Writing101 : Community camps cancelled?

You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart — an annual fair, festival, or conference — will be cancelled forever (or taken over by an evil organization). Write about it. For your twist, read your piece aloud, multiple times. Hone that voice of yours!

I scream for my sister with my voice full of of shock “they cancelled community camp this year, forever!”

“What!!!” she reflects my look of shock “Why??” she shouts back.

“I don’t exactly know, they have written that the attendance had reach its lowest and it was difficult to continue as the reasons in the mail”, “this is sad, really sad!”.

“I know di*, we always looked forward to this week long community camp, every year” my sister says.

“Yeah! and those kids who will never get to experience the camp life like we all did through out our childhood to teenage, up till last year actually” I speak as moments spent in the camp start playing in my head.

“Yes di, you were one of the assistants last year, bossing around, hahaha” she teases me.

“Not bossing! just maintaining discipline” I say and stick my tongue out at her.

“You know, I used to like those Amazing Race games, remember the one where all the group mates had to make longest human chain, we all had practically lied down on the soccer field underneath the blazing Sun, but it was fun! My group had won” she remembers gleefully.

“I also used to like those indoor games, remember the one where we were given a lot of newspaper, scotch tape and just about an hour. We had to come up with a human wheel. It was a whole lot of group effort” I chimed in.

“Yeah, camps taught me how to deal with different people, taught me leadership skills besides which, I made so many friends. Oh and the food! I used to so look forward to all the meal times” she says reminiscing fondly.

 

“I used to dislike getting up early though and those long queues for the rest room. And then the run to the main hall so I wouldn’t be late” I complained.

“But you used to sleep late!” she pointed out and we both laughed.

“You know besides all this, camp taught me more about myself. How to be, just by myself and look after myself. Camp made me grow my own personality, and out there people liked me because of myself and not the school I come from or whom am I related to. I used to really like this fact” I said.

“Sorry, I know this is not related to what you just said and that is important, but I just remembered the camp fire nights!!” She said and both our faces lit up.

“Yeaaa, I used to love dancing like crazy on those nights to almost anything they played. And the best part was there was no audience. Everyone was on the floor dancing! The organizers used to have such hard time to send us back to our dorms… where we simply continued dancing and partying alcohol-free. However when we all woke up the next morning, some or the other part of our body would be so sore hahaha” I said enthusiastically.

We both were now sitting cross legged on the comfy sofa and facing each other. For the moment, it was more important to talk about the camp and all other things could wait. Somewhat like honoring what camp was to us and remembering it with a smile rather than showing dismay on the fact, that it will be no more.

 

(*di comes from Didi which means elder sister)

Writing101 : No!

Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What jumps out at you? Start there, and try a twist: write in the form of a letter.

Dear No,

Why do you always come across me on all the places where I am supposed to be? Why do people carry you along with me in their pockets? You are shorter than me but can break hearts and dreams. Sometimes you even come across as so rude and arrogant. Why can’t you simply disappear and leave the whole world to me? After all, I always bring smile to the lips of all, who use me and who hear me!

I understand the importance of it being important to say No at times but still, I simply don’t like you as I cannot take a No for an answer. And your modern versions: ‘Nopes’ & ‘Naah’, I seriously dislike them too, even though they sound more melodious, they mean just the same and have the same big, fat, round and Red face like you.

The world could be a better place with politer people and none of you. For everyone could ask anyone for anything knowing their wishes will be granted or looked for at its best. I really dislike you, you ruin my existence and become the end of me. I wish you cease to exist.

Sincerely,

Yes.

(My book = Readers Digest, word = No)

Writing101 : nosy cat

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.

Link to my day 4 post: https://kaurspeaks.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/writing101-one-of-my-greatest-loss/

 

My friend had gone to use his rest room. We had a long day enjoying the weekend market during the summer. I was resting myself perched on the foot of his bed. It had been a while and I was getting bored waiting for him. I got up and thought of browsing through his shelf. His graduation picture with a Gold frame, collectible cartoon characters of his childhood (Ben10 I guess), a photo cube of our pictures that I had given him, pictures of his niece and nephew, his car keys and lots of dust. “You are taking way to long” I shouted, “I will be there in a minute” he shouted back.

I started tapping my Green painted nails against his shelf and perfecting the rhythm of a running horse (hahaha). I looked at the shelf again and found a drawer beneath. Without thinking much, I yanked it open. There were some old magazines and brochures. Towards its rear end were our pictures from school, studio pictures with funny wigs and brooms. I smiled, remembering those moments. There was a small box next to all this. Not a simple box but one decorated with white and blue stones. I know I was treading on a fine line of public property and private property but I couldn’t hold my curiosity back. I opened it.

