Read THIS First ..

Read THIS First..
Each word on this blog is the original creation of the writer. You better not copy it!
No comment is directed towards any individual/group.
Happy Reading!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Theandric Thursday # 9: Las Ventanas

Theandric Thursday is a used to be a fortnightly feature on my blog (now it'll just be whenever I have the time and mind!), where I'll be having fun with putting down those weird thoughts and stories that occupy my mind most of the times. The dictionary definition of 'Theandric' is 'Relating to the joint agency of the divine and human nature'.

If you're interested in participating, write your own Theandric Thursday post and drop your link in the comments section. Feel free to write reality, part-reality-part-fiction or fiction, anything above the 'normality' of our world. ;) You can use the above picture on your post and link back to this post.


November 9, 2015
Bilbao, Spain

I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be caught dead in a 19th century gown, however classy it looked on me, the likes of which I seemed to have on my body. Neither would I have been yielding a golden bow and arrow, which I found in my hands. As for the mesmerizing landscape that treated my eyes as I looked on, I would love to be found dead there! Wait...... what? Weirdness alert! I shook my head to shake off the ghastly image that had begun to form in my head (over-active imagination has its faults) and as I did, the scene began to fade and swirl and my head did not know where it was as it stayed in that moment of being halfway between sleepiness and wakefulness.

Floating in that territory, as I tried to get back to being awake, I was forced to stop as I heard a soft whisper right next to my ears. ‘Aarrteemissss??’ it spoke, as slithery and scary as a snake. An image floated in front of my eyes: a hazy mess of hair sitting on top of a roundish face with clear, hazel eyes, a sharp nose and a goatee.

*Singing Radiohead at the top of my lungs...* boomed Avril Lavigne from the speakers of my cell-phone as the morning alarm went off and I woke up with a start. Shutting my eyes close and concentrating, I tried to remember what it was like..... the dream.....the man with the hazel eyes. I had to give up soon after. Recalling dreams was getting much more difficult these days.

I got up, dressed myself in a Capri, sneakers and a tee declaring me as an alumnus of Hogwarts and leaving the bed unmade, went out towards the dining hall of our own little ‘palace’. I actually hated the word ‘palace’, which is what they called it. For one, it was smaller than any of those palaces I had seen on my tours to different places in India and two, I wasn’t very happy being a “royal”, however royal it sounded. It was too constricting for my liking. But anyhow, I was a princess. Kind of.

And I loved my parents very much. They sat at the table, getting breakfast served, looking as elegant as royals should be. Hugging them and exchanging Buenos dias, I gulped down my breakfast, listening to their plans for the day. I had pretty much decided to stay back at the house (no palaces for me) and work on my book, not having much of an idea of the kind of deals my parents struck anyway.

Hours later, having spent the better part of the morning typing, pausing, re-writing and plotting details, I reached a saturation point and looked up from the desk, staring ahead through the window into the pretty lawns and old willow trees adorning the back of the house. It was difficult to write as I kept getting distracted, going back and forth to the strange dream. It was when I was wondering if I should just call it quits, that I saw a blur of colour crossing one tree to the next. I stood up and stared through the window. No movement at all.

‘Carlisle!’ I called out through the intercom and a minute later, a well-groomed man in his late forties stood at the door, doing a quick curtsy, knowing pretty much how I disliked it, and waited.
‘Miss Artsy?’
Waving it off with a gesture, I said, ‘Just Artsy. I think I saw an intruder in the back lawns. Would you ask the guards to check?’
‘An intruder? But the security’s top-notch! I can bet........’
‘Carlisle? I saw someone. Hiding behind the willow trees. A man if I’m not wrong. And a very rainbow man at that.’

I thought I had Carlisle at that. He seemed about to say something but then stopped mid-word. ‘Rainbow?’ He whispered tersely.
‘Well? Is he a well-known kidnapper or something? Should we be scared? Shall I alert the security? Carlisle?’
By then I was beginning to panic. This so wasn’t Carlisle’s style. He was perfection. Always calm and in his mind, which was something I’d begun to doubt. He was muttering to himself, ’Is it time already? Oh dear, time flies! She’s just a young girl!’

I shook Carlisle by the shoulders, wishing I’d just gone off with my parents. He stared at me, mouth slightly open. ‘Miss Artsy, I’m sorry,’ he started backing away, strength returning in his voice. ‘I just have this strange...err...condition where I get flashbacks of my past.’ He seemed visibly upset and I tried consoling him. ‘Do you want some water? And it’s okay. I won’t tell anyone. Is there any medication for it?’

Carlisle’s expression was intense, one of those seemingly sad ones, who’ve tried getting away from situations but realized that some things are just futile. ‘Ahh.. no there isn’t. The past has strange ways of haunting us. It takes a lot of bravery to ignore its attempts at ruining our present. We constantly need to be at our toes and if it indeed attacks us, we should be strong enough to go back, fight and finish off the root cause once and for all.’

