Musafir: San Francisco. Go Ahead Gawk, it’s Free

San Francisco: China town, Street Performer, Lombard Street, Fisherman’s Wharf

Yes! You don’t need a ton of moolah to see this eclectic art, all you need is a pair of good walking shoes and curiosity in your heart.

Double Drabble: Mr. Tim

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“Alyeeee…!”

Mom’s voice whizzed past my six-year-old ears before the morning sun swallowed it up like it does everything else—the moon, the stars and dreams. I didn’t yell back a response. I had better things to do.

I was in the backyard, standing barefoot on the wet grass. I love the grass. I love the way it catches the sun in the morning and how it crunches under my feet and bounces right back up after I’ve stomped on it with all my might. But that happens to be my second favorite memory. My first is Mr. Tim.

Mr. Tim was my friend. My secret friend (you know how little kids like to have secret friends). We first met behind the giant old beech tree. No one liked to go near it, but I did. Big trees don’t scare me.

It was springtime. I know because I could smell the lilacs and the leaves were the color of freshly squeezed lemonade. The faded deck above me creaked like Nana’s old knees as I eyed the steep slope. Then, like always, I ran-skipped a few steps, then dropped and slid the rest of the way on my bottom. It was so fun, even though I knew later Mom would give me ten with her wooden spoon.

 

 

PS: This drabble is related to my prior drabble Betrayal and the short Run Aaliyah Run. Can you connect the clips? Stay tuned for more 🙂

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Drabble: Betrayal

 

Beach- lonely

Betrayal

We sat in the park. Tim was sleeping in the stroller all bundled up nice and cozy. We were like a family.

Aly. I wanted to tell you something.

I held my breath and waited.

I’ve been accepted at Pepperdine. Law. I’m excited.

I’m excited for you Zach.

I love you Aly. You’re so wonderful. He kissed me on the cheek.

I knew it was over. My pain expanded in my stomach. And spread to my chest to my arms, my head. And oozed from my eyes. I dug into my bag. My fingers automatically scrambling, searching for my crux, my pills. I found one.

It didn’t do anything for me. Absolutely nothing. I wanted to die.

~~~

PS: I’m attempting here a series of drabble; scattered ideas; snippets from life/lives. If they evoke some spark in you please give a holler 🙂

 

 

Gargoyles

History is my hobby. And art and architecture is it’s most telling representation. I find modern buildings staid, lacking in variety– they are utilitarian, of course, but singularly boring. Some do make it out of the mould, but those are few and far between. Hence, whenever I travel I seek out old buildings. They are so much more attractive and compelling and come in so many styles– each narrating the story of the place and the era when they were built. And they seem so solid and permanent. So, when I heard about the Notre Dame fire, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it until I saw the live images on the news. That building besides being n invaluable example of gothic art, is a prominent part of history. It has witnessed the French Revolution and survived it and who is not aquainted with the famous Hugo classic ‘Notre-Dame de Paris’ or it’s English translation ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’.

At first, there was fear the entire structure would be destroyed. Fortunately, that didn’t occur but I understand most of the roof and the spire are gone. Now, I can say how lucky I was to have visited the place a few years ago and trudged up the narrow spiral staircase to get up close to the cathedral’s famous gargoyles which happened to be the favorite part of my visit. For those who aren’t aware, gargoyles are grotesque creatures that act as spouts to direct water away from the building. Apparently they are also supposed to ward off the evil eye. But were they able to protect themselves — I hope so…  Below I share some precious snaps from my visit :–

Is Love a Responsibility?


In this month of February where there’s an overdose of love everywhere, here is a refreshing and thoughtprovoking examination from a teenager.

Love is often spoken about as something divine and beautiful, but talk of it is so widespread that it can get degraded to a mere obligation. Some argue that falling in love is a given in everyone’s life, and that one has not fully experienced life without it. Others insist that it is impossible to be happy without a lover or spouse despite it not being the case for some. In today’s society, significant others are almost treated as an object to be won – interpersonal connections and close relationships appear no longer be as important as they were in the past. In a society where living alone is often perceived as a failure rather than a choice, the role of relationships and love in culture is to be examined.

A functionalist may argue that a spouse, or some other form of significant other, is necessary in an individual’s growth and maintaining a balanced society. In most cultures, it is expected and considered natural to have a partner in order to procreate and have children. In fact, that is the very purpose of a living being – to reproduce. This concept is so instilled in society that it’s almost difficult to imagine a good and settled future without someone else. Not having a significant other or spouse merely breaks the cycle; one is unable to have kids, raise them, send them to school, and get them married, as well. In this case, change is unwarranted, and whoever does dare to resist this cycle ‘breaks the family lineage’ and is often viewed as a disappointment.

The culture and personality theory illustrates the idea that cultures create and value certain kinds of citizens. People in the west, and in many other areas around the world, simply perceive a partner as a requisite aspect of adulthood. People who don’t have one seem out of place, and this can oftentimes be demoralizing. They may eventually start questioning themselves: are they worthless, unwanted or unlovable? This may not be true, but societal culture can influence thought and emotions. Even though one may be satisfied without a partner, expectations may force them to think otherwise. People may question what is right for them, and could possibly act to please others at their own expense.

As emphasized by the theories of functionalism and culture and personality, the idea of love can be changed from a personal relationship to a responsibility. Having a significant other or spouse fulfills one’s role in a harmonious society, and anyone who doesn’t fulfill that role is considered strange and rebellious. Living without a partner has been so denormalized that it can prompt self-doubt and hatred. Though a partner is certainly not necessary for happiness, societal expectations and pressures regarding relationships present significant challenges to those who would rather remain alone.

Any thoughts? Do share.

A Cup of Tea

A cup of Tea

is a fuzzy warm morning

flicking aside the blanket of night

It is a lazy afternoon

a let’s sit down

and chat for a while

It is a moment

booked just for me

to waste as I please

to brood

sit by the window

look at nothing

or hitchhike on a plume of steam

to neverland

A sample from my upcoming book of poems and short stories Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree. Out soon!

The Witching Hour – Short Story Excerpt

I watched the dense thicket of clouds slide over the giant luminous cookie in the sky. A pitch-black darkness descended over the neighborhood, and there was not a single streetlamp to mar it.

It appeared that All Saints Eve was going to live up to its reputation after all. I glanced at my companion. I could tell she was thinking the same.

“Should we start? The time looks right,” Myra said.

“Yeah, let’s go.” I smiled at my long-time friend and neighbor.

She adjusted her lace-up corset and handed me her long and tattered train before gingerly stepping out of the alley that had been our hideout ever since the beginning of our ritual. Once again, I had to pause to admire her elaborate costume. She was pleased with it, especially since she had put it together herself. The delicate tea-stained ivory lace and tulle dress accented with droopy brown roses gave her a wispy and forlorn look. The many years of our adventures had supplied a precious aura of authenticity to the dress, as it had been tripped on and ripped several times.

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Roam to your Heart’s Content- Street Joy (Spain)


 

 

 

 

 

 

Along ancient streets

and by-lanes

alien sounds ebb and flow

With familiar inflections

passions don’t simmer

they explode

Stirring smiles

on drab countenances

The air vibrates with soul

 

Inspired by the ancient streets of Cordoba, Toledo, Seville, Granada, in Spain. Walk on!  More poems in my soon to be released book ‘Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree’.