Tuesday, May 31, 2011

#Trust30 | Day 1 - Fifteen minutes to live

This post is part of the #Trust30 Project. #Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge from TheDominoProject that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Learn more at RalphWaldoEmerson.me


I have always been afraid to find the potential in me. Self-doubt is the greatest enemy in my life.
So given these fifteen minutes, I want to do something that destroys this self-doubt. What could I do in 15 mins you ask? I know the one thing that will give me freedom from self-doubt and that is "to let it go". 

Let go of the doubt in me that I will possibly under perform at something
Let go of the awkwardness when it comes to admitting I don't know something
Let go of the fears - fear of losing someone I love, fear of failing at something really really bad, fear of speaking truth even if it means that I will break someone's heart
Let go of the moments that made me look shameful and embarrassed and humiliated
Let go of the constant urge to prove my self to others. Why? Why do you care?
Let go of the comparisons I draw with other people. I am unique. I can create a parallel world if I want.
Let go of all the inhibitions and be what I used to be when I was a little child. Selfless. Inquisitive. Happy. Smiling. Rebellious. Passionate. Fearless. Awesome.

Thank you Mom, Dad and A. 

If I live beyond the hypothetical fifteen minutes, I will print the above in a poster format and hang it up my wall.

Today's prompt:

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.

1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.

2. Write the story that has to be written.

(Author: Gwen Bell)

Monday, May 30, 2011

What do you want from me?

This is my entry for Indie Ink Writing Challenge - Week 4

She flipped through her journal and sighed as she realized her entries over the past month sounded so unhappy. Whenever she felt low, she found respite in her diary - a journal of her 20 years of life so far. She fondly mused at her maturity over the years. She wished she could show it as a proof of her maturity to her parents who still treated her a child. But the journal was too precious to be revealed. She suddenly felt vulnerable at the thought of someone bumping into her diary. She pushed aside bad thoughts instantly and flipped back to the pages she knew had happy entries.

"Oh this one...", she giggled to herself when she came across an entry titled "The day I punched the douchebag in his face". She read it out (probably for the 50th time now), softly so no one could hear, although she was the only one sitting by her apartment window.

1991, May 26

Title: The day I punched the douchebag in his face

...I wonder why he is so mean to us. Why would a boy throw stones at girls, hiding behind the big rock at the playground. I know why. He is a douchebag. I told Miss. Carter about him. She never listens to me. She asks me to finish my assignment instead and stop complaining. "Dont whine Katy". That's what she tells me. Always. God, if you grant me a wish, I will ask you to send an army of tarantulas to her bedroom. Miss. Carter hates spiders. I would like to see if she whines then. Haha. I dont know how I did it today. I couldn't take it anymore, watching that douchebad of a boy hurling bigger pebbles now at Sarah and Martha. 

Papa always told me I shouldn't fear anything except God. And he is not God. He is a douchebag. I still remember when I came crying to Papa one day and told him how the boy hurt us, over dinner. He looked straight in my eye and said "And what do you expect me to do? Talk to your teacher and get him caned? Is that how you you are going to get your self-respect back? If you got self-respect, you defend it. Your Miss. Carter is right. Stop whining". After that night, I planned every moment of my life on how to fight back for my self respect...

So today when he tried to hit us with stones, we cornered him at his hiding place. He didn't seem to be scared. Until, I showed him his priced collection of baseball cards that he kept in an old tin box. In the other hand I held a cigarette lighter that I stole from Papa's coat pocket. I put on the most spiteful face I could and said "You stop this stoning and I will spare your treasure. Or I will burn them." He didn't know I could never get the lighter on. It never worked. But I kept my threatening face intact. I saw his face go pale but he recovered quickly.

"I will complain to Miss. Carter", he warned.

"Oh yeah? Miss. Carter is on vacation and I will burn your cards anyway. She can do nothing about it.", I scowled back. 

By now a big crowd of boys and girls had gathered around me. The girls started to cheer for me. The boys, being stupid boys that they are, stayed neutral. He felt awkward suddenly. He suddenly moved towards me and tried to pry the tin box from me. I resisted. 

"Fine. Give it to me and I will spare you girls", he grunted.