I saw a picture of both of us in Black and White embedded in the inner lid. Mind you, we looked really happy and laughing about something with that gleam in our eyes when we were snapped. This was one of those candid moments with us looking so nice. I smiled further and looked to check contents of this box. My white feather earring… I had lost it ages ago! Probably dropped it in his car while on the way back from somewhere. So it wasn’t exactly lost eh! My Red fiber anklet, I had to take it out at the beach as the combination of sand, water and anklet had made it too itchy, it was with him?? All these years! I started to feel confused by now, what was going on? Next I found my charms bracelet which was really precious to me but again I thought I lost it. Did he take these things from me or rather, kept them safely long after I forgot about them or simply ignored their absence. Whatever the reason may be, what were my things doing with him?

There was also a plastic packet. I opened it. Long Silver chain with a silver heart. I knew exactly what this was. I had always wanted such a locket in which you can flip the heart pendant open. I had told him about this. Yes, I had. And when I would open this locket, which I was opening, I would find my picture… and I was seeing my picture now, followed by picture of the love of my life…and the second picture was his. WHAT!?? This can’t be a joke! He is in love with me? too??

Writing101 : Are you sure?

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

Her heart beat so loud and every nerve of her body felt the blood being pumped at an alarming speed. The air conditioner in the car tried to cool its occupants down but the situation didn’t let it. Priya’s dad parked the car near the sidewalk and she waited for him to turn towards her and break the silence.

In a voice that showed utmost control over his anger, he began “Who is this boy? What’s your relationship with him?”

“His name is Prem and we like each other.” She replied meekly.

“Where did you meet him? How well do you know him?” He inquired further.

“We were in the same high school and now in same college. I know him quite well.” She replied softly trying to keep her shiver down.

“Is he nice?”

“Yes, he cares a lot about me.”

After being quiet for a while, he spoke again “Priya, I am quite concerned about you and the state of your heart. These emotional relationships aren’t easy, every time you walk in one and if it doesn’t work, they take a piece of your heart away. This boy that you seem to like so much these days, is he worth it? Will he take care of you? I am going to let  you decide this as you know him better than me, but dear, I don’t want you hurt in the end” he said the last sentence being protective of me, and then asked again “are you sure?”

“Yes Papa” she replied. Her hands clasped together in her lap with a ball of hope and faith, dreams and wishes. With a will to prove that his concerns will be uncalled for and she will be happy.

Its been eight years to that conversation, reclining back on the sofa, she recollects this conversation and tries hard to subside her thoughts. In her thoughts, her mind tells her ‘may be Papa’s concerns were right’. She doesn’t wish to dwell on this further. She gets up to get herself busy.

Writing101: Size matters?

Today, tell us about the home you lived in when you were twelve. For your twist, pay attention to — and vary — your sentence lengths.

I was probably in grade six when I was twelve years old, the tallest in my grade and among my siblings (that’s not so true now though). My old home was nothing posh yet houses many fond memories of ours (ours here is my family and me). It was three-storey shop house with no shop. Some of our neighbors used the ground floor as a shop and some of them used the entire three-storey building as a godown (small warehouse). There were five shop houses in each lane and there were two lanes facing each other and forming a square with the entry controlled by wrought iron gates.

We didn’t exactly have nice neighbors whom we could be friendly with and play ball with so we always were quite content to have each other. Our home entrance’s wall and door was made of glass with metal shutter on the outside. Blue & White ceramic tiles lined the ground floor.  We called it living room! There were two Maroon colored sofa sets facing each other and a rectangular glass table in the middle followed by a six seats dining table. Then a Gypsum board partition. Behind the partition was a kitchenette, bathroom (that all of us used only in emergency simply because we weren’t fond of it) and the covered verandah where we washed dishes.

We had two bedrooms on the floor above and our favorite bathroom was on the second floor. This one was well lit. Small though. Outside the bath room was an old sofa set made of wood and covered with table cloth like material. Adjacent to which were our almirahs, some of wood and some of metal. There was a glass partition and then the kids room housing a normal twin bed and a bunk bed made of light wood. I remember sleeping till late on holidays was a problem in this house as our neighbors started work early and it got noisy. They had some import/ export business and needed to tape boxes (which made screeching noise) and the thum thum of loading/unloadin big cartons. Argh!

