The Smoky Billows

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I like to watch the clouds.

And not just because of the shapes:

Cottony characters, creatures and the

Fancies of those lazy days.

Not because of the aura

Of the sun that peeks

From between the curtains

In lovely orange streaks.`

Not because they’re moving

Forever ahead;

Without a care in the world:

No joy, no dread.

And certainly not because

Their colossal aspect

Reminds me of my own triviality

And fills me with respect.

I watch the clouds because

They fill me with fascination

For sharing with so many others

The beauty of creation.

And because it reminds me of my part

In this beautiful manifestation

Of God’s divine art

And fills me with elation.

~Diksha

Dust to Dust: A Dreamy Visit to My Old School

The run down, black, metal gate stood broken on its hinges, allowing us only a narrow passage to pass through the premises of the deserted school campus. Right before us was an old marble sculpture, its detailed features were blunted in many places but the kindly visage of the woman was still clear in the stone.

Moving along the old corridor that ran to the left of the sculpture, we reached the very last room. The two windows with the broken fiber glass panes gave us a partial view of a dusty classroom through the metal grills with chipped black paint. Pushing open the wooden doors, we carefully stepped inside.

Old wooden armchairs crowded the place, termite eating at their shaky, squeaky legs. Some chairs lay overturned on the floor and some stood with broken armrests.

Numerous beams of the cheerful sunlight had lit up the depressing room with our entrance. The dust particles we had unsettled were floating about in the brightness. Coughing slightly, we examined the chamber.

The floor was barely visible beneath the thick layer of dirt that had accumulated over the centuries. Intricate cobwebs adorned the silent fans and bulbs hanging from the ceiling. Rotting boards hung askew along two of the walls, the green cloth covering almost entirely eaten by worms.

Along the front wall of the classroom were two wooden cupboards, one of which had a tiny, old lock hanging from its latch. Between the two cupboards hung a majestic green chalkboard, its slate rotting away like the rest of the furniture in the room. On the floor in front of the chalkboard, an old security camera lay with a withered old sock covering its glassy eye.

All around the clothed camera lay dusty, half decayed pieces of paper, all displaying a uniform message, ‘Adieu XII – B!’. All over the room, we found other papers full of doodles made during mindless chatter, silly drawings singing of the abandon of youth and emotionless goodbyes punctuated with a hope to keep in touch.

The room which stank of decay and time was enclosed by walls which were alive with memories.

As I looked around the broken chairs once again, dozens of carefree schoolgirls grinned at me, thrilled that they had been discovered at last.

~Diksha

#3 A Fairytale Holi: An Illusory Hamesha

The fresh air from the window seemed to clean his head of the residual effects of the bhaang and recollection came slowly.

         He couldn’t believe he’d let himself lose control like that. Submitted himself to her mercy like that. She was his enemy. And he’d let her see his weakest side.

         Arnav’s hands clenched into fists at the sound of his bedroom door opening. The tinkling of her payal. The clinking of her bangles. And then the door was closed again.

         Motionless.

         They both stood silently in their places for an infinite moment.

         And then Arnav turned to glare at her.

         The crystal-like tear streaming rapidly down the cheek he had stroked less than an hour ago, stopped him dead in his tracks.

         Pain shot through his chest and his heart clenched in torment.

         And when she raised her moisture laden eyes, he forgot everything. Everything she said. Everything he heard.

         Everything he’d felt before this moment.

         He staggered towards her for the second time that day. But unlike before, his fingers were not hesitant while finding hers. Nor was his other hand tentative as it brushed against her cheek, wiping away the offensive tear.

         And yet again with the silent question.

         Humaare dil…?

         He nodded reassuringly. Ek ho jaate hain.

         And then he was lowering his face to hers, without knowing what he was doing. Maybe the bhaang hadn’t really worn off yet.

         He stopped within an inch of her mouth, looking carefully into her eyes, seeking her permission. She seemed entranced and frozen. Unlikely to make a move. So Arnav prepared to retreat, disappointment filling his heart.

