The Chronicles of Miss Shola

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

Archive for August 2011

Love Story

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The Girl scoured through the shelf meditatively, transporting herself into a maze-like world from which she didn’t want a way out. On either side of her were books, containing little worlds of their own that she wanted to be a part of, cherish, and then bid a hearty farewell to, only to move on to another equally worthy world. She had been to hundred such worlds by now and hadn’t tired.

Her head tilted to the right and then to the left as she went from rack to rack. She could feel her spectacles slipping off her nose ever so slightly but stopped to adjust them only when she had reached the very bottom of the shelf. She didn’t let any title pass her; if it was one she had read before she nodded in acknowledgment, if she had not, she made a mental note and moved on. If it called out to her (she had a way of knowing) she picked it up carefully so that the file wouldn’t topple over and held it as if it were a novelty, magical and potent. She took time to decide if it was worth putting in her carry basket. It was a privilege to be in the basket and not many got the chance. If it went back to the shelf, she could hear the book screaming out in pain, hurt and embarrassed, not knowing how it would be able to face the ilk until The Girl’s visit to the library next week. Or so she imagined.

The library was big, almost like an institution. It was the oldest one in the city and stood on a busy street, unattached and stately. The blackboard at the entrance, like those sepia days, demanded to ‘Keep Silence at all Times’. Its brown stoned walls contained more than 3000 books, nicely categorized by different subjects. The Girl’s circuit through the library usually covered: Literature, Bestsellers, Travelogues, History, Theology and Poetry.

That day the library was sprinkled with a few bookworms. It was an afternoon right in the middle of the week, that time of the day that the Girl liked best. Not that it mattered, because in that world of words, the only protagonist was her. She was oblivious to the other characters around and the small roles they played in this short plot of her life’s novel. That’s when it happened – the twist in the tale that was ambling at its own pace so far.

At the far end of the Literature section right by the Classics shelf, the Boy bumped into The Girl. Books collided, heads banged and spectacled eyes met. The book lying on the floor was a bestseller by Eric Segal.

The beginning.

Written by Miss Shola

August 30, 2011 at 11:35 am

Posted in Shorts

Sticky note

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“…a story should have a beginning, a middle and an end. But actually, if you think about it, life isn’t like that. Life doesn’t have a great beginning and a tidy end. Life is always going on. You should begin in the middle and end in the middle, and it should all be there.”

~ V.S. Naipul, Half a Life

Written by Miss Shola

August 29, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Posted in Quotes

Parallel Universe

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She stood under the cherry tree looking wistfully beyond the paisleys that embellished the pearly gate of heaven, at the clouds floating in the sea of blue sky. The days spent in the cradle of heaven had been magical but she had another journey to look forward to now. As she mulled over the time to come, suddenly, a sweet tickle ran up her foot and jolted her out of her reverie. She knelt down to discover an impish caterpillar climbing fastidiously leaving a trail of fresh morning dew on her white creamy skin. She picked up a fallen leaf and escorted the caterpillar from the peak of her soft knee mountain to the plateau of the hard moist ground. By the time she got back on her feet again it was too late. She saw the flurry of white feathers making its way out of the gate. They had taken him but forgotten her behind. She screamed out but there was no looking back. They would come to get her later but it would be too late; a decade would have passed on Earth by the time she would arrive. She crossed her fingers and hoped he would wait for her.

*

She stood under the cherry tree looking wistfully beyond the paisleys that embellished the pearly gate of heaven, at the clouds floating in the sea of blue sky. The days spent in the cradle of heaven had been magical but she had another journey to look forward to now. As she mulled over the time to come, suddenly, a sweet tickle ran up her foot and jolted her out of her reverie. But she ignored it. She didn’t want to lose sight of the flurry of white feathers that would carry him. She looked around and saw it coming towards her, a silver carriage led by that divinely figure. She stepped out from under the tree and stopped in the path of the carriage. As expected, it stopped right beside her and beckoned her to step in. He was seated in the carriage already; one look at him and she knew her journey would be worth all the time away from heaven. They both left the gate happy and in anticipation.

*

She stood under the cherry tree looking wistfully beyond the paisleys that embellished the pearly gate of heaven, at the clouds floating in the sea of blue sky. The days spent in the cradle of heaven had been magical but she had another journey to look forward to now. As she mulled over the time to come, suddenly, a sweet tickle ran up her foot and jolted her out of her reverie. She knelt down to discover an impish caterpillar climbing fastidiously leaving a trail of fresh morning dew on her white creamy skin. She picked up a fallen leaf and escorted the caterpillar from the peak of her soft knee mountain to the plateau of the hard moist ground. By the time she got back on her feet it was too late. She saw the flurry of white feathers making its way out of the gate. They had taken him but forgotten her behind. Panic gripped her as she realized that it would be too late till they came to get her. She could not bear the thought of separation and decided to disobey. She ran towards the gate, unlocked it herself and stepped out. As soon as she did, the not-so-pearly gate anymore, clanged shut behind her in finality. She knew it would never open for her again. But she ran into the blue sky and leapt onto the nearest cloud and hoped to catch up with him soon.

Written by Miss