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Asha's Blog

~A Cauldron of Thoughts~

On Writing Styles

Let me tell you something. As a kid, I wasn’t particularly fussy, but yet someone with peculiar tastes. God bless my mother, how she put up with my myriad moods is mystery to me.  It was many years later that I was going to learn about Wilde’s popular and my mantra for life – Be you, everybody else is taken. But somehow even at the age of two, it quite influenced me.

I grew up with this natural urge to be different. When I started to write, the urge took the shape of a hungry blistering monster. Today, as a writer, the hunger drives me. But it isn’t just fantasy, it’s the need. And for many years, I did not know how to be that. How do you be different in an ocean-full of a zillion writers out there?

In the fall of 2005, when I read Jhumpa Lahiri for the first time, a tiny spark of inspiration hit as realisation lit the dark room of my mind. I knew I wanted to write like her. Not in the sense of what she writes, but how she writes. Word after word, I was drowning in her stories and I knew I wanted to create that kind of impact on my readers too. And then, I just knew what I missed.

I needed to have a style of my own. A writing style, that was by me, for me.

So what’s a writing style? Let’s just say – it’s how you dress your words; how you express yourself.

Unless you find that style, you are going to be lost. It’s the light that leads you through a dark eerie tunnel; that saves you. And let me correct myself – it’s not something you find, but something you create. Not something you adopt, but something you invent.

I cringe when I see lengthy paragraphs smothering pages. It immediately makes me skip the page. As a reader, I’m someone who has a short term memory for remembering things when I’m reading. A long paragraph just dies half way with me. And so I hate to adapt to that writing style. But that’s not all. Creativity also greatly defines your style.

I guess what I’m trying to say is,

Write long, write short. Make it interesting, make it descriptive. Make it something.

No one wants to read anything. If you have a reader walk up to your blog, the least you want is to have them stay and if possible, come back again. And it’s only your writing style that gets them hooked. Who otherwise has the time really?

Whether you write long prose or short poems, only your writing style differentiates you from the lot. So explore, experiment, and do not settle until you’ve made it.

What’s your writing style? What are your thoughts on having a unique writing style? Do share a word or two.

(In my next article, I shall share bits on some writing styles.)

Asha Seth

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What is Poetry?

What is poetry? I know not. I’m a mere amateur trying to be someone. Mind you, not like someone. Poetry, to me is elusive. I know about poetry just as much a new-born knows about the wide vast world. It’s an ocean to me, and I try swimming across, trying to reach somewhere. With words as my oars, I beat the waves.

What is poetry? I know not. I merely build castles of thought, words upon words. The bleak ones collapse, I sulk at the debris. Some laugh at me, mock me, and I’m lost in despair. Some manage to stay put, and give me hope. Poetry is mystery, and I’m a hopeless gumshoe.

What is poetry? I know not. I merely paint, draw, and write. With smiles, sometimes sobs, the canvas is filled with pieces of me, hidden in the sketches, between the letters. Poetry is like love; unconditional, carefree. I know not what’s good and what’s not. I know no rules, no styles. I bleed in my heart’s colours.

What is poetry? I know not. I merely try. When I crumble, poetry holds me on. The invisible bunch of words on the blank page in front of me, beckons me, to come drape them, with my nascent randomness. I stow the shy feeling as they invite me as their own. Frost, Cummings, Whitman, and Poe, they don’t belittle me anymore.

Asha Seth

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A Fresh Canvas

I’m a wanderer with nomadic thoughts. Never settled, never stable. A restless mind dominates my nerves; I run bored of things easily, losing interest, the heart to pursue on. Such a kid, the mind is.

With another year knocking at the door, waste makes haste. Peeking into every possible nook and cranny, the conscience tries to tidy the room of all the mess made, and resolves to rectify the follies; get more organised before inviting the New Year in.

It’s a resolution-free year, simply because I didn’t manage well the past year’s. I didn’t learn to swim, couldn’t save enough to buy a pet vet van; in short, everything in the name of resolutions went sinking down the drain. Oh dear! The Goodreads failure was abysmal; the disappointment daunting. With pea-sized confidence, I have nor the will neither the heart, to suffer another setback, and so won’t be setting up a schedule this year.

A pleasant change however is that I have bought myself a few dozen books ready to be embarked upon. So I am eager to sail in the wordly oceans on exciting bookish trips. Writing as always will take a backstage compared to the reading, like every year. It’s more of choice than chance. Really! Facing the facts – I hardly managed running a 150 kms in the whole year. In 365days*24hours. Well, that makes me want to go hide under a rock. A goal side-lined then forgotten! Hoping still, in the heart of my hearts, to hit the running track often in 2k17.

An altogether different plan this year one which I have begun working on, is having a kitty of my favourite snippets from Harry Potter series. For this, Instagram is the right platform. I have never fully utilised the medium and so this year, I aim to have about 500 extracts from the series; each book, each chapter, each scene. Simply, so I can have my own cosy little Potter nook for those sultry days when I’m craving for a Potter palate.You can knock here @_silver_doe_ if you are an equally crazy Potter nerd!

Living a minimalistic 2017 goes without saying or else this year too, the pet vet van remains out of reach. An important target I’ve set myself is completing the novella I’m working on for Dad. Hoping to gift it to him this year, on his birthday in August. So I have 6 months to finish with the writing, and 1 month for editing and finally printing it. Phew! That’s among other things such as buying myself a vintage used typewriter; I’ve dreamt for it since forever.

With that, I’m ready to paint the canvas. That’s all folks!

What are your plans or promises for 2017?

-Asha Seth

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Year-End Jitters

As the year draws to an end, why is there a heightened sense of urgency?

Why is there a yearning to have realized every dream, have every wish fulfilled? Why do my feet ache for a globetrotting escapade, to leave footprints in Rome, Russia, and all the cities on my checklist?

Why does the heart wish for a chance encounter with everyone ever loved and longed for? Why does my mind tame my conscience to explore the unfair means, opt for infamous choices, and do crazy things?

Why am I prejudiced despite germane rationales, making opinions beyond logical restrictions?

Why do I want to read all the books on my TBR, listen to all the favorite songs, dance to every tune? Why is there a rush to watch all the movies on my hard disk? Perhaps, embark on a Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, FRIENDS, and Tintin marathon…

Why is there an incessant need to write for hours, scribble down everything, every thought, every muse? Or just play with my pet dog, just make merry, till we are both breathless, exhausted?

