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Hello Patron. Good to see you here. Have a great reading time with us! Choose your pick and indulge! Don't forget to share your views. Thanks for visiting.

Frozen


Born to the business tycoon, he was the one with a silver spoon!

The football arena, the basketball ground, an amphitheater, and what not. He had everything that a teenager may fancy.

His favorite spot was the steps of the amphitheater. Come evening and he would rush out to them. Standing on one of the steps, he would peep over the wall.

“Raghav, Saumya, Lalit, Henry. Come over” he would shout.

“You only have shooed them away. You are bad”, he would rant.

“Gaurav baba, come down. They will come”, requested the soft voice.

“I will ask Mom to send you home. I hate you. You don’t let my friends in”

“Are you going to complain to Madam from here?”, she would quiz.

Rest of the evening would then be spent running round and round every corner.


A fatal accident five years ago, froze Gaurav’s age forever!

---------By MocktailMommy Anagha
Word Count: 147
Linking this post to #FridayFotoFiction by Tina and Mayuri



Dark Bitter But Not So Cool


The coffee mug and the round sun glasses, Aarav, the super star’s constant companions… Especially when it was a close encounter with media or fans.  Since past few months it had been a rage to own same.  
Many businesses thrived on his latest muse…  

Shooting at the exotic locales of New Zealand, Aarav had come across them, hinted the glossy magazine.  His romance with them seemed to have grown viral over the time!

His makeup man rose to fame too.  “Highest paid makeup man”, label was impressive.

Cat does come out of bag sooner or later…

In an inebriated state, the makeup man revealed the face behind, to the reporter. Aarav had suffered a major paralytic attack during his shoot at New Zealand. His left eye and the lower side of the left lip were adversely affected. After many unsuccessful cosmetic surgeries, he found the hide out, mug and the glasses!

Headline on Page 3 next day read… “Dark, Bitter But Not So Cool”

-----By MocktailMommy Anagha
Word Count: 164 words

Linking this post to Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers 134th Challenge by Priceless Joy

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


Moxie


Chilly winds, frosting snows and bare me! 
Oh I am enjoying! 
Just few more days and the warmth of Sun shine will melt away all the gloom and then....

..... I will bloom!!!

----By MocktailMommy Anagha
Met this moxie, the bare tree, standing outside our hotel room at Chandanwadi, Sri Nagar, India. 

Linking this post to #WordlessWednesday

Wardrobe Makeover

Every new season is the reason for makeover of the wardrobe

Oh, I am not talking about myself. Neither I am referring to the wardrobes of fashionistas. Look around, and you can witness that Mother Nature also keeps changing her wardrobe from time to time. Come summer and she is decked up with all the hues of bright yellow, orange, red and woody browns. With rainy season it wears all shades of grey, black, some tinges of blue and glistening greens! Come autumn- winter, there is riot of colors. Festivities in this season add to its exuberance. 

Mother Nature is a quintessential fashionista, isn't she?

My town is highly influenced by whatever Mother Nature does. Come Navaratri and its almost bye bye to the monsoon grays and monsoon sales! The market area of my city comes alive and bubbly with Navartri Street Mela. 

Reaching the main market area is bit damper. Thanks to uncivilized ways of parking and driving, one needs a bit of patience to survive honking and shouting! But the colorful canopies give you a respite.  They appear as the curios hats, trying to check out who all are visiting today!


Walking is good for health you see... that's what I have learnt from venturing into this market area since last two years! This way I get to soak even better into the vibrancy of the place. 

A part of the main market road is closed for traffic during Navaratri. It is where the real action is! This stretch reminded of the ramp walk. The man made and the God made were displaying the latest of the season here...



I spotted this lady selling Chaniya Cholis, right at the beginning of the street. Looking at the display, I got some random thoughts. She can be an asset as a window display expert with any of the upmarket apparel brand!  
Wasn't she selling motley joys and not just the clothes, the philosophical me had wondered!


In contrast to this was the chaos of the colours. More than the chaos, it appeared riot to me! No, no, no...it was neither chaos nor riot, but it was the kaleidoscopic view! Mid day Sun had added to the glory of the colors.


Then there was a lady selling prismatic 'dandiyas'. The lure of the variety and colours was so tempting that I ended up buying three four pairs. I hope they will add variegated splash to my 'Garba dance' this year!


The dash of the red, orange and yellow of clothes was aesthetically contrasted with the fresh green, white and purple of the vegetables. Though an every day feature of the street, it appeared brighter this time to my eyes. Was is only the sight or my peppy mood that gave it a freshness, I don't know...




I spotted a lovely coincidental camouflage. Lady in green offering healthy greens! She complimented the picture with a smile...




And then, there were many other attractions too! Happy faces of buyers and sellers, florist with his aromatic and fresh flowers, earthen lamps seller, jewelry stalls, etc to name a few. 



Even after spending an hour and half, I was still not ready to go back. But call of the duties had to be attended to...couldn't snooze that! Leaving my heart somewhere behind, in the hustle and bustle of the market, I returned home. A visit to such a lovely and lively place is  delightfully inspiring for the writer bug in my mind!
In tune with nature, my town indeed was in the process of wardrobe makeover! 

--------By MocktailMommy Anagha


Linking this post to #MondayMusings by Corinne


And To 


And to 
#TwinklyTuesday by mummascribbles



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
I dedicae this post to my lovely friends in Sharjah, Dubai and Abudhabi... Lekha, Twinkle, Hiranmayi, Tejas, Pratima, Bahavana, Aparna, Sneha, Almass, Sophia, Swati J, Swati P and Neena. 
And also to my Big B...Narayan!

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

This post has been judged as the winner of "Thankful Heart" for #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