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The Cycle And The C

Why do we spell the sea as "sea" and not just "c"? This was the question my son had asked once when he was a kindergartner. My extempore answer to it was, "This C is too small for the big sea!" And the giggles satisfied both the hearts! But tell me, why cant we spell sea as "c"? 

This "C" however has innumerable memories attached to it. 

Dwelling in Sharjah, at one point of time, Ajman Beach was nearest to us. We had spent a lot of week ends, Friday and Saturday, as we were in UAE, on this beach. The routine was pretty easy...Have a hearty brunch at Dwarka in Abu Shagara and head to Ajman beach. Frisbee, sand tools, cricket bat and ball used to be our staple companions. My son, aged 3 then, was so very scared of the waves lashing the shore that it took a while for us to get him accustomed. And once that initial phobia was done with, we had difficulty in pulling him out of the seas! Some moments of my life are still ingrained in those sands!!!

Sometimes, we used to travel to Fujairah. It is almost 100Kms from Sharajah.  I was told that it was nearest point to India, geographically! At times, feeling nostalgic, I used to wave my hand in the direction of India; conveying that I missed it much! The clear aquamarine blue green  water all throughout the year had its own charm. Though it was little rough compared to one at Ajman, it appeared like a macho man! Journey to Fujairah was also a wonderful sojourn. Friday Market en route to Fujairah was a must stop over...one on the pretext of taking the break from the long drive and another for browsing through locally produced fresh vegetables and fruits, pottery, carpets, nurseries, etc. 

Jumeirah Beach at Dubai was another marvel. Barbecue outings with friends and families was accompanied by the pull of crystal clear water here. The sea here was always calm. And no matter how deep I ventured into the water, I could always see my toes! The clear blue open skies and the vastness of the sea complimented each other. After so many years, I am yet to come to conclusion whether it was the company of the friends or was it the tranquility of water here that had lasting impression on me.

And it was here that my son learnt cycling. Cycling is and will always remian close to my heart. 

This romance dates back to my child-hood days. Growing up in a far off small town in northern Maharashtra, there was only one bicycle shop. It was strategically placed at a corner in the city center. The only brand that was sold was "Atlas". My elder bro and me, grew up spending considerable time in front of the shop, marveling at the beauties displayed there; whenver we went to the market place. As the town was small, so were the distances. And thus no bicycle for me or my brother, we were told.

However things changed when my brother was in 10th standard. He had to attend the tuition classes. In order to save time for self study, my brother was gifted a new bicycle. I felt so very envious of him that time. He used to walk like a King whenever he spotted me near his bicycle. I was prohibited from using it. It was his property. I could win a ride only at his mercy! 

One fine day, however, I had a chance of my life. 

That day Big B did not take the cycle to the tuition. It was standing in the porch and was calling out to me. Every one else was busy inside the house. I stealthily crept inside, grabbed the keys and here I was riding the cycle and enjoying my success! But it was short lived. The treacherous puddle landed me on the ground. In order to avoid it, I had veered straight into it! I miss those naive days!!!

Gone is that cycle and the "C" too... But the sparkling memories ride elegantly on the shores of my time line!

-----------By MocktailMommy Anagha

Linking this post to #FridayReflections by Sanch Vee and Corinne

Walk A Mile In My Shoes

Ever since I was a child, I had been an introvert. Well, that's a thing of the past now. In the present, I doubt if you can find anyone as talkative as me!!! Something during my years as a medical student changed me. I cannot point to what exactly was the event that made me turn around. I would rather say it might have been a series of experiences.

I was brought up in a very protected environment till my 12th Standard. Most of the household work was done by my mother and I was seldom expected to help her out. We led very pampered lives all through, till one fine day it was decided that I am to move to another city for my further studies. 

I was panic-stricken....what would I do?? How would I manage everything all alone. I wasn't even used to folding my clothes on my own, leave alone washing them myself. Cooking was a distant dream....all I could do was boil water(even that, I was doubtful of doing without any disaster happening). 

I clearly remember the first day that I entered the small hostel room. It was scary.....all I felt like doing was turn around and run into the cozy arms of my mom, who had come to drop me. But then, she knew that I had to be on my own now. So after hurriedly setting my luggage in place, she bade goodbye. Tears started flowing down my cheeks.....I was no more in my comfort zone.