Why does every passing day leave a sense of insufficiency, a sort of restlessness, like I’m levitating in a limbo? Why is there this lingering feeling – what if the impending new year is not as felicitous?

Most importantly,

Why do I feel there’s not enough time? Why?

~~~~~

What does the last vestige of the year make you feel like? Are you equally in jitters? Or are you busy making new year resolutions?

Asha Seth

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Take Me Away

Hold me tonight

keep me in sight

let me not escape

don’t allow me be prey

take me away

let me not fall in love again

Hug me tight

confine me if you might

let me not run astray

don’t allow me be prey

take me away

let me not fall in love again

~~~~~

Asha Seth

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The Christmas Feeling 🎅

What’s it about Christmas that makes me secretly so happy inside? Why do I feel like you feel on a  reunion with an old friend? That’s because, of all festivals, Christmas is a favorite. And here’s why.

Celebrations of Diwali, Holi and most other Indian festivals entail merry-making along-side creating inconsiderate chaos. Bursting firecrackers, blaring vulgar music, reckless indulgences, are mere profligate ways of supercilious exhibition of one’s religious and traditional beliefs. It is my firm belief that the true essence of these festivals is long lost.

Christmas, however, is still exquisitely immaculate. There’s joy while there’s peace. Glorification and gratification, both, cherished with a most serene reverence of the almighty. Somewhere between adoring and desiring, Christmas was everything I sought as a kid. Wanting to meet Santa Claus was a dream right out of a fairy-tale. Ever since then, Christmas has held a special place in my heart.

Personally, Christmas is about fond memories from school days. Merry-making in the confines of the school which actually meant strict discipline. The meagre freedom to be oneself with no-one to inquire of whereabouts was so liberating. Corridors to classrooms dazzled with glee faces. Reigning silence from regular school hours was replaced with chirpiness of students and teachers alike.

Christmas is around the corner. And once again, vague and vivid memories from back then overwhelm me. My heart’s heavy with the surge of emotions. I’m craving all of it while feeling satiated all the same. It’s an extraordinary feeling. One I want to relive with all its craziness and absurdity, all the follies and frolics. And the very next moment, I bite back tears, swallow the lump choking my throat, knowing just how things have changed.

In 8th grade, I’d directed a tableau which not only did bag the first prize but went on to become a benchmark for coming years. The Christmas Tableau. For 2 years, my registration was not even considered by the committee heads. I was too young to direct something as enormous as a tableau for the School Christmas Eve.

Right from selecting the members to deciding costumes, setting up the props to shortlisting the singing crew, it formed an everlasting experience. Just how half the school sang ‘Silent Night’ when it played in the tableau, is even today, etched in my mind, fresh as the early morning sun.

The best and most peculiar thing about Christmas though, was the treats that we received in school. Plum cakes, a tetra-pack of Frooti, a pack of Peppy friums and Melody chocolates. Then, even the simplest things took us kids by storm. I still remember how I would peek into homes for a look at the glistening Christmas trees and long for one in my house.Being a Hindu, never had Christmas celebrations at home. And so, the Christmas celebrations at school was the closest I got to.

For me, Christmas, is about this feeling, about these nostalgic memories, loved and longed for.

To you, dear reader,

Merry Christmas! 🎅🎄 🎁💕

~~~~~

Asha Seth

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Reminiscence

There’s no perfect rhyme or reason, no particular time or season, to reminisce about things, events or people. An old photo or a mere walk down an abandoned lane can bring a rush of memories and before you know, you are spiralling down the rabbit hole.

In the evenings, on my ride back home from work, I’m lured into realms of mindless reminiscences. Pondering over this and that. Ruminating about ifs and buts. Quixotic expectations and half-baked desires, long forgotten, follow me, bore into my conscience. I falter. Lose my way. I miss a turn or take a wrong one. It’s become habitual.

♥♥♥

From a sanguine yesterday:

When I left from work, the sky wasn’t as dark. Last vestiges of amber analogous to the last vestiges of faith; the insufferable ache of resigned hopes. A chilly wind blew over my face. Perhaps, not all’s lost, not yet. A shimmer of eager anticipation for the unknown. A strange caprice settled over my heart. At ease, I exited the parking.

♥♥♥

From a desolate fortnight ago:

An unfamiliar face, drooping shoulders, with quivering hands, she extended a chit. ‘Noah’s Ark. Caesar Lane.’ The scribble read. ‘How far is it from here, honey?’ her confident voice enquired. Sweet and sharp, at once, the senile woman bore her eyes into mine.

One second. Two. Three. Four.

“Noah’s ark… Hope you know where that is now?” He smiled mischievously. The kiss had caught me unaware. For 5”, the world appeared just fine. For 5” 9, you do wish you were taller. As if reading my mind, he stooped a little. And I caught a glimpse of the dangling yellow board, overhead. Glowing under the Christmas lights, with the apartments’ name on it – Noah’s Ark. I smiled too.

“Is it very far, dear?” She almost pleaded. That word ‘far’ pulled me back. Yes, he was far. And I, just a forlorn figure.

Noah’s Ark. The south of where she wants to be. How did she get here? Directing would be an attempt in vain. Several silent seconds pass. A pair of tired pale blue eyes stare at me. I contemplate getting her seated in a rickshaw; I help her mount my scooter instead. 35 minutes later and 11 kms farther, away from my route, a composed elderly touched ground under a glowing yellow board.

A heart pounding inside my chest, the blood degrees cold, the mind adamant, ruthlessly reiterating, “Noah’s ark… Hope you know where that is now?

♥♥♥

Winters are poignant, beautifully remindful of times, then and now. I love winters for the same reason that I loathe them.

Asha Seth

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I wasn’t drunk…

I wasn’t drunk

when I spun my life around us

I wasn’t drunk

when I emptied my secrets

laid myself bare open

showed you into the room

where my fragile insecurities hid

naked as my ripped open heart

I wasn’t drunk

no, I wasn’t.

But I guess I’m drunk now

for I can’t see clear

those shifting shadows

is it you

or somebody else?

Guess I’m drunk now

for the restlessness shows

through my fickle scribbles

Guess I’m drunk now

look how I stammer

stumble, and fall

in the abyss

groping

falling

drowning

in the blankness

endlessly

~~~~~

Asha Seth

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Indecision

Going back in time, I ponder over the last hour. I begin by reading ‘If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller’ because that’s what I am reading presently. At the back of my mind, I’m thinking about what an overrated book ‘Paper Towns’ is. After 18 minutes gone and I know it’s 18 and not 20 or 25 because I am wearing a digital watch. So it is 18 minutes 31 seconds precisely. I realise I’m on page 7. Bam, that’s where I started. I’ve read this sentence more than a dozen times.

