Building Up & Down

Here are my two short stories/flash fiction with the same title ‘Building Up & Building Down’, for the weekly challenge Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by Priceless Joy. They were inspired by the below photo-prompt provided by Ellespeth’s Friend.

photo-20160222081613639

Story 1

“Superb! A marvel!!”

“Agree. It’s too beautiful!! But what did he do in the end? Build a grand Taj Mahal for his wife and then…then…cut off the hands of loyal laborers who built it?”

“Of course it’s just a myth! Emperor Shah Jahan wouldn’t have been so cruel”, Ravi argued. “Anyway modern builders are no better!”

“And how’s that?”, Sheena raised her eyebrows in her usual argumentative mood.

“Even if, for a while we forget about illegal occupation of lands by builders, we can’t overlook the buildings that collapse due to bad structure and poor quality material used. The destitute inmates lose their life and meager resources. It’s all gain for builders and their families”

“Some truth in your rant. Last month a high rise building in my neighborhood came crumbling down on workers who were still inside”

“And don’t forget how some ambitious builders aspire to be rulers, quite like old time emperors. Entering politics is a shortest route to assert power while their manipulative ways continue”

“Hey Ravi! You sound angry. How about enjoying Taj Mahal while we are at it!”

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

 

Story 2

How are you supposed to feel if your colleague makes you laugh during busy working hours, esp. when you all are hanging in the air with your hands covered in concrete while, like some acrobat, you struggle to balance your feet?

But he always did that. For some reason, he could not work quietly. Either singing aloud or humming funny songs that kept us workers entertained. His hilarious jokes were often side splitting.

The contractor tried to control these distractions. But then, he was not always around.

Being a newbie in the industry, I personally feared losing my balance. And so, the other day when I was in the middle of gut-busting giggles and laughter, I decided to step down the ladder. While I sat and sipped tea to regain my calm, I heard a sound.

Thud! It was he who fell down from such height that he’s now hospitalised. Once his fracture is healed, I wonder if he’ll become too serious a worker. We’ll miss his jokes for sure.

 

© 2015 Alka Girdhar

Catch the Criminals

The Daily Prompt:  Dear LeaderIf your government (local or national) accomplishes one thing this year, what would you like that to be?

~~~

Reading this for a while I thought , which country – Australia, India or the whole world? The whole gamut of issues exist that need to be fixed.

In Australia, there are certain recurrent issues that need attention and solution. Treatment of asylum seekers is one such problem that has become a Human Rights violation issue. Another issue is related to the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. Much as they have been exploited and disadvantaged in the past, they need huge improvement in their lives as crime rate is going high amongst their community

Talking about crime rate, in general Australia has always had low crime rate compared to many other countries. But nowadays, this too is becoming a major issue, albeit one that directly influences our lives.

Recently, one busy early morning as I casually watched TV, some superintendent from Crime Stoppers was warning viewers about how criminals nowadays do not look for empty homes.  He said they now focus on occupied homes when inmates are inside so that they can get car keys and other things easily and walk away.  At this, the TV host asked the superintendent a plethora of questions about how to keep oneself safe. I too paused my work to pay attention to this part.  As I mentally noted his warnings, exactly five minutes later I came out of my front door only to discover that my car had been burgled. I must say it was a very spooky coincidence. My previous post was on this topic.

So yes.  Crime in Sydney should not grow higher than what it is.  Australia should continue to be a safe and peace loving country that is always has been. Police should not take such burglaries lightly.

Other than this, I am lightly familiar with the casual working style of government officials and leaders. From a very early age, for a few years I worked as a casual newsreader at All-India-Radio. Later on I also worked in Australian Public Service for some time. These jobs were my direct stint with the workings of government offices. Wonderful as they are, they have their limitations.

People want quick results from their leaders but after winning the elections (by hook or by crook), by the time political parties settle down and devise their strategies, it is their time to leave. Slow as snail!  Policies get no time to be fully implemented. So much nepotism and red-tapism runs within government offices.

Therefore, for us public, it’s not enough to keep hoping for miracles, and also not enough to identify what we would like our leaders to do. It is necessary to voice out your opinion, in whatever way you want – via radio, print media or some other voluntary organisations. Let your public voice be heard!.

I participate in local government affairs by calling various talk-back radio shows to convey my views on sociopolitical issues. Other than this, it is the Non-Government Organisations – the NGOs – that are now a big force of change and we should work for them. Whenever possible, I try to do voluntary work for Australian and Indian organisations, as well as those in any other part of the world.

Our dear leaders are not enough. They have better things to do than solve our problems.

DIY – Easy Fix

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Easy Fix.”

Leaky Showers – Easy Fix

I always thought
singing
dancing
painting
were my forte
my neglected skills
 must learn them
rather relearn

last sunday
home alone
bath-shower got leaky
shower dripping
hot water bursting
all round flooding

long time back
had learnt the skill
of fixing leaky taps
of changing washers
practiced
off and on

this DIY skill
now came handy
thankfully I survived
but at the same time
 I realised

that fine arts
 please our soul
 quench our heart
help us connect
to nature
to God
to after-life

but it is
the basic skills
like
fixing leaky showers
that help us
live, survive
and easily
fix
our daily life

you see
things went wrong
I applied
my DIY skill
and
all was right in the world

***

DIY – Leaky Showers

  Leaky Showers – Easy Fix

I always thought
singing
dancing
painting
were my forte
my neglected skills
I must learn them
rather relearn

last Sunday
home alone
bath-shower got leaky
shower dripping
hot water bursting
all round flooding

long time back
had learnt the skill
of fixing leaky taps
of changing washers
practiced
off and on

this DIY skill
now came handy
thankfully I survived
but at the same time
I realised

that fine arts
please our soul
quench our heart
help us connect
to nature
to God
to after-life

but it is
the basic skills
like
fixing leaky showers
that help us
live, survive
and easily fix
our daily life

you see
things went wrong
I applied
my DIY skill
and
all was right in the world

***

The above poem “Leaky Showers” is based on my recent experience, when shower tap burst open. My basic skills in plumbing and carpentry were handy, but one can do better. With our habit of closing the water taps too tightly, and with men of the family on perpetual tours, woman these days have to be know-all

If I Had a Hammer

Easy Fix