Rescue me from The web of cerebration Crushing my innards Clutching my heart Maddening my soul With another bout Of stifling anxiety! Thoughts growing Like tendrils within me Squeezing, squishing Body, spirit, inside out Squirming in my brain Twisted imagination Triggering a volcano Of anguish fear, guilt The demons they win; Primeval joy, lost in the din!
Time for strawberry mojitos Mulberry plucked from trees Palash flowers and tomatoes Ablaze with red so deep Lavender teas, minty greens Brown delight of cold coffees Sweet fruits of labor, now Tangy orange preserves The sun seeping in nectar To return from slumber With full force of summer Until then let me swing In the silver hammock Wherever the wind sways An open book, still unread As sparrows make acquaintance Abuzz on the wings of a bee Sweet fragrance of jasmine Intoxicated with the power Of just being alive, blooming Until the breeze knocks it off From its cradle and it lies In the dust whispering goodbyes To the flurry seeds in the air From wildflowers in sidewalks Destined to carry fairytales From this corner to the next!
*Palash is a sacred tree in the South Asian subcontinent. It has bright red flowers in early spring and hardly any leaves
Arshia Sattar‘s collection of 18 stories from Hindu mythology is written in the genre of retelling of the myths, as popularized by Devdutt Pattanaik. When I got Garuda and the Serpents from Juggernaut publishers, I was elated to see the beautifully illustrated cover page. The inside of the book revealed more beautiful renditions in bright colors by talented illustrator, Ishan Trivedi, who loves to bring the mythologies to life on canvas. My 11-year old son, an avid reader, was also attracted by the vibrant book cover.
The short story is a strong but difficult medium. In many ways it is more potent than a novel because it can leave an impact with few words, consuming little time. An observant writer can concoct many stories using everyday themes and images, telling extraordinary tales about ordinary people, evoking emotions and reactions from a diverse readership. In the preface to The Goat Thief, prolific Tamil short story writer, Perumal Murugan, talks about his own tryst with the skill of story writing and how he came to evolve his own style and rendition.
It started with the small blue notepad his mother handed over to him. She was busy in the grocery aisle; he was running around, getting in the way. She ripped out her shopping list and gave the notepad to him to entertain himself. His 6-year old fingers doodled and channeled his tiny self out of trouble.
Waiting in the checkout line, she entertained him by dictating all the items in her shopping cart. He was proud of his first list. He felt almost grown-up that day. After all, writing and list-making was the effortless skill of adults. A notebook became his constant companion.
Social media is exhausting, specially if you are intending to garner an audience or self-promote. There are myriad channels of communication and showcasing; all are craving your attention and content. If you are a writer, artist, or pursuing any creative channel, you are immediately in the snare of the social media octopus. There is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and I am ignorant of so many other channels.
All demand that you place your content in the most presentable way, on each one of them. There is information and design overload – the same content flooding the data stream with tags and hashtags. More than the creative pursuit, it is the pressure of pushing your content into these channels to grab the maximum eyeballs. Social media feeds on your deep FOMO – fear of missing out – in showcasing your content and following the trends.