I am the man who comes and goes between the bar and the telephone booth. Or, rather: that man is called “I” and you know nothing else about him, just as this station is called only “station” and beyond it there exists nothing except the unanswered signal of a telephone ringing in a dark room of a distant city.

I read it once more to see if it means anything different. Nothing. I must be out of my mind. Lacking interest instantly, I shut the book. Stare at its cover for few seconds; the title with its letters tumbling over makes no sense either.

It doesn’t take a detective’s mind to figure that I am in no mood to read, which to my surprise, I don’t find surprising. I’m suddenly gripped with an urge to scribble down things. Picking up a pen, I search for my diary. One word down and my mind goes – where’s my black pen? I start hunting for my black pen because that’s who I am – The Black Ink Writer. When I’ve found the pen, I don’t want to write anymore. Half-fuming, half-exhausted, I am at a loss of things to do.

For no particular reason, I decide to call mum. But mum’s inquisitive as ever; she’ll ask exactly what I don’t want to talk about – life. Life that’s so screwed up. Shrinking a bit over the oddity of the situation, I feel terribly lonely.

I want to go hide under a rock. Fly off a roof and disappear in thin air. I bite hard into my knuckles and then peer at the bite marks. The imprints are just as obscure as are my thoughts. Like the dreams that ring a bell, but are hazy in the mind. Caffeine, I’ve heard, sets mood right. So I brew a cup of dark coffee. Sugarless. Dark. Just how I like. No sooner I’ve poured myself a cup, I let it rest on the table. And soon forget about it.

A rush of breeze with a whiff of freshly baked bread ushers in. I peek out the window, staring into nothingness. Minutes pass unnoticed. Oblivion is bliss. A loud call breaks the reverie. Men scurry to the mosque, like ants rushing to a mound of sweet.

With a blank mind and an empty satchel, I leave the house.

Indecision is deeply rooted in our inability to conclude. The reluctance to accept the obvious outcomes of circumstances. But courtesy of these indecisive moments,  even the most trivial matters become cumbersome.

I’d love to hear about your moments of indecision. What do you do? Are you also just as lost? Do write to me.

-Asha Seth

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A Game of Words

Work of Wonder by Advaita Inamdar
Peek into his fascinating world here: https://extemporizedblog.wordpress.com/

~~~~~

If it’s just a game of words,

Then I must give it a try,

It’s like a challenge to me,

Gets me all mighty and high.

My pen is a sword,

And my poetry is a shield.

I never forget to bring my dreams along,

As I enter the battlefield.

There is no law in this game of words,

The only right is to choose,

The words you write in ink,

And you can’t dare to lose.

I am a master in this game of words,

Bravest among these selected few.

I will fight hard to get in,

And it will get ugly too.

The safety is off,

And my words will slay tonight.

It’s all just a game of words, baby,

And you wonder if I can put up a fight ?

The game is on,

And my sword is drawn to kill,

And on parchment ink shall be spilled,

It’s now just a battle of true skill.

~~~~~

Find the full post here:
https://extemporizedblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/a-game-of-words/

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Childhood

A glimpse

into the gone

in the tales of yonder

beyond the visage

of newness

there lies

wonder

curiosity

freedom

and impish glee

such innocent bliss

such poignant memories

no place thus to be found

no where thus seen

Here’s to the child in each one of us!

👨 Happy Children’s day 👩

~~~~~

Asha Seth

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Cataclysm

scarred by your words
the insolence of your allegations
coarse and obscene
have mercilessly
annihilated all of me

how heartless
blew apart
the love and the likes
a stream of dislikes
the insults and the strikes
to put up with these
no longer I wish

asphyxiating
cut right to the bone
every breath let out
are residues of ignored appeals
and precipitated hopes
smeared with resentment
tossed to the pile
of your egoistic psyche

malignant as hell
treason then sedition
it’s a foul show
tremors shake me to core
but what’s it to you
never said a word
bet you can’t feel them too
remorse ain’t enough
not any more

cant wait
what for
play me for a fool
sorry, but no more
heart as cold as a corpse
steps as heavy as stones
away from you
they take me no care where

~~~~~

Asha Seth

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The Good Writer & The Bad Writer

Is there such a thing as a good or a bad writer? I have battled with this thought in my head for quite too long. I think it’s time to unleash my thoughts!

As a writer, I have experienced that newbies in writing are always chased by an incessant thought – they are not good enough. I’m sure to this many of you may agree. Or was it just me? 😛

When I began writing, I would always feel that something’s amiss. Whatever I did felt insufficient, unsatisfying. A need to do better prevailed even after multiple edits were done. Thoughts somehow seemed insignificant, unrealistic. I’ll be downright honest – the nagging thought that I am not a good writer made most of my days worse, with no inspiration to scribble even a sentence.

So then how does one become a good writer? As many of you are prepping up for the NaNoWriMo, does this thought cross your mind too? Is there such a thing as a good or a bad writer?

I say yes. I have met them both. They both live inside of me, renting out rooms in my mind. Motivating yet belittling. Praising yet critising. At times, they drive me crazy with their endless banters, but I’ve got to find a balance if I do not wish to lose sanity.

So here goes, certain instances that both have enjoyed, leaving me restless.

Good writer (GW): I think this post is amazing, reflecting my thoughts perfectly.
Bad writer (BW): This writing is so bad, it makes no sense. You are too naïve to see through the gaps and will fall right through it. 

~~~~~

BW: You’ll never rise the pedestal. Look how shabbily you write!
GW: But I’m doing everything I can, why then you say this?
BW: And don’t you see how badly you fail?
GW: But I will learn it in time. I will be better.
BW: I bet you won’t. You will receive nothing out of this trial. Better quit, do something else.

~~~~~

And I’ve been pestered for years. Phew!

What I’ve learnt after careful observation is this –

The insecurities, uncertainties make the bad writer. The grit, the dedication make the good one.

I have struggled in vain, to eradicate these thoughts, but gained nothing. They are both here to stay. I better choose who I listen to, and who I ignore.

There’s no such thing as a good or a bad writer. So don’t be afraid or intimidated. One learns and grows – it’s as simple as that! Everyone has a unique style of writing, and that’s it. Nothing good, nothing bad. If you write, you’re a good writer. PERIOD!

