Serves you right! (100 word short-story)

Rob hated his God forsaken life. “What else do you expect from a blind, forty-year old, trash collector?” He shouted at the sky, spurting spit all over his face. “This world will end, but these baboons will never learn to throw their shit where it belongs!” He felt paper rustling beneath his feet and caught it with a trash grabber. Unlike his usual way of crumpling up paper, he spent extra time ripping the winning million dollar lottery ticket to pieces.

“Serves you right!” Rob had a habit of talking to trash. He limped on with a big grin.


Writing 101 challenge day 5 prompt:

You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.

Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.



Connecting the dots…


I believe in destiny. I believe in the magic of moments. How they merge into one another like sliding droplets of rain collecting at the bottom of a windshield.  Forming a little ocean, only you were meant to drink from.

Children love to collect things. Most children my age would collect stamps, coins and sea shells. I tried collecting stamps just once because it was cool. Then I also tried sea shells, but then I didn’t have any beaches nearby and flying to Karachi (the city of beaches) just for my collection was a bit too farfetched even for my taste. Now coins, I assumed would be easy since we traveled a lot, especially my father. But that didn’t go as planned either.Barbies. Now what girl wouldn’t like them? I thought it was weird that I had no barbies. So on my tenth birthday I asked my parents to get me a barbie doll. I got one of those barbies with long hair and hair styling products. Makes perfect sense because I hated brushing my hair (still do!). So after my birthday, I sat and combed her hair. Sprayed it with pink hairspray and brushed it some more. Now what? I needed more time to figure out the barbies in my life. I got hold of some more. At the end of each play time, I was bored to death. Lets just say a new version of “Toy Story – the barbie hater” was a possibility. Thank God Toy Story was just a cartoon.

So what made my heart skip a beat? Stationery. I remember my pink, furry pencil-case that no one was allowed to touch, especially my young brother. Patterned pencils, erasers, animal shaped sharpeners, scented paper, pink stapler, post-its. It was my own little bliss. My eyes almost jumped from their sockets every time I went to a book store. I would gladly trade my ice cream for a glitter pen. And God knows how much I loved ice cream.

All throughout my early years, I devoured books.The Baby Sitters Club, R.L. Stine’s Fear Street, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie The famous five, Classics…anything I could get my hands on. My pink pencil box was still safe and loved. But another love bloomed. Journal writing. Notebooks. The fresh smell of scented paper, crinkly pages waiting for my words. Diaries with my personal lock and key! How cool was that! So I wrote. Daily ramblings. Gibberish only I was meant to read. My cursive script looked like squiggly stick men strangling each other. But who cared. My writing was for me.

Fast forward almost a decade, and there I was, beating myself over programming language and cursing the bits and bytes of computer logic. Computers were never my thing. My younger brother taught me how to run a computer. The only thing I did on it was play wheel of fortune on a CD and chat with my friends. With such obvious love for technology, I went into computer science. Hard to believe, but it was an important dot that I would connect years later.

I got a corporate job in IT. I had no interest, a 9 to 5 drudgery, but the pay was good and I had friends there. So life was complacent. And the most wonderful and unexpected outcome was the love of my life. I met my husband at work. I doubt meeting him at the library or a book store was ever a likelihood. I had to be where I had to be. We got married a couple of years later and last year we moved to Canada, because of our  technology background. Another dot. Followed by another. Making perfect sense.

After so many years, moving on a path as crooked and as wondrous as a starry constellation, I am finally here and I am writing. My heart still flutters at the sight of book stores and beautiful notebooks. And I continue to dislike barbie dolls. I love computers and the Internet because they are a necessity and make my life interesting, and that’s as deep as I am willing to go with technology. Many people after reading this would ask why I didn’t get into literature, or writing before? It was all in plain sight! I say it wasn’t. My bus was supposed to take the longer route.


Daily Prompt: Futures Past – As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? How close or far are you from that vision?



