She Could Fly No More

Flightless Bird


Flightless Bird
– 
A short story

 

“I’ve got the best bird around town”, he bragged as his friends felt envious of him. After all, the guy-gang had spent years outside women’s college, hunting for good chicks. Only he had been lucky.

His bird had shiny eyes, spring in her steps and golden wings that took elegant ambitious flights that left him enraptured, till he captured her and kept her solely for himself.

Soon this bird, with the sweetest voice ever, forgot to sing. Her beauty lost its lustre, for she did not eat much and lost her sleep. She walked around a little but flights she took no more.

One day he came back home with his friend and saw her lying sprawled on the floor, her tattered feathers scattered all around her.

It so happened that out of sheer curiosity to know if she could still fly or not, the bird had dared to climb atop the roof, hesitatingly spread her nervous jammed wings, only to fall down trembling. And lifeless.

As he stood looking at her, his friend remarked, “Mate! I had warned you. That’s what happens when you get such a high flying bird.”

I’ll be careful next time”, he replied curtly

~~~ ~~~

My story was inspired by the picture prompt provided by Luther Siler for Friday Fictioneers.

 

For the Cute and Homely Witches

My previous short story – The Lives of Witches & Bitches  – for this week’s flash fiction challenge Mondays Finish the Story was a bit sad. Now I’ve written this second fun story to humor myself and others.
In MFtS…we are given a picture and the beginning line, we create and finish the rest of it.

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For the Cute and Homely Witches

“From her small balcony, the witch watched the world go by” –  This was the opening phrase of the drama that her 8th Grade was presenting, and enthusiastic Sheena had been diligently practicing her dialogues.

Her amazed and amused mom decided to pull her leg. “Are you playing the role of a witch? Ha ha…my girl who doesn’t even like to touch a broom.

Maa! Who says witches use a broom to clean their room. They sit on it and flyyyy away!.

Oh really? But you don’t even like cooking. Witches spend hours cooking in cauldrons

Mom, what do you mean? Indian women too love using cauldrons and the way they eagerly brew herbs and spices. So, are they…??”

Mom was amused by the reverse logic in what her daughter said but she cleverly smiled it away and replied, “Of course Indian women cast a magical spell on others with their healing food

Sheena decided to ignore this one. She sat humming “Double double, toil and trouble…”

Mom laughed, “No toil for you my delicate baby, but you are my trouble. Very naughty trouble!

This time, Sheena decided to win her heart. Walking up to her mom, she hugged her from behind and said “That I am!”

~~~~ ~~~

Double, double toil and trouble.
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.”
…lines from Shakespeare’s Macbeth where the three witches chant together as they put stuff in a cauldron.

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To pill or not to pill

Looking at the way people consider cooking as a chore, I have manufactured a short and simple solution, a pill to take care of our basic need of eating food at regular intervals.

Although there already are too many hunger-killing as well as hunger enhancing food items in the shops, they do not serve the purpose. These hunger-killing shakes, drinks or snack bars, curb our urge while providing some nutrition.

My pill is different. Take a pill in the morning, take one in the evening.  Vitamin-PillsWith pills, you do not stop feeling hungry, you don’t curb your hunger but it’s taken care of by a simple sweet tiny pill. As such, you all take so many pills each day – for this vitamin and that vitamin.  With my two pills inside your guts, no need for food or any extra pill.

But, having gone through some of the responses to the survey Red Pill, Blue Pill, I am disheartened. My hopes are dashed. My business that had started to take-off, is in doldrums.That’s because you people are not happy with the idea of a pill.

Animals were happier than you. I fed some cows on these pills and they seemed pleased that they don’t have to keep hanging around pastures anymore. Animals don’t even have to cook their food but they still preferred gulping a pill to eating grass. No need to munch the whole day. My pill-fed cows were still happy to donate us humans ample milk for cheap, and baby cows fed on pills felt they won’t have to feel deprived of their mom’s milk.  The race horses said, they were happy that they’ll be able to slog the whole day without wasting time on eating food.

Humans, it seems, are different.  Sensual men and women love their senses – their mouths drooling at the sight of colorful food, their taste buds getting excited upon tasting sweet, sour, spicy, salty food.