Thereafter, every small step felt like an obstacle. But somehow, destiny had good things in store for me. I was blessed with very caring & cooperative roommates. Slowly, but steadily I learned how to do daily chores. Cleaning my room, arranging my stuff neatly, washing clothes, cooking simple meals....all happened in due course. Most importantly, I learned how to manage my finances, how to speak up for myself. Finally, I had a done it......I WAS INDEPENDENT!!! 

It was a pleasant surprise for my parents when I returned home for my first vacation. It wasn't a very harrowing experience, but I am sure every person who leaves home for the first time, away from all the doting attention of parents, will relate to this.

So now, every time someone shares their worries about how their child will cope with hostel life, I say "Don't worry, they will do just fine!!" 

"It must have been easy for an extrovert like you" they retort..... to which I think in my mind "WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES!!!"

                                    ------ MocktailMommy Prasanna

 ‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’ 

The Scribe

There were a myriad of ideas running through Rohit's head. He almost started to feel his temples throbbing. Assigned by his editor to finish the article in the next four hours, his mind suddenly went blank.

He looked up to stare at the various articles he had pinned up on his board. His eyes suddenly fell on the picture of this young, pretty face.....innocence written all over it.

It took him back almost instantly to the day when he had seen her lying in a pool of blood at the entrance of the building....

It was his article about her, that had made her take this drastic step.

He knew that he had been irresponsible, not to check on the facts before publishing them.....but it was too late.

He kept a picture of her on his board ever since..... reminding him not to repeat that mistake ever again.

                           ----- MocktailMommy Prasanna

Word Count : 150

                               This post is part of #FridayFotoFiction held jointly by  Tina or Mayuri

Aphonic Adieu

Agent Ron was baffled by the case.

 How I wish the puppets could speak, thought Ron. A famous ventriloquist was found dead amongst his puppets!

No signs of force. Insider job? The artist was a loner, though!

Notice Board in the study appeared deadly alive. Four things caught Ron’s attention; mind map of dialogues, snaps of stage, excel sheet and heavily crossed out photos.

Delving deeper, the secret spoke up!

Ms Linda was caught. She confessed to the crime when shown the excel sheet.

The artist and Ms Linda had parted ways a long while ago. After other failed relationships, she was penniless. She had details of artist’s account. Being busy, artist realized it quite later. Fuming, he called her up. She agreed to settle everything over dinner. Upon finishing dinner, he took her to studies. Before he could turn, whoosh went silencer gun.

The ventriloquist bade an aphonic adieu. 
------ By MocktailMommy Anagha
Word count: 150 words
This post is part of #FridayFotoFiction held jointly by  Tina or Mayuri

Cycle & Recycle

A cycle is the simple solution to some of the world’s most complicated problems. 

Is this what the cycle is silently screaming in RED

Spotted this old cycle refurbished with recycled items. It stood there with pride and a post "Re - cycle" just behind it, hanged on a tree trunk. 

----By MocktailMommy Anagha

Linking this post to #WorlessWednesday

Dark Trick

Starry, starry night.
Paint your palette blue and grey,
Look out on a summer's day…

Went the song. “Raise the volume”, she said. Chauffeur glanced from the rare view mirror at Roshani. Madam had been sulking a lot, especially after the traumatic wardrobe malfunction last week, he contemplated.

Looking out of the car’s window Roshani was struggling to figure out the tall buildings they were passing by. This damn dark night and minuscule yellow lights, she murmured…only to lose sight of world outside.

Gone were the carefree younger days and glamorous heady youthful days. She had lost track of life. The shadows of jealousy and treachery that were common at the back stage, slowly enveloped her! 

Drugs were her dens to hide insecurities.

Bank accounts started running dry, so do the so-called friends. Travelling on same road, one such black night, she remembered a dark trick in the books of modelling. 

She executed it perfectly…hundreds of flash bulbs illuminated, almost orchestrated!

She was back on track by selling her conscious this time!

----------By MocktailMommy Anagha
Word Count: 172
Thank you Priceless Joy for wonderful prompts week after week!
This week's photo prompt is provided by Pamela S. Canepa. Thank you Pamela!

Thankful For Blogging Contests #ThankfulThursdays 37

“BLOG ??? What’s that?”   

This was my first reaction last year when I heard it. I always thought that blogging is for those who are good at words and seriously, I’m definitely a misfit here! Even when a small writing part sneak peaked in my life, I had literally ran away from it!!!