What do you think guys? Do you think such a thing as a good or a bad writer exists? Share your thoughts. Let’s talk!

-Asha Seth

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Diwali Frenzy

Right since childhood, we Indians are taught that Diwali is a festival of lights. But I think there’s more to it. The festival of lights has a deeper meaning than what is propagated.

As I delve deeper into the religious background of the festival, I discover that lighting lamps, making rangolis, decorations, is just the authentic part of it. The real meaning of Diwali is cleansing one’s self from insecurities, ignorance, vengeance, hatred. Good riddance from unwanted and evil, is what Diwali is all about. And what’s why this festival holds special significance for me.

I stay away from the meaningless celebrations such as bursting firecrackers not only because they are anti-ecofriendly, but because animals are greatly impacted in these few days due to loud noise and pollution. So Diwali mood usually drags me into a cleaning spree. Uncluttering, organising, shifting things here to there, but mostly getting rid of unwanted stuff. By the by, I also enjoy the sweet delicacies made especially on Diwali and my mom’s an expert cook at that.

Few days ago I realised that I haven’t been receiving posts from most writers that I like. My reader would not populate their posts. For some time, it was all right and then it started to really annoy me to find only a few blogs and their posts repeatedly posted.

A little digging revealed that most blogs I follow have died out. And that’s when it hit me that I’m following way too many blogs – 1808 precisely. More than half of these blogs have gone inactive since years, while most others haven’t posted anything in a long time. These blogs have cluttered up the space barring other posts from showing up.

Since I’m frantic about cleaning up things, I started it with my blog. I have begun to unclutter it of the inactive blogs. In the last few days, I’ve gotten rid of about 565 blogs. Voila! Now I can see posts from writers who do write religiously. See! You see the sun, only when the clouds are gone.

And now, may the festive season inspire you to live happily surrounded by loved ones, that evil makes no home in your heart. Here’s wishing all you guys a sparkling and prosperous Diwali!

-Asha Seth

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On Writing Schedules

Why is a writing schedule essential?

I had never given this much thought. Been blogging for 5 years now and yet, I’ve never had a writing schedule. I sometimes feel as though I’m missing something. And so I decided to blog about it.

A schedule in any exercise is all about discipline; discipline that makes you better in the art. A writing schedule is meant to keep you in the practise of sharing your work on a timely and frequent basis.

But how important is it?

I have known writers who follow a schedule and who don’t. Author interviews always consist of the interviewee probing the author about his/her writing schedule; a takeaway for budding authors. I have been asked many times if I follow a schedule. I guess it’s more of a personal choice.

Like I admitted, I’ve never worked around a schedule. Trust me, I find it intimidating. I can’t have my mind work around a timeline. It is thought-restricting. Like in a traffic jam; traffic jam of ideas. It’s like working on a deadline and I detest the rush it brings.

For me,

Writing is about finding the peace, about settling my mind off things, discovering myself.
It is an escape; a long-sought refuge.

And this won’t be possible if I am time-bound. I feel it’s injustice done to your mind, your thoughts, and your passion for the art. Well, some of you may disagree and I’d love to know your take on this.

Not being able to write freely is no good. I have never followed a schedule. So I have no advice to share. What I do is – I write when the thoughts kick in, when something’s too significant to not be shared, or simply when words concoct tales in my head which I feel are too precious to be lost. And once I’ve bled through, I schedule them to be published.

So there’s a difference you see. I don’t pick a schedule and write. I do the opposite. I write and then schedule it. But I do make sure that I publish a post at least once a week. Rest of the days when I’m not writing, I indulge and enjoy wallowing in other writers’ works. After all, a writer needs his/her bouts of inspiration.

The answer to the question – whether a writing schedule is essential – is that, if you are someone who finds it difficult to write on a regular basis owing to multiple other commitments, a writing schedule can help you balance your priorities.

What I’m trying to say is,

Whether you write once a week or once a month, it doesn’t really matter as long as you are content. In the end, writing should leave you with a sense of completion.

What are your writing habits? Do you follow a writing schedule? Let’s get to know it. Share your thoughts, inspire the seekers.

~~~~~~~

Asha Seth

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Blue

Blue is the day
so is the air I breathe
the sky I look at
reflects how I feel

Blue is my heart
and the blood in my veins
 so is the sea that hides
what lies far away

~~~~~

Asha Seth

 

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Remnant

Never knew what hate was
it was my love for you
that introduced me to it
a love that so completed me
is slowly poisoning
my mind, heart and soul

Hate is
the air around me
the roads I trudge
the sleepless nights
with the ashes of your memories
blackening my mind

Hate is
my new companion
killing every bit of you I knew
making me revengeful
angry, crazy

it’s mere mockery
that you swear
that you loved too
’cause my eyes
having witnessed the truth
now so resent

even a mere illusion of you

Hate is
the distance between us
the nightmares of what happened
it is the remnant
of the inconsolable pain you gave
of the undeserved love you used

~~~~~

So, it’s been a while I’ve wanted to do song posts. This simply means writing a poem or a verse, inspired from songs. This #SongPost is inspired from ‘Quit Playing Games‘ by Backstreet Boys.  Here, hope you enjoy listening to the song. 🙂

You also can participate. It’s really fun. All you have to do is:

Choose a song and write a post around it.
Use the #SongPost tag.
Share a YouTube link of the song for readers to enjoy.
Tag friends you think might love the song.
~~~~~

Asha Seth

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When I’m Gone…

When I’m gone…
baby, walk the meadows,
where the dew tickled our toes
where we’d lie for hours
consumed with love

in that moment, I’ll be with you

When I’m gone…
baby, sit by the pond,
we’d toss pebbles into
and watched them
leave ripples on the surface
in that moment, I’ll be with you

When I’m gone…
baby, climb the hills
we’d wave the sun goodbye from
and sealed the day with a kiss
in that moment, I’ll be with you

When I’m gone…
baby, read Frost, Calvino, and Poe
that we’d wallow in sitting by the fire
in that moment, I’ll be with you