         But then her head moved infinitesimally towards his and as soon as he caught the movement, his mouth went crashing against hers.

         Hearts stopped. Then thundered.

         One took a sharp intake of breath and the other sighed.

         Hands rose to cup each other’s face.

         Lips danced.

         Breaths mingled.

         And time… seemed to cease existing.

         She kissed him with hesitation, then reckless abandon. With eagerness and long suppressed tenderness. With relief and a funny acidity.

         He kissed her with hesitation, then in a desperate search for reassurance. With eagerness and long-suppressed desire. With relief and a growing giddiness.

         When they broke apart for breath, Arnav felt like his world had turned a complete one-eighty. For the first time, he doubted his initial judgement.

         Opening his eyes to gaze reverently at Khushi’s flushed face, he wondered if their kiss had cleared his head of something more than the bhaang.

         And when she opened her eyes to reflect his fascinated look, he felt his resolve hardening.

         It wasn’t over yet. It could be alright. Perhaps she could be his. Perhaps there was more to the aisa kyun hota hai.” And he would find out what that more was.

         As he brushed his lips against hers for a second time, he decided to believe.

         Believe that maybe, maybe, hamesha wasn’t ruined yet. That maybe it was just hiding behind his curtain.

         Or behind Khushi’s yellow, translucent, fluttering dupatta.

 ~Diksha

#2 A Fairytale Holi: A Surreal Question

“Bataiye na… Aisa kyun hota hai?”

         The lump in Arnav’s throat was impossible to swallow. And Khushi’s helpless gaze impossible to look away from.

         It couldn’t be real.

         This moment.

         This feeling.

         Her question.

         Surely this was the product of his wishful thinking.

         Perhaps a manifestation of his stupor induced confusion.

         How well he knew ki aisa kyun hota hai.

         How desperately he wished ki aisa na hota.

         How dreadfully complicated things had become after he had realized ki aisa kyun hota hai.

         And now she was telling him ki aisa uske saath bhi hota hai?

         Khushi blinked sadly at him, waiting.

         And his heart was practically breaking.

         What difference did it make? If he told her? It wouldn’t change anything anyway. Would it? She wasn’t his.

         And he was a defeated man. At least where she was concerned. No amount of fighting would change his feelings for her. No number of cutting, mean words would make him hate her. So he might as well submit. Might as well confess his crime.

         Because what else was it but a crime? He had known love was nonsense. And yet, he had let himself fall for her. And now he was paying the price. Enduring his punishment. He had her within his arm’s reach. And she still wasn’t his.

         Arnav swallowed thickly, looking at the girl with a regretful intensity. The heat of his gaze made his eyes water. And simultaneously, so did hers.

         A catalytic reaction.

         That’s how they’d always been.

         She moves, he moves.

         He moves, she moves.

         She wasn’t his.

         But they were tied. With a thousand threads. Fine, like the strings of a spider’s web. They wound around their fingers. They shimmered in the darkness where the monsters lurked. Monsters desperate to pry them apart.

         She wasn’t his.

         But she’d just said ki aisa uske saath bhi hota hai.

         Confusion muddled Arnav’s head. His reaction floated to the bottoms of his consciousness. The bhang zapped electricity into his limbs.

         His hand reached out to grasp her face. Warm fingers stroked her pillow-soft cheeks and blood rushed to them as her eyes followed the trail of his fingertips.

         His lips moved of their own accord.

         Aisa kyun hota hai?

“Main batata hoon ki aisa kyun hota hai.”   

~Diksha

#1 A Fairytale Holi: A Sun-Kissed Dance

Colours.

Laughter.

Friendly banter.

Music.

More colours.

Mithai.

Bhaang.

Drunken giggles.

Colours still.

Fun.

Frolicking.

Freaking soap opera.

Arnav’s thoughts had reduced to tiny phrases against each other inside his head while the deafening sound of the dhol thumped against his ears.