         …but nothing is permanent!!!

One of MocktailMommy friend came up with a great idea last year and we 8 mommies agreed to start something new and exclusively for ourselves. 

It was a challenge, a contest in itself. Doing something out of our comfort zone was a big task!

After initial foray into the blogging we were running out of ideas to spread our wings. We stumbled upon the A To Z challenge in late March’17.

This contest transformed our lives. Our bonding with each other grew stronger. We started thinking in the ways that were out of box! Slipping into each other’s shoe to let the show go on was done effortlessly!

Then there was “Write Tribe’s” challenge as well.

Excitement is impossible when there is no contest, isn’t that true?

These contests had the catalytic effect on me. From the cocoon comes the butterfly… I had learnt it in science! These contests however made me enliven this wonderful phenomenon!

I am thankful that the Blogging contests, brought the writer in me to my knowledge! 

Suddenly facing the vast horizon, a canvas waiting for us to paint it, we were mesmerized! Blogging world and the contests there in, taught us many valuable lessons. The most vital ones for me are…

ü How to manage time and stick to the dead lines?
ü How to help each other?
ü How to write and communicate in this busy life?
ü Digital friends are as real as the real ones!
ü There is always something better hiding inside us. A challenge, a contest is a must to bring it to light!

Before blogging and the contests, I was just a fine arts artist. So my part was to take up the Art and Craft posts for our blog. I love to do paintings, learn new things  like mediums and art !!! Working out of my home, I conduct   Art & Craft, drawing classes for children. That's gives me lots of happiness.

Add to this the blogging contests! I became more confident, happy and I started loving myself more which is most important!

Blogging and contests gave me enough confidence and courage to write about myself, my passion, my work .... I am very thankful that it helped me, my soul to do what I love to do ! It is helping me to grow in my profession. Since last 5 months, I have started following many art and craft blogs regularly.  It helped me learn Mix Media art, making art journals, creating travel albums, etc. Oh! The list is getting longer and longer!

This all culminated in me creating my personal art and crafts blog. I have named it 'Artery Crate'. Now this is also a big part of my life. Its my little creation, my world! You are most welcome to visit me there!

I am thankful to the blogging and blogging contest because they taught me to stand out instead of trying to fit in! A thankful heart always remains a  happy heart!

-----By MocktailMommy Vidhi
*All pictures courtesy Pixabay
Linking this post to #ThankfulThursdays 37 hosted by Dr Amrita and Tina Basu

The Pied Piper, I Met

Have you ever met the Pied Pier? I have!

I recently bumped into one! He was not the one wearing that English coat or tie or the shiny polished shoes. Instead he wore an old but clean shirt and trouser. He had no boyish charm on his face. Rather the tan and the lines on his face talked of many tales. 

He was not form Hamelin... But that did not stop him to be qualified as the Pied Piper... He was a quintessential Pied Piper... 

It was an early afternoon. The rain Gods had finally given us some respite. The ever present sweat finally had gone...really? I am not sure though. The warmth of the day and the wetness of the atmosphere was just perfect! My mood was up-bit too! I had been postponing my visit to the market, off late. But not today, I thought. So here I was on the streets of the market. The place was hustling and bustling as ever... 

The familiar sights of stacked tomatoes in contrast with the green capsicums always had mesmerized me.  The cauliflower and cabbage, just like the twins, sat next to each other. Orange of the carrots was vying for the attention along with the marooned redness of the beet root! The fresh smell of the herbs enticed one and all! Aaha... I love vegetable market for the visual treat it offers! 

It was time to pick up the vegetables after I was fully drenched in the visual sight! Haggling over the price, I heard a tune. The notes were peculiar and I could make out that those were played on some wind instrument. The pull was so magnetic that I turned around in search of the sound. I searched the entire stretch of the road with my myopic eyes... but without any success! I dropped the bottle gourd and  began my search... as the tune was still in the air. I was captivated, hypnotized! This time I followed my ears... The hearing senses took the leader position. I just followed the leader! The leader did not disappoint me! The magical sound has finally led to its creator...

Here I was, standing next to the Pied Pier... 

I waited till he finished the tune. He was so engrossed in churning out the melody, that he had lost the track of the things happening around him. 

