Category Archives: Storybook

Change Of Weather

We’re running out of things to say to each other. It seems as if you don’t like me very much anymore.

You hate my car, my home, my gadgets, my life – everything that makes me successful. You want us to go back to a simpler life, for me to work harder for lesser. But I have for centuries and millennia and time eternal. Now it’s time for pleasure. It’s called progress. You see green, it was never my favourite colour. I like steel and grey a lot better.

So you turn moody. It’s just like you to want to ruin my day. Starve me by burning it all up. You know, nobody likes someone who’s always raining on their parade. And yet I try, with I love yous and other peacekeeping tactics. Earth Hour. World Environment Day. Special days. Everyday used to be special. Do you remember?
I do.

Summer days where you’d wrestle me to the ground and we’d make hard, mango-scented love. Winter nights kissing me lightly awake, keeping me up talking poetry. Endless evenings standing still on the beach so still, like God stopped breathing and look, that sliver of blood moon, the tip of his big toenail as he says Peace Out.

How bold we were, how brave to play these toxic games of evolution and success, pain and pleasure. We were baiting danger at leisure. We managed to keep love, quite at bay.

Let us try to believe that even when the eyes are cold, the visions behind them are not. We are, after all, the casualties of Life’s war against itself. But you are still angry, your moodswings have given me a cold. I’ve cried all I want to, for you. And you’ve exploded far more than you can afford. But we my love, have never learnt to speak. My poetry, I see, won’t touch you any more. It’s too late to salvage what we had.

So we’ll go back to talking about the weather and you can blame it all on me again. And some day perhaps, long after I’m gone, another lover, another child, standing with you under a different sun, another season, will find lined across your body, the stretch marks of our life together and wonder whether they were not your first love.

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CHANGE OF WEATHER We’re running out of things to say to each other. It seems as if you don’t like me very much anymore. You hate my car, my home, my gadgets, my life – everything that makes me successful. You want us to go back to a simpler life, for me to work harder for lesser. But I have for centuries and millennia and time eternal. Now it’s time for pleasure. It's called progress. You see green, it was never my favourite colour. I like steel and grey a lot better. So you turn moody. It’s just like you to want to ruin my day. Starve me by burning it all up. You know, nobody likes someone who’s always raining on their parade. And yet I try, with I love yous and other peacekeeping tactics. Earth Hour. World Environment Day. Special days. Everyday used to be special. Do you remember? I do. Summer days where you'd wrestle me to the ground and we'd make hard, mango-scented love. Winter nights kissing me lightly awake, keeping me up talking poetry. Endless evenings standing still on the beach so still, like God stopped breathing and look, that sliver of blood moon, the tip of his big toenail as he says Peace Out. How bold we were, how brave to play these toxic games of evolution and success, pain and pleasure. We were baiting danger at leisure. We managed to keep love, quite at bay. Let us try to believe that even when the eyes are cold, the visions behind them are not. We are, after all, the casualties of Life’s war against itself. But you are still angry, your moodswings have given me a cold. I've cried all I want to, for you. And you've exploded far more than you can afford. But we my love, have never learnt to speak. My poetry, I see, won’t touch you any more. It's too late to salvage what we had. So we’ll go back to talking about the weather and you can blame it all on me again. And some day perhaps, long after I’m gone, another lover, another child, standing with you under a different sun, another season, will find lined across your body, the stretch marks of our life together and wonder whether they were not your first love. ——————————————– I wrote this for an event about climate change, a few years ago. #theideasmithy

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

The Almost Virgin Experience

I tried something again after a long time. What do you think?

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

“I’m looking for experiences.” You measure experiences, like they’re marks on a wooden scale, the kind you and I remember from matched childhoods. And it makes us both laugh. But I hear the anxiety under your eagerness, the lust beneath your fretting.