When I’m gone…
I want you to feel no grief
shed no tear, evade despair

baby, just know this
like the moss that cushions the stones
your love cushioned my damaged soul.

~~~~~

Asha Seth

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Oblivious

She daydreams
about the handsome princes
and knights in shining armor
the queens in glorious gowns
and castles with secrets galore

She’s mesmerized
by the magic conjured by wands
by the beauty of invisibility cloaks
by cursed rings, poisoned apples,
the elves, hobbits, and dwarfs

Her world lies between the pages
filled with miracles and fairytales
the real world is as insipid
as are the people and the places

She lavishes her days
amidst worded treasures
of the world around
She’s oblivious as ever

~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

To all ye writers…

Revisiting my earlier days, I recollect how blog awards were quite a deal. I always felt, it totally justified, to have the efforts of bloggers, rewarded. After all, this is our won little world. We live a distinct life here; different than the one we live in the real world. We are somewhat ‘more we’ here, as I like to say.

I liked to see my blog mentioned in the nominations and also to share the joy with others. But after a while, I came to believe that these awards were better reserved for the newbie writers. Simply because, recalling my own days, all the motivation, assurance and push one needs in the nascent days is far greater than what we need after we have established a firm ground.

After all these years, the awards bring the same exhilaration and joy. Last month, I was fortunate to be awarded, and so generously at that. This post is therefore, to my humble friend Adarsha Karel, who found me worthy of the Blogger Recognition and Sunshine blogger awards. Thank you, Adarsha.

I find it unfair to award selectively, because each one of you out there, is doing a fantastic job. So, the award goes to each one of you. Cheers!

I usually skip doing the rules, but I’ll answer a few here, which might help the writing fraternity.

My most adventurous trip?
I am yet to make. A near-death experience would be the most adventurous experience for me. I want to live the moment and see how I escape it so I have tales to tell to my grandchildren. 

Favorite author and why?
I don’t have favorites. But these writers influence my works immensely: 
Leo Tolstoy, Charles Bukowski, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Vikram Seth, Jhumpa Lahiri, Daphne du Maurier, Khushwant Singh, and Stephen King.

Favorite book and why?
Many. Checkout this link 

One quote that sums up your whole life!
Find what you love & Let it kill you 

Story of my blog
A betrayal. A bit tipsy. An emotional explosion. And a blog was born.

Advice to new bloggers
I am not particularly good at advice, so I’ll make an attempt at humor. 

Write. Write lots. And if someone criticizes your work, flood their inbox, letterbox, their houses, through the keyholes, the windows, in every possible way, with nothing but your writings.

So be cool, because writing makes you who you are; different. And if anyone asks you to stop, make them write too. 😛

Loads of love, to all ye writers. ❤

~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

Craving

Originally published on The Unread Book

Long did she stare at the books
Beyond the shiny glassdoors
Reluctant to enter those massive aisles
Not capable of holding herself back
From stealing a copy or two
Wishing for the umpteenth time
She had the money to buy a few

The last time, she’d entered the shop
She’d glanced around furtively
picking up a copy of her favorite Poe poems
And stuffed it under her frock
Tucking it away hastily in her ragged camisole

But she hadn’t escaped
the grumpy owner’s gaze
The book snatched
Insults slammed
Grabbed by the wrist
And led out of the shop

With tears and heightened craving
For her most beloved possession
She had left the shop
without so much as looking back
So much pain and shame
all for her love for books

Unquenched
unsatiated is her hunger
for the stories 
and the words  galore
Yet never daring to enter those pristine
bookshops any more

~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

What writing takes…

I love to read. Not because I am a writer. But because there is no better teacher.
Reading always gives me new ways to write. Opens new windows with better perspectives.

Last week I finished reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s latest book ‘In Other Words’.
She is one writer I look up to when I need inspiration. If you’ve read her books, you’ll know why I say so.

‘In Other Words’ is her non-fiction debut. It’s her biography on her love for the Italian language.
Her writing style is inspiring and I’m quite fond of her books. They’re almost an addiction.
But somehow my thirst wasn’t quenched with this one. Nevertheless!

The novel is a chest of her personal struggles in learning the language. Her ideas in trying to overcome these struggles motivate enormously. Here is an extract, an advice for writers, something I could relate with; a good takeaway for any writer.

“I start with very short pieces, usually no more than a handwritten page. I try to focus on something specific: a person, a moment, a place. I do what I ask my students to do when I teach creative writing. I explain to them that such fragments are the first steps to take before constructing a story. I think a writer should observe the real world before imagining a nonexistent one.”

Soon I shall review the book over at my book blog.
For now, I shall spend time with my birthday gift that arrived early –
♥ The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor by Gabriel Garcia Marquez  ♥

~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

On Independence Day

While the nation celebrates
another year of independence,
I fail miserably in convincing myself
to join in the massive celebrations.
I don’t get a sense of freedom today.
Ask me why!
I struggle to understand,
what being free means.
Freedom from foreign clutches?
Is that what being free means?

Am I really free?
If I can’t walk the streets alone
without being scared?
If I can’t express thoughts in public
without being condemned?
Am I really free?
If my decisions have to be manipulated
by the so-called caretakers
for their selfish gains?

And that’s just the beginning!

Anti-social elements
are at large today, more than then,
when strangers invaded our land.
Corruption, rape, terrorism, bad politics,
know no bounds.
Then how are we free?

I feel asphyxiated.
The air around is polluted.
I can smell something wrong,
happening somewhere,
in some corner of the nation.
And this,
so does not make me feel free.

And yet
I shall celebrate
the sacrifices of the millions
I shall salute
their grit, their aggression,
for giving the nation,
their everything
in exchange for its freedom.

For me,
Independence Day,
is, was and will always be,
about these great fighters,
their struggles, their stories.
The custodians of the land.
The land called India.
Here’s to their winning spirit

“Happy 70th Independence Day, India.”

~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

Wistful

Remember those days
when all we fought about
were pencils and crayons?
When pages were canvasses
of trials and temptation
of the coming together
of ink and paper?

Remember those days
when all we cared about
were the paper boats
struggling to sail
in narrow ditches
carved with fallen twigs
in the pouring rains?
When missing a puddle
was an unsaid regret
etched across our faces?

Remember those days
when I didn’t think how’d you feel
you didn’t care what I’d think
chasing puppies and
catching butterflies
across green meadows
and secluded streets?

Oh, how I wish they were back!
Laughing, shouting,
scolding, yet growing
How we spent those childhood days!

~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

Tangerine

When she got married,
her mother spent sleepless nights.
Oblivion engulfed her mornings,
tea went cold each time,
cups were returned to the kitchen counter,
unbelievably from a tea-addict like her.

Her favorite dishes, sweet and sour,
left untouched for hours,
begged to be devoured.
Morsels cut down to halves,
chewed painfully longer,
without appetite or hunger.

Sarees lacked her taste
and were replaced
by dull fabrics and shades.
Her agony was shut behind doors
of the welcoming smiles.
The inevitable was to happen
How could she part
from her sweetheart?

Was she happy?
Was she sad?
Her jovial demeanor
took shades of grey and black.
A daughter getting married,
a mother’s ultimate dream.
But a tangerine joy it was
that left her grieving inside.

Her dried, swollen eyes,
she hadn’t allowed them rest
Her lips raw and numb,
she hadn’t uttered a word.
For more than a fortnight,
she sobbed on the phone.
Fragmented, in pieces
She muttered this,

My heart can’t take the pain.
I’ll never ask for a daughter again.”

~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

When Dad turned 50

As a kid, I loved to celebrate birthdays.
The best part about them were –
A week prior to the birthday,
Dad would ask what I’d loved to do
and he would get me a present around that.

When I was 8 or so,
I’d told him that I loved to read stories.
So for my birthday a week later,
he bought me a set of mystery books –
Mystery of the stolen egg
Mystery of the haunted house
and few more…
Those memories are so precious,
I’ll take them to my grave,
but never forget.

Yesterday was Dad’s birthday.
I too wanted to ask him
what I could give him.
But I knew the answer.
I’ve known it for 20 years.
He loves to ride bikes.
But I can’t gift him one.
He is suffering from chronic disease of the kidneys
and is going through dialysis sessions thrice a week.
Yes, it’s that bad!
He’s been advised to not so much as lift half a kg.
Riding a bike is off-limits.

The treatments and frequent hospitalization
is making him weaker.
He needs something that will keep him strong.
Something cheerful, something special.
So on his birthday yesterday,
I gave him nothing!

I’m at work, a new project.
Capturing our special moments,
in the form of a booklet
Is there a better gift?
I can’t think of one!

♥♥♥

Dad turned 50 yesterday.
Given the present situation, could I be any more happy?

~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

Commemoration

Shallow aspirations,
masked apprehensions,
callow words,
stories told.

Trials or tribulations,
finessed or artless,
but naivety is better than regrets,
experience does teach that.

It’s time to celebrate,
the victory of words,
over mindless reservations,
and mundane adversities.

♥♥♥

Asha’s Blog completed 4 years today.

♥♥♥

The beginning was harrowing.
But could it be more rewarding?
Every time that I have written something,
has brought joys and satisfaction, in plenty.
I owe a significant serving of this euphoric treat to you, my readers.

A heartfelt thank you to each one of you, for your love and camaraderie.

❤ Hoping you enjoy the cupcake. ❤
~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

Convalesce

An ethereal shift
An enter to exit
No backspace
Nothing to erase

No feelings
No control
Free as a dove
No more in love

