February 19, 2012

Deep Red Love

[This post was previously titled Mehen'died', but I decided to change it, because one of my readers thought that it was about a girl named Mehen who died. :) Also, I didn't like the title much myself]

She gazed at her henna-stained hands. At the deep red, almost-black colour, the intricate and elaborate design. She brought her palms up to her face and breathed in the fragrance of the mehendi deeply. “Aah…”

She had always loved mehendi. She loved the fragrance of it (that most people hated), she loved how the wet mehendi felt so cold against her palms, she loved how beatiful the dark-green colour paste looked on her palms, she loved how the colour turned from a dull orange to a deep maroon overnight. Her hands never used to be henna-free. Soon as the colour started fading, she would mix a fresh batch, make a cone out of empty milk packets, add tea decoction to it (for the colour), and apply it meticulously to her left hand. She would dab it with a lemon juice-sugar mixture once it dried, and she would do it at regular intervals. She would sleep with her left hand outstretched, so as to not stain her mom’s freakishly clean bed-sheets. And then she would excitedly jump out of bed the next morning and run to scrub the dried sticky mehendi off. By the next day, the colour would have deepened. She was famous in her school for her perpetually henna-stained hands.

But more than anything, she loved how the mehendi depicted the idea of marriage. She had seen hundreds of brides with their henna-stained hands, glowing on their wedding day. She hardly noticed the colour of their sari or the shine of their jewels. The first thing she noticed was their hands. And if the bride was someone she knew very well, she wouldn’t hesitate to take their hands and take in the fragrance of the mehendi. She couldn’t wait for her own wedding so that she could apply elaborate, intricate designs on both her hands and feet. Somehow, others just didn’t get how heavenly the smell was. To her, it smelled of hope, love, happiness. It symbolized the future. It symbolized the warmth of the man she loved.

“If the colour of your mehendi turns out to be very dark, your husband will love you very much”, her cousins had giggled. She sat there, gazing at her palms, at the deep red colour that matched the colour of the deep red Kancheevaram wedding saree that she was wearing.

But today, the mehendi didn’t smell of hope or love or happiness. It smelled of broken dreams, broken hearts and broken lives. Of promises that couldn’t be kept and moments that couldn’t be forgotten. Of compromises and apologies. Of a future that was unimaginable and a warmth that could not be replaced. She felt weighed down by the weight of the sari, the jewelry and the jasmine flowers that decorated her hair.

She took one last look at his message before deleting it from her inbox and her life. “I’m sorry, for everything. For entering into your life, for falling in love with you, for giving you hope. But I had to let you go. Maybe in another life, another birth… Take care, be happy, and always remember that I love you like no one else can love you. You deserve the best, and I’m sure your husband will give you just that. Love…”

But she couldn't delete it. Would deleting a message help her delete him from her heart or her mind? She saved the message to another folder, like how she had saved everything about him, about them together, to a folder named 'Past', and got up from the chair. It was time for the muhurtham. Time for her to move on to her future. Time for her to get married to the man who the Gods of Mehendi had predicted will love her a lot, because the colour says so.

February 9, 2012

Picture Perfect Experiment

Ok peoples, this is an experiment that I'm trying out.

Here's what I had in mind.

You see the pic below?

It's lovely, isn't it? Clicked by my friend Rohan.

What you have to do is, use the pic above as a picture prompt, and write a post based on it. It can be anything- fiction, non-fiction, poetry- your call. What does the pic mean to you- that's what your post has to be about. What does it say to you? What according to you, does it mean? Did it spark off a distant memory in your mind? It can be anything.

This is not a contest or anything. Just an experiment. And also a means to make people write. A lot of us bloggers have been dormant for quite a while, and seriously guys, that's not done.

Now here's what you need to do:-
1) Write a post based on the pic, and include the pic in the post.
2) At the end of the post, link it to where you originally picked it up from (i.e., if you picked it up on my blog, link it to me. If you picked it from someone else's blog, link it to that blog. That way, I don't hog all the limelight :P.Fair enough no?)
3) Give a link to the original source of the pic. Here.
4) Don't forget to post the to-do's as well (I can't really call it rules).
5) Drop a note or comment to the blogger from whom you took the prompt.

Simple no?

1) You can title your post whatever you want.
2) At the end of your post, if you've read other posts of the same picture prompt that you really liked, link that too.
3) Rohan did not pay me to pimp his pics. :P Promise. This happens to be one of my favourite pics of his (as a photographer, not a model. I have no idea who those two sitting on the bench are), and it's one those pics that screams out "This has a story behind it!". So I thought I'll make it a fun thing to do here.

And when do we post this, you're wondering?

Since Valentine's Day and all that jazz is around the corner, let's do the posting till end of next week, shall we? Say, till 17th Feb? That's fine, right? And hey, don't forget to send me the link for your post, ok?

If this becomes a hit, then I plan to do more picture prompt thingies. :) So I really want to know what you guys think of it.