We talk of these things, of shared pasts, of possible futures carefully avoiding the idea of convergence. Sometimes this means comparing where we diverge. You comment on all that I have seen while I listen, pondering all that you have, but never been able to name.

I tell you I’ve read the first chapter of many, many books once. Of some, just a page here, a paragraph there, not even the first always. A passing glimpse of what is but lacking context, it could be anything really. You’ve read one single book thoroughly from cover to cover and backwards and upside down and fine print and even the print under the print, the words between the lines in the invisible ink of imagination only.

We talk for hours, every exchange foreplay. Whatever happens will be just a metaphor of us. “I don’t like hickeys” you tell me “but biting is okay.” “What about scratching?” I ask, a question that leaves you dumbfounded. Is it because it never occurred to you or because you’ve never had the language to describe fantasy? I watch the idea take root. And I wonder how much to dig in to make this grow, how much will break you. Eventually, I let chemistry decide.

And by the time scratches show, there is a wall between us thicker than clothes, distance and language. Maybe that’s the price to pay for mingling in one another as if we were nothing but pure ether.

Later when we pass, me having shed worry, guilt, attachment and you, having collected the experiences you craved, our eyes meet. This time, we both have skin and names and boundaries. But our eyes are the same. Ether starts to leak. And one of us turns away, wondering if the other understands the thing we never say,

These are just things that get said between bodies, things that happen between people. Lust knows no morality and neither does language.

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THE ALMOST VIRGIN EXPERIENCE "I'm looking for experiences." You measure experiences, like they're marks on a wooden scale, the kind you and I remember from matched childhoods. And it makes us both laugh. But I hear the anxiety under your eagerness, the lust beneath your fretting. We talk of these things, of shared pasts, of possible futures carefully avoiding the idea of convergence. Sometimes this means comparing where we diverge. You comment on all that I have seen while I listen, pondering all that you have, but never been able to name. I tell you I've read the first chapter of many, many books once. Of some, just a page here, a paragraph there, not even the first always. A passing glimpse of what is but lacking context, it could be anything really. You've read one single book thoroughly from cover to cover and backwards and upside down and fine print and even the print under the print, the words between the lines in the invisible ink of imagination only. We talk for hours, every exchange foreplay. Whatever happens will be just a metaphor of us. "I don't like hickeys" you tell me "but biting is okay." "What about scratching?" I ask, a question that leaves you dumbfounded. Is it because it never occurred to you or because you've never had the language to describe fantasy? I watch the idea take root. And I wonder how much to dig in to make this grow, how much will break you. Eventually, I let chemistry decide. And by the time scratches show, there is a wall between us thicker than clothes, distance and language. Maybe that's the price to pay for mingling in one another as if we were nothing but pure ether. Later when we pass, me having shed worry, guilt, attachment and you, having collected the experiences you craved, our eyes meet. This time, we both have skin and names and boundaries. But our eyes are the same. Ether starts to leak. And one of us turns away, wondering if the other understands the thing we never say, These are just things that get said between bodies, things that happen between people. Lust knows no morality and neither does language. (Swipe right for poetry) #theideasmithy #erotica 🎶: BLACK MAGIC WOMAN – Carlos

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

I Also Miss You In The Winter 

This is part of my Seasonal Nostalgia series.

I Also Miss You In The Winter

Like a long forgotten, but much loved sweater, the memory of him tumbled into sight, when she was taking one of her solitary walks. She paused outside his door and stood for a long time, before walking away.

When she got home, hours later, there were footprints outside her door, matching his shoes.

Follow my writings on https://www.yourquote.in/ideasmithy

The What-if Shop

There is a little known corner in that place in your mind where Nostalgia resides. In it, a ramshackle hut bears the name, ‘What-if Shop’. If you brave the journey to find that place, you find it stocked in incomplete wishes, unfulfilled desires and half-remembered dreams.

