Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Bards of the Blogosphere- Week 2 Chapter 4- Trigger Happy

Read the previous part of the story here.

Jenny surveyed the crowd that had come to listen to the minister speak, with a photographer’s eye. She mentally composed shots, cropping stragglers neatly out of the frame. Although she was there to cover the event for a publication, she always had a weather eye out for that award winning shot.

She idly played with her butterfly earring as she cocked her head, trying to figure out which shot she should take first. Her large Nikon camera ensured people automatically posed for her, in this era of selfies.

She preferred clicking weather beaten faces, of old men and women, the ones who had lived full lives. Children were easy to shoot. Full of innocence, even an amateur could get good shots if she focused on them.

The noise was deafening. There must be a thousand persons here, she thought. The crowd moved forward, jostling for space and taking her with them. The smell of the great unwashed assaulted her nostrils. Couldn’t be helped. That was part of the job too.

Unbidden, a stray memory floated in her consciousness. Of a girl in her colony. The prettiest one by far, with full lips, flashing eyes and milky, smooth skin. She knew it too. She had dreams of becoming a Bollywood star.

So she was easy prey for that smooth talking man who promised to take her to Mumbai and put her in touch with filmmakers. She had run away from home, taking a little money. Of course, there were no meetings with filmmakers. The man and his friends had sold her to a brothel.

Jenny shuddered, scattered conversations bringing her back to where she was. Two plump aunties were gossiping about the atrocious prices of vegetables. “I sure hope this man can bring down the prices to earth,” said one to the other, who nodded solemnly. Jenny took a photo, startling the ladies, who smiled reflexively.

As she moved forward, taking care to keep to the sides, where there were less people, she kept taking photos. You never knew when you could end up with a great shot.

A baby a man was cradling reached out for her camera, grinning toothlessly. When Jenny took a photo, he squealed and hid his face on his father’s shoulder.

Just then, Jenny spotted a familiar face. She couldn’t remember the girl’s name, but knew they had met recently. She smiled vaguely and took a photo of Roohi, who was a blur in motion as she raced around, playing with the other children present.

Jenny looked around for her parents, who were keeping a watchful eye on their child. She managed to get a candid shot without them being aware of the camera.
The crowd was getting impatient. Where was the minister? Just as its mutterings threatened to become angry ones, the man appeared. Jenny took a photo of the crowd, as it craned its collective neck forward, for a better glimpse.

The minister was a showman, who took the stage as if it were his rightful domain. He raised his hand to acknowledge the crowd’s applause and also calm it. Jenny knew this trademark gesture and was ready to press the button. Click.

Read the next part of the story here.

“Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

The team Bards of the Blogosphere comprises of Divyakshi, Priyanka Roy, Priyanka Victor, Arpita, Datta, Neeraj, Nupur, Sulekha, Maria and Roshan.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Bards of the Blogosphere- Chapter 7- Shadow play turns real

Read the previous part of the story here.

“Let’s order pizza to welcome Jennifer in our home,” announced Tara when she emerged from the bedroom.

“Oh! Is that the latest excuse to skip making dinner?” Shekhar teased.

As Tara grinned sheepishly, Jennifer cut in, “My treat!”

“Nonsense,” said Shekhar. “You’re outnumbered.”

After much argument over toppings, they finally ordered the pizzas. A laughter filled dinner followed. Shekhar let out a contented burp. His wife looked at him with disgust.

“What?” he retorted. “Jennifer, these are the less savoury parts of being a member of our household.”

Jennifer laughed as Tara threw a cushion at her husband.

“I’m bushed,” Tara yawned.

“I’ll put Roohi to bed,” said Jennifer quickly.

“Would you? That would be great! I’ll put myself to bed,” Tara said gratefully.

“Nooo! I don’t want to go to sleep!” wailed Roohi.

“I’ll show you how to make shadow puppets, Roohi,” said Jennifer, cutting Roohi off mid-wail.

Roohi watched open mouthed as Jennifer deftly used her hands to make a rabbit, deer, and many more animals.

“Come on now Roohi, the zoo will return tomorrow,” Jennifer urged Roohi, patting the bed invitingly. Roohi hopped into her bed obediently.

As Jennifer turned to switch the light off, Roohi caught sight of a dragonfly on her arm. She blinked. It couldn’t be. That was the tattoo she had seen on her kidnapper! A green, evil looking insect, with paper thin wings, that she fancied was about to poison her. It had seemed set to sting, ready to jump off that arm. Her eyes grew wide. She searched her memory desperately, wanting to be sure.

Yes, she would never forget that day. The pain as the would-be kidnapper had snatched her hand. She heard the children shrieking with fear and running about helter skelter, the bad man fighting with Ramesh in the school bus.

Roohi’s heart was beating so fast that she was afraid Jenny would hear it too. She shuddered. She hadn’t even known that she had registered the tattoo, until now. She opened her mouth to scream and then thought better of it. She shut her eyes tight instead.

“I must lie still and pretend to be asleep or she will hurt me, let her think I am sleeping and make her go away, please God,” she thought frantically.

Jennifer turned back to find a ‘sleeping’ Roohi. She looked down at the angelic face, smiled wistfully and noticed that Roohi had kicked the blanket off in her sleep. She picked it up and covered Roohi with it, making sure to tuck her in nice and proper. "This little girl has restless feet," Jennifer muttered to herself while walking towards the door.

“Well, that was a breeze,” she thought as she quietly latched the door behind her.

Roohi didn’t think so. The little girl had nightmares all night, but her subconscious kept her from screaming.

Jennifer slept peacefully, unaware of Roohi’s sleepless night.

Read the next part here.

“Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

The team Bards of the Blogosphere comprises of Divyakshi, Priyanka Roy, Priyanka Victor, Arpita, Datta, Neeraj, Nupur, Sulekha, Maria and Roshan.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Older, Angrier, Hairer- Radhika Vaz is Funnier

When I tweeted to Radhika that I couldn't wait to attend her show, she replied, "Me too. It's like losing my virginity again."

Although initially I was taken aback, I laughed later. Waiting is always going to remind me of this now.

Her show segued seamlessly from anger about hair and age to us women's obsession with being ladylike- cleaning floors to cleaning the evidence that even we take dumps.

Why do they say women need to do what men do to be successful? Radhika unashamedly made fun of womanly preoccupations- "Housework is the pinnacle of unskilled labour"- Amen to that!

For ladies without babies, she reminded us of what brats kids can be. "Those kids (her friend's, who put up a clumsy dance) were looking longingly at me for appreciation."

And how to deal with nosy people who want to know why you don't have kids? "We're trying."
"Hooray, they're trying!" I can't reproduce the tone- you just had to be there.

Women can't have it all. We should just settle for 63%. True that.

She reminded me of college classes on hegemony. We women take so many things for granted, we are the ones pressure ourselves the maximum sometimes, I feel.

So many truths came out in the show, it reminded me of the function of comedy- to mock, for a purpose. Like the fool in Shakespeare, who could say many true things just because no one took him seriously.

I wish self help books were bottled like this. They'd be much easier to swallow. Looking forward to her book coming out next year!

I'm not going to take myself so seriously now. Seriously.

"We're pals," she told the husband when she discovered I was nuttynupur from Twitter.

I'm going to try and live up to that.