Needless to say, it was getting weird. The dude turned from curtsy-loving to panicky to philosophical. And we might as well be having a kidnapper already inside the house. ‘It’s okay Carlisle. I’m sure we could be brave. The first proof of which could be alerting the guards and checking around?’
‘Oh yes. Artsy, you stay here alright? Just in case. I’ll look at the disturbance and let you know the progress. Stay near the phone, okay?’
‘Yeah, alright. Be careful Carlisle,’ I said as he closed the door behind him.

Of course I couldn’t stay inside a closed room while everyone was apparently, looking for an intruder. This was my house, after all. Snatching up my sling bag and cell phone, I made my way out to the hallway, carefully peeping around corners.

I’d been wandering for about 20 minutes now, looking into rooms and getting distracted by all the beautiful artworks that adorned every corner. No wonder they called me Artsy. I loved such stuff! Although my real name on paper was Diana, hardly anyone ever called me that. I was on to the fourth floor corridor now, someplace I hadn’t stayed for long ever in my life and now that I came to think of it, I never did get a chance to snoop around there. This palace was more like a holiday home, a place to spend the summers. We lived in India for most of the year.

This floor was musty, the corridor narrower than usual and walls filled with a huge tapestry and in the centre, a single room. I remembered hiding there once as a kid while playing Hide & Seek but no more than that. The tapestry must be ancient, I thought, for it was inscribed with hieroglyphs instead of the usual painting. I tried the door of the room to find that it opened easily, a pool of clear carpet in the dust, almost as if.............. as if someone had recently been here!

My heart started beating fast, signalling the very high probability that I was in danger. However, I was just greeted by silence. There was no sound and no soul seemed to exist except me. For good measure, I checked out the room completely, being as brave as to look beneath the bed and inside the wardrobe. The room was dark and I couldn’t find the light switch, so I moved towards the heavy drapes covering the windows and pulled them aside. Light flooded the room and I had to shield my eyes from the glare of the sun.

I had serious misgivings about the weather here. But then maybe the room had been closed up for far too long. I went to the left and pulled down the string for the drape to open completely and as it did, a painting hanging on the window towards the right came into sight. Looking at the huge window and the painting on it, I had a brief moment of déjà vu as I realized that I’ve been here before. Things seemed to have numbed by now, the light not as harsh and the silence deeper than it was. Back when I’d been a six year old, hiding in this room waiting for my brother to seek me out, I’d seen this window. Carlisle had sought me out, looking rather testy for his usual manner and murmured, Nunca acercarse a las ventanas! Nunca!

¿Qué? I had spoken in my high-pitched voice.
Shh! Miss Artsy, you no come here. Okay?’ Carlisle pointed towards the windows. ‘Those are THE windows. Las ventanas. Don’t come here before the time is right. Now go on... go play,’ and he pushed me out of the room and locked it up.

Now, 12 years later when I sensed the familiarity, it wasn’t all nostalgic, for the last time I’d been warned against the windows. It didn’t make much sense though. What would the windows do? They were probably too high up and Carlisle had imagined me falling off through them, I thought. Walking towards them, I saw that they were indeed quite precarious, as there wasn’t any balcony out there. I turned to study the painting more closely.

It had a beautiful landscape, ending in a cliff overlooking a ditch perhaps, with thick trees in the foreground surrounding a streaming river. In the background, just near the tip of the cliff, stood a young maiden, her back turned. She had long black hair, tied in a thick braid and decorated with a tiara of white flowers. Her body had on a very light blue full length gown and she seemed to have been standing there in a rigid, alert posture, like she’s been on a lookout since forever. I hadn’t noticed myself getting closer to the picture, but I couldn’t have helped it anyway. It was a mesmerizing.... and a somewhat familiar scene.

My fingertips touched the painted maiden and I jerked back in shock as the painting started swirling around in spirals, getting hazier. Just as it had started, it stopped all of a sudden and heart pounding, unable to move, I stared as the girl walked towards the forefront, towards me, the rest of the scene completely still. She walked with purpose, her dress slightly blowing in a wind I could not see. In her hands she held a golden bow and arrow and something like a helmet.

Ever heard of that expression, ‘she stood with her mouth hanging open’? That’s what I must have looked like as I saw the girl and a rush of memories, dreams and words flooded my head, incapacitating me to do anything.

Alpheus! Artemis! Orion! Bay of Biscay! War! Dive! Run! Las Ventanas!

As the young girl now stood in the painting, staring at me with a wistful expression, I found it hard to believe I’d ever see myself looking like that. She seemed full of scorn, with my face sitting on top of her weird historical dress, hands on her hips as she mouthed her first words to me. ‘You Saumensch!’

... to be continued.

*Las Ventanas: "The Windows" in Spanish
Nunca acercarse a las ventanas: Never come near the windows

Y’know it really feels good to have written a TT story after so long. It’s never the kind of perfect I want to get to someday, but whenever I start waiting for the ‘perfect’ piece I’d write, I’m reminded of this quote by Margaret Atwood, ‘If I waited for perfection, I would never write.' When I seem to forget it, this blogger friend reminds me and I’m back to writing. :)

I like Theandric Thursday stories because they’re fun and allow me to make the story go anywhere I like, however quirky that might be. It feels satisfying, even when I somehow tend to extend the stories into sequels these days. You’ll find the next part posted by next Thursday. Till then, I hope you enjoyed reading this!

