Project 52: Write Every Week For A Year – Week 10

Week 10

Prompt: 6th Oct – 11th Oct 2014.

Prompt: Birth can be an occasion for joy, something to celebrate with flowers and gifts, or it may be a disaster for everyone concerned. Sometimes it even comes as a surprise. It may take place in a hospital, an ordinary bedroom, or a cotton field. In any event, it causes change–in a happy family, in the life of a single mother, or in the hopes of succession for the children of a king.

Exercise:  In 400 words or less, write a scene in which a birth plays an important part, and show at least the beginnings of the changes this might cause.

you need not show your readers the actual birth, though you certainly may, but make sure the scene shows how the event is received and indicates something of the changes wrought

Hope to read some good scenes. 🙂

Here is my take on the prompt.

Just another day!

Your life is common and predictable. You work with precision of a robot on a timer. Your day starts the same each day, everyday – morning ablutions, breakfast in a queue, a few head-nods, a few knowing-smiles, light gardening, reading catching up on topics to discuss in the evening, lunch, nap, tea and snacks, walk in the park, meeting friends, few laughs, share a smoke, supper, watch TV and retire for the day. Also, the fear and stress the same; the emptiness and turmoil the same; the tears and hope the same.

Amidst your inconsequential existence, you receive a phone call in the middle of the night.

Your son says, “Dad, Meera delivered a girl. They are both healthy.”

Streams of happiness roll down your lonely eyes as the words, “Congratulations son,” are cremated in your throat from you feeling choked.

You gain composure battling giddiness from joy and whisper, “What is the date and time of birth?”

“3rd May, 4.14 AM.”

“Hold on for a sec,” you say, pause and say, “No, call me back in an hour. I’ll look up the panchaang and find the suitable letter for her name to start with.” This is a rare privilege a father is honored with.

You run around looking for the moon-calendar and scream a few times at your wife for not being organized. She finds it and hands it to you.

You sit down and do some astrological calculations. Her name should start with the alphabet A. Your wife suggests a list of names starting with A.

You shake your head side-to-side in disagreement.

You say, “AMULYA – The precious.”

“Perfect. Amul for short.”

But, will they like your suggestion? You are in two minds whether to disclose your choice or not.

Your thoughts drift away from the question. This is the best topic to discuss in the evening. It is better than politics, religion, film-gossip or self-pity inducing snippets from your autobiography. ‘Grand children’ is a topic every grandparent would be excited to discuss.

Alas, for you, it is restricted only to discussion and an occasional “Hi Sweet Pea” or “Hi Pumpkin” on Skype or on the phone. A grand child is born in some exotic foreign land and you are stuck at home, living your shunned life, waiting for that human interaction, especially with your grand kid.

Phone rings.

(394 words)

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7 Responses to Project 52: Write Every Week For A Year – Week 10

  1. meeraji says:

    The Horoscope

    It was a cold day in February. Vedavalli was in the confinement room, as was the custom, and had to follow a strict diet—good for the baby, they said.

    She shuddered when she thought of the labour pain. Her son was standing outside with some relatives and the whereabouts of her husband were unknown. Not surprising, since he was hardly home since she started showing signs of pregnancy. And who could fault him? He would have done the math.

    But it was boring in here. The baby, perfect though she was, could not hold her attention for a long time. She mostly slept. Her mind wandered to this and that. Their family’s association with the king, her father-in-law’s place in society as a royal doctor. And the rift between her husband and her. She couldn’t wait for this part to be over and to come back outside.

    Now, the family astrologer had come. Almost as if by magic. Who saw the time of birth? Who recorded it?

    She could only hear snippets from her room.

    “What is wrong?” she could hear her husband ask.

    Vedavalli could bear no more. She walked out of her confinement room, raising quite a few eyebrows, but no one dare ask her to go back in.

    Her husband extended a piece of paper to her. She looked at it, but could not understand what all those boxes meant—they just seemed so confining.

    “The planets are all so unique,” the astrologer was saying.

    “What does that mean?” she asked.

    “She will live the life of a princess,” he began, but the mother knew more was to come. “But great peril awaits her as well.”


    “Not to worry, amma. There are parikarams for everything,” he assured her, a bit too quickly, and Vedavalli raised her eyebrows.

    “She will be on people’s minds for a long long time.”

    “Good or bad way?”

    “Amma, there’s only so much that a horoscope can say. What one eventually makes out of themselves is upto them. But mark my words, she will make a mark on the lives of millions of people.”

    It was then that Vedavalli decided that her daughter Komalavalli would get all the opportunities she needed for success, come what may. She knew she would have to get out of Mysore for that to happen.

    Sixty-six years later, sitting in the first floor of the Parappana Agraharam Complex, J. Jayalalitha knew none of this. She only knew she had been born Komalavalli. She was reading the day’s newspaper, astutely absorbing the happenings in the country.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. yarnspinnerr says:

    Well narrated as always and a perspective we all ignore.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rajamani balakrishnan says:

    Did you take an audio,video film and then translate it into words? I first saw it, and heard it and then read it again. Nice work.

    Liked by 1 person

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