The Chronicles of Miss Shola

The blog's epitaph: Miss Shola came and went as she pleased

Archive for June 2011

Something I heard

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~ Francesco Clemente, an Italian painter, travelled through Afghanistan and India after completing his architectural studies in Rome. In 1970s he exhibited works that reflected his interest in the contemplative traditions of India. He currently lives in New York City.

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Written by Miss Shola

June 30, 2011 at 10:38 am

Posted in Art

The many faces of Rain

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Stormy and windy
Sitting by the window
Reading a book
And the whole day ahead:
Happy rain

Pitter patter pitter
For days on end
Stuck at home
With an empty mind and a full heart:
Melancholy rain

Green and fresh
Trees swaying
A long drive followed by
A quiet holiday in the hills:
Lovely rain

Thunder and lightning
Stuck in office
With no umbrella
And a rickshaw to find:
Anxious rain

Bright and cloudy
Walking through the bazaar
A light drizzle
And sudden scamper of feet:
Surprise rain

Dark and threatening
Banging doors
Raised voices
And imminent ravage:
Angry rain

Like a famous artist,
Like a moody woman,
Like a newly married couple,
Like a mischievous child,
Like a grumpy old man,
Many faces, one rain.

Written by Miss Shola

June 28, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Posted in Poetry

175

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Threshold

She finally put off the light and lay down on her bed. The house was abuzz, but she had been told to get a good night’s rest. Her eyes fell on the shimmering maroon sari that was neatly folded and readied on the back of the chair of her study table. She would don that tomorrow morning and leave her room, her home, her parents and her childhood behind. She would put a full-stop and start another chapter, one in which she would discover by herself a world altogether different. A sweet anticipation lurked in a dark corner of her heart that ached at the thought of separation. She wanted to hold on to every article and every memory that she had learned to identify with till now; but there was only so much she could take ahead. The present would soon become a memory, and the past yet another story of a young girl who embraced marriage amongst other norms laid down by society.

She shut her eyes and a tear rolled down her cheek.

Written by Miss Shola

June 26, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Posted in Shorts

Happy feet

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Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Written by Miss Shola

June 24, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Posted in Quotes, Shots

The Pauper

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This is a story about five brothers: Sight, Smell, Hear, Touch and Taste.

Sight, the eldest, was a painter. He was very talented and used a wide palette of colours to paint beautiful pictures that the world lauded. He could paint for hours on end providing one piece of marvel after another to an untiring audience. He soon became the wealthiest of all brothers.

Hear was not as acclaimed though. He was a trader by profession and his work involved carefully selecting and buying packets of goods and selling them to the world. The goods were various: chirping of birds, the din of dish-washing, cry of a baby, shout of abuse by a bus driver. Some the world liked and bought, and some the world disliked and discarded but he continued to do his job relentlessly.

The twin brothers, Touch and Taste, were handsome and desired. They were performing artists and pleased the world with the variety of acts they performed. They piqued the interest of the audience and left them wanting more. But this story is really about Smell, the pauper.

Poor old Smell was a vagabond. The world didn’t care much for him, yet couldn’t deny his presence. He moved from one place to another enforcing himself on the world, but in the process left behind nostalgia – a faraway thought. Like when the scent of fresh and damp earth takes you to that evening of June when you playfully jumped into puddles with your brother. Or the mouthwatering kebabs frying on a roadside inn remind you of the time when you tucked in many in celebration of a cousin’s wedding. Or when a stray fragrance reaches you from nowhere and you feel that a dear friend has just walked by. And when you hold a shawl close in a cold movie theatre you are comforted by that warmth of home and mother.

Smell invoked associations: of a time gone by, of someone dear, of an occasion or a place. It made the world feel that it has lived, loved and learned. And along with the rest of the brothers, Smell made the experience complete.

Written by Miss Shola

June 23, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Posted in Ramblings

Another evening

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The auto rickshaw cautiously made its way into the small lane that branched out from the noisy station road. The water-melon seller, who occupied a large section of the footpath at the beginning of the lane, was sure his cart would topple over this time around but the rickshaw scraped through, just like many others had during the day. Now into the lane, it advanced from one old grey rickety building to another waiting for its passenger to signal its halt. The driver was sure this is where his journey would end; there couldn’t have been another world beyond this narrowness.

He was right; the girl he had ferried from a busy commercial area to this non-descript forlorn location, finally made him veer through an old rusting gate into a three storey building. The driver looked up at the dilapidating structure that had plaster peeling of its exposed walls, and mentally calculated its age to be over thirty. Meanwhile, the passenger in her twenties swiftly paid the fare and got her bodily bulk off the rickshaw followed by her heavy office bag.

There was no real compound to the building; just a tiny passage leading from the gate to the staircase. A few non-flowering plants lined this passage, forcibly offering strains of life to the concrete structure. She took a deep breath before embarking on her long climb up to the third floor. With every step, most broken from years of wear and tear, the air around her seemed scarcer and the rock she was carrying in her heart all through her journey back home got heavier. She looked down at her fair feet nicely ensconced in her formal black heels. She had painted her toenails red last weekend and they had looked bright and happy then. But now, as she made her way up, it didn’t seem to matter. All that she felt was the dampness under her feet that made her sluggish. She passed the second floor and thought of her day and the dinner she would soon make, trying to evade the anxiety that was ballooning like a tyre on the verge of rupture.

Outside the familiar door now, she put her hands into a known corner of her handbag to extract the keys. Her fingers trembled slightly as she caught hold of the cold metal but then in a sudden deft movement inserted it into the keyhole. The old door creaked open and she was enveloped in a thick cloud of medicinal odour; the marriage of Iodex and Dettol is what she had learnt to associate as warm home smell for the last couple of years. She knocked off the heels and hurried towards the living room. Her sickly mother was sitting in her rocking chair as usual with a book across her chest. The chair was just slowing down from motion and her breathing was picking up slowly, rhythmically, uneasily. The few strands of silver hair untouched by the cancer, blew under the soft whir of the fan creating an aura of peace and yonder.

The girl sighed with relief. Another evening would go by.

Written by Miss Shola

June 17, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Posted in Shorts

And the horse sped away…

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Maqbool Fida Husain popularly known as MF Husain, was a prominent Indian painter. According to Forbes magazine, he has been called the “Picasso of India”. Husain was associated with Indian modernism in the 1940s. After a long career, in 1996, controversy arose over paintings originally created in the 1970s which were interpreted as anti-Hindu. After legal cases and death threats in his home country, he was on a self imposed exile from 2006. In January, 2010, he was offered the citizenship of Qatar, which he accepted. He died in London today at the age of 95.

Written by Miss Shola

June 9, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Posted in Art