I don't know what had happened. I think it was the word spare that drove me crazy. I instantly drew all the strength I could muster and punched him in his face with that tin box. He fell down with a loud thud and I heard him say "Bitchhhhhhhhhhh.....", but not for long. I was down on him and clawing his face with my nails. 
I think I kept punching him and ripping his shirt apart until the Coach had pulled me away from him while I flapped my knees in the air...."

She stopped reading and laughed so hard that Becca, her dog who was sound asleep woke up and peered at her with its round eyes. "Go back to sleep Becks!", she said, stealing a few gaps from her laugh.

She thought, how can she be upset over her encounter today with her angry boss. She had mindlessly started an entry an hour ago in her diary....

2011, May 26

Title: What do you want from me?

I can't believe he told today what I think he told. He called me a loser. He said I was incapable of judgement. That I was a liability to the firm. All because I did not suck up to the wealthy client and make a decision that favored the firm over my integrity. How could he speak those harsh words after all the months of hard work and dedication? I am so hurt. I am so depressed. I wish I never lived to see this life.

Even though it wasn't my fault, I had knocked on his door in the noon to apologize. He looked up at me and yelled "What do you want from me?" 

That's where she had stopped her entry. She took her pen and continued...

"What do I want? A little self-respect you douchebag! 

Reference:  "The day I punched the douchebag in his face", dated May 26, 1991."

She shut her journal, emailed her resignation letter to Mr. Adler and kissed Becca good night.


My challenge came from Michael Webb this week. I initially wanted to write a dialog between an adolescent kid and a parent. But then I tried to think through my childhood for inspiration ;-) And this incident, ladies and gentleman, happened for real, haha. Of course, names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved, ahem. *Grin*
So Michael and others who stopped by to read this entry - "Hope you liked it!"

My challenge went to Sir this week. My challenge reads as: "If there was one thing you would like to change in your childhood life, what would you change and why?"
I am just curious to see what others would like to change in their childhood, given a chance. So the weird topic :-)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Why I hated Mickey Mouse..

This post is in reply to this week's Indie Ink Writing Challenge - Week 3


She woke up all groggy. It felt like a weekend morning. Sort of like the time when she wanted to pull the sheets on her and go back to sleep. Only that she saw what she assumed was a Mickey Mouse standing right in front of her. Wait is that Minnie? Or Mickey Mouse? She rubbed her eyes a little unwillingly. She always thought rubbing her eyes made her sleep escape instantly. But she wanted to make sure that WASN'T Mickey Mouse. Because of a freak childhood incident, Mickey Mouse always gave her the creeps.

She rubbed her eyes twice. Sleep had long eluded her now. Instead shock had taken over. Wait. "Is this a joke?", she thought aloud. "What the....", she heard her abusive word fade away as shock took over again.

"You are a freaking mouseeeee", she heard herself shriek.

It was then that she realized. Except that it wasn't her bed that she was sleeping on. This wasn't her bedroom. Wait, what are these loose white clothes I am wearing and what's this arm band?

"You are in the World's most friendly and fun hospital!", said Mickey.

"What the...", she said. This must be her nightmare. She always knew that childhood incident was going to haunt her back. But she hadn't expected it now. Not after last night.

Slowly the reality dawned. Last night. Candle light dinner. The daisies. Romantic walk on the pavement. That important phone call. Her rushed exit after that. And then the car heading right at her at a breakneck speed. Blackout.

"Where...where am I? And why isn't anyone I know here? Why are you here? I hate you. Go away!", she yelled at Mickey.

"Everyone loves magic. That's why I am here!", said Mickey.

"You and your stupid bow. You are nothing but a stupid little mouse", she said. No sooner than 5 secs had passed after she uttered those words when she felt taken aback at her own despise for Mickey. Where did all that hatred come from? If only THAT Mickey Mouse had behaved during her Orlando trip as a kid...She tried to mask her complex feelings as Mickey kept smiling and waving a wand...

"Great, so you think you are a magician? Well genius, then tell me why I am here listening to you when my family and friends should be here!", she yelled.

She felt a sharp tab at her neck suddenly but she kept yelling at Mickey.

"Wait you aren't supposed to speak, are you? I don't remember you speaking in real life. Err..I mean movies..."

"Hot Dogs! Hot Dogs!", said Mickey

"Ehh, what?", she said.

"Those were my first spoken words on TV!", Mickey laughed. "I met Alex today. Do you remember Alex?"

"Alex who? I don't know any Alex", she said looking in disgust. Her head was throbbing now.

