He was feeling so tired. He longed for this life to end. He looked at the garbage bin. It was closed now. But later, much later, when most people had retired for the day, he would open it and find something to eat. He always got something. People were always throwing away good food. He wondered about those who could afford to waste food when there were so many dying of hunger. His life had not always been like this. He now realized that greed had led to his downfall. He had not been satisfied with what he had had. He wanted more and more wealth. He had borrowed. He had cheated others of their money, of their life-savings. In the end his wrongdoings had caught up with him. He had become bankrupt and jailed. That was years ago. He had come out but had never been able to do anything right. He was reduced to living off of garbage bins. In spite of all his troubles he knew he would go on. He never even thought of taking his life. He did not want to add that to his sins.
Photo credit : CE Ayr
The Old Man (Sunday Photo Fiction)
My mother-tongue is Kannada and I have been speaking it from the time I learnt to speak. My father was working in the Indian railways and he was posted in places outside Karnataka. Somehow, reading and writing my language took a backseat. I have been living in Karnataka since my marriage in 1982. I learnt to read and write Kannada with my children. I never succeeded in achieving the proficiency I have in reading and writing English. Books have always been a part of my life. During the passing years I made resolutions that I would read many books in Kannada. There are many wonderful writers and books. But the lack of speed stopped me from reading all those books that I promised myself that I would read.
The year 2019 has started. I went to the library and borrowed two books by Dr Shivaram Karanth. He is one of the greats of Kannada Literature. My husband is reading one, and I have started the other one. It is called ‘Alida mele’. It means what remains after everything has been snuffed out. The book is very interesting. It is about this journey called life. The author writes when we travel from one point to the next by whatever means of transport, the vehicle becomes our home for that duration. When we get on to the bus, train, etc we find other passengers already sitting inside. We join them as newcomers. Some welcome us and others do not. This is what happens in life. We talk to each other and leave when we reach our destination. We very rarely meet our fellow travelers again.
I think the same happens with books. Some books remain a part of our lives forever and we re-read them over the years. They never age. But some books are forgotten before we reach the ending. Some fail to hold our interest. I read somewhere that when people say that they have only one life to lead, it means that they have no acquaintance with books. Every story takes us into the lives of the characters in it. Their worlds become ours.
While writing this my mother’s journey through the world of books comes to mind. She has always loved reading. In her childhood she read lots of books written in Kannada. My parents were married in 1959 and my father was always posted in North India. She could not get Kannada books there. He persuaded her to learn English and read books in that language. Her friend told her to start with books written by Barbara Cartland. She plunged in and has never looked back. She is 78 and still reads and enjoys books.
Books always bring to mind my husband’s aunt. She loved reading. In her eighties she used to read everything that came her way. She would be amused when people enquired if she read books on Philosophy and Religion. Their assumption was such books suited her age. But she enjoyed Harry Potter and Ponniyan Selvan as well. I remember her whenever I read a good book. I used to call and talk to her about them. My fervent hope is that I will never be forced to give up this journey through the world of books till the end.
“A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.” ~Chinese Proverb
Ponniyin Selvan – Wikipedia
K. Shivaram Karanth – Wikipedia
A Photo a Week: On the Horizon
IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO OF HORIZONS (PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL, OR OTHERWISE).
I wonder what lies beyond the horizon ? Looking out at the world.
He and his parents had been traveling on the lonely stretch of road for quite some time in Rajasthan. Unlike his home state the place seemed so deserted.
It was late afternoon when he saw a huge being in the far distance. What could it be ? He felt himself tremble with excitement. No doubt it was an alien being. He loved reading and was obsessed with science fiction. Isaac Asimov took him to different worlds to meet strange and not so strange beings. There was no limit to his imagination. He was astonished to see no emotions on the faces of his parents. How could they remain so calm?
He wondered about their fate. Would they be taken to another world ? They were near now. To his relief and also to his disappointment he saw that it was a gigantic cactus. He thanked God that he had not told his parents his thoughts. They would have been amused. They had been telling him to get out of the world of science fiction. He promised himself that he would. The fear and the excitement had been a little too much or him.