The morning had just begun and he was already exhausted. Not only was his patience paper thin with having to put up with his family’s drunken antics but he was restless with frustration at the lingering feel of Khushi’s gulaal-covered fingertips on his cheeks. Every time he closed his eyes, her deep, unsettled hazel hazel stared back at him, seeming to question him, to plead with  him about something. In the crystal ocean of her eyes, he had seen reflected the memories of those days just before Payal and Akash’s wedding. THEIR wedding.

It was funny. How easily he could sometimes forget everything else when he looked at her. Times like those when she was smiling with abandon. Laughing like she had no care in the world. Dancing like she was now.

The sunlight seemed to kiss Khushi’s pearlescent skin. It seemed to make her eyes twinkle. Her smile glimmer. It made her hair appear brown in the glow.

Arnav staggered towards Khushi, his unwavering gaze fixed on her face. The hints of a smile danced on his lips when she turned around to look at him. She knew he was there. She always did. He vaguely wondered how.

His hesitant fingers found her trembling ones, the only part of her that wasn’t frozen with surprise. She lowered her startled gaze to their hands at the first featherlight touch of his fingertips. Then, slowly, tentatively, he grasped her hand in his and she allowed her fingers to wrap around his.

Breathless anticipation whispered anxiously at him through her eyes when she raised her head to meet his gaze again. And there it was again. Her unspoken question. Her silent plea. Can we go back to how it was before?

The sparks of a dance on a sangeet night almost a lifetime ago, brushed their lips against his ears. Arnav’s knees went weak but Khushi watched his eyes soften.

Two hearts thudded loud enough to hear each other.

In a surreal movement, Arnav raised their linked hands above her head.

And then, she was twirling.

~Diksha

NaNoWriMo Inspiration!

Are you one of those brave writers attempting to write a novel this November?

Hola! You’re doing a great job! (Somebody had to say it

This post is for all you little soldiers of words! I have selected these quotes specifically to help you rejuvenate yourself as you take a much deserved break from the writing or to encourage you to write if you have been procrastinating!

(But, of course, motivation is necessary even for the regular writer! So NaNoWriMo or no, dive into the inspiration that follows! xD )

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You are the magic. For you create something out of nothing! You are the god of your own world. Be fearless! Nothing can stop you there.

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Your own words are your best guiding light! Nobody can tell you where your character is gonna land up. Apart from you!

7

Everybody is unique. And so is their story. Never look into your neighbour’s notebook and feel sad about your own! Because their notebook doesn’t have one important thing. You.

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This one just speaks for itself, really! ❤

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Remember, November is for writing! Don’t look back on the last chapter (or paragraph… or sentence!). Write! You have eons to edit your work!

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Listen to your gut. Write what you believe in. Your story is amazing! And so are you… ❤

Erised: A Harry Potter Fanfiction

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The gleaming stone reflected back at her, dazzling her mystified eyes. She stood in front of the large, curious mirror, completely mesmerized and breathing heavily. Her hands clutched at the sides of her silken robes and she remained perfectly immobile, afraid to stir in the least, lest the wonderful illusion in front of her might break.
For there, atop her black locks carefully wound up in an elegant bun, rested her heart’s desire. Her mother’s diadem suited her well, its sparkle bringing out the grey of her eyes and the deep blue sapphire matching her periwinkle robes to give her slender form an ethereal look. And she could see in her own eyes in the mirror, the peculiar twinkle that she had always seen in her mother’s dark orbs when she knew something that Helena was completely oblivious to. It was the glow of that extraordinary wit and knowledge that Helena had always envied her mother for.
A soft creak of the wooden door behind her startled her out of her reverie and she quickly turned around. At the door stood the Baron who bowed at her quietly before asking her, “What must my lady be doing in here while everyone is out looking for her?”
Helena was a little irritated at the interruption but more so at the perpetrator. She wished he would go away but replied to him politely that she was just admiring the mirror in the room.
The Baron walked a few steps into the room, peering curiously at the object but his step faltered midway as his form appeared in the mirror. His eyes fixed upon Helena’s reflection which had its hand draped around the arm of his own reflection. Her face was turned up towards his and her eyes were fondly gazing at him, a beautiful smile adorning her rosy lips.
His eyes roved from the mirror to Helena’s real form, his mouth hanging open in surprise as he saw her trying to hide her grimace, her eyes narrowed slightly in suspicion. He swallowed with difficulty and began, “My lady-“ “We must get going now,” Helena curtly interrupted him. “As you said, they are looking for me.” His face fell, his words dying on his lips.
Helena curtsied gracefully at him and quickly walked out of the room, her skirts rustling past him and her eyebrows furrowed together, betraying some unspoken anxiety, some desire unknown to the Baron’s heart.
Looking back at the mirror, trying to understand what he did wrong and what could be the reason for his lady’s perturbation, he sighed wistfully. Helena continued to smile up at him from beside him as he muttered, “This woman is going to be the death of me…”
~Diksha