There was a tempo; goods were getting unloaded from it, right behind him. There were men and women who had encircled him. As the last note died in the air, the crowd around erupted in the round of applause. He was little bit startled! Then a faint smile appeared on his face. 

He was selling a "Peepani"... a wind instrument that can be made out of two pieces of paper or two leaves or two flat bamboo chip-lets. I remember having made some with the leaves when I was a kid. And my son had made it out of ice cream sticks as a part of his science project. While many gathered around him to buy the "Peepani", I wondered how this man can make a living out of selling a non essential stuff? How was he able to make both ends meet? I had many questions popping in my mind and ample time to spare as well. 

As the initial rush of the people buying Peepanis receded, I got the time to get close and personal with the Pied Piper. He was "Raju". He sold itsy-bitsy things to make up for the living. His shop was a mobile one, just like today... standing tall on his feet! More than anything else, he loved selling "Peepani". It was his passion for the music that led him to make and sell them. He found that he could dish out new and old songs with equal ease with this piper. And most important thing was that he loved what he was doing. He said it was "Izzat ki roti"...Bread by the sweat of brow and not by begging! 

This pied piper truly had a magical cast on me not because of the tune that he churned out but because of his uncomplicated take on life! 

--------------By MocktailMommy Anagha

Linking this post to #MondayMusings by Corinne of EverydayGyaan 

Catch That Lost The Match Of Life

Table Top was their favourite place. The Sunday morning dose of friendly match between two houses was a must for boys from Vidya Vardhini Boarding School. Nikhil and Chinappa, otherwise the best friends ever, fought like the adversaries on the field.

One Sunday changed everything forever. The match was about to be tied. It was the last ball of the match. Nikhil was at crease and Chinappa at the bowling end. Blowing fire, Chinnapa delivered a Yorker. Nikhil, quick on his feet, hit it for six. 

Chinappa shouted, “Mohan catch it.”

Mohan had his eye on the ball just like everyone. He started inching back. And before anyone could realise, he slid off the cliff… 
                    ...Never to be traced alive.

Nikhil and Chinappa, visit the Table Top, hand in hand, to pay tribute every year on the same day. 

         It was the catch that lost the match of life.

------By MocktailMommy Anagha
Word count: 148
Linking this post to #FridayFotoFiction hosted by Tina and Mayuri

Life Is A Box Of...

Life is a box of butterflies”, came a quick reply. It was from the most unexpected side of the table! The Man of the House was the first to respond.

We were sitting across the table and enjoying the dinner. As a usual practice, we engage in the discussion over a topic at this time of the day. These dinner time investments are a must for the overall health of my family. 

Tonight was no different from rest. Only thing that was distinct was the question being discussed! I thanked BlogAdda in the minds of my mind, the moment I saw the WOW prompt for this week. I was running out of the ideas to bring fresh topics to the table. And here was a golden ticket for an engaging discussion.  

Over the hot food, four of us were opening our hearts to one simple yet profound question… "Life is a box of…"

Reaching over to the glass of water, the Head of the House reflected, “Every second in my life is like a butterfly. They all have different colors and sizes. They are bright and catchy. Some are dark and little woody too! But I love them for their variety.” He soon was lost… as if all the butterflies had fluttered out of his box... to dance in front of his eyes, right here, right now!

The kiddo was very much eager to share. She was waiting for a chance. And the moment there was a silence, she jumped into the foray! “Life is a box of love. You know Mom, you love me, so does dad and so does Dada (elder brother). My friends love me and my teachers too! And I love you all. Where will I go without you all?” Twinkles in her eyes and the dimples on her cheeks made her answer so adorable! 

As I was exchanging the flying kiss with my kiddo, I heard the clearing of the throat. This chap’s voice is changing and right now its hoarse, to be honest. Can’t help it, part of growing stage!

Life is the box of assorted Belgian chocolates”, said the boy. “I am not copying my answer from Forest Gump”, he clarified. “Recently Prasanna aunty as well as Mr. Fabelio had presented us the Belgian delicacies. I am head over heels in love with them. Every other chocolate is a marvel. Life is like that for me… “Amazing”!

The Man of the house then turned to me and was gesturing at me to open up! I was lost in the sea of the thoughts by this time. Every answer felt like a new wave washing ashore and pleasing me with its sprinkles. Realizing that I am in the wonderland, he tapped on my hand.

