Project 52: Write Every Week For A Year – Week 6

Prompt For week 6 : Sept 9th – Sept 13th, 2014.

Exercise 1: In 1000 words or less describe someone so that we feel that we know him or her. Don’t rely on descriptions such as, “he had red hair,” “she was about 70,” or “he was tall.” Avoid general terms like “beautiful, ugly, fat or thin.” SHOW us that red-haired, tall, thin, ugly man.

Looking forward to some good scenes. 🙂

Here is my take…

Amulya

It has been fifteen minutes since we all have been seated to dine. We sat in our usual spots around the eight-seat, teakwood table. Amul sat in the centre with me to her right and Samurai to her left. To my right was grand pa, at the head of the table. His son sits at the other end. He is not home tonight.

‘Finish your paratha Amul’ said Meera. Amul rolled her globe round eyes in circular motion indicating non-compliance with her mother’s command. She picked the paratha from the plate as ghee tricked into a mini-pool of clarified butter. She fluttered her long eye-lashes and sealed her dislike with a snort and grim gaze.

‘Look at you’ Meera said. She held her arm and swung it as far up as she could and let go. It fell with a thud on the dining table.

‘Ouch! Maa that hurt.’

‘See, you don’t have enough energy to resist even the fall of your own arm. This generation I tell you’ she mumbled as she walked to the sink and filled it with dirty dishes.

‘What kind of logic is that? What does that have to do with me eating this ‘death-by-paratha’ she reasoned. Death-by-Meera’s-kitchen is the title dedicated her mother’s cooking. Only she is capable of making death-by-coffee, with three spoonfuls of sugar per cup. Have three cups a day and you’ll be gone in a whiff.

Amul looked at her brother and said, ‘Oye, rai-ka-pahad, eat my paratha nah?’

‘No I am full. And don’t call me that. I am Samurai not rai.’

‘Okay, okay’ she said and backed up a little trying to get rid of the paratha on her plate.

‘Hey, one extra won’t do you any harm. And look at you, being all figure conscious’ she said.

‘Not figure, Abs conscious’ he said tapping his abdomen.

‘You are a hippo on diet’ she laughed mocking diminishing the little self-image her brother had.

‘They should have named you Sumo instead of Samurai’ she added.

He grabbed a stand of hair and gave it a long tug as he dragged her head towards him. She tried to pull away slapping his wrists with all her might. The creamy soft texture of her hair stood against him from emerging victorious. She nuzzled out of his grip and knuckled him hard on his head.

He took a swing and she ducked.

Meera roared, ‘Stop it you two. Sami, go to your room and finish your homework. First do Math, then English and then Drawing. If I see you drawing, you know what I’ll do. I’ll be there is give minutes.’

He left as making funny faces at Amul. She retorted with her tongue stretched out.

She ran her hand over her hair to smoothen. She parted it even to dangle as silk curtains, on both sides masking sides of her full-moon face. Her concave cheeks seemed narrow with her hair cut short at chin-length.

Amul reluctantly dug into the paratha, took a few bites and slid her hand under the table for Bruno to consume. He is their eight year old Labrador. He came home the same day Amul was brought home from the hospital.

 Amul looked at her grandfather seated across from her. He was too busy scooping up his curd rice as if that was his last meal.  She watched him as he licked his fingers all the way from one end to the other and the side of his palm. He then ran the tip of his tongue in a rectangular motion across his hand picking every morsel of rice. He always told Amul that that is the best part of the meal, the final finger-licking.

She handed the last piece to Bruno and he slurped it without a trace. ‘Maa, I am done’ she said and picked me up from the chair. I am big, one-eyed, and rose-pink in color. I am her dearest friend. Her mother christened me Dollop. I belonged to her. She received me as a gift on her tenth birthday and I stayed with her until Amul was born.

Amul looked at her grand pa and said, ‘Story time grand pa.’

‘I am coming. Go on, brush your teeth. Don’t drag your teddy bear on the floor’ he said as she walked towards her bedroom.

(722 words)

 

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8 Responses to Project 52: Write Every Week For A Year – Week 6

  1. meeraji says:

    Hope I have followed the prompt:

    So Lame

    “Veera,” the warden shouted to him. Clad in a torn banian whose original colour it was impossible to determine, Veera limped over.

    Warden cheta was sitting on the chair in front of the home. “Ey. Kettukko. Some donors are coming today, it seems. Get all the kids ready.”

    “Ayye cheta. Just last week some people had come.”

    Veera groaned. Sometimes, the warden forgot he lived in the New Hope Children’s Home too. He must have known what Veera was thinking, because he added, “And clean yourself up too. Especially your hair. Control it. Cut it. Do something. Put some powder on that face of yours. Make it look brighter.” There, he had established his position now. He softened soon after, though.

