The girl of old Philadelphia………………..

Srini stood still, hankering to escape, she wished she could just melt away into air. She did not like visitors at home and the laborious task of being presentable before the guests for the two-three odd hours when they would occupy her living room ,having umpteen sumptuous delicacies served by her mother was a bit too much to ask for thought Srini. She had to fit into the behavioral caricature designed by her mother. Guests from her mother’s home town called for an appearance in typical South Indian sytle, which though she liked, but despised when asked to. Srini was supposed to behave well and not pounce upon her mother’s home made delicacies. So she had to influence her craving to evoke the willingness to abstain from  gluttony . Nevertheless  the old man who sat there irked her. He came once every two months and was mother’s distant relative. He worked in American Embassy and boasted of about the history of the great nation he served. Americans and their history were of little interest to Srini. That day he had brought 5-6 books with red paperbacks. Srini’s eyes explored them stealthily from behind the door. Books had always thrilled her, she loved the odour emanating from new books, the crispiness of newly printed pages, and the words looked  like a flock of bird nestled together, ready to take a flight to perch themselves on the tender branches of her heart. Image As the gentleman left, Srini swooped down on the books. The bundle fell from her hands. She picked up the first book which read,  “Betsy Ross-The girl of Old Philadelphia.” Srini was instantly drawn towards the book. Page after page talked about the Quaker girl of Philadelphia born into a mediocre family, who grew up to be the one who made the first American flag. “Elizabeth Griscom…………Betsy Ross” Srini murmured to herself. There was something so familiar about that name. She felt a rare and strange affinity towards that name, as if it was her own. As she read past Betsy’s childhood she could visualize her walking down the Quaker street, mumbling ……words tumbling from her own thoughts, stumbling as she ran errands for her mother, rambling along the countryside, gambling while playing games of chance. She envisioned Betsy sewing for her sisters, brewing coffee for her parents,  mending clothes in the neighbourhood, lending the artiste in her to every possible applause. Srini felt herself in Betsy’s shoes. Betsy and her book became her soulmates. The book would go with her wherever she went.The five hundred odd pages were read and re-read to satiate upon the kinship that she nurtured for the girl. Her eyes slipped into  slumber to dawn upon the streets of Philadelphia,she felt herself walking down the street to the church,she could feel the thimble that Betsy wore while sewing,her friends seemed like her own,she shared her feeling of rejection and appreciation. Years together she has tended to her dreams of visiting Philadelphia and the Betsy Ross house,to understand and comprehend the strange camaraderie she had towards the place………….

(Betsy Ross (January 1, 1752 – January 30, 1836), born Elizabeth Griscom and also known by her second and third married names Elizabeth Ashburn and Elizabeth Claypoole,[1] is widely credited with making the first American flagand changing the stars on the flag from six-pointed to easier-to-produce five-pointed stars.[2][3][4] However, there is no archival evidence that this story is true.[5]) Courtesy:-Wikipedia

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She wished she knew then what she knew now……………….

Padma  clasped the flower……………

The pasque flower she plucked…..

Hesitatingly from the garden around the tower……..

The gardener who tended to…….

Reprimands, he did shower………

Padma,filled with guilt

Ran to her mother……….

sobbing she handed out…..the crumpled flower

“Happy Birthday” said the cute lips….

My dear mother……

Mother……….hugged her………..

Dear,why did you steal the pasque  flower….?

Your hug is the treasure……….

On my day your love shower……

Padma sighed……

Her inside crushed with shame and tremor…

my HUG was more dear to mother….

Goodness why did I steal the pasque flower…..?

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A story…….of life…..

The little caterpillar wriggled.It looked high up,everything seemed blurred…….it could only see a few beautiful fluttering feathers.The caterpillar shuddered………..the world high above,seemed alien to him,those big feathers would gobble him up,thought the caterpillar.

The caterpillar hung its head,it crawled towards mother,”Mommy, I want to sleep in your lap…..I don’t want wings…..I will stay in the warmth of the colocasia*, Mommy I don’t want to grow up………

“No dear,” said Mommy.Its a  delightful and marvelous world outside.When you get your wings….those alluring two piece ensemble,painted by the master artiste will give you the pleasure to explore the infinite beauty of the world.

“Na, my dear mommy,” The caterpillar sobbed, “.I want to live in the coziness of our little world.I just want  you and me and Larry.”

“Catty”,said Mommy holding up catty in her arms.

“Think of all the beautiful things that you can do with Larry,when she also grows up to be a butterfly.”