Returning back to the dinner table, I said, “Life is a box of post cards with the stamps of gratitude. All post cards carry different images. Each one offers a different view and a different story. And most importantly, these post cards are there in my box of life, courtesy some or the other person and circumstances. Thanks to Almighty for a great variety!”

“So now we have to have four boxes, isn’t it Mom? Where to keep them?”, asked the honest voice.

The room was filled with laughter. I could feel the warmth of sunshine even at the dark hours of late evening! Another post card in my box of life...

-------By MocktailMommy Anagha
Picture courtesy Pixabay

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Proud to be declared as the Top IndiBlogger Post!

Pillars of Strength

Their eyes met each other's after a long gap of several months...or was it years?? 

He didn't remember. 

Dave and Matt hadn't been speaking to each other for a while. But today, they stood beside each other, becoming pillars of strength, supporting each other through their loss.

As the coffin lowered into the grave, a tear rolled down Dave's eye. As if Matt had read his mind, he hugged Dave tight. All through her final days, Matt's mother had tried to unite him with his dad.Yesterday she had breathed her last. He could not forget her whispered words. 

It was Matt's turn now to fulfill her last wish.

So, after the funeral, he drove his dad down to the cliff overlooking the ocean. They had spent many of his childhood days together here. He held his hand as they walked, never to leave it, ever again!!!

                                                        ----------By MocktailMommy Prasanna

Word Count - 148

                                      This post is part of #FridayFotoFiction jointly held by Tina and Mayuri.

The Potted Garden

After relocating to the country side, our next gate neighbor, Colonel James seemed to be a botanic. I admired his well-manicured garden.

I wished to enroll the services of his gardener.  So, here I was standing at the gate of his mystical garden. As I was about to enter, I heard a deep baritone, welcoming me.

After initial exchange of pleasantries, I inquired about his gardener. I could see the dance of the creases on Colonel’s forehead. Clearing his throat, he said, “I am the one!”


Reading my thoughts, Colonel led me inside and showed me five potted plants.

 “Meet my family. The yellow Sunflower, my wife. I was her Sun. The yellow-red marigold, my daughter. She brightens up my life! The white chrysanthemum, my mother. As divine as she used to be! The yellow chrysanthemum, my chap… always cheerful! And the last one, maroon chrysanthemum, my pup. She loved me selflessly”

I was puzzled.

“I lost them all to the earthquake”, echoed the baritone!

---By MocktailMommy Anagha
Word Count: 166

Linking this post to FFfAW Challenge #132

This week's photo prompt is provided by shivamt25. Thank you for our photo prompt!

Musical Silence

Silence is more musical than any song - Christina Rosetti

Eloquently silent bells! Hanging in rapt attention, these bells made the silence astonishingly musical! Were they giving the wordless company to the empty chair? 
Spotted at an upmarket restaurant at Viviana Mall, Thane, Mumbai.

----By MocktailMommy Anagha
Linking this post to #WorlessWednesday

Triple Scoop Microfiction

The Fallen Nest

Nayan heard the thud outside the window. The nest had fallen on the road…

She rushed out to have a look. The distress call of the birds filled the air. She felt the shrills and tremors. Her house, her nest came crumbling down too… 

...The fallen nest had saved her precious life!

No One Remembers!

Off late she had been behaving little strange thought the old man. May be it’s the empty nest that is making her long for company, attention and much sought after busy person stature, he mused.

Now that her birthday was approaching at a faster pace than ever, the grumpiness seemed to have grown in proportion. He thought of a plan to make her day special without letting her know of his moves…

“No one remembers”, thought Liz and opened the door in the morning at the call of the door-bell and saw the gifts with her name written in large print on them!

Are You Ready?

It seemed eternity for the darkest part to be over. She had been direly waiting for that  ray of hope as the ray of sunshine had failed to dawn on her.

But not today… after receiving a generous  donation!

Today she was going to see something that was her companion since childhood…she knew it only by its feel. “Are you ready to see the world, Anjali?”, asked the Ophthalmologist in ever assuring, gentle voice.

Smiling, Anjali took out her box of colour pencils and tears clouded her view!

---By MocktailMommy Anagha

 All the three stories were part of #SaturdayPrompt for #MicroFiction held by Write Tribe

All Pictures courtesy Pixabay

Linking this post to #MicroBlogMonday159