PS- You can read Usama's Theandric Thursday post for this week here

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How not to be taken for a ride..

Don't think literally, though. Because if the ride's a convertible and the driver is friendly, I'd suggest you jump at the opportunity! But I'm talking metaphorically today, so what I mean to say is, you cannot and should not do anything that doesn't make you happy (parental rules excluded), especially if it's something "for" other people. In our world, particularly where I live, we have this "tradition" of treating people lower to us in power like muck. I'm sure you'd have been a victim of such power play at least once in your lifetime, just a handful of times if you're lucky. 

You might not be verbose in your demeanour, but don't let that seem like you're easy to fool. There will be many who, in the name of 'professionalism' would look at material benefits rather than human emotions and preferences. It's not entirely the fault of such people, sometimes it's just the way they've seen the world around them go and they genuinely believe that it's the only, and the right way. However, it's important to know that there do exist people who've the capability and inner will to look beyond the "only" way. A normal person might not like how he is treated, but he'd take it as it is because it's the only way he's known. A learned, strong person would have a belief, he would feel empowered from within, not caring about the usual, "what would people say?" and behave in the way he feels comfortable.

You've got to respect yourself and the first and most important way to do that is to believe in your own self. Most of the people who are easy to take for a ride, to be taken for granted are not aware of their own power, or their rights. Just because they're not used to thinking about it. Spend time knowing yourself better, be aware of your capabilities and limitations. Know what you're not comfortable with and never, ever settle for anything you don't want. 

Be firm. If you believe what you're doing/saying/standing for is right, don't lose your stance. There will be many who'd try to influence you, but you've got to stay put. And really, the so-called "consequences" are just petty and small in the long run and would in no way affect your happiness, or the lack of it. Someone got upset because you said "no"? It's their problem. They lack understanding and have higher expectations than necessary. Stop worrying about it, because there would be ten more people who're constantly worried about saying 'no' to something and they will definitely look up to you and take inspiration. Be a motivator. Be strong.

I've previously also mentioned how I feel we are experts at complicating our lives, just because we worry too much about other people and their feelings and their reactions (a note to my friends: yeah I know, this is such a hypocritical statement :P). How about for a change, you think about your feelings first? Only the dumb ones would be hurt by your decisions and you'd do better to be in smart, strong company. It's not as difficult as it's made out to be. Because it always takes time. Things seem complicated because they tend to extend over a period of time and we lack the faith for things to turn out okay. Looking back and connecting the dots, we realize how simple it really was. But well, it's human to feel like that. It's okay. Just accept it as a phase and live it through. Why get over-stressed about it?

Another important thing to remember is to always speak up. If you feel something's wrong, say it. If you keep mum about it, they're going to shower their injustice again. Better to tell them they're wrong. If they accept it, that's an awesome job done. If they don't, it's good that you're out of their system. Be glad about it. This reminds me of the song Brave by Sara Barielles. Listen to it if you haven't. :)

Being with yourself, spending a little time suspended, away from noise would give you a sense of being. It's really peaceful, if not important to experience. It gives you perspective. If you are at terms with your own self, it becomes easier for others to interpret you to some extent and considering how dynamic human nature is, that does mean a lot. Keep smiling, look at your family pictures from years before your birth, make plans for how you'd want your future to be and work on self-improvement. Be driven and motivated. Help those who aren't as strong willed or able as you are. Stop worrying about people because like someone said, they're all going to die. You would too, so live well. 


That's all for the gyaan. I know I've been AWOL from this precious place, even though I had been dying to update y'all. I'm DONE with my Masters! Yoo Hoo! Five straight years in college. Can you believe that? Now all I've got to do is settle for something "I" like. It'll take some time, but I'd do it. At least I know what I'm looking for. I'm on a restful break right now, trying to recuperate recover from the college shock life. :P So far I've mostly slept, seen myself getting fat(ter), read some, reviewed some, caught up with family and relatives, cooked a dish for the first time (which surprisingly, turned out awesome *_* ) and re-made plans and ideas about what I want to do now. 

Apart from the boring, serious things, I wish to learn painting, convert that huge cardboard box that I've been saving in G's room since forever, into a storage area for books, get back to creative photography, spending time experimenting with new techniques and use the tools I have to their optimum! There's so much to do! I never say my life's easy. If you've been a regular reader, you'd know it's been anything but easy. But still, I always want to go back somewhere (in my case, this blog being one of such places) where I am reminded of my own self, where I remember who I am and how I should be feeling great. I think everyone should have something that makes them smile and remember, something that inspires them. I hope you've found something like that. :)

PS- Just by the way, I "kinda" have an idea for a TT post. Be ready for next Thursdayyy! ;)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...