4 Years!

4years

My blog just turned four! This is an incredible feeling. This year of blogging has been extremely special for me. I’ve learnt to love it in a new way. I have found great friends, incredible authors, and most of all, I have found what I love. George Bernard Shaw had said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. It is about creating yourself.” And I have found what creates me, what makes me. It’s my writing. And this blog has been a huge part of it. Thank you very much for letting me create myself.

With lots of love and gratitude,

Akanksha

Five Word Challenge: August 2015

Set by David/Megan here, The Five Word Challenge consists of five words that are taken out of a magic word box having 500 words in it. The words for this month are:

  1. Book
  2. Lost
  3. Start
  4. Milkshake
  5. Werewolf

I would advise you to watch the performance in the above link. Also, play the music while reading the story for full effect.

Five Days Ago

I have always loved travelling. My dad and I, whenever we used to take trips, he always made me record all trips. That is one huge scrapbook now. I just counted yesterday, I have visited 102 countries till now. India is going to be my 103rd. I wish to become the youngest person ever to visit all the countries of the world.

My first stop in India would be Delhi, where I’ll spend four days, after which I will drive, in a caravan, to Rajasthan. From there, I’ll start along the coastline till Kolkata. There, I’ll drop my caravan and fly to Manali and travel to Leh from there. I’m gonna be in India for a month. After that, it’s China. So India, here I come!

Today

5:32 am

As I swallow my banana-n-milkshake breakfast, the steward gets my luggage and fills it in the hired RV caravan. The receptionist hands me a drive-to map from Delhi to Rajasthan and marks the best route for Alwar, my first stop.

4:51 pm

I exit the highway and started driving on the road to Alwar. Of course, the maximum traffic always diverted when an hour before I did because Jaipur here gets the maximum tourists.

6:27 pm

It’s been quite a while since then and I have hardly spotted a single person here.

8:14 pm

The road I had taken ended at a fort complex. I must have taken a wrong turn. Seems like I’ve lost my way. Ughh! I have to turn all the way back, find the highway and then drive to Alwar. I’m so tired now. It’s not easy waking up at four in the morning, packing up and driving. I am erect from driving and I can feel a mild headache rising. I think I’m going to just stay and spend the night here.

9:23 pm

I’ve had dinner. Beef cheeks, bread and cake. Lying on the stomach seems a little difficult now. There is not network here or I could have updated my blog and kept my readers busy. I think I might take a little walk around the fort, click some photographs, see where I am.

9:57 pm

I am back. The weird thing here is that the entire fort is uninhabited. Not even a security guard is here. There is utmost silence and it’s absolutely dark. And it’s cold. I was constantly shivering. I am more than happy to be in my caravan again. I don’t know why this place is giving me the creeps. On the other hand, I took some great photographs. One of which is a signboard. To bad I don’t have a network, I could’ve translated what this means.

ASI Sign board at bhangarh
For all my non Hindi reading readers, this sign proclaims that 1. It is forbidden to enter the area around Bhangarh between sunset and sunrise. 2. Entry of cattle is strictly forbidden. Legal action may be taken against offenders. 3. All the trees in the area are in government control. No harm should be caused to the trees. Legal action may be taken against offenders.

10:21 pm

I am reading my book but my mind keeps wandering to what my friend, Lisa told me while I was with her at the JFK Airport. She kept telling me how when she had heard from her friends that Rajasthan is the state of India’s most haunted place, Bhangarh. She told me all sorts of absurd stories about ghosts, phantoms, vampires, werewolves, doppelgangers and witches. I just laughed at them. I mean, the Winchester Mansion in California is supposed to be haunted. How many times have we been there? Seven. Did we see any ghost? No.

11:47 pm

I have finished my book. It was a sweet story. I, however, don’t feel very sweet today. I am irked and on my nerves. Maybe it’s just the long day unwinding on me. Outside, it’s pitch black. I don’t know what’s with this place. I’m going to get out of here the first thing tomorrow morning.

12:03 am

I’m drifting off to sleep. A light breeze starts somewhere and ruffles my hair. It feels misty outside and I can feel the moon’s gentle, shimmery light enveloping me. Somewhere, I hear something howl and with the tufts of winds outside, I sleep.

The Next Morning

The eagles fly high in the blue sky and the sun shines in all it’s glory. Some two thousand feet below, the area around the Bhangarh Fort is buzzing with activity. A local passing by found a fully mutilated body of an American woman recognized as Eliza Jonas, who had lost her way. The police claim the body has been in such a condition for the past seven days.

Unravelling Broken Threads: Chapter 7

Chapter 7

At the dining table at the Cruise’s, the table was scattered with papers, bent over them three heads, belonging to Jennifer, Alex and Nick. As soon as Jennifer told them of her plan, both screamed in unison, ‘No freaking way!’

Jennifer had invited Nick to her house to plan their next move. He had gladly agreed, and Jenny had started liking his company very much. He always knew the appropriate thing to say, and when not to. He cracked okay jokes when the atmosphere got too tense. He also contributed good ideas, however crappy they may seem later.

Yet, so far, they had had nothing. Each of them gave ideas which were rejected by either one of the two. And Jennifer was tired. ‘Come on guys, we can’t be hopeless?’ she cried at 7:30 evening by the watch.

‘Yes we are. Listen, it’s getting late. I think we should all sleep over it and think of what to do,’ Nick said, gathering his stuff of the table. ‘Listen, Jules is your sister after all. Maybe you can take some tips, about you know, how to do this.’