A Rainy Tryst : A Harry Potter Fanfiction

 

rain

 

Cho took a sharp intake of breath. The smell was heady, to say the least.

The mustiness of the rain beating against the castle walls and soaking through her cloak, down her back, as she balanced herself on the window sill. The smell of the lonely corridor that had just been cleaned by Mr. Filch. And the smell of him. So close to her. His breath falling on her nose.

Cedric had his hands planted on either side of her on the window sill as she leaned into him, facing away from the window.

The rain pattered above them, onto the roof of the deserted Astronomy Tower, drowning out the sound of their heavy pants. Cho had her half shut eyes fixed on Cedric’s yellow and black tie, for she couldn’t bring herself to look up after the moment that had just passed between them. She was certain her cheeks were bright pink and her eyes glistening strangely by now.

The rain continued to stream down her back in little rivulets, making her shiver slightly.

Cedric was regarding her carefully, letting his eyes rove over her crimson face framed by her smooth black locks. Not even the success of stealing the Golden Egg from the Swedish Short Snout or rescuing this same beautiful girl from the bottom of the Black Lake could parallel the exuberance and exhilaration he was feeling now. No Quidditch victory had ever made him happier. No moment in his life had made him feel quite like this. Except, of course, the day he had danced with this same girl in front of him now, at the Yule Ball on Christmas Eve, she looking like an angel in her silver robes, ethereal and graceful.

He slipped his arms around her waist and pulled her down onto her feet in one quick move. She turned her face up at him in surprise, her shining, brown eyes widening as he pulled her closer to himself.

His grey eyes twinkled back at her, mischief apparent in the half suppressed smile round his mouth. One of his hand moved up her back to rumple the wet hair stuck at the back of her neck.

Cho shivered again as his fingers lightly brushed against the cool skin of her neck. Her own fingers, resting against the soft fabric of his cloak, now knotted around them, her eyes fluttering close.

She felt his face lean down nearer to hers again.

“Weren’t you saying something earlier?” He breathed down quietly at her, his other hand gripping her waist tighter.

“Uh…” She struggled to make sense of his question, her skin tingling with new sensations. “I…”

“Yeah?” He prodded on, holding back his chuckle.

A thought, lost in the feelings of the moment, resurfaced hazily in her mind now.

She swallowed. “The Task.”

“Hm?”

“Good luck for it,” she whispered, finally opening her eyes to look at him, a small, shy smile on her lips, pride and hope glimmering on her face as she gathered some of her senses again. “I really hope you win.”

He grinned at her, excitement ready to burst from within him. The Tournament would soon be over. If victorious, which he really wished to be, he’d take Cho to Hogsmeade. If not, well, he would get quite a few kisses to cheer him up later, won’t he?

With his hope raging strong, he picked his girl up in his arms, making her giggle softly, and pressed his lips gently against hers again while the rain fell quickly outside the window, cocooning them in the safety of its noise and making their special moment even more magical.

 

~Diksha

A Riot of Color

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The streets here are filled with people. There is colored powder floating in the air. The sound of laughter has made the neighborhood come alive. There is heady excitement on everyone’s faces. Music drowns all other sound apart from one. The irregular repetition of a single phrase, delivered in a light-hearted voice, now from one’s mouth, now from another’s.

“Bura na mano, Holi hai!”

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