How many times a day do we have to eat?  We humans imagine that overnight we kept a fast and we celebrate breaking this fast with our breakfast.  We need so many food times – lunch time, dinner time and tea times. In fact our life revolves around these food times.  Buying of wide variety of food, proper storage of perishable food, refrigeration, disposal of rotten food. Then we fuss over buying elegant cookware and dinnerware, and spend time and money on equipment and gadgets to make our cooking easier.  Serving food on fancy tables so as to please our eyes.  After that we overeat, put on weight and then feel guilty of not exercising enough.

We love our food. But this is the food given to us by animals and birds – their eggs, their milk, and they themselves sacrifice their life for us. Plants too give their full life or else their body parts to us, so that we can hog on them and live a healthy life.

My creation – this pill – will not only save these plants and animals but also help humans, esp. the fairer sex (I dare not say weaker sex) from slogging. I can reduce their kitchen workload; so they don’t have to keep pleasing their families.

So guys, please do re-consider your response to this prompt.  It can help the animal kingdom as well as human race.

That said, honestly speaking, I myself love wide variety of sumptuous food recipes cooked by my wife. I would never like to stop eating them.  Although I want to stop being a glutton, I hunt for best eateries around town. Don’t tell anyone but I’m not sure even after marketing these pills I may find myself unable to resist food. More than that I won’t be happy if my growing kids are deprived of micro-nutrients and calories they can get only from fresh food.  No pills for them.  My aging parents may not be able to tolerate a pill.

Oh well!  Is that another failed experiment?  Hope not. Hope one day my science finds some alternative solution. Not pills. Not too much food obsession the whole day. Something in between, and better than hunger-reducing snacks and shakes.

