seem so silly and .. so sweet . Like a dream.

SamarDeep Singh, the quintessential  herat-throb of her college , in fact of their entire city. He had just shifted to the city .Girls were crazy for him and boys felt proud to be seen talking to him.He was intelligent and attractive . Even Mrinal felt his charm but that was that. Genius or not, Casanovas were never her type.

Though she had felt his eyes on herself quite a few times but he had attitude enough not to talk unless talked to and was decent enough not to drop hints. At All.
He was a silent guy letting his deeds speak for him.Just like Mrinal. So the ice was never broken except an occasional Hello! until a writing competition  brought them closer and they found out how similar and contrasting they both were. He expressed his silent love for her and she accepted as he was indeed, a guy with a heart of gold, a harbinger of hope and happiness in Mrinal's stern life. 
But his flirtatious ways were a problem . Mrinal did not want their relation to become public while he insisted to be 'seen with' her - the 'most beautiful and sweet girl ever'. Without Mrinal's open support Samar was unable to shoo off the pestering girls irking him. She felt this as spineless and weak of him. Mrinal wanted them both to focus on their carriers so that they can live happily ever after while Samar was the one for living in NOW.

Being the girl she was, Mrinal took the call and one fine day simply stopped seeing him.  Being the boy he was, Samar never asked for a reason nor he pestered her. It was as silent a breakup as their love.

Soon the college went rife with the news of a 'hot pair' Samar and Pooja . Deep in her heart Mrinal knew this to be sham, a passing phase. She knew Samar too well to know that Pooja was not worth for even his infatuation but she could not deny their proximity. Samar was always somewhere in her viccinity. Rumour mills were working overtime churning titbit of their romance .Today he gifted a branded watch to her, her sisters were calling him by nicknames. Phew! 
Pooja's well timed smiles and false blushes were adding fuel to the fire of all imaginations except Mrinal's. She knew her Samar's choice too well . 

                                                                  ******

She sighed a deep sigh of part gloom and part relief. From tuition she had started her own coaching centre, then purchased a school frenchise in another city. Rising fast,within three years now its a college she is looking forward to. She was young, energetic and focused. The brand 'RockFord' was extremely happy with her work and it was for finalizing this deal that they had picked her from her home with them in their sedan car all the way to the capital. 
And now, after the successful meet Mrinal is flying back to her mother and sister.
Going to airport for the second time in her life. Alone.

                                                                                        ******


The Autumn Trees : Image Credit 
 Her last meeting with Samar was the day before that flight which she never boarded. He had called her almost after a year from 
their mute break up and she could not say No. 
All he said was "Mrinal, I can see that you know I don't love her.I am thankful for it." Despite herself , it brought a smile on her lips. That was a day when autumn was setting in the valley. The day when the burnt amber of the falling leaves turned Mrinal's cheeks crimson, a shade darker than the blushing dusk and the white swirls of the mist rising from the Himalayas engulfed their first embrace from the world. For an eternal moment they lost themselves but the spell broke and two different roads they opted for.

                                                                     ******* 
 Airport was two hours away from her host's home.The deal was going to be a milestone in her career.She was pleased but contentment evaded her.As always she was restless. Despite the November chill she rolled down the car window. Opening her laptop,she wrote a verse in one go at her blog and posted it to the writeup cafe.

When we were under that pine tree
I pinned my hopes to a star
when we were soaked by mountain rains
I asked a favor from the mists afar

And how they helped me through out
by guiding me in every dark
and shielding me from prying eyes
when my loneliness was stark

Oh! when we were under that autumn moon
I whispered 'stop' gently to the night
when we were vinous with ecstasy
I asked the moon to be less bright

They listened to me thus, till date
that nights are so long and cold 
the moon never shows its face to me 
but as silver-drops on grassy folds ....

almost immediately she got a comment from 'The W' and as always it was just apt. She smiled.
                                                              *******
Writeupcafe was a site where Mrinal was not known as one of the youngest achiever of Kumaun but once again, Mrinal of her college days - a writer, silly, emotional and passionate. 
She was herself there. It was her lifeline to sanity, to her dreams and desires where number crunching pragmatic Ms.M. Pratap took a back seat . 
Writing by her pen name 'Kumud' she was at peace when she was at writeup cafe. She had a small but ardent following there. Her smartphone beeped.
It was a notification from one of her friends at writeup cafe. A few days back they have decided to meet in real as a few of them were apparently in the same city that day.They were meeting at a cafe near the Airport.