( Photo Credit : Joy Pixley)
December 30th 2018
Imagination ( Sunday Photo Fiction)
Dear Friends in WordPress,
We wish you all a very Happy New Year.
I enjoy reading and looking at the beautiful photos you post. Thank you.
I enjoy blogging and have learnt so much from you all. I have learnt about Haiku and other forms of poetry. Photo challenges are very interesting and great fun. I am now having fun with photo fiction. Sitting at home I am getting to see life in different parts of the world. There is so much that is different and sameness too.
I once again wish you all a very Happy New Year and may your dreams come true.
The old lady waved goodbye to the strangers, the couple she had met in the bus. They had come from a faraway country to see the beautiful, old church not far from her meeting place. They did not speak her language but she was able to convey to them that she would show them the road to the church. They thanked her profusely and she walked towards the park.
She and her friends met regularly and their meeting place had become such an important part of her life. She remembered those days after her husband passed away suddenly due to a massive heart attack. He had been fine that morning and had gone for his morning walk. He collapsed on his way back. Her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren had been her support, pillars of strength. Her friends who had been a part of her life for decades helped her. She could speak her heart to them, tell them thoughts that she could not tell her children. This meeting place was a source of strength. She sometimes came and sat there all alone. The peaceful atmosphere had a soothing effect on her.
She thought of the couple who had seemed to be kindred spirits. It would have been so nice if she could have talked to them and told them about her special place. They would have understood.
Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding
The Meeting Place (Sunday Photo fiction)
Learning by tasting,
Everything goes to the mouth
Babies lift their foot,
The big toe reaches the mouth
I wonder what it tastes like?
Our daughter and family are with us for a vacation. They came on November 10th. Our granddaughter had just completed one year. She used to crawl about. Sometimes she would lie on her back and put her big toe in her mouth. But now she walks everywhere. She does not put her big toe in her mouth. Life moves on. There are so many stages in the first year of life.
RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #232 Foot&Mouth
The Seagulls (Sunday Photo Fiction)
She lived in a big city and life was one busy day after another. Sometimes she felt she lived a very lonely life, far away from the small village where she had lived for twenty years. The village where the sea was so very near, the vast unending sea. She had loved to listen to the waves hitting the rocks. There was always something reassuring about that routine. The sea and the waves were always there. She felt secure.
But something had changed as she crossed her teens. She started looking at life from a different perspective. The reason for this change was her sea and the seagulls flying far above. She had always seen them and taken them for granted. Earlier, the vastness of the sea had enveloped her and protected her from the problems of life. The outside world seemed far away. That day she felt as if she was seeing the birds for the first time. They were coming from a far away world. She felt as if they were telling her to leave, to get out of her comfort zone. She opened her heart to her parents. They encouraged her to follow her dream.
It was almost two years since she had left her home. She was glad she had come and believed the birds had changed her life. She had many friends but sometimes felt lonely. But she knew her family and her beautiful village would always be there for her. She firmly believed she was lucky.
(Photo credit : Anurag Bakhshi)
“The cup of sorrow
Drained away to nothingness
When the goal was reached.”
RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #231 Goal&Cup
She was all set for a new life, a new beginning. It had been difficult to break away from the old world, the old way of thinking, always bound by chains. All her life she had bent backwards to cater to the needs of others. In the process she and others had forgotten that she had her needs, her desires. One evening after work she had been going through letters from her grandfather. What she read in one of them gave her jolt. It made her realize her life was hers, a life she had to live on her terms, for herself. She knew she had to get away, and get away fast. She reached the gate, the entrance to the new world. But there were so many obstacles on the way, so many people in the way. But that ray of light from the past gave her the confidence to push through and go past the entrance gate into the new world.
( Photo Credit : Sunday Photo Fiction)
A New Life (Sunday Photo Fiction)