Spread the lou, people. :) (I'm sorry, this as close to Valentine Day-ey that I can get)

February 7, 2012

In case you thought I had kicked the bucket or something.

Yes, I’m alive. No, I wasn’t abducted by aliens (like Kalpak was).

I’ve just been very lazy. Then varieties of crap that’s been happening (refer to last post, for a gist). And then the general blah-ness. The sudden cold-wave in Hyderabad a few weeks back made me super-lethargic. And then I fell ill. My dad visited for a week. Instead of me taking care of him, he ended up taking care of me, starting from cleaning the house to having my coffee ready by the time I woke up in the morning *hiding face in shame*. We went to Ramoji Film City also. Four-and-a-half years of living in Hyderabad, and I finally had to wait for my dad to come down to go there.

After he left, it was a crazy fortnight of work. So crazy, that I didn’t have time to even eat. Even otherwise, I’ve been floating around in Zombieland for a while. Time to come back from there, because although the stay there is pretty good, let’s face it, the biryani is much better down here on earth. And that’s what matters at the end of the day, right?

Sincere apologies for not replying to any comments, from my regular bloggers and a few new bloggers. Extremely sorry. No excuse.

So Bhargavi and Keirthana bestowed me with the Veteran Blogger award. Yay!! :) Thank you so much, lovely ladies.

Bhargavi, the soon-to-be-mom, has a kickass tongue-in-the-cheek sense of humour that you will absolutely love. She’s a model reader who religiously comments on every post of mine, even the crappy ones. I’d linked her post Sambhar-ism once before on one of my posts, so some of you might be familiar with her. For the rest of you who’re not, head over and say a hi, ok? And drop a wish too, because she’s soon going to pop. (Sorry, babe, couldn’t help that one :P ) And ooh ooh! She’s also going to get published soon! Super-awesome, no?!

Keirthana’s writing is like a mountain spring- clear, smooth, sometimes meandering, but always purposeful. Her encouragement and appreciation has been a major boost to me. And I’m sure it will continue to be. She is also a wonderful reader who makes it a point to comment on every post of mine. She says that my blog is the one that made her realize what blogging is. This, while making me feel proud on one hand, also makes me realize that I actually managed to influence somebody! That never happens! :/ Thanks a lot, Keirthana!

I know I’ve done this tag before as well, when I got the award the first time. But I want to write today. Not particularly because I’ve had a brainwave or anything, but because if I don’t, I might just forget how to.

We all know the drill. I’m just going to skip it and do the random facts thingie. Because you know…umm.. uh.. ok. No reason. I just want to write about myself. Again. :/ Go sue. Hmph.

1) I cannot bear hunger. If I’m hungry and I don’t get food immediately, I get a headache. Then I get cranky and start snapping at random people. If you tell me we’ll have lunch together, and then you make me wait for an hour, you’re dead meat. No pun intended.

2) The smell and taste of milk nauseates me. I’m a fan of milk-powder, because it tastes and smells so much nicer. It’s always been a tug-of-war at home, trying to make me drink milk. When I make coffee or tea, the milk to water ratio is 1:4. My dad makes tea and coffee in like a litre of milk. When he visited me in Hyderabad, he made me drink more milk in a week than I’ve had in a year. Blech! :/ My kitchen was smelling of it for days!

3) My name is Divya and I’m not ambitious.
Or maybe I have/had too many of them. At one time, I wanted to be a teacher. That gave way to fashion designer. Then I wanted to be an Ob-Gyn(yes, seriously. Inspired by Readers' Digest's Book Bonus stories about brave doctors who save babies' and mothers' lives magically). This one quickly gave way- because, you know, it actually involves a lot of studying and work, neither of which I was willing to do- to engineer. This one got blotted out due to the increasing number of red marks on my report card. Those two years (11th & 12th standard) are still a haze to me. What did I do, where did I go, whom did I meet? All I remember is consistently failing. After this, during my graduation, I wanted to be a journalist. Then I wanted to get into radio. All through my MA, I was consistent about this one, and even got my first job in it. I loved it. But then the hectic lifestyle (or no-life-at-all-style) and bad pay got to me. Quit it, got into Corp Comm. Currently, I have no idea what I want to do or be. The column is empty.

But you know, the one thing that has remained a constant all through my life (or from the time I can remember), through all the other ambitious phases, is “I want to be a writer”…

4) I love listening to stories, especially love stories. Whenever I come to know that someone has a girlfriend/boyfriend or had a love marriage, the first thing I ask is “So what’s your story?”

5) I’ve realized that blogging has given a whole new meaning to ‘random’. There is nothing random about ‘random’ anymore.

I think that’s enough random for now. Actually, if random is what you’re looking for, then I can put it in one big, huge, bullet point- MY LIFE.


There is no time to weep.
I have stories to file and guest-post promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep…
And miles to go before I sleep…

Yes, I'm bad at poetry. I know that.

I'm not tagging anyone for the award because I cannot give it to just one blogger. There are many of you out there whose blogs I read and love. So this goes out to each and every one of you.