Archive for the ‘writings’ Category

1.jpg

image: via pinterest

It was summer. Of that and only that Mer was sure. It could have been any time of the day but sometimes she put it at noon, other times just before day touched dusk in a game of touch-and-go. The sun was bright and black kites were wheeling in the sky, coasting on air currents.

Mer skipped down the steps, clutching her laundry basket lightly. Too lightly as she found out as the basket slipped and clothes scattered and lay in heaps across pleated steps turning a corner. “Fuck, fuck, fuck,” she said, stooping to pick up the clothes. Instead she sat down on a step covered with muddy traces of foot prints, now imprinting her bum, rather large, that her grandmother would point at proudly and tell women with appraising eyes, “Now, these here are child-bearing hips.” Mer would demurely stay put waiting for the expanse of her wide hips to register.

He came up the stairs and peered at her from behind brown-rimmed glasses. His hair was spikey, just-mowed grass springing back. There was a strange familiarity in his gaze. Who knows? He may have been a lover, a brother, a husband in a past life. There was comfort in his presence as his feet wove past the strewn clothes and the upturned basket on his way up, he oblivious of the recognition that struck her, intense and urgent.

“Didn’t you feel it?” she asked before she could stop to his receding back that paused and turned around. She was struck by the efficiency with which her spongy brain, lungs, and larynx came together as one. Too efficient, maybe. A shadow of stubble had sprung across his jaws, strong and angular. Her grandmother would have approved. Angular jaws hold a man’s age up, she always said.

“That we know each other,” Mer added.

“I’d think so. You called my wife a whore,” he said.

Something like a memory fluttered its eyes open in the depths of her spongy and too-efficient brain. A thin-hipped pixie woman telling her to watch it. A swaying and belligerent Mer telling her a thing or two or three, whore being one.

His eyes slid down the steps and stopped a little way from her feet.

“You may have been talking about yourself,” he said.

Her eyes followed his. They rested where his eyes rested. A used condom nestled in the cup of her bra. So that is where it had disappeared. Not inside her vagina where it would grow unique flora and do what plastic did to those turtles. Mer would have liked to say something, caustic preferably and sulfur laced. But that bespectacled god was already a blur turning the corner.

Implicated thus, she sat, a buddha, a moment in time, a time in moment. Perspiration bubbled on her forehead and slid down its side, halting and losing momentum too soon. It had been summer. A high-pitched whistle fell in a sharp, straight note as a kite dived. The sky lay bare and blue.

© Anuradha Prasad 2019

1

image: via pinterest

She was as old as he was new. She watched him jump on the bed, Maria asleep next to him, her form rising up and sinking down at the waist and rising up again before stretching into a long slant. A slant that twitched now and then to the rhythm of a dream. The few drops of milk that were left in his fallen sipper disappeared, seeping into the blanket. A spot, moist and heavy with the smell of sour, its only evidence. He didn’t notice. If he did, it did not matter to him.

She trudged toward the bed just as Maria let out a low snore. Her arthritic knees were creaky. The little boy jumped again, his knees like oiled spring. He bounced. She creaked. She made to grab him.

In the deep recesses of her sleep, Maria heard a loud and surprised squawk of protest, a rising wail that settled into whimpers between a hip and the curve of an arm, whimpers that quieted under a palm, its skin liver-spotted and wrinkled. It was a hand that knew time, a hand that patted its seconds. Time slowed to a stop.

Maria awoke to his tiny body huddled next to her, an expression of mild surprise still etched on his face. In the periphery of slowly returning consciousness, she saw a silver form glide into the twilight that stained the world outside just as a flash of chill exploded in her heart. She blamed it on her sleep-ridden eyes, her wine-addled blood. The clock in the drawing room chimed six times. In the echo of its last chime curved an old smile.

© Anuradha Prasad 2019

1

image: via pinterest

Hello, my name? H.
Your good name?

He tilts his head and
awaits my good name.

Me? I am engineer.
Software field, he adds.

What do you do? I write,
I say, a touch smug.

Perplexed, he freezes:
processing, searching.

Just as I fear a shutdown,
a reload!

Eyes screwed, he asks,
um, writing?

Ya, I affirm.
Copy, you know.

He runs his fingers along
the air between us, a piano.

So you are a typer?
No! I am a writer.

But you type, no? Again,
his fingers play the air.

Yes, I reply.
So you are a typer!

That declared, a pleased
smile sits on his lips.

I acquiesce.

© Anuradha Prasad 2019

1

image: via pinterest

“How can you bring that disciplined practice to your life each day instead of jumping straight into a project and laying fallow between these projects? What are the warm-ups that you as a writer can do? What is the jumping jacks equivalent to writing?