Bowl of cereal from the heavens…

Turning thirty is usually a big deal. That momentous time where a child begins calling you an Aunti and you begin to make peace with that fact rather than fantasize about teaching the little devil a lesson. I don’t suppose anything tangible changes except for maybe a few unwelcoming strands of squiggly grey hair and creaking knees. In my case more than anything else, it has been an increasing spate of bewilderment at the world. Every time I sit down to write, a flood of random and some not-so random thoughts attack furiously, left, right and center; begging to be found and figured out.  Nothing is trivial anymore; yet everything can be ignored. Nothing is too serious, or too funny, or too crazy; like I have seen it all before; yet every time its all invigoratingly new.

Even feeding breakfast to my eight month old daughter is not as simple as it used to be. So one fine day, there I was trying out a new cereal that to my dismay she despised. Like most moms, I am a persistent bug, so I kept feeding and hoping she would take to the new taste eventually. All traces of my maternal instinct appeared as I thought; “She needs to eat this, its good for her!” Just then I noticed a speck of food on the floor and bent down to pick it up. Out from no where came my elbow and knocked down the bowl from the table and caught me completely off guard! SPLAT!! An artist might call this intricate design of milk and cereal on the floor, art.  I had other nice words in mind, apparently unfit for my blog.

If babies could talk, I am sure mine was thanking my elbow. The “mommy” me was hurriedly cleaning away. The annoying “writer” in me thought: “Was that pure coincidence or a sign from above signalling the stop sign?” Should I ignore this accident and get her some more cereal or should I appease her little taste buds with something she already likes to eat.  Of course, a bowl of cereal on the floor rather than in your child’s mouth does not exactly fit the criterion for divine revelation. Notwithstanding, I could not help but think about the presence and impact of signs in our lives.

Follow your passions, they say! Don’t give up, no matter how long it takes! But who gives us the time stamp? How long is ‘how long’?! Does someone stand there holding a board blinking with colorful lights assuring us we are on the right track? Of course not. Nothing is ever as overtly expressed in real life. However there are numerous instances that help you understand where you are headed even if its not your cup of tea. The globe is replete with people having crazy, raw, admirable gifts bound to set many green with envy. Delusional feelings of grandeur or not, these people mean business! Some even spend their entire lives like color-blind bulls running after the matador’s cape; huffing and puffing towards an invisible line that packs its bags and changes towns every time they are near. They struggle on until one fine day, someone’s elbow knocks down their house of cards. They roll up their sleeves and start all over again. Some actually make it past the finish line. These people are what the world’s catchiest quotable quotes are made of! Wonder what signs the student of astro physics from Toronto saw that made him leave his line of profession; and succumb to a passionate life in which he now entertains through strange tricks involving fire, body contortions and humor.So many people around the world change religions when they notice startling signs around them. I recently saw an interesting and candid account of how an atheist Australian Ruben studied all major religions and finally converted to a religion he believed was the best for him;  because the signs he so desperately desired were the simplest ones, staring him right in the face.

Inwardly, we all believe in signs, omens, sixth sense…the whole mystical shebang! Though far more difficult to decipher than even the ancient languages, hieroglyphs etc. , its interesting to derive meaning out of daily happenings in life.  I read somewhere how everyday things like highway signs and boards, overhearing a conversation, losing a job, starting a new business, moving to a new home, the ever-familiar feeling of dejavu can all be harbingers of what lies ahead and how training our hearts and minds to understand those signs can make a huge difference in our lives (source). Sometimes, I think the more delusional others think you are, the better it is. This uncanny ability to see a beautiful angel as a prophetic omen from the heavens as opposed to a Medusa waving the warning signal, is a core ingredient for the passionate and the pure at heart.

So in case any of you are wondering, I took notice of the fallen bowl of cereal and my daughter was saved from the ordeal of eating another bite. That however was the simpler side of it all. I am not a master of sign-reading, nor am I a passionate or pure soul, but I believe that our lives are all laid down on a map with invisible signs and signals. It’s only a matter of time when the appropriate sign will manifest and direct the way. I cannot comment on what signs may direct my future as a writer. But fortunately, I have all the symptoms of a delusional sign reader, which will keep the writer in me alive. Unlike the breakfast incident, I will stubbornly pick up remnants of unfinished letters, words, sentences and continue to write, hopefully waiting for the next sign to reveal itself.