To Be As Clean As Can Be

The Daily Post’s writing prompt Sweeping Motions has asked us:
‘What’s messier right now — your bedroom or you computer’s desktop (or your favorite device’s home screen)? Tell us how and why it got to that state.’

~~~~

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My computer table is messy. No No, my room is messier. No No, it’s my table….

Both are slightly messy. Both are clean.  But there’s a reason to why they are like that?  I mean, c’mon, what else do you expect?  Unlike India, here in Australia we’ve to do most of the work by ourselves. Moreover, with more than half of my family of three enjoying their trips, currently I’m doing all the work by myself.  It’s a different issue that less family members also means less work.

In general, if there is a long list of work to be done all the time – say cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing etc. etc – what will happen?  We’ll have to prioritize, innit?  We’ll do only that which is absolutely necessary.

Cooking is vital, followed by cleaning of the kitchen. Hygiene in kitchen is more important than that of the rest of the house. Cleaning of toilets is also necessary but this week, with most of my family away, I’m using  only one toilet. When the sole person using the bathroom and toilet is a woman, it doesn’t get much dirty anyway.

Ok.  Next task?  We need clothes every day.  At the most I can forego the ironing of each and every washed piece, but washing of clothes is still a necessary chore to be done every alternate day.

Only after these vital chores are over, comes a need for room cleaning and yard cleaning. Bedroom cleaning involves carpet cleaning every other day. Currently I do not see a dire need for it, so the floor looks fine. The bedroom wardrobe always seems to have a room for cleaning. Also exists the task of changing of bedsheets but not every single day as I use my bed only for sleeping, not for watching TV or casual sitting around.  Hence sometimes, when I’m in a hurry, I avoid making my bed. But it’s Okkkk!!!

My computer table is currently within my bedroom. Other than the laptop and another big screen computer, right now it has some scattered pens, random visiting cards, letters and envelopes, some coasters, phones being charged. Is that a mess?  Thanks to my deteriorating eye-sight, I can’t clearly spot the dust even if it is there. A dressing table, that sits next to the computer table, has a drawer full of charging wires, ear-phones, head phones, diaries and writing stuff but it hardly has any makeup or beauty items that it ‘s supposed to have. Any fines for that?

But Hey Word Press!! Why am I telling you all this? And why are you asking?

Other than busy schedules, the way we all are addicted to blogging as well as to the rest of the online media, you can’t expect us to be cleaner than we are. There’s so much information overload online that I spend more time reading about ‘How to use lemon or vinegar to clean the house’, rather than on actual cleaning.  There’s no dearth of sites that inform about ‘How olive oil can help clean leather items’, or ‘How to use baking soda to clean your face as well as your house’. Organic cleaning is the best, they say. But just reading about all this information is not going to automate the cleaning of our homes.

To conclude it all as a poem….

 The amount of time we spend online
 Messy rooms and tables are not a crime.
 Please do not track our rooms
 Go home and clean your own room.
(no offense meant)

An Obedient Feminist

An Obedient Feminist

A free thinking woman
She fights for everyone’s rights.
With hubby’s permission.

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*****

For: Ronovan Writes Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge 54
Words Provided:  Free & Think

*****

Anti-feminists

I’m a free thinking woman
I love gender equality.
But if I fight with men
then who’s going to…
mow my lawn
fix the taps
open my car door
pay the bills
pamper me
like a queen.
But
I like equality
I respect all men.

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*****

In response to my post, Lola from ‘Through Lola’s Prism’ asked me “What is the punchline?”.  Well, I had left it to the readers to figure it out.  But generally…is feminism an eyewash…more of an oxymoron?

Tears at the Mirror

Every time
I look into a mirror
I am moved to tears

Not because 
I look too gorgeous
but bcoz I do not

Hey you! why can’t you be
as pretty as you look
in your pictures”

*

Mirrored face is fake
but not as unreal
as the pictures
that
Picasa remakes

fbe_girl

Actually that is an exaggeration, as neither are my photographs too good nor is the actual face in a mirror too bad. Both are average, like that of every other common woman.  But film stars and magazine models can very well sing this poem.

In general, these days people experiment with their photographs by modifying it slightly, giving it a special touch via picture editors like Photoshop, Picasa or Pic Monkey – lovely sepia, glow or other touch-ups.

Good thing is, most people use such image editors at one time or the other, so it’s kind of ok to do such touch-ups.  Everyone is equally fake, or should we all are equally creative.

Probably it is good for self-esteem; quite similar to the purpose of our beauty enhancing make-up, foundation, BB creams, concealers etc, that do nothing much. Illusions and temporary effects in this era of quick-fixes. Instant happiness.
But do they give happiness?  Well, kind of. Like children pleased with toys.

~~~

For:  The Daily Prompt –  Moved to Tears

Describe the last time you were moved to tears by something beautiful.

Types of Tatters

Featured

Tattered Women

Two women in tatters
One for the want of needed clothes
Other wants tattered clothes.
 

Ripped jeans are in vogue. Those peek-a-boo type that reveal just a little to create the desired effect (or so the wearer thinks). The concept is that of straying away from perfection, to look rustic yet glamorous. Rubbed and smudged smokey eyes instead of perfectly lined eyeliner, tousled unruly hair instead of a prim bob or perfect blunt. All this teamed with torn jeans or tees. And still not look like a beggar. Now that’s creativity!!

Compare this to a poor girl/woman. Someone who wears clothes with a sole purpose of covering herself because she has to – to protect her body from weather. She can’t afford good clothes, she wears same few clothes over and over till they start to look torn and tattered. No glamour, no creativity there.

So. It makes sense if all the fashionistas donate their unused clothes as much as they can, esp. those which are like-new but not in use any more, for they are, as women say ‘no more in vogue’. After all, what’s the point of holding on to them if they have already been deemed out-of-fashion by our snooty branded friends and relatives, isn’t it? Give them away and let some poor woman wear a complete and whole untattered dress, which she can proudly call her own.