The third floor had our parents room and some storage area outside the room. We also had a roof where we dried our clothing. Here we fixed our water tank numerous time. We (kids) also used to hop from roof to roof of other buildings and pluck flowers or simply race. Brings smile on my face! It wasn’t a lavish home but one that was best suited for a child to create memories in.

Writing101 : Chicken Keema

Today, be inspired by a favorite childhood meal. For the twist, focus on infusing the post with your unique voice — even if that makes you a little nervous.

My mom being a working lady hardly cooked a dish fully from start to end. Usually the household helper would cook for us, except on some of those odd days where she had ample time and all the ingredients to cook for us. And if these weren’t the reasons, it was because the rest of the family had teased her so much about her having lost her culinary skills or we literally begged her to cook. These were simply our methods to coax her into cooking.

Our household helper cooked good food but then it’s always different to have what your Mom cooks. It’s as though her love is infused in the meal and we would feel it in every bite. One main reason to over-eat on such days. And the dish that I have loved through out my childhood till date is called Chicken Keema. It simply means minced Chicken. She would cook it in Indian style with the aroma making its way into every corner of the house to draw us into the kitchen and count minutes till she pronounces the dish as ready-to-be-served. Its Yellow in color because of the Turmeric, has peas, tomatoes and other spices. It has a perfect blend of salt, lemon and spices and the meat is very soft.

 

chicken keema

 

We would have it with home made yogurt and warm wheat rotis. I always had stomach ache after having this dish because I ended up having a roti more than my normal. After all, it was a day of celebration as Mom cooked Chicken Keema and she hardly does so. It was a family celebration of no reason for outsiders but for every reason to the family members as it made us extremely happy and gave us a moment to recollect for many weeks.

After writing this post, I realize that it has been long that Chicken Keema has been made at home, it’s time to go coax her into making this dish again now and perhaps, I will learn it too this time. I know with time, I would have to leave my mom and go but perhaps I could take the taste of her food with me 🙂

Writing101: Changing Mocassins

For today’s assignment, write a scene at the park. Up for a twist? Write the scene from three different points of view.

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. The woman pats his back. He says “I will miss you, please don’t leave me and go. I don’t know if I have told you enough but I really love you!”. He thinks to himself of every moment that he could have been with her, of every moment that he has lost. He looks up and finds the day to be so cloudy, gloomy rather! Cold winds and unhappy trees swaying to and fro. He looks down and finds bushes with wilted flowers, petals fallen on the pathway. Everything seems reduced of its color to him.

The woman looks up at him and sees his tears. She reaches out to pat his back with a small smile playing on her lips. She thinks of what the doctor just told her and looks up to find the sky in a shade of prettiest Blue that she ever came across. Fresh winds play with her flicks and run through her lungs. Huge Green trees dance to the winds and as though, smile at her. She looks down as she can’t contain her happiness anymore. She finds bushes full of blooming flowers, their aroma capturing her senses. Everything seems bright to her as though seeing the world through newly cleaned lenses. She says “Son! its God’s way of calling me and the cancer doesn’t hurt much. I love you a lot but I look forward to joining your Dad in heavens soon!”.

The old woman sitting on the bench looks up to see the couple passing by and takes a deep breath wishing hard for a child that was never born to her. She thinks of her two marriages and the failed adoption process that she went through. She looks up at the sky and wishes for Sun to be more brighter and warmer, it would be nice for her old bones. Old age is quite painful especially when you have no one to take care of you, she thinks. She looks down and finds bushes full of buds and flowers, if only she could pluck them from here and sell them in the market for some money. But she would be fined if she did so. She let’s go of this thought and gets back to knitting the sweater as its delivery is due for tomorrow and she needs the money for survival.

Writing101: writing sans adverb

Go to a public location and make a detailed report of what you see. The twist of the day? Write the post without adverbs.

(And I have never done something like this, I find this difficult, going to try though)

I wait for the subway train while I see queue line grow every minute in the reflection of glass doors that prevent access to the train tracks. I can hear TV commercial of Maleficent going above my head. The girl standing on my right has beads of sweat on her forehead. Her Brown dyed hair now reveal her Black roots. Her long straight hair are secured in a Red rubber band. She smiles at her phone and starts to tap on the screen with both her thumbs. She has worn a White Chiffon shirt with short Black skirt and Black Fitflops. The bald man behind has started to look into her phone over her shoulders. He inches forward and his eyebrows rise a little. He has wrinkles on his face and hands, and his shirt too, is wrinkled. His light Grey Cotton shirt has turned dark Grey around his chest and arm holes.