~~~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

Want more blog traffic? Here’s the trick!

Who doesn’t want more readers?
We might say,
I do it for self-satisfaction,
for thought-liberation,
to improve the language,
or create worded memories.

Right and agreed.

But has anyone ever felt they don’t much care about having an audience?
Having an audience to appreciate your work never hurt anyone.

As writers, all of us crave readers.
As writers, all of us want to know what readers feel about our work.
As writers, all of us wish that our words stay with our readers.
As writers, all of us wish to inspire other writers.

So, in the quest for knowledge, we seek answers to such questions.
But there’s one catch

Read no matter how many articles. Refer to no matter how many resources.
Speak to no matter how many experts. Share with no matter how many friends.

No one’s going to tell you this.
If there’s any rule to attract more traffic to your blog,
then it’s this –

Write More

And this, my dear friend, comes from experience.

My blog stats speak volumes about this trick.
Now, you wouldn’t want me to get into the titbits of it.
(Believe me, the numbers are truly embarrassing.)
So to overcome this, I resolved to publish about 4-5 posts each month.
So far, for the past 3 months, this has worked all right for me.
Getting me more readers than expected.
And trust me, having more readers to share their wonderful thoughts
is so much more fun and motivating.
It’s a sea of good people out there, and we know only a handful.

If you too wish to treat your blog right,
Write every day. Write more, each day.

Your thoughts deserve to be heard.
Your words deserve to be read.
Your blog deserves the traffic.

-Asha Seth

Featured post

The Boat

Work of Wonder by Manu S Kurup 
Peek into his fascinating world here: https://theprimordialmanu.wordpress.com

 

Featured post

Allow Me

What are you afraid of?
What’s stopping you?

Some pages are better torn off
and some meant to be burnt.
But don’t you stop me, baby,
allow me to fix you back.

Walk right by my side,
I’ll heal those scars
and take away the pain.
Cast your reservations aside.
Baby, open the door,
allow me inside,
in the darkest corners of your soul,
in the deepest recesses of your mind.
Allow me to fill every nook and cranny
of your heart, with pieces of me

Don’t you see
how you’re smothering me?
But I refuse to let go of you
To see you throw yourself
in the arms of despair.
Allow me to shower you
with nothing but love

Allow me to take you
to the meadows of happiness,
to the valleys of hope,
where there’s no room
for anguish and regrets.
Let bygones be bygones.
Let’s turn the page.
Baby, please allow me.
Let’s write a new love-tale.

~~~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

Forever

At a quarter past nine
w
ith a candy bar and a smile
s
he left him waiting
under the tamarind tree 

At a quarter past nine
nineteen years since
his steps lead him unconscious
waiting for her incredulous

In the dark
under the dim stars
withered, weakened
stands he under the dried tree

Inconsolable sorrow
engulfing his heart and soul
Where has she gone?
When will she return?

And although, many such years
will come and be gone
and although, life will keep moving on
but to him, the waiting is all that’s left
to him, the waiting will go on forever

~~~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

Long Lost

little things
like secrets, like stories
are bearers of poignant memories
of sobs and smiles
long lost  in the sands of time

little things
like secrets, like stories
they make home and stay forever
in some forgotten corner
of the mind
waiting to be sought and celebrated
like those broken toys
now left untouched, uncared
in some unattended, undisturbed
corner  in the attic
gathering dust and what not
fading away are their true colors
erasing away the fingerprints
you left on them
that now you hardly remember

little things
like secrets, like stories
come rushing back
in the dark, in loneliness
just to be with you
like companions
real and true
kissing upon wounds
like the way
perhaps, only words could do

~~~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

When a writer bleeds

her world shrinks
as faces cease to exist
days lack brightness
nights miss the glow

walks become rambles
blank are the thoughts
no place is desirable
just she and herself

behind shut doors
are windows closed
and the solitary corner
beckoning her

not a speck of light
in the gloomy room
except a flickering
lamp at the table
she bleeds on

walls see her drown
in a gush of emotions
secrets they hold
that none will ever know

whimper to words
sorrow to scribbles
and yet another story
is about to be born