~~ ~~

That was my Haiku for this week’s Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Challenge 41.
The poem was composed using two words that were given to us: want  & tatter

My above Haiku poem was awarded with A Ronovan Writes Serious Haiku Choice

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These compliments were also showered along with the award:
“Alka Girdhar
of Magnanimous WordTypes of Tatters. A very good subject this week. In truth the best subject matter yet. @girally

https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-41-review/

~~~

Picture Credit: pixabay pinterest
Copyright © 2015 Written by Alka Girdhar ~ All rights reserved

Fairy Tales or Gory Tales

My two poems in response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Once Upon a Time.”
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Fairy Tales or Gory Tales
Girls, do you think, after a while
In the middle of ordinary life
Love will come from somewhere
And give you a fairy tale?

No prince will come on a white horse
And sweep you off your feet
Modern princes are out for fun
Romance and love is not their need

Modern Cinderella dreams of Gucci
She’s not happy with her faded jeans
She’s not happy mopping the floor
She dreams of luxury fit for a queen

Fairy tales and false dreams
Are for the faint hearted
At the end of the day
Life is a harsh reality

Life is meant to be lived
Hour by hour, day by day
Living is meant to be earned
Drop by drop, penny by penny

Love won’t come and woo you
Love is meant to be reached out
Love is meant to be earned
To be given more, with less return

So girls watch out!!  Once in while
In the middle of ordinary life
Love may come from nowhere
To give you a nightmare

Because…keep in mind
Life is not a fairy tale
It’s more painful than a fairy tale
Yet more beautiful than a fairy tale

***   ***   ***

Modern Cinderella

Once upon a time…
there lived a funky girl
who was as cool as
her designer clothes
and as vibrant as
her shoe collection.
Shoes that she never lost
like dumb Cinderella did

She had a few boy-friends
To one, she became a wife
Both had a few lovely kids
Both paid-off their mortgage
to own their house
Both traveled the world
and lived happily
till they could

© All rights reserved 2015

Heartful Brainful Me

What percentage of our brain power do we use? There’s this assumption that it is not more than 10%. Is that true? At least we grow up trying to use more.

……

As I was growing up, like most other dads, my dad too was a great advocate of using one’s brain. Looking into my eyes, he used to put his finger at his temple, knock it and suggest, “Use your brain”.  Say, if he had assigned me some challenging maths problem or was helping me with my homework, then the solution was as easy as saying  – ‘Use your brain’.  At this, I would look dreamily and thoughtfully at the distance with narrowed squinting eyes and act as if I was indeed thinking hard and using my brain.

That was childhood. But as we grow older, we women have our hands more on our sighing hearts rather than on the temples of our brain. In school, where irrespective of our gender, we are allowed to be intelligent and so women do very well in academics often better than boys. While still single, most girls begin their career well and establish a ground. But I’ve seen this phenomenon time and again, that soon, as they get married, when it comes to demands laid by their newly-formed family, women end up using their full hearts much more than their full brains.

In pursuit of best possible care for their family, many of these sensitive souls end up putting their brains in their kitchen wardrobe or in their baby’s toy-box, or else wrap their brain in their teenager’s marks-sheet and forget to take it out. Finally when they do take the ‘walnut‘ out of its closet, it is already distorted and crumpled due to its lack of use or less use than required, or sometimes misuse.

And given the current scientific assumption that even high-achievers have used only 10% of their brain, we can deduce that those women (and men) who have neither fully utilized their educational qualifications nor achieved their career to its full potential, well they have not even used 10% of their brain. What they could have achieved in their career or life, they’ll never ever know. It’s a different matter altogether that what they gain by spending maximum time loving and caring for their children, is much more than any full brain achievements.

There is another category of people who use mainly their heart, hence the brain goes ignored. They are ‘people in love‘.  With illogical infatuation, the brain goes into the bin and heart becomes the king. Brain sleeps while heart sighs and cries and sings and laughs.   Most people in love use only 2.83% of their brain, that too neither in academics nor in any creative pursuits. But possibly they are happy with what they get – an experience of being in love. Ask a dumped lover if he/she should not have got carried away too much, they will always justify, “It’s better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all”.  No regret for all the time wasted.

There is another situation when we cannot use our brain to its fullest and cannot further add any constructive knowledge to it. Well folks, if something is already full up to the brim, can there be any space left for putting anything else in it? Gibberish like stray unhealthy thoughts, redundant ideas, unproductive day-dreaming, constant worrying about others – all these  occupy so much space in our brain that at any particular moment of time or hour or day, our unintelligent thoughts are running hay-wire.

