Amar felt old when he looked at the young tourists. He was a guide in the palace and had been working there for more than four decades. He looked with wonder at the youngsters busy clicking pictures.
His thoughts went back to those days when life had been so different. Back then, tourists were more interested in looking at those reminders of life lived long ago. But now people were more interested in taking their own photos. When had these changes taken place? He loved his work and many a time his wife used to tell him that he lived more in the past than in the present world. And it was true. The past fascinated him.
His gaze fell on the young lady wearing big sun-glasses. He could not make out where she was looking but he did know that she was looking at herself from all angles. Why she had come here? Was she really interested in this heritage building? He shook his head and looked away. He found it difficult to understand such people. He was growing older and maybe the time had come for him to retire. The thought made him sad.
Photo credit: L L Jones
Anand entered his study and looked at his cat gazing at the laptop screen. This would have amused him under normal circumstances. But today was the fifth day without power supply. Heavy rains and winds had caused chaos and destruction everywhere. He had used his laptop sparingly but soon it would not be possible. What would he do without his laptop or his mobile phone? All his books were on his Kindle. Not being able to use his gadgets was frustrating. But it should not have been so.
The sight of the bird on the screen took his thoughts back to his childhood in the sixties. Nature was part of their lives in his village. There was no electricity. Before dusk, lamps were lit in the rooms. People ate their dinners early. In summer he and his cousins fell asleep fanning themselves with hand-fans made from areca leaves. They had grown up without electricity and had enjoyed those days.
There was no going back and he would not want to even if he could. Circumstances were the same but everything else was different. The virtual world had become a more important part of their lives.
Photo credit: Sue-Z
Advaith and his grandfather gazed at the birds that had come to eat the chapati pieces they had put out for them. Bulbuls came swooping down. Babblers came hopping along. The tree pies came chattering loudly. Then came the crows.
The leader came first and sat on the roof of the car-shed. He saw the little birds eating and came down and stood close to the pieces of chapati. The little birds withdrew. But the bulbuls tried to steal a piece from under the nose of the leader.
He kept guard over the remaining pieces and called out to his companions. They came sweeping down from the nearby trees. Advaith watched with fascination and saw that one of the crows had only one leg. That crow was the leader’s friend. The leader glared at the other crows and they did not dare trouble the one legged crow. He got his share of food.
All the crows took the chapati pieces and flew away. Only then did the leader turn his attention to his share. He and his friend flew to the top of the coconut tree. Advaith loved these moments . He remembered the leader whenever he ate chapati.
Photo credit : D B McNicol via Pixabay
Nisha looked at the prisoner in the dock with a puzzled expression. She was sure she had seen him somewhere. She just could not recollect where she had done so. She was a law student. She and her classmates were in the court observing the proceedings of the case. They had been told to report their observations and how the lawyers had argued for and against the convict.
They knew that he was a serial killer who had killed many women in different parts of the state. This had gone on for more than a year. The police department had followed many leads but had been unsuccessful for months. The man had become more and more confident. He thought the police were fools and that led him to make a very serious mistake. Fortunately, the police noticed it and caught him before he could kill his next victim.
Nisha saw the convict looking at her and realization came with a flash. Last week she had been drinking coffee in small roadside stall and a man sitting nearby had been sketching in his notebook. She now knew that he had intended her to be his next victim.
Photo credit : Morguefile
Akash came to the stage with a feeling of apprehension, excitement and sadness. He wanted his grandmother to see him dance but his wish was not to be. A few weeks earlier she had collapsed while dancing.
He had always loved to dance. He remembered those days when he used to sit and watch his grandmother practice every day. As a child he had thought of her as a goddess. She was a famous Bharatnatyam danseuse. His father had not been very happy about his interest in dance and done his best to discourage him. His mother had quietly supported him. His grandmother had been his teacher, his strength. Years passed. She taught him all that she knew and encouraged him to learn different dance forms. His art had taken him to different worlds.
He remembered with a smile the days when he and his classmates danced impromptu in the town square. Many had joined them to dance with abandon.
Today was his great day. He was giving his first solo performance. But his grandmother was not there to see him perform. He was sure that she was watching him and that gave him confidence.
His performance was appreciated.
Photo credit : Alexis Ortiz
Nisha stood near the door and gazed at the waiting room. Its clinical appearance fascinated and repelled her. It looked as bleak as she felt. She was angry and frustrated at her helplessness. One mistake, and it had changed her whole world. But, that night she had not thought of it as a mistake. She had known that she was taking a risk but had enjoyed the experience. When she learnt that she was pregnant she did not know whom to turn to. Her partner had moved on. He had never really been a part of her life. She was responsible for her decision and did not want a scapegoat.
Her friend told her about this clinic. She took a decision. She was very sure that she did not want this responsibility which would just be a burden. Still looking at the waiting room she wondered why it was not a more friendly place. There was no warmth there. Maybe people who came there did not want warmth. The clinical look seemed to say what they were doing was just a clinical procedure and nothing else. Yes, it was only that, no emotions attached.
( Photo credit : Arun Sharma on Unsplash )
Sunday Photo fiction
Tara lived in a big city with her parents. She and her best friend Lata loved to read books. They were neighbours. At the moment fairy tales were taking them to strange and beautiful lands where anything was possible.
In fact, their dearest dream had come true. They did not know how. One evening they had been reading about the magic carpet and the children who had wonderful adventures. The two girls wished fervently that it would come into their world. Instead of a carpet a wondrous red chair appeared in their room. They looked at it with apprehension. How had it appeared?
They walked towards it and touched it hesitantly. It was soft and firm. They sat in it. They felt instinctively that it did not belong to their world. Without realising what they were doing both wished that they could see their favourite place in the story they loved. The next moment they were in the middle of a beautiful, old path. They got down slowly and walked away from the chair. When they looked back, it was still there. They ran back to it because they did not want to remain in that world.
Photo credit: Pexels by Pixabay