Summer Scents

Daily Prompt

S’mores, salty ocean breezes, veggie burgers on the grill, sweaty people on the bus — what’s the smell you associate the most with summer?

I associate summer with lots of ice creams and mangoes.

I love eating mangoes. The heavenly smell of fresh Mangoes gives me an energy boost. Sometimes my mom has to seriously ban me from eating mangoes, as I eat so many of them that there is not much left for others. 😀

mango

I also love ice creams. I can have it everyday if my mom allowed me. So when the summer starts, there’s no one who can stop me from having ice cream as everybody loves to have it coz its so hot. 😉

icecream

To Whom It May Concern

Day 14: Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there.

Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter.

I got the word balance when I turned to page 29 of my recent novel. So I thought of writing balance a letter, telling it that everything is so meaningless without it.
Dear Balance,

I really like you. The way you enter anyone’s life and turn it upside down for a better future. Even though it does not seem good for us at the time but there comes a time when we are grateful that you came into our lives and made it better.

We always need you to make our present livable and enjoyable. Everything seems to be made for you so that they can have meaning only because of you.

You keep everything so beautifully levelled out be it nature, our lives, this earth, universe, matter, everything/everyone needs you.

Thanks for being there and making sense out of everything.

Love You,
Me

Finding Memories

Day 13: Earlier in the course, you wrote about losing something. Today, write about finding something. For your twist, view day four’s post and today’s post as installments in a series.

I wrote about losing my cousin in Day 4 posts. It was hard, but now I have to write about finding something, I find it equally hard as expressing my emotions is always difficult for me.

A few weeks back, I was clearing my cupboard that had my books. I hadn’t cleared it since I left college 2 years back. I needed space for my novels. My study table was full of it and my mom was pushing me to clear this space. While clearing space I found many of my college books all those sweet and happy memories of college.

Then I found an old photo of all my friends in a book. I don’t remember putting it there. It looked like a photo of my group of friends on College Fest in our first year. It conjured up so many pleasant and happy memories. We all looked so young and so carefree and having the time of our lives. We were all so new in the college during the fest and made great friends during that time.

friends-2

Our fest was divided over 3 days. 1st day was the Technical Fest which we didn’t attend as had no interest in it and had to prepare for the 2nd day of our fest which was the Sports Fest, we were really excited about it as we were all participating in some or the other Sport. I was participating in Badminton Singles and Doubles both. I loved playing Badminton. It was fun playing with all my college mates. Although I lost in the semi-finals but I still loved playing with all my friends. My college won in most of the sports, so we had a big party after the Fest. It was a lot of fun and kept on celebrating even on our way to home.

The 3rd day was the Cultural Fest. They had a presentation ceremony for all the winners who had won on the 1st and 2nd days of the Fest. Then they had a cultural program where there were group and solo dance performances and also, singing performances as well as plays. It was a great day and we reached home quite late as we had off on the next 2 days.

I was still thinking about those college days when my mom entered my room and saw all the books and papers scattered around my room. She gave me that exasperated and angry look that I cleared the room in record time. 😉

Fighting Kids

Day 12: Today, write a post with roots in a real-world conversation. For a twist, include foreshadowing.

I was travelling through metro this past weekend and heard two kids fighting over a video game. They were fighting over whose turn it was to play next. Their mom was sitting on the seat opposite them, so tired that she let her kids fight instead of stopping them. All the women/girls in the metro compartment were staring at those 2 kids and also staring at their mom why is she not stopping the fight.

Both the kids were looking so cute with their matching clothes (looked like they were twins) even though they were fighting over the game. (By the way I love kids!! 🙂 ). But their poor mother was so tired and worn out that she seemed like she is in no condition to stop them. Eventually the kids started kicking and slapping each other, then only their mom came in between them and stopped them from fighting. She tackled both of the kids so deftly without even scolding them or even saying a harsh word even though she was so tired. I really liked her way.

I have seen many parents who get irritated easily these days and start scolding their kids or sometimes slap their kids in public. I don’t like that kind of treatment of kids. Kids need a soft hand and a sweet nature in a parent who can be strict with them when required. Even if they are naughty or they don’t listen to their parents, parents should not loose their patience and never slap of beat their children.

Sleepy Time

More and more of us go to bed too late because of sleep procrastination. What are the nighttime rituals that keep you up before finally dozing off?

 I am usually so sleepy that it takes no time to sleep.

But sometimes, I lie in my bed and wait for sleep to come. It takes time and I find myself staring at the opposite wall and reliving my day and also think if my day could have been better or I could have done something other than what I did.