"Tch tch. You must be in pain. Wait, have some hot tea", said Mickey as he waved his wand and there was hot piping tea cup on the table beside.

"Wowwww. Wait. You must have tricked me. Where did you get that tea from?", she said

"From the magicland! Alex wanted me to give this to you."

Alex...Alex the kid she taught at school. Whose parents were separated. And he was put up at a foster home since none of then wanted his custody. That poor kid.

"He's a bright kid you know", she said now slurping some tea. The tea seemed to work and her head slowly seemed to settle. "Hey but how do you know Alex?", she asked.

"You like Alex among all the kids in your class. Why?", asked Mickey instead of answering her.

"Umm..I don't know. I guess I like him because he's bright despite all the hard luck he has. I guess he's the only kid who never whines. Although he's the one who has all the reasons to whine..."

"Yes and no. Because you had a friend like Alex when you were a kid yourself."

"Heyyyyy...why are we talking about this? And wait, I am looking for my family and..."

"You hate me because I hurt Austin. Austin was just like Alex. You both always played together in the tree house, at nights, when he would run away from home and guys would play backgammon...all night.."

"...till the sun rise", she choked. Suddenly her eyes welled up.

"He loved Mickey Mouse. He loved you. So much. And you hurt him! How could you do that to him? How could you?"

Mickey waved his wand and she suddenly saw her childhood play in front of her, in a crystal ball. That day at Orlando, when they had finally arrived at Disneyland. Austin was so fascinated and happy and clapping his hands at every sight of Mickey. Until the unexpected happened. She had gone away to buy some ice cream when Austin came running to her. His blood had drained from the face. His palms sweaty. "Run Kristy run!", he shouted..

She took his word and ran. And they never came back. Again. Never.

It took days before Austin confided to her about what had happened. All he said was he saw Mickey Mouse eat a young kid! "Mickey had a kid for his lunch Kristy. He eats humans!"

But now she saw what had really happened in that crystal ball. The man with the Mickey Mouse suit was hungry standing and entertaining the kids the whole day. Disneyland apparently had some kind of "Make the biggest gingerbread man contest" that day. And guess who ate the foot-sized head of the gingerbread. Mickey Mouse. Or rather the man under the suit.

She burst into laughter, holding her tummy and burying her head into the sheets. "Wait till I tell this to Austin", she said as she lifted her head back.

Only that Mickey was gone. And the hospital attendant was looking down at her, puzzled.

"You need some rest now. Also your family will be here in some time. They were here all night, last night. Here are some flowers a gentleman left for you..", he said as he pulled the window blinds and arranged the daisies by the window sill.

"Wait, Austin would never believe this, would he?", she thought. She switched on the TV and watched Mickey on the Disney Channel, smiling to herself.


My challenge came from transplantedx3 this week. I was challenged to "You were in a car accident. You (or your character) wake up in the hospital to find a man dressed as Mickey Mouse standing next to your bed."

Honestly, I was stumped by this topic. I NEVER watched a single Mickey Mouse cartoon in my life. And obviously I couldn't pass off being a Mickey Mouse afficianado. So I chose to start the story with a negative tone to it..

I challenged Karla V with "You can now hear people's thoughts aloud. What are you going to do?;)"
Waiting for her post! Excited to check her story out:)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Hurt Locker

This post is in reply to this week's Indie Ink Writing Challenge - Week 2

I had woken up to a beautiful sun-kissed morning earlier that day. Life looked so promising.
I sang my way through the bathroom shower, had a long and relaxed breakfast, chose my wardrobe as if I was getting dressed for a prom. You get the point now. I took the time to smell the roses and all that good stuff. Until...this! This thing that threw me under the bus. Turned my life upside down. Got my life to a screeching halt. How can life get so painful all of a sudden?

It was predictable though. This had to happen. I had been living through this for 20 odd years. Hoping this was just a nightmare that would pass but alas, it came back to haunt me and give me grief. I loathed at my co-worker biting into a juicy sandwich and fresh espresso she picked up my favorite coffee place. Why God? Why me? Why only me? I turned my eyes away from her and tried to focus on the task at hand. But the nightmare dragged on. Thats it. I had to do this. Today. Now.
I cannot live like this any longer.

My co-worker swung by. I heard my manager congratulating her on something. She beamed and flashed her feasty smile, her perfect set of teeth shining through it. Damn it!