The What-if Shop stands true, even as life places hurdles in your way. He who wears out a clear path to this place, lives forever in a life lit by an unknown lamp. The shop places no prices on its wares. The What-if Shop is hard to find but it rewards its patrons well.

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Tiny Tales: The Apple Lion

I realised during the Alphabet Sambar meet yesterday that I wrote this story but never put it up. So here it is for your childhood-scented reading pleasure. Don’t forget to play!

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

The Apple Lion

It started with a spelling test. Ma’am had threatened the class with one later in the week.

“If you have all been studying like good children, you will have no problem. All the bad children who think they can learn everything in one day, they will all FAIL!! And they will be made to stand outside Father Philip’s office! And their parents will be called. And they will also have to sit outside Father Philip’s office. When they see their parents sitting outside Father Philip’s office, then they will think…Oh, I should have studied when ma’am told me to. Otherwise my whole family would not be sitting outside the principal’s office!!”

And she swept out of the class with a menacing clack of heels. Anusuya turned to Minnal, worry pushing the corners of her lips down. She looked just like Ronald MacDonald but with his face upside down. Then Rahil shot a paper pellet at her and she turned to him, frown gone. Fahim was picking his nose, so they started teasing him.

Manu watched them all from under his elbows, his head down on the table. He tried to think of all the big words that they had come across, in the chapters so far. He didn’t want Anusuya to fail. He liked her even though she looked like Ronald MacDonald with her curly, short hair. He lifted his head. Immediately Minnal turned in his direction so he looked away and right into his book. A word swum into focus, just as a paper pellet hit him on the back.

APHELION.

Affy-leen. Apay-le-yon.  Appa-lion. He tried the word on his tongue several times. It didn’t work. Then the chemistry sir slippered into class. Manu always thought of it that way, even though his father had told him that there was no such a thing as ‘slippering’. But sir made a terrific sound with his rubber slippers slapping on the floor. Manu had tried it at home but he couldn’t get the same effect, till he went into the bathroom and slapped his feet around on the wet tiles. Maushi had complained to his mother and she had come and yanked him out of the bathroom, telling him to let the maid do her work. Slipper-slipper-slipper, sir’s feet made that sound announcing his arrival. Everyone straightened in their seats and opened their chemistry textbooks.

That evening, Manu walked to tuition class. He tried slippering but it wouldn’t work with his canvas shoes. Then he passed the empty ground next to tuition didi’s house. Somebody had thrown a half-eaten apple into the compound. He kicked it as he passed. It reminded him of that word he had seen earlier in class. What was it?

Apple-lion.

Idea! He sat down on the staircase and took out his dictionary.

Aphelion

  1. the point farthest from the sun in the orbit of a planet or comet.
  2. the point in the orbit of any orbiting body farthest from the body about which it revolves.

There was a diagram below it showing earth and moon. He looked up, hearing a chatter of voices. Minnal, Fahim and Anusuya entered the building. They paused when they saw him, then they continued. Anusuya asked him,

“What are you doing?”

Manu told her,

“I’m making a game.”

“What game?”,

she bent next to him, looking at the open dictionary.

“It’s to help me remember the spellings,”

said Manu, shutting the books and stuffing them back into his bag.

They had an hour of sums to do. Manu was pulled up once for drawing in his workbook.

“What are these??”

tuition didi demanded, looking at the blobs he had scribbled that morning in class.

“Apples”

said Manu. He didn’t want to reveal his game yet.

“And what about these?”

she asked, pointing to three stick figures with squiggly lines on their tops.

“Lions”

Manu replied in a small voice.

Minnal giggled again, while Fahim tried to laugh and pick his nose at the same time.

When the class was over though, Anusuya sidled upto Manu and asked him,

“So what’s the game?”

Manu looked up from putting away his books, smiling.

“Tomorrow”, he told her, “Come for tuition half an hour early tomorrow. But meet me in the ground.”

Then he looked over her shoulder and gestured with his chin.

“Bring them also.”