Sometimes I think of reading a book. I always think that I’ll read for 10 mins but end up reading for almost an hour. Then I force myself to put down the book so that I can sleep. But after that also it takes time to go to sleep as my mind keep going back to the plot of the book. Those nights are very hard as it takes a lot of time to go to sleep.

Adjusting to a New Home

Day 11: Tell us about the home where you lived when you were twelve. Which town, city, or country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? Who lived there with you? Today’s twist: pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, medium, and long sentences as you compose your response about the home you lived in when you were twelve.

When I was 12 we had just shifted to our new home. It was a 2 bedroom apartment that my parents had bought with their hard earned money. It was a new experience for me as I was not used to live away from my grandparents (we used to live with them before this). I love them a lot and adjusting to a new place without them was hard for me. My mom tells me I started sleep walking and whenever she caught me opening the front door, I used to tell her that I am going to my grandma and will sleep with her. I had always slept with my grandma before. Even if we came back late in the night, I used to wake up my grandma and sleep with her. So sleeping without her was really hard for a 12 year old me. She used to tell me lots of folk stories or stories of how they came to India during the partition. I used to miss that. But then they came to visit us for a few days and I was so happy.

After listening about my sleepwalking, my grandma helped me sleep normally and also explained to me that she had to be with my Uncle as his kids are really small and need her. And I am a grown girl and can look after myself and my sister. I tried and after almost 3-4 months was successful in sleeping normally. It was hard for us adjusting to a new place as my dad had lived in our previous home all his life. The markets were far away from our place and we didn’t know much about the neighbors. We adjusted and changed our lifestyle a lot to adjust there.

One thing I found soothing was that I didn’t have to change my school. I could go to the same school but the school bus came far from our home. So my dad used to leave us in the morning to our bus stops but we had to trek a long way while coming back. My parents were both working so my sister and me used to stay at a neighbors place till the evening. They were a great couple and that aunty was a great neighbor to us and took care of us a lot. We formed a great bond with her and her husband. They didn’t have any child but we were as good as theirs. We still talk on the phone sometimes although its been years that I have met them. Uncle was such a great painter and he taught us that you can draw anything as long as you have a pen or pencil. You can create anything from anything. He used to create such a great pieces of drawings from anything you give him. We still remember them very fondly.

Those times have taught me and my sis that we can survive anywhere but a home is the only place where we can live peacefully and happily. And its not made of bricks and walls, its made by the people who live in it and the people who live around you. 🙂

Happy Comfort Food

Day 10: Tell us about your favorite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory. Today’s twist: Tell the story in your own distinct voice.

Childhood was really special for me. I think it is for everyone. I remember when I was a child my mom used to make Suji Halwa whenever there was a happy occasion (she still does). It  is a delicious and sweet dessert made from suji(semolina) cooked till dry in sugar water. Whether it was someone’s birthday in the family, or someone’s promotion has come up, or if we children got good marks in an exam or any such big or small occasion, Suji halwa used to be prepared.

Even if anyone was sad or unhappy about something, my mom used to make that special halwa and everything felt right after eating it. It felt like magic. It was like comfort food for everyone in the family.

We used to find excuses so that my mom could make us Suji halwa. The sweet taste of it made us forget everything but that tasty delicacy. I have eaten many types of dishes and tried lots of cuisines, but I can’t resist that home made Suji halwa. Below is the pic and the recipe for it. Try it and let me know if you like it.

halwa

Recipe of Suji Halwa:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Cup – Sooji/Semolina/Rawa
  • 1/2 Cup – Sugar
  • 1 3/4 Cups – Water
  • 2 tbsp – Ghee
  • 1/2 tsp – Fresh Crushed Cardamom
  • 1/2 tbsp – Raisins/Kismiss
  • 10-12 – Halved Cashew nuts/Almonds

METHOD:

  1. In a pan, heat ghee and roast, until golden brown, cashews/almonds and raisins, take care not to burn raisins, keep aside.
  2. In the same, add semolina and roast in low to medium flame until aromatic and brown, keep stirring while roasting so semolina doesn’t get burnt. Once it’s hot if you let it rest even for 30 seconds, semolina will get burn.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small pan or pot bring water to boil.
  4. Add sugar to water to make sugary syrup. Once it boils, add it to semolina and mix together, keep stirring until water is absorbed fully and rava gets cooked.
  5. Now add crushed cardamom powder, raisins, cashews/almonds and mix well, cook for 1-2 minutes or until halwa becomes completely dry. Flame off.
  6. Serve hot, warm or even at room temperature.

Point Of View

Day 9: A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene. Twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

James’ Mother

We were walking through the park in the morning. It was one of the beautiful days of spring and I felt really peaceful as after a long time James had taken out time for me from work. These past few days he had been very anxious and sullen. He was hiding something from me and I was determined to know what’s bothering him today. It was then that we saw her, an old woman.