You will fly to farway lands,admiring the vast,endless and boundless beauty that the almighty has created for us.The roses,the crysanthamums, the lilies,the daisies,the hibiscus,the sunflowers,the jasmines and hundreds of creations thrive for us.When you fly around them,they sway and your ears will resonate with their symphonic call.They would marvell at your resplendent hue and you would rejoice……the pigmented petals and their asymmetry,the innumerable fragrances that lend them a luminous and capitivating configuration.From one to another as you hop…….spreading the word of love and vibrance.The humans there would be charmed by your presence…….you will be the favored one of little kids,they would run after you as fly you way to………….angelic and divine lands of beauty.

Catty wondered,”Was Mommy right?” he thought.

“Will I recognize Larry when she turns into a butterfly?”he was sad again.

“mommy…how will I recognize Larry?”queried Catty.

“Darling, she will only grow feathers,but you friend will be the same……”

Just then they heard heavy footsteps.Mother caterpillar clasped Catty in her arms and huddled under the colocasia.

“What was that Mommy?”Catty was shivering.

“That was a human darling,their heavy feet can crush us and you will never be able to enjoy a life filled with flight.I want to see you fly……….high in the endless universe………enjoying the creations of the master craftsman.

“Mommy, said Catty,”I am going to see Larry.”

“No,dear little one,Larry is in the cocoon,she is preparing herself to be a butterfly.”whispered Mommy

“No!No!No!….cried Catty,how can she leave me? and he crawled hard, to get to Larry,his little feet aching .

As he crawled towards Larry,Catty saw her wriggling out of the coccon, a silky and shiny ball…..it flew out immersed and painted in varied colours.

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Catty looked at Larry dumbfounded and awestruck at her beauty.He decided and set forth for the isolation in the cocoon which would give him his colourful silhouette.

Mommy saw Catty stepping into his silky cocoon and waited for days………to see her handsome son come out.

Days later Catty emerged, in his impeccable semblance.He kissed mommy and rose to explore the  beautiful world.

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*Colocasia esculenta is a tropical plant grown primarily for its edible corms, the root vegetables whose many names include taro and eddoe

 

She realized how long she would hide her truth….

The scorching heat was her alibi,a friend in distress and crime………………………

She cloaked herself if the bandana dupatta,the dark glasses hiding her beautiful lotus eyes,………..people turned around and gazed……….at her svelte figure,the jingle of the bracelet that adorned her fair arms and her long fingers painted crimson…….

She felt the stares egging at her dupatta to fly and reveal………………the beauty

She paced up ,her heart punching

She was panting as she closed the doors of her home,dupatta tossed on the bed,she looked at herself…………

Her silky hair gifted to her cancerous throat…………….

Her bald head………secured in the care of her dupatta……………she realized how long she would hide her truth?

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Z for zest

Z was in  zest………….

as it sat on a crest……

I stand tall………

at the culmination……..

of this literature fest…..

Millions gathered……..

from around the world…..

to weave words as beautiful as pearls……

words alluring,words enchanting……..

words questioning,playfully giggling….

words debating,words arguing….

words illustrating,words assuring…….

Its the end…..

today is Z,

twenty six alphabets……

adorned and beautifully dressed…Image

 

 

Y………..the wonderful…..

Y yawned………

it mumbled and moaned….

over words it could spawn…………

why I am Y?

it haggled………….

tell me instances…

where I can ply……..

i am at the end of MY

and at the trail of SPY….

you find me in DRY…..

and at the edge of CRY…….

but I am nowhere in high….

why why why………….?

Y said the alphabets……….

why do you CRY……?

you are not in high….

but you soar with FLY…

NO……….yelled Y;

Don’t you know…

I burn with FRY………….

how can you all…..

DEFY and DENY…?

No smart little one…

said the other swanky ones…

you smile with the BONNY BABY…

and blooom in the white LILY;

you comfort in the bed COSY,

and marvel in the smart LADY

you shine inruby; the red RUBY

and model in the dress TRENDY;

You shine in the morn;

with the first RAY;

You are in the thrill

when children PLAY,

You are the tail end;

that is true;

but  don’t you know;

you are one of the chosen milieu….

when the world sits;

and reverberates Yahoo!!!!

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X was cross……………

X was cross…..

troubled and coarse…..

no words it decorated……

no names………..

people frowned…….at him….

the alphabet used sparse……….

it lay invalid…..

no better than a carcass…..

among the twenty six……

it thought…….

I am an alphabet farce……

why do I exist……..

seldom is my name……….

at twenty four I lay…..

……..no intimates to play…….

I have no pros………

in the garden of language….

I am the moss….

I have no fame…..

no acclaim…..

“Y” said ….you liar…

everybody you blame?

you epitomise festivity…..

celebrate fun and glee

when you are the gift laden

christmas tree……..

Its you that every alphabet

ENVY………

at twenty four you stand…..

cuddle at twenty five in the;

christmas and new year melange….

people pause and wait….

as you stand in vogue….

X as in Xmas…….

the festival prologue……………

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