And since our actions are the products of our thoughts, with faulty thoughts we often end up walking in the wrong direction. Even in this wrong direction taken, we are unable to do our very best if we are bothered about office politics or neighborly disputes, or if we look here and there and let others run our life. Unfortunately, most people do have vulnerable brains like that and hence most people use their brains very less, or else guided by others they use it in the wrong direction.

Besides all the above criteria, of course there are many other reasons why we do not use our brain to its fullest potential. Lethargy, lack of direction, lack of motivation, lack of right resources, ill-health – there can be any number of valid reasons.

So where do I stand in all this?  Did I or did I not used my brain to its fullest?

If I had not encountered at least some of the above negating factors, if I could get back my lost years, could regain my lost opportunities and if I could turn back time and spend my life in one city focusing on one career, then I would like to set many things right. I would use my brain to establish an excellent career in any one of my favorite fields, but from an early age. Due to changing circumstances, I got to experience many different work areas, thus becoming a Jill of many trades. The result was people consider me heavily multi-skilled, well versed in most. But am I a super veteran in one? Something that is possible even for mediocre brains to achieve if, year after year, they stay solely dedicated in their singular field of work. Therefore, those who judge others on the basis of positions and awards a person had, would not understand me. But there are others who will tell me I’ve been rather lucky. After all, it’s one life and it’s great to have experienced life in its myriad forms. In fact, gaining myriad skills and jobs is like using all parts of one’s brain a lot, rather than only left brain or right brain. Not bad.

If I could use my brain to its fullest, I would also like to write such wonderful books that even in this brain-dead era of social media addiction, after reading my books, all these netizens would willingly desert their non-smart smartphones, will forget about enlightening others with their copy-paste FB quotes and jokes, even temporarily forget to take selfies but would eagerly que up outside the bookshops to purchase my next book, only to discover at the counter that they just got sold-out.

But right now, even with whatever writing ability I have, there is lack of focus, motivation or will to logically organize the pages upon pages of poems and essays that I have written in my computer folders. One needs the use of full brain so as to practically and diligently put one’s written documents in a meaningful order so that the chaos can be called a ‘book’.  But the brain-using-ability I have right now is only 7.69% or less.

There is another creative side of my brain which again I have used only 5.12%.   I would like to compose my music and sing it too, such music that leaves Beethoven and Mozart open-mouthed in awe and will make Hollywood or Bollywood all sign me up for their next song.

Of course, the list is endless. Would like to do portraits and landscapes in oils and acrylics, something learnt long ago but not pursued, even after winning awards. Knitting and sewing are also the tasks that had rather become a cause of shame for the younger me, as I always opined that these are not meant for the academic me. Not applying myself fully into it, meant anytime I began knitting a cardigan I had to leave it unfinished, for I could simply not grasp the intricacies of shaping a neck using multiple knitting needles and threads. In cooking I would like to learn some versatile international cuisines. Creating a visually appealing as well as nutritious food also demands the use of more than 10% brain, actually 16.87% to be more precise. That’s if we could measure our brain usage in percentages.

Having said all this, I personally feel we do not use our brain merely 10%. We use our brain as well as our heart much more than the assumed 10%.  It varies from person to person and from time to time.

In good humour, I categorised the above few kinds of people who do not use their brain 100%.  There is a possibility that they do not want to use their brain to its fullest. That’s because it is too much an effort to keep trying to use our brain to its fullest. Is it better to live life as it comes along?

Really. People should be allowed to do what they want. Full brain is necessary to discover a vital cure for deadly cancer, or to discover and research the whole physical universe.   But a good heart is as vital as a good brain. It makes this world a better loving place, if all the down-trodden are looked after by some self-less kind hearts.

And see what my poetic heart says:

Using my brain 100%
makes me
heartless

Using my heart 100%
makes me
brain dead

heart vs brain
brain vs heart

Not one wins
As I use both
but none 100%

And that’s the
Heartful Brainful Me

 ~~Alka ~~

The Daily Post’s writing prompt brain power prompts us to try using our brain more than our current 10%.