~~~~~~~
Asha Seth

Featured post

Black

To me
you’ll always be
the colour black
concealing a part of me

So dark
so mysterious
so seductive
so rebellious

Engulfing me
heart and whole
like the darkness 
that surrounds

There you are
and yet not there
cease to exist
at the slightest touch

An illusion
a mirage
in the depths of my heart
all that’s of you
is an obscure view

Dark and distinct
just like shadows
out of my reach forever
you’ll always be
the colour black

~~~~~~~
Asha Seth

Featured post

Tell Me

Tell me
you love me
and there’s nothing more I need to know

 Tell me
you hate me
and there’s nothing more I want to know

Tell me 
you want to give it a chance
and there’s nothing I would not do

Tell me
you are done trying
and there’s nothing I’ll ask you to do

~~~~~~~

Asha Seth

 

Featured post

Thoughts

Words escape my mind,
but thoughts never leave.
Caught in a whirlwind,
this is what perplexes me…

What happens when you miss someone?
Do they miss you too?

What happens when your heart misses a beat?
Does it get passed on to someone somewhere
Needing it to live?

What happens when we blink our eyes?
The things we miss to see, are they not worth a view?

What happens,
when you bleed for someone?
Do they feel the pain too?

What happens when we lose something?
Does someone else find it?

What happens, when we steal a glance?
At someone, someone we love?
Do they get the butterflies too?

What happens when something you deserve
but never get?
When something you only dreamt of is finally a reality?

My mind, a cauldron of thoughts.
Words escape my mind,
but the thoughts never leave.

~~~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

Irony

He walked tip-toed
To not wake her
from her sleep

Hardly did he know
She was not sleeping
but drifting away

In the arms of who
awaited her
on the other side

~ ~ ~

Asha Seth

Featured post

A writer’s anxiety

As a writer, it makes me anxious to not know exactly where I’m headed with my writing. Most times, I have no clear view of where I am going. It’s like walking in a tunnel with no end. It leaves me in a haze. Do such thoughts bother you too? Whatever is your big aim – to be a top-notch blogger or an accomplished author – if you find yourself pondering over it, you are not alone.

This post is for all those writers like me who are anxious about their writing goals or dreams.

Let me ask you this?

  • Do you crave to bleed out the best while at the keyboard, churning out the best story for your blog post, novel, short story?
  • Do you also cherish a hidden desire like writing a masterpiece that will blow all?
  • Do you also want to be as famous as let’s see, maybe, Poe, King, Doyle, Dickens, Rowling or Marquez?
  • Do you also dream of that day when you would get a dozen phone calls of readers wanting to, maybe, just hear you?

And you do not know which part of this writing journey will get what you want? You are welcome to the club I-don’t-know-where-my-writing-is-taking-me. In other words, I don’t know what is that secret ingredient to make my writing take me places.

Being a novice writer, I have read what most famous writers in history have done – their writing patterns, their reading patterns, their precious advice for writers and trust me, it’s a lot to do and be dedicated to. And even though I’ve been roping in most of these rules in my writing, there is that penetrating thought lurking in my head – Am I doing it right? What more do I need to do?

As writers, the single act of writing is all I ask for. So yes, satisfaction, there is. Immense. Fulfilling. Gratifying. And yet these desires rattle in my head with each word that I type. Reminding me of the miles there is to go before I finally go to sleep.

-Asha Seth

 

Featured post

I still believe…

I still believe that fairies exist.
I still believe that so does magic.

I still believe that I cannot watch a loved one die.
I also believe that I could kill for a loved one.

I still believe that lying is easier than convincing.
I also believe that people don’t think too deep when they lie.

I still believe that when someone dies they never really leave.
I also believe love can bring them back.

I still believe that I can never unlove him.
I also believe that I can never again trust him.

I still believe that things will one day change.
I also believe that life’s going to be a lot better.

~~~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

Looking for Answers

What do you do when you seem to be fighting for peace
Every single day?
To be heard, to be understood.

Things running out of hands all the time.
But what do you do if not wait and watch them
slip from between the gaps in your fingers.

Every turn you take seems to be a wrong one. Every decision a bad one.
The ones you thought would stay, left without so much as a word.
The ones you’d rather never set eyes upon, linger in your thoughts all day.

Nothing ever spans out the way you want,
and nothing ever comes out of waiting long.
Everything you ever wanted, you might as well drop the hopes.
And making peace with what you have, if only it was that easy.

And why, oh why? Each day, do we wake up,
consoling that pretty little heart of ours,
that one day everything’s going to be fine.
Sometimes, you just know, it’s never going to be.

It’s going to be a mess in your head
A lump of sorrow in your heart.
And yet like someone who suffers from memory loss,
you convince yourself, it’s all good.

Endless questions. Answers, not one.
Confused as hell? Yes.
Looking for… answers, maybe.

– Asha Seth

Featured post

Hurt

It doesn’t hurt as much
When you say you don’t love me
It doesn’t hurt as much
When you show you don’t need me
But it does hurt
When you walk away each time
It does hurt
When you say you’re not the one for me

Rid yourself off my thoughts
You can
You’re not denied
To ask the same of me
It does hurt
Live without me
You can
To expect the same of me
It does hurt
You prove that you’re right
It doesn’t hurt
Make me believe I’m wrong
It does hurt

~~~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

Following

In the middle of the night
When I turn out the light
I see your shadows
Following me

Anxious
I push aside the curtains
Peeking out the window
Check over once thorough

Finding nothing
Less settles my restless heart
Bringing myself out on the porch
I tip-toe
Behind the bushes,
Beyond the fence
Waiting for the shadows
Following me

No shadows or figures,
That I see
But I know you are
Following me

I stay wide awake
Perched at the window sill
My heart hoping
To see those shadows again
Just this again

A light wind
Ruffles my locks
Sending a shiver
Down my spine
A smile settles on my lips
A drop of tear trickles down my cheek

I know it is you
Sending kisses on the wind
Like you have
Since the time you’ve gone
Keeping up your promise
Of following me

~~~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

Resolutions

Be kind to others
Or pledge to transform yourself

~~~

Make someone smile each day
Or travel the globe