Mrinal got down from the chauffeur driven car and moved towards the venue. It was built much higher to the ground within the airport premises. She crossed the arena and was climbing the broad steps when she froze. Standing at the door was Samar ... She reached the door as if in trance while he smiled and ushered her in as if waiting for her. Instantly she was jolted out of her trance and blurted out "You??"  She could hear the ring of happiness in her voice and it irritated her. 
Samar made her sit at a 'Reserved' table and was apparently savouring the moment it seemed . "Oh! He still had that ' all in control' attitude" she thought and her irritation grew . 


Before she could speak he said , " Forgive me for being foolish and vain Mrinal. I was young and worshiped by all except you. I loved you when I was not aware what love is.I loved you when I realized I have lost you and I loved you when I  understood what love is.
so I decided to find you back ..just to see if you are alright." 
He continued , " ...in place of your Bungalow stood a mall and your shifting to a new city did not help either. But trusting your writing inclination I found you here at writeup cafe"
Mrinal was too stunned to utter a word. Her irritation vanished and she was seeing a new Samar, a Samar which she perhaps never tried to reach up to.
She stammered, " I am sorry too Samar as I too was ignorant and was naive enough not to understand the intricacies of heart. I never accepted my feelings to even myself as I was too focused......"

"No Mrinal ," Samar cut her in mid sentence ".... you were afraid and I was laid back, easy going, getting all easily . But within few years I could sense my feelings as well as yours."

Mrinal smiled " Always in haste ,you are not changed much!"

"Yeah. " Samar replied, "I have realized my love and do not want to lose it again.Now I am a man possessed by haste " 

Suddenly Mrinal remembered about the group meet and stood up . "Samar I was here for the writeup cafe...... " Samar put his hand on her mouth saying, " I am  the one who organised this meet .. I am 'The W' , W for warrior... running a site from more than a year to find you, to be in touch with you ."

Samar never liked writing. Still he was writing about life and technology and everything under the sun at his site 'SummerVille'  ...just to find her !


Mrinal's eyes welled up and she trembled with emotion. Samar held her hands , their fingers entwined, once again they were teenagers under that pine tree on that starry autumn dusk. 
Image Credit 

The airport speaker announced her flight and instinctively she knew that the first flight of her life was just not meant to be alone.


This post is written for SpinYourStory Contest for writeupcafe

Won consolation Prize for the same.. Here  :)

5 Reasons to go ASUS Zenfone2

Image source : Here
Well well as if having an ASUS Zenfone2  in itself is not a good  reason enough .. I am supposed to give 5 reasons for having it ! Phew.. I can give fifty.

Now-a-days smartphones are like alter egos. you can't live without them . We are not bothered by carrying the bulky lappy.. okay ..sleek lappy with a bulky charger (chargers are bulky.. you can't deny that !) with us everywhere, instead we have the world in our pocket with the smartphones. And ASUS is brand trusted and much coveted. We all know about the zoom and the boom of Zenfone by ASUS . So when I know about the launch of the very sophisticated , very personalized and very hi-tech  Zenfone 2, I  was and am obviously thrilled. With a whole range of enhanced features and specifications as well as the much high look quotient here I am describing just some of the features which made me carve for it are-

1. Look-
 The ultra slim beautifully carved and crafted Zenfone 2 is a beauty to behold! Its 3.9mm at the thinnest edge and is available in a range of colours and a unique style of my own. Making it the most coveteed after in the looks department is its Transfusion and Illusion Series! The series offers a mind-blowing range of awesome shades, tints and patterns on the cover !
WOW !

 2. Less IS MORE-
   Yes, Its true for this Zenfone2. Here with the Zenfone2 you gets a 4GB RAM as well as a 5.5 inch smartphone with the body of a traditional smartphone.It has a remarkable 72% screen to body ratio made possible by reducing the bezel  width to the bare minimum.
The 4GB Ram provides a peace of mind which I don't think needs any  explanation.This amount of storage is so awesome for gamers, movie buffs, animators and well of course, book hoarders like me . We can now have our own  mini Library in our Zenfone :) beaming bright and grinning from ear to ear :)

3.Sharp Vision and Display-
Crystal clear razor sharp display provides a breathtaking  experience of viewing , making me click-happy.The  high resolution dispaly with 178 degree viewing angles and a whooping 4030ppi pixel density makes every image a feast for eyes.This works so well for me and definitely for all those who want to live life the vibrant way . The brightness of colours the sharpness of the image ... its just bliss. It works very effectively in Low Light as well as High light mode , so I can get the desired result in a sunshine and under blue clouds both :)

4.Ergonomics-
Beautifully engineered ergonomics makes it a delight to hold . Everything is as easy as doing all in just our grip .The rear key is provided as a part of its Ergonomic Arc Design.Its a pleasure to hold as well as behold. The smooth finish,the easy grip makes it a joy to have .