‘Thanks, but no thanks,’ she said irritated. Then seeing the expression on his face, she said dejectedly, ‘I’ll think about it,’ she groaned, ‘okay! But this one last time.’

‘Cool, I’ll see you tomorrow at school. Are you leaving too Alex?’ he questioned.

‘Yes, just five minutes. Jenny, I’ll do some research off the internet and see how this is done. I may even talk to Earl,’ her neighbour, who had stood in the city elections as an independent, ‘and I’ll call you later.’

She stood up and left with Nick, who was waiting patiently at the door.

Tired but so, she made her way her way to Jules’ room grudgingly. Her and Adrian’s room was entirely pink, pink carpets, pink walls, pink sofa, pink bed sheets. She felt as though she was entering a parallel universe which was only pink. The main feature of their room was a mirror that covered up the entire wall facing the room, and a small wooden slab that extended along the breadth of the mirror. The slab was littered with bottles of perfumes, nail polish, combs, curlers, and all sorts of beautifying cosmetics ever invented. As she entered, she saw Jules sitting on a small stool, in front of the mirror, straightening her hair. Jules saw Jennifer enter.

‘Aren’t we in the wrong room?’ she commented.

‘No we aren’t. I wanted to ask you something,’ she replied awkwardly, ‘I know we don’t talk and all, but I want to ask you something.’

‘What? Your T-shirt back? I don’t have it,’ she sarcastically said.

‘Well, I’m sorry for that. I was just irritated when you had come, and so I was bad. Listen, how, I mean, what do you do-’ she hesitated, ‘I’ll get straight to the point.’ Rushing forward she said, ‘I have given my name forward to something social. I want to know how you do that. Become popular, that is. Because what I’ve done needs public attention immediately.’

‘What have you done?’ she asked suspiciously.

‘Well, I have, um, offered my name, um for the elections in school. And this can only be done, once I am popular enough to get voted to win.’  Long silence prevailed while Jules digested this, with Jen standing in front of her, her face on fire, literally. She had already hung her face so as to avoid all the color, that had nonetheless, come. Once she felt that the danger had passed, she allowed herself to peek. Jules looked shell shocked, a frown resting on her face, and arms folded above her chest.

Finally, Jules said in an eerily calming voice, ‘You did that on purpose, right? You couldn’t bear to have me enjoy my share of popularity this year now, could you?’

Her words stung, not only because of what she said, but also because of what she meant. However, before she could dwell further on the matter, her sister ordered, and her voice as hard as steel, ‘Get out. Get out before I do something terrible.’

An assortment of emotions made themselves present while Jennifer made her way across the room. On the way to her room, she saw sprawled on the bed, watching the television. Feeling the day wouldn’t be worsened if she talked to her; she went inside, ‘Mom!’

‘Hey, are your friends gone?’ she asked nonchalantly.

‘Yes.’ After some deliberate thinking on the pretence of watching the TV, she asked, ‘I haven’t had the chance to talk to you for a long time now. Everything fine at work, at Jules’ school?’

‘Of course. In fact, things couldn’t be better at the job, and my elder daughter seems to be paying attention to what her mother is saying today, which is as good as a gift that anyone can ever give. Besides that, Jules seems to be getting her mind off the puberty changes and seems to be putting her popularity to good use. So it’s great going for me,’ she informed. After a while, she asked softly, ‘What about you?’

‘Oh I’m fine, just the usual high school drama,’ she answered vaguely, but her mind had stuck on to one sentence that her mother had said, “and seems to be putting her popularity to good use”.  She knew she had to ask. ‘Uh, mom. What did you mean about Jules putting her popularity to good use?’

‘Well, she is going to contest the school elections this year. She got herself written down today, with some Okra woman. She said there is another senior girl who has signed, but she’s pretty confident of herself. She told me that the posts for the treasurer, the secretary and the editor were the most preferred. She said that Mrs Ohra-’

‘Okra,’ Jennifer corrected.

‘- had told her that her chances are pretty high as the other girls are not like her, pretty, smart, popular too.’ She suddenly started, ‘You know, when I was your age, popularity was not important. What mattered was that how good the good was, excelling not only in academics, but sports and drama as well. There were a few things that were a must in the kids selected. Loyalty,’ she counted them off the fingers, ’team spirit, sincerity, integrity, laborious, and lastly, honesty.’ She held up a reminiscent finger, ‘Oh those were good days, they were. No responsibility, no prohibitions, no seriousness, all of us were children that time. I wish you had been there too; you would have enjoyed that time a lot more than you do this one. With everyone loving you for you who are, not who they want you to be. I admire you for that, for your uniqueness. ’ She moved back to the TV.

‘Yeah, me too,’ Jennifer whispered.

Music Today: 12/08/2015

Dil Chahta Hai: Dil Chahta Hai

Releasing Year: 2001

Dil Chahta Hai marked the directorial debut of the acclaimed artist Farhan Akhtar. Apart from being classified as a cult movie that marked the change in the B’wood’s been-there-done-that movies, it was breath of fresh air that changed the concept of youth which was more independent, career oriented, “selfish”. It defined friendships, love and life in a whole new dimension. This particular song is perfect for a road trip as is featured in the video. It’s funky, it’s catchy, it’s enjoyable. It is cool. Sort of makes you wanna take a road trip with your closest buddies.

P.S. Seems like I wanna do a Movie Mania about this film.