It was that instant, I picked my phone and made that call that was long due.

"Yes. This is an emergency", I spoke in a hushed tone.
"Sure. 4 pm is brilliant. Thanks.", I said as I headed back to my desk.

The next 3 hours were unbearable. Twitching. Arranging and re-arranging my papers on the desk. Constantly looking at the clock. Getting up for frequent bathroom visits. I saw my to-do lists on my desk and cringed. "If I live through this nightmare, I will never take these goddamn to-do lists seriously", I promised myself.

Clearly, I was dreading the moment. My nerves got the better of me.
The moment had arrived. I hadn't even planned on this. I hadn't even known this was coming earlier in the day. 4 pm struck. And the fateful moment had come. I was ready to go through hell...

I braced myself in the operating room. The doctor got out a gigantic looking syringe and poked me. At that moment I wished I was dead. I then saw metal pliers and other tools brandishing in front of me. And when the exact time had come I wimped out.

"Can I...can I get a break doc?", I choked in fear.
"Please..", I repeated myself.

The doctor's jaw hardened and then he shrugged. "OK, but make it quick. We need to work on this before the anesthesia wears out." He walked out frustrated.

I took a deep breath. I imagined blood and gore and pain. I tried to get rid of those images.
I sighed as I saw the doc walk back right in. It was hardly 5 mins, god damn it!

This time he seemed to move at a panther's pace, giving no attention to me.
How can he be so callous? I watched him and wished I was dead. I was about to yell in pain when in less than 30 secs he said "Busted! It's a freaking tooth for lord's sake. You are good to go now."

The next day I "victory walked" to work with two cups of fresh espresso and a gigantic sandwich, swinging right by my co-worker with a huge smile.

Wisdom tooth problem - Check.

And then I crumpled the list and threw it in the trash bin.
I logged onto twitter and tweeted "Life is good"


My challenge came from Katri this week. I was challenged to "It was only going to end up hurting you, but you did it anyway." I enjoyed this topic so much, thanks Katri!
I challenged Jen O. with "She was fed up with everything! She instantly decided to lead a life of no regrets...(Continue the story)"
I am excited to check her reply:)

PS: The title has nothing to do with the topic except for the word "hurt", haha. I guess I just wanted to keep it foolish so I wouldn't give away the story with the title;)

Thursday, May 05, 2011

PS: Your Secret Admirer

This post is in reply to this week's Indie Ink Writing Challenge - Week 1


I am not a die-hard romantic. In fact, I am too busy to notice anything around me. Until I bumped into you one day. The first thing I noticed about you was your generous smile. But let me tell you before you conclude this as a "cheesy" comment. That I have seen people smiling. So yes there is some credibility to my knowledge about "smiles". It was not the face, it was the eyes that smiled along, that drew me. You then did the most unbelievable thing I would imagine a grown-up adult would do. You climbed a tree! A freaking big tree! Unabashed. In fact you were wearing those teenager type of shoes. I don't know what they call them, those slippery sneakers? And you fought yourself to reach to the top while slipping along the way. You know I am talking about the carnival in the Valley don't you? Or do you climb trees, wherever you go?:) I was embarrassed for you when you kept falling down initially. But not once did you flinch or look ashamed. It looked like you didn't care about the world around you and the sole purpose of your existence was to climb this tree! I found it pretty amusing when I thought about this later. Each time you fell, you cursed. Of course, your friend was embarrassed. When you reached the top, you flexed your muscles for a picture. And as you looked below, to make your way down, I saw that terror spread all over your face. You were so scared and instantly you masked your fear with a smile again. The same smile. I wanted to wait longer, maybe even introduce myself to you, but I had to rush to conduct a workshop for children by the camp. By the way, you could learn a bit about ropes from me. I don't climb trees, but I do climb rocks!

I never met you again. Maybe I will meet you soon. Not a day went by without that day replaying in my mind. Did I tell your smile is pure genius? Oh I did tell that already?:) I am not even sure if this letter will reach you, because I am publishing this on my blog. This is my message in a bottle on the Internet...And I hope to God, that smile never vanishes.

PS: Your Secret Admirer


My challenge came from Illogical Being this week.
I challenged Wendryn with "You stumbled into a time machine, what would you do?" and here is her reply. Very very different from what I would have wrote:)