    “What to do? They are our annadatas, you know. Now don’t waste time, just get all the boys ready.”

    “Cheta. The Jesus picture is torn.”

    “Ey,” Warden Cheta, whose “real name” was Jose Mathew, got up quickly, mumbling to himself.

    Veera, now Walter, entered the home. Cobwebs were starting to appear where one wall met the other. A few spiders were walking gingerly along, exploring the walls as well. And suddenly, they would stop, apparently taking rest, or not knowing where they should go next. Or were they looking for the next prey? He would never know; he had so much to finish. And so little time to finish it in.

    As his mind wandered, he felt water. A small puddle on the floor. Veera looked up, and spotted the hole in the roof immediately. He pulled a bucket and placed it under the hole. And saw that it didn’t help. Puzzled, he looked inside and saw that the bucket itself had a hole in it. He smiled.

    When he had arrived at the home six years ago, his father had just died, of alcoholism, they said. The liver, much like the bucket, had a hole in it, they said. And everyone seemed to know all about it, except Veera. His mother, presumably distraught, had soon found solace in another man, who promptly suggested Veera be sent to a hostel. And the day he came to the hostel, he could not even read the board properly, for two reasons: one, his tears and the second, he didn’t quite know how to read “New Hope Home (for Orphans)” The words in brackets didn’t mean much, he had come to realize. All kinds of children came in here.

    Slowly, he learnt the ropes. The first Sunday, he was asked to go with an elderly gentleman to a church. And some words in a language he didn’t understand were spoken, and some water was sprinkled on him. And he was given a cross to bear—a stylish one at that. He vaguely understood what was happening. The same day, the boys were called and told to call him “Walter,” and not Veera anymore. He didn’t mind, if that meant that he could live in peace. And eat well.

    But problems seemed to follow him everywhere. The year he arrived, there was a lot of political activity. Homes such as Veera’s were scrutinized after a lot of killing and mayhem in Orissa, where a few Hindus went on a rampage of a few Christian homes. Everyone lived in an atmosphere of fear, even though Kerala was far far away from Orissa.

    But the donations to the home suddenly stopped, and it looked like he might be sent back home. Back home to the dingy one-room house where he could not sleep, but hear his mother and another man through the many-holed sari, which served as a room separator. Back home where he intensely felt the loss of his father. Back home where he was but an appendage. Where his stepbrother was true to the cliche.

    He prayed, he knew not to which God, that the donations resume as soon as possible. And it worked. He was ecstatic. Those six months, he had considered running away more than once. It was, after all, what he was best at, in school.

    He kept to himself most of the time, but did not forget to run every day. His morning run energized him, and he would stop thinking when he ran. He would simply enjoy the beauty of nature and life as he ran on—for several miles until he felt the need to return to the hostel. When he ran, it was as if the wind transported him from one step to another—as if that was what he was born to do.

    After the donations resumed, a new warden came in, and Walter became Veera once again. “Let’s change your heart, not your name,” he said. Veera liked him the instant he saw him. They shared a love of football, as did most other children, and Veera received everyone’s respect when he got all of them permission to watch the World Cup on television. They stayed up late, Veera and the warden discussing the teams, the warden smoking his beedis and Veera arguing for the South Americans and the warden for the Europeans, amidst intense coughing bouts.

    “You must stop smoking, you are killing me,” Veera would say.

    “Einh. You get yourself checked,” the warden would respond, for a moment, in that late night camaraderie, forgetting the age of his interlocuter.

    Veera was in a stage where he had to figure out which direction to take, which “group” to choose, what to do with his life, and the warden wouldn’t give him much advice. “Follow your heart,” he would say, giving way too much importance to one organ in the body, as Veera would often say.

    Veera’s school teachers liked him—he brought great laurels in running. He often came first in the district, and was not allowed to participate in any sports in the hostel because he won all the prizes. It was a heady time for him.

    Now, four years later, the football matches were on TV again, and Veera was writing his Class 12 exams. But he rarely attended school anymore. His books were dog-eared from years of use, and just when it seemed like he would forever be a Class 12 student, the warden got him help, much against his wishes. And the school told him, more than once, that he had overstayed his welcome.
    And the boys had started calling him “Nondi” behind his back.

    Much had changed in the last four years.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. meeraji says:

    Don’t know how I missed writing for this… resolves are just going down the drain!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. yarnspinnerr says:

    I find the imagery great.
    After reading this part I may not know what color Amul has but I know the kind of person she is.
    Death-by-Meera’s-kitchen and Amul eating a paratha is so Indian and beautiflully conveys what the author wants her readers to see. Great job. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Guneet says:

    this is bad….seriously bad writing

    Liked by 1 person

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