You can easily develop your writing practice by planning your time, what you’ll write, and what you’ll read. And then do it. Every single day.”

Read my guest post ‘The Writer’s Practice: Your Everyday Writing Warm-Up’ on Live Write Thrive –

https://www.livewritethrive.com/2019/06/24/the-writers-riyaz-your-everyday-writing-warm-up/#more-10671

Live Write Thrive is a blog by Susanne Lakin: a novelist, writing coach, and copyeditor. It is your one-stop blog for all things writerly!

1

image: via pinterest

You blanket me
mold my bones
and flesh
sparing me
the comfort of
clarity. Brown
and brimming:
how i love you.

It’s the taunts, their
memory, stealth strikes
betraying secrets.
Must you be blatant?
So unforgiving?
Why hold my flaws
to the mirror,
to light?

Hold them instead in
the heart, a comforting
secret, till the heart
confuses it for love
for what else does the
heart know but love?

Until one day, deceived
it’ll give away;
splinters will run through
it, raspy breaths, maybe
i will clutch at it,
who cares?
so long as you
glow and radiate
outwardly.

© Anuradha Prasad 2019

1

image: via pinterest

I am from a loud place
of many small things
old things, old furies, old
hands saying stop.

I am from feathers angelic
of the flying kind, yet I’m
grounded, only the heart aerial
never carrying me away from
me. A homing pigeon, it returns
from far-flung places, telling me
stories in flutters, and feathers
fall all over me like promises,
maybe consolations.

I am from coffee, diluted
with milk to make me drink
milk, nurturing instead an
insomniac, a night owl who
burns like the stars and holds
in her veins the seduction of
the moon, dark and cold
moon with pause, of disquiet.

I am from pages torn, balled,
and burned. A bonfire that reduced
me to ashes. I rise again, the ashes
they cling, never am I free of
ashes. Burn child burn.

I am from no-nos. Don’t do this.
Don’t do that. Good girls are made
not born. Be a good girl. That’s like
a good girl. A good girl was forced
under my skin. I said my good byes,
she peers out at me now and again.

© Anuradha Prasad 2019

821ab30767be3f482c8b3af3dd2fe81e.jpg

image: via pinterest

Delighted to have my short story, ‘Tarla’s Homecoming,’ published in The Bangalore Review’s May issue.

Grateful to The Bangalore Review’s editorial team for publishing it.

Follow the link to read the story –

http://bangalorereview.com/2019/05/tarlas-homecoming/

 

6d382c3699df552615a1d1075335c432

image: via pinterest | a pretty accurate picture of my home

On Bengaluru Review:

Read my review of Sylvia Plath’s short story, “Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom” here –

https://bengalurureview.com/2019/05/11/sylvia-plath-mary-ventura-and-the-ninth-kingdom/

On The Bookish Elf:

Three hours of book shopping and thirty-five books later this piece happened: Yoga for Bookworms

“Any bookworm worth their salt would know that reading books, buying books, and obsessing about books require physical effort. It is not all about flexing those mental muscles to plot twists and climaxes. Reading makes great demands on the body. There’s nothing sedentary about it. Enter yoga, a cure-for-all, book worming included.”

https://www.bookishelf.com/yoga-for-bookworms/

 

1eb8919bcc835ace03a4a29d21faadf0

image: via pinterest

the egg, once warm
and protective,
grew into suffocation.
growing bigger
against the fragile
resistance
the chick knocked
it down, cracked
its prison open.

falling out
wet and ugly
little blind eyes
squeezed shut
hurt by sunlight.
it grew stronger
fed on sun, rain,
worms, berries.
downy feathers
appeared. Pleased
mama chirped goodbye.

the fledgling
stretched its little
wings
opened it, danced
looking up
it saw the miles
of blue it would fly.

one blue day
it watched a
great big eagle
of might and beauty.
the fledgling
struck by the
breathtaking vision
puffed its little
chest and flapped
wings just as the
eagle fell, stone
to ground, going
splat and none
of its regality
remained –
guts spilled
feathers flew
a foot high,
fell fizz flat.

The fledgling
put its wings down
lay in its nest
watched the
sky, now bare.
The fledgling
learned to love
her nest
her fate
until one day
when she said,
oh, sod it,
and flew
the blue sky
her destiny.

© Anuradha Prasad 2019

 

1

image: via pinterest

My short fiction piece “A Scene of Grief” is up on “Literally Stories.” A thank you to the editors – Hugh et al for featuring it. Give it a read here – https://literallystories2014.com/2019/04/22/a-scene-of-grief-by-anuradha-prasad/#more-16938