The next day Manu told his mother that tuition didi had called them early to prepare for the test. As he reached the ground, he realized they had all come, even Rahil, though he was not in their tuition class.

“Well, what’s the game?”

Rahil demanded as Manu approached them.

Manu took out a sheet of paper on which he had written out all the hard words from the chapter. Then he explained the rules.

“This is the Earth”,

he said, drawing a circle around where they stood, in the dust with his shoe. Then he ran backwards, till he reached the compound wall. From there he began drawing a line in the dust around the Earth circle, till he reached the same point again. The kids watched him curiously.

“And this is the road the moon goes on, around the Earth.”

“No, no, the sun goes around the Earth,”

Minnal insisted.

“Stupid, Earth goes around sun,”

Rahil corrected her.

“And moon also goes around Earth.”

Anusuya added.

Minnal looked crestfallen but they all fell silent, turning to him.

“You will all be satellites. I will stand over here,”

said Manu, pointing to the ground, where he stood next to the compound wall.

“I will call out one word. If it is Minnal’s turn, she must spell out the word. Each letter in the word means, she takes one step to the moon road. Like if I say ‘Sun’, she takes a step for S, then U and then N. If you don’t know the spelling of the word, you pass. The next person takes that turn.”

Fahim scratched his nose. Manu rushed on before the finger went into the nose.

“If everyone passes, everybody has to go back to Planet Earth. Then I will spell the word correctly and we will take a new word.”

Minnal screwed up her forehead.

“What happens when we reach the moon road?”

Rahil asked.

Manu hadn’t thought about it but noticing Anusuya’s smile gave him a new idea.

“Then you become a satellite. If Minnal doesn’t know the word I give, then she can ask you for a new word.”

“Minnal doesn’t know any words!”

said Fahim, gravely studying a grey blob on his finger as he spoke.

Minnal opened her mouth but when she saw Fahim’s hand, she shut up.

“How do you spell satelli..”

Anusuya began.

Manu drowned her out speaking as loudly as he could. He didn’t want Fahim to say Anusuya didn’t know any words.

“The satellite people will try to reach me as fast as they can by spelling the words I give. If you make a mistake, the satellite explodes and you fall back onto Planet Earth.”

“Satellites are not explosive, stupid!”

said Minnal.

“In this game, they are. They are bomb-satellites. They have to reach the finish without exploding.”

Fahim had dropped to his knees to tie his sneakers.

“First one to reach where I am standing is the winner. That person takes this list and gets to call out new words for the others.”

“What is this game called?”

Anusuya wanted to know.

“Apple Lion”, Manu replied. “That’s where I’m standing. It’s the apple lion of this game. It means the point furthest on the moon road from Earth.”

They liked the name. They began to play. Surprisingly Minnal won the first game and became the Apple Lion. And the first word she gave Manu was ‘Aphelion’. He pretended he didn’t know its spelling though he had recited it twenty times the previous day. Anusuya was next and she got it right. He wanted her to be the next Apple Lion.

The next day they played it, walking around on tin cans tied under their feet. Everyone got the spelling of ‘Stilts’ right. By Day 3, everyone knew all the answers and they made him promise he’d bring a fresh Apple Lion list from another chapter, the next day.

Manu went home and ate his dinner without complaint. He didn’t even notice that there was tindli in the sabzi. The Apple Lion was going to pass the spelling test with full marks.

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

#Ideastory: Artist of Reality

Reality Artist

He’s an artist of reality.

He shoots
seconds after the shutters click
when people aren’t posing anymore.

Only with his eyes.

#DIYCreativeClub: Throwback

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This is for CassyFry’s #DIYCreativeClub challenge. Today’s prompt was ‘Throwback’.

If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

 

#DIYCreativeClub: Hope

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For CassyFry’s #DIYCreativeClub challenge. Today’s prompt was ‘Hope’.