5.Battery Boost Master-
In just 39 minutes it can charge up to 60% a feat in itself with a 3000mAh Battery for a full day in woods, a night under the stars and clicking, clicking all the way . Its super fast speed and 5 times faster WiFi connectivity speed is an added boon. 

So I think these above 5 reasons are enough to make us jump and kill for it though still if you are not convinced as its too much on the platter and you might not believe your good luck , so jump on here on the ASUS India site and check it out for yourself ! 

The post is written for ASUS India.

Needle : Haiku

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Image courtesy : Here

                                                     
                                                      scent of pine needles...

                                                      sky a crimson dusk , bright stars...
                                                      I am rapt in love




Image courtesy : Here 

                                                     needle to sew your 
                                                     clothes is nowhere... sighed Mom to 
                                                     the now waxing Moon !



Image courtesy : Here 
                                                              
                                                   needles prick my heart
                                                   a place you used to dwell in  
                                                   love bleeds out on snow


Being Me (FPFS : Day Five)


Pihu : Muzhappilangad Beach in God's own country.. 




body stained by sands
 oblivious to the waves 
 am just being Me.



I have been tagged by my soul-sis Maniparna to take part in Five photos Five stories Challenge (FPFS) which is- Post a picture for 5 consecutive days and attach a post to it , fiction, poem or short write-up.It can be anything to suit your taste.
I am tagging  another of my very dear  friend  Nimi  on this last day . Glad to be able to complete it successfully :)


#UtkalaDibisaQuiz : Win Free stay at Puri, RatnaGiri and a Lot more !





Welcome to the #UtkalaDibisaQuiz !!Its to commemorate the Foundation Day of Odisha  and is being hosted at  'I' - a blog by Amrita Sabat . 
Amrita is a versatile blogger and a dear friend.We both share a love for books, travels,poetry,culture, heritage,Mother Nature and beauty in Life ....

The contest - 
 Its a simple contest where you have to answer a few questions  and voila! you are in .. to be a potential winner :)

 

So just hop on to her blog and get this wonderful chance to win grand prizes from Odisha Tourism! 

Check out the #UtkalaDibasaQuiz Rules and Terms and Conditions HERE.


And following are the original prizes for #UtkalaDibasaQuiz #Contest: 

Grand Prize #1 - Couple 2N/3D Stay at Toshali Sands, Puri sponsored by Toshali Resorts

 

Grand Prize #2 - Couple 2N/3D Stay at Toshali Resort, Ratnagiri sponsored by Toshali Resorts

 


10 Consolation Prizes - Lovely Odisha Tourism Souvenir Items sponsored by Odisha Tourism




The glorious prizes are:

 

Grand Prize #1 - Couple 2N/3D Stay at Toshali Sands, Puri sponsored by Toshali Resorts

 

Grand Prize #2 - Couple 2N/3D Stay at Toshali Resort, Ratnagiri sponsored by Toshali Resorts

 

10 Consolation Prizes - Lovely Odisha Tourism Souvenir Items sponsored by Odisha Tourism

 

Also, do not forget to visit this link for #Nabakalebara 2015 Special Packages :
http://otdc.in/nabakalebara2015.htm

 

Good Luck! 

ये दोनों (FPFS : Day four )

At Home :)


मस्तक का  शांत स्निग्ध  चंदन
माँ की आँखों का  मृदु  अंजन 

मेरे आँगन की यह कलिका 
अपने मन की जो है मलिका 

इन दोनों से चहका ये  घर
महका जीवन केसर-केसर

मस्तक = forehead                                                                 स्निग्ध =  soft and glowing
चंदन = sandalwood tilak                                                       कलिका =  very young bud
मलिका = queen                                                                       चहका = twittering 
महका = fragrant                                                                     केसर = saffron (here, made calm and  relaxing  like the fragrance of saffron )


I have been tagged by my soul-sis Maniparna to take part in Five photos Five stories Challenge (FPFS) which is- Post a picture for 5 consecutive days and attach a post to it , fiction, poem or short write-up.It can be anything to suit your taste.
I am tagging  my very dear  friend Dr. Kiran on my Day four and as a part of the challenge, I will tag a new person on Day five.

The Road (FPFS : Day Three)



Lost and found in Kodaikanal : By me
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Standing on that bifurcation, I was lost and confused
Wondering where to go from here and which path should I choose

Both were densely lined by trees, seemed similar in their view
But I was game for exploration and carved for something new

To 'the road not taken' I must go, my heart was telling so
Or should I wait for you to come and solve the matter Lo!