~~~

Teach someone to write
Or read a million words

~~~

Fall in love
Or make peace with your past

~~~

Pray for the deprived
Or share your fortunes

~~~

Swim, Trek, Travel or Laugh
Live differently or make someone live different

~~~

b67b2903e5409bf650d52a85b89ae1d7

Do whatever makes your heart happy but make sure you do
And each night before you go to bed
Do ask yourself – Was the day useful enough?

~~~

Ask this each night
And let it change the following mornings

~~~

Because one day when
You will count your last breaths
And ask this to yourself
And take my word you’ll regret then
If you failed to leave a mark in this world

~~~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

On Christmas

It’s Christmas
and the time of the year
when everyone around
is celebrating and enjoying
is praising and worshiping
moms busy making Christmas cookies
kids waiting for Santa and gifts

I too want to believe
that Santa is for real
and travels on sleighs
pulled by reindeer
that he grants wishes
and makes dreams come true

But if wishes were really granted?
What do I ask for?

I look around
It’s a pity picture
No humanity in hearts
No value for relationships
No sympathy for the helpless
No mercy for other creatures

I know now
what to ask for

I don’t ask for happiness
I ask for kindness
I don’t ask for love
I ask for compassion
I don’t ask for beauty
I ask for brains
I don’t ask for wisdom
I ask for understanding
I don’t ask for luck
I ask for hope

May all of us
be blessed with these
abundantly
making the world
a better place to live in.

Wishing you a very happy Christmas!

~~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

Mysterious

Hidden with dense interpretations
Left to his mind’s contemplation
Her mysterious expressions
Stir his insides

A momentary pause
From the routine
Letting herself wander
Perhaps, in the world of her dreams

Those tiny little curves
Find him in a wonder
As she quietly saunters
Enjoying his unperturbed attention

A quick gaze and half a smile,
And his heart is so set to aflutter
He is amazed at the tricks
She mysteriously plays on his mind

Riding his curiosity
With her innocence
Piercing his senses
Desperation dripping

He wants more of it
And also an end to it

The sweet torture
The pleasant affliction
She casts on him

Goading him
To sweep her off her feet
Cradle her in his arms
Kiss her, Caress her

Unravel the mystery
That she is

~~~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

Uncertain

The walks I take
In the evenings, cold and dreary
With the sun setting on the horizon
I’m uncertain where I want to go

The mornings I spend
Wishing this and that
Unhappy with what I have
I’m uncertain about what I want

The notes I make
Sitting on the porch
Writing and striking words
I’m uncertain what they mean

The many people I meet
The faces I smile at
The moment they leave
I’m uncertain if I know them

The nights I spend
Lying awake, eyes wide open
Brooding over hopeless desires
I’m uncertain why I’m holding onto them

What is my heart waiting for?
Why isn’t it at ease?
Who is it looking for?
And all it says is – Past

I want to move on
And not agonize over it
But the heart doesn’t.
It wants to keep the memories
Close and safe.

‘That’s all I have’, I hear it say.
Swear, I feel the same
But do I want to say it out loud?
I’m uncertain.

~~~~~~~

Asha Seth

Featured post

Nostalgic

Why do birthdays bring a wave of nostalgia?

Pondering as much as I am,
I can only rejoice in the sudden rush of emotions the memories have fetched,
leaving me nostalgic.

It’s my little sister’s birthday today
and once again I’m back to the days when I cradled her in my arms,
sang her to sleep, taught her to put pen on paper,
walked her to school, held her close when she sobbed uncontrollably.

As she grew up, I made sure she knew
what it meant when a guy said can we meet after school,
or that you ensure no one is to inch so close as to make you uncomfortable.
What it meant when you find blood spots on your clothing for the first time,
changing the sanitary pads, choosing the first bra,
wearing a skirt that is short enough to look classy and long enough to cover your body.

That you must ignore when snide remarks are made,
but also be smart enough to not take shit from others.
Don’t put up a fight unnecessarily, but stand up and fight for what’s right.

PhotoGrid_1444584508181

A small girl, timid and shy, she was.
I always worried what would happen if she discovered things on her own,
if she happened to fall in situations that were beyond her control.
I was scared to let her out of my sight. Protective and paining.
I guess you do that when you love someone so much
that even a small scratch on their skin would get your heart bleeding.

But the sands of time have shifted, and today she is 20.

Celebrating her 20th birthday, I am happy to see her grown into a smart woman.
I find the kid I was so protective of, peeking at me from behind those mature laughs,
those mischievous eyes, that cute smile.

And I realise, no matter how old she grows,
she’ll always be the little girl
who stared at me for long,
from beyond the school gates,
not wanting me to let her go.

-Asha Seth

Featured post

The Old Man & the Dog

He sniffed everyone passing by.
Their scents, their dangling handbags,
And looked up at them, with pleading eyes…

The heartless drove him away, kids pelted stones at him,
Out of disgust, of fear or rage, scaring him to death.
Away he ran and stood staring at their backs as they walked on…

They looked at him, but didn’t bother to acknowledge his gaze.
The bones poking out of his skin went unnoticed.
Dying of hunger he was, but when has the rich understood that…

It was getting dark and for hours he had stood restless,
Hoping if someone would throw a few biscuits or dried rotis,
Or just some unusable rotting trash that he would devour with pleasure.

At last, when people thinned out of the street,
An old man dragged his feet who looked toward him.
A few seconds of eye meeting the eye, and he shyly wagged his tail…

Slowly, the old man went down the street turning around a corner to his hut,
That the dog had followed him, he had known.
But before stepping in, the old man turned to look at him.
With a slight glimmer of hope,
the dog wagged his tail, a bit vigorously this time…

Having spent days thirsty and starved himself,
The old man knew that look on the dog’s face all too well.
In a crooked plate, he fetched all that was left – dried pieces of bread,
And a coconut shell that held salt water just taken off the flame.

One by one, dipping the bread in the water,
He threw them all in the dog’s direction.
With such haste he swallowed them down.
His eyes met the old man’s once again as he rested at the hut’s doorway…

Kindness doesn’t cost much you would think.
But tell you what, kindness comes for a price.

One ate to his stomach’s content,
Hardly aware of the old man’s plight.
The other would sleep with hunger
now clinging onto his back…

Just as it had traveled on the dog’s,
for days, restless and concealed.
For as long as there’s negligence,
satiated, it never will be.

~~~~~~~

Asha Seth

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