If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Tiny Tales: Luka

I wrote this for an Alphabet Sambar prompt. Several members of the group said they did not get it. But two others did and liked it. Tell me what you think. Also, to keep from biasing you, I’ve posted the prompt at the bottom of the story and not here.

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

Luka

The man clutches the bottle to him, his spirit hungrier than his stomach, for succor. The glass is warm, from hours of holding and caressing. But it stays unyielding. He clutches it closer. The drink is long gone and he has no money for more. But he is convinced that the magical respite it brings, has seeped through to the bottle. He will take the bottle with him. He has paid for it, fair and square.

The fingers of his left hand close over its neck and he picks it up. His right hand supporting its base, he curls it up inside him, warm from the weather outside.

“Mine.” he croons.

On the street, an old woman stares at him. Her hair turns to hissing snakes as he passes, but he knows she is harmless. Medusa fallen from the grace of a Greek god. She told him her story once, how her lover had cut her and dropped her like garbage, because his mother didn’t approve. She was a kindred soul in agony. She frowns at him now.

“What you got there?”

“A handful of wishes.” He replies, allowing her a peek at the lovely succor his coat has been hiding. But only a peek. Kindred or not, he won’t share.

“Mine.” he mutters.

“Won’t bring her back, you know.”

He gives her a gentle smile. He knows, of course. It’s the first rule. Or maybe it’s the second. No wishing for love, no wishing to bring back the dead. But she’s looking at the bottle so hungrily now that he moves away. No one must know what he has.

He reaches his building door and looks up. He strokes the bottle but nothing happens.

“LUKA!!” he says.

The noise in his right ear gets louder and he stumbles. Then, two small hands reach around his waist and start to pull him up the staircase. He reminds himself to recast the wishes better in the morning. He doesn’t like being kept waiting at his own door.

“You’re late, Luka.”

“I fell asleep.” says the little voice, slightly muffled in his jacket.

“Djinns don’t sleep.”

The man smiles. He remembers his training. Djinns are very sly creatures but they are pure magic. This one has an angelic face. He looks exactly like a nine year old. Luka. But Luka is magic. He can make wishes come true, provided those wishes are correctly framed. Mostly he is really very good. But with djinns you never know. He has to keep an eye on the bottle at all times.

“Mine.” he whispers again. His elbow knocks against the djinn’s head, as his grasp tightens around the bottle and he hears a little cry. The djinn looks up at him, eyes filling with tears. He puts his left hand on the little head and strokes the hair. Such a guileless face. The eyes just like hers.

They reach the door and Luka lets him go. Immediately the man crumples, his knees buckling. The bottle falls out of his hand and rolls away. He lunges after it in panic and grabs hold of it, before it hurtles over the staircase. Luka is still standing at the doorway frozen.

“You little shit. You made me fall. Trying to break the bottle, are you?”

He gets to his feet, not unsteady anymore. The bottle has given him some of its power, from four hours of holding.

Only the old woman on the street hears Luka scream.

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

The prompt was:  Dijnns are cursed malevolent entities known to twist innocent wishes. Dijnns are like temptations; fulfilling wishes without hard work. Dijnns represent the ‘easy way’ to get our wants. So this prompt is to write about the wishes that Dijnns can fulfil or can’t fulfil. You can write about Djinns and or wishes, together or individually. Write about you as a Djinn and the interesting journey you have had. Or write about a conversation that you may have with a Djinn. Or go personal and write about personal wishes. How your wishes make you different from others, and how much you are willing to risk to fulfil your wishes. Or go all psychological, ‘Why do you wish what you wish?’ Also remember, “Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.” Couldn’t resist the song, from pussy cat dolls :).

*If you’re a lover of words and like the idea of prompts, join Alphabet Sambar. We’re always happy to meet new members. Alphabet Sambar is on Facebook and Twitter. To attend a meet, shoot me an email at ideasmithy[at]gmail[dot]com.

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