She was sitting on a bench and knitting a red sweater. She looked familiar but I couldn’t place her. When we came close to her, I looked at James to ask him if he knew her also and saw that he had tears glistening in his eyes. I was astonished to see them as I know James is a very strong person and in the last few years that I had known him he has never cried in front of me. I looked again at the old woman. Thats when she raises her head and meets my stare in the eye and then I recognize those hazel cat like eyes, just like James.

*****

It had been 2 weeks that I came to know that my mother was still alive and since then I had been looking for her. Sheila was also beginning to suspect that I am hiding something from her. How can I tell her this that my father had lied to me about my mother’s death. Even after 2 weeks, I have not come to believe this. Why did dad do this to me and how can I ask him as he is not here anymore. I have tried and tried to find my mom but she’s not in the asylum where they were keeping her since I was a child. I should tell Sheila about this.

Then I saw an old woman sitting on a bench. Ohh my God!! Can she be my mother for whom I had been looking for her since the past 2 weeks. I can’t believe I have found her. My eyes are so full of hot tears that her face is swimming before me. I still can’t believe I have found her here in the park sitting on a bench knitting a sweater.

*****

I have to knit this for my sweet child. I have been waiting for him for so long. Its been so many years that I saw him, will he recognize me. If they had not kept me in that awful asylum I would have been with my son all this while. How big would he have become, why did he not came to meet me in the asylum. I had to run away from the asylum just to see him. My head hurts and my stomach is growling as its been so many days that I have not had something to eat.

Who is this couple who have been staring at me for so long. The woman is looking at me as if she has not seen an old woman before with curiosity, recognition in her eyes. Does she recognize me, does she know my son. I do have those same eyes. The man looks a bit familiar and he has tears in those eyes, who look at me with astonishment and love. Thats when he wipes the tears away from those hazel catlike eyes that I can recognize anywhere. My son!! He can only be my son.

Thats when everything goes blank and I am absorbed by the darkness.

*****

 

Visit to a Bookstore

Day 8: Go to a local café, park, or public place and report on what you see. Get detailed: leave no nuance behind. Today’s twist: write an adverb-free post.

I went to visit a bookstore yesterday to buy some books and comics as weekend was starting and I didn’t have anything to read. On entering the store, I felt the same excitement that I feel around books. The rows and rows of books start calling to me like a best friend would on meeting after a long time.

I wander around looking for the stuff to buy and also reading along as to the new books in store or to see if there is some sort of sale was on (we always hope for sale wherever we are 😉 ). Many of my fellow book enthusiasts are looking for their own preferred books. It feels good to have people around to share your interests. I stop and browse the fiction column for some interesting books, also I love romantic novels so, I check out the Mills and Boons section. 

Then there is the comics section. Archies and Tinkle are some of my fav comics. Jughead, Betty and Veronica, Archie, Suppandi are some of my fav characters. I also loved the super heroes Spiderman, Batman, X-Men in my childhood but I outgrew them, now I like to watch their movies only. 😉

The woody and crisp smell of a new book is so tempting that I can’t resist buying a lot of books. There goes my money for new shoes but I’ll buy them some other time.

Give and Take: My Way

Day 7: Focus today’s post on the contrast between two things. The twist? Write the post in the form of a dialogue.

I am thinking of buying a new phone and searching for a good smart phone. Many people around me have given me advice on iPhone and android. So I thought why not highlight the differences between them through a conversation between them.

iPhone_or_Android

 

A latest model of Android and an iPhone 5s are conversing in a mobile store:

Android: Hey iPhone, look I have come out in a new slimmest model with the newest Kitkat android version.

iPhone: So what? People still like me better, want to buy me and eagerly wait for my new versions.

Android: No, they are looking at me and want to buy me as I am easy to buy and easy to use.

iPhone: But they consider me as their ideal phone and have dreams of buying me. I am like a God of mobile phones.

Android: You a God!! Huhh!!!! Look at my new deigned models, my good camera(14 MP) quality, my new octa-core processor, easy to use and adopt and a big screen. How can you even compare to me. You have the same designed model, only 5 MP camera and a small screen.

iPhone: Say whatever you want to, but if you don’t have an iPhone, you don’t have an iPhone.. 😛

Just then a customer enters the store, looks at both the phones, although the android phone is the recent model but he buys an iPhone and tells the store salesman that he had been wanting to buy the iPhone for so long and had been saving money for it from some time.

The iPhone (while being packed) on hearing this gives a superior look to the Android phone. 😉