I chose the one with dirt and dust, went with aplomb, felt gay 
Well, I never had any patience for life's humbug monotonous song anyway..

The road was long, unknown and curved, treacherous and unseen
 I found a brook, new friends in winds 'twas not glum but serene

And there I found Him conversing, in that calm and solitude
In moments so still, in roads not taken, I found Life's beatitude.



I have been tagged by my soul-sis Maniparna to take part in Five photos Five stories Challenge (FPFS) which is- Post a picture for 5 consecutive days and attach a post to it , fiction, poem or short write-up.It can be anything to suit your taste.
I am tagging Roohi on my Day three and as a part of the challenge, I will tag a new person on Day four.

An Aster (FPFS : Day 2)


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Image : Aster on roadside in Kodaikanal (By me :))




Far away in a shade brown-green
stands a flower quite pristine
fit for an arbour of a queen
or, to be a part of a garden scene

It stands there pacific and serene 
with just some weeds to share sunsheen
its purple pinks with golden gleam
pose innocent smiles which go unseen


yet its so happy to flourish there
its shrub is laden with its dainty fare 
The star of frost with a deep pink glare
is gently moving in the balmy air

Bucolic in its purple glory,
charming white streaked lavender bloom
apprises us on patience and bliss as
it waits to be crushed and burnt for fumes

Far away from the maddening crowd
from evanescent cheers and accolades
It teaches rapture in solitude and 
how to be humble and stay blessed

I have been tagged by my soul-sis Maniparna (tonnes of thanks ) to take part in Five photos Five stories Challenge (FPFS) which is- Post a picture for 5 consecutive days and attach a post to it , fiction, poem or short write-up.It can be anything to suit your taste.
I am tagging  my bestie sunshine girl  Shweta on my Day Two and as a part of the challenge, I will tag a new person on Day Three.

Infinite (FPFS challenge : Day One)

Image : The beautifully calm and tranquil Kushalnagara Monastery, Karnataka.


                                                    became ... infinite
                                                   by love, fire, ardour, peace  of 
                                                   benign devotion


I have been tagged by my soul-sis Maniparna to take part in Five photos Five stories Challenge (FPFS) which is- Post a picture for 5 consecutive days and attach a post to it , fiction, poem or short write-up.It can be anything to suit your taste.
I am tagging Archana on my Day One and as a part of the challenge, I will tag a new person on Day Two.

Sharing with HaikuHorizons

धूप : Sunshine

Image Courtesy : HERE

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ललछौंहे बच्चों के चेहरों पे
लाल अबीर बिखराती  धूप

तपे  हुए ताम्बई गालों  पे
स्वर्णिम आभा लाती धूप

सलोने सांवले चेहरे पे
सोना सा  बिखराती  धूप

काले घुँघराले बालों में
उलझ उलझ फंस जाती धूप

मुखर गुलाबी अधरों पर 
मोती सी घुल जाती  धूप

रेशम रेशम हाथों पर 
मेहंदी  सी रच  जाती धूप

गहरी काली आँखों को 
Image Courtesy : Here
रत्नो सा दमकाती धूप 

खन खन कंगन के नग में
सूरज से,  झलकाती धूप

गालों पे ढुलके आंसू में 
इन्द्रधनुष लिख  जाती धूप



ललछौंहे = reddish tinge                                                       ताम्बई  = copper-ish
अबीर = colour                                                                     स्वर्णिम आभा = golden lustre
घुँघराले  - curly                                                                    उलझ  = trapped
मुखर - lively , here as if about to say something                अधरों - lips
रत्नो  - gems                                                                        नग = precious stone                                     झलकाती = reflects                                                              इन्द्रधनुष = rainbow
 ढुलके आंसू  -  dripping tears                                

सूरज : Haiku

Image Source : Here
                                                          
                                                              सूरज लगे 
                                                              समोसों में लड्डू सा 
                                                              पर्वतों  बीच


                                                               sun is looking like 
                                                               laddu flanked by samosas 
                                                               when amid the hills 

Sleep : Haiku Hindi



                                                       सोना है अभी 
                                                      ये  सूरज बुझा दो 
                                                        छुट्टियां शुरू  


Image courtesy : HERE


                                                                                     I want  to sleep more 
                                                                so please, snuff out this sun, love 
                                                                  vacations started 



सोना = sleep                                                             बुझा = snuffed out
छुट्टियां = holidays                                                     शुरू   = started