I look into the glass doors as I feel a presence behind me. A set of light Blue eyes peer at me. Red hair in a Mohawk, Black earrings and a Black ring in his lips. His lips turn into an upward curve and I smile back at him. A baby wails in the arms of his mother on the escalator behind me. I see a girl scan the whole area, and then she begins to walk and joins the shortest queue line in the center of the platform. She is dressed in a Red sleeveless tucked in a Black pencil skirt. Her body looks very toned. Her Black work bag hangs at her elbow. Her hair straight, sleek and Black.

I hear a rumble at the far end of the train tunnel and turn my head to see the tunnel lit with the train on its way to pick us. Train jolts and halts in front of us and the glass door open along with the trains’. I feel cold hair hit my face and take a step forward.

(I don’t think I managed this assignment well, not using adverbs was a challenge indeed:(  )

Writing101 : trying my hand at dialogues!

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

“He didn’t call again, doesn’t remember me like I miss him!” she said through gritted teeth.

“Must have dozed off, you know his habit.” she replied calmly with her voice trying to calm her.

“How can he just doze off without even thinking of me?” she asked angrily.

“He would wake up dreaming of you!” she replied smilingly.

“I really look forward to that daily call, you know. Why isn’t it important to him?” she asked, more sadly.

“It is, that’s why he calls everyday! Just slipped in doing so today”

“Aaaargh! Yesterday too he was so sleepy. Has time for everything else but me” she vented again!

“Calm down! No point arguing over this and ruining your day. He has slept and you still have half the day waiting for you!” she tried reasoning to calm her.

“I wish he understood me and my small needs” she wished, her head drooping low.

“He will! With time!” she ensured.

“How long? Been together for forever now!” she asked impatiently.

“Have patience!”

“Seem to be running out of it lately”, she sighed.

I opened my eyes, inhaled deep and continued with my Excel sheet.

Writing101: My special person of 2014!

Today, you’ll write about the most interesting person you’ve met in 2014. In your twist, develop and shape your portrait further in a character study.

I was glad to get role rotation in my career path as I had lots of problems in my previous role and used to remain quite tensed and tired. My new role was more about writing, analyzing and talking to people everyday. However with new role rotation came the new desk. I was quite skeptical about the move and to sit with another department. Again the whole cycle of trying to befriend new faces. I didn’t manage to build a very friendly relation with my previous neighbors (colleagues who sit next to me) and didn’t want to expect anything any more. I simply chose to believe that making friends with co-workers was perhaps something not in my destiny.

Here is where my work life turned a new leaf. My new neighbor, a friendly girl of a short height but a very big heart, with straight but fluffy hair and a contagious smile started talking to me. She is fair in complexion, black hair reaching just beyond her shoulders and a petite figure. She is very soft spoken and polite by nature, always curious about things she doesn’t know and a patient listener. She also has a big chest of knowledge regarding cultures, traditions, languages and more and she loves sharing (I love listening). I come from a different culture compared to most of my co-workers and faced a lot of language barrier, and if not that then sometimes, they did not want to associate with me because I look different. She broke those barriers and treated me as an equal. She did not alienate me!

I started to looking forward to come to office as she would look up smiling everyday never mind come rain or sunshine, and we both would greet each other ‘Morning!’. Soon our conversations became more than that and I learnt her love for music. She can sing so many English songs and is currently learning to play piano. We found our common liking of series like ‘Glee’, ‘Once upon a time’ and movies like ‘Frozen’. We also started hanging out together and doing new things starting from trying new cuisines to Zumba class and even entertained the idea of learning German (well that didn’t suit our schedules so we had to drop the idea) I was amazed by her zest to try new things. She even went to watch movies of my culture on my recommendation and liked them. I started finding many similarities between her and me.

Although I know her before year 2014 but I actually came to know her in year 2014 and she made my life better by simply her presence. Today I can proudly say that I too have a friend among my co-workers. She has also helped me a lot to understand the different culture and language and we share our problems. She listens to me even though I am younger than her. As I am not as hardworking as her, she made me understand lessons on ‘how and why one needs to take their work seriously’. She has indirectly inspired me for many things in life. Her positive outlook to life and the will to strive for things that she wants in life are among the other lessons that I learnt. I will definitely miss her once I leave this place but for now I thank God for her, as without her, I would not have made it through so many days in office. 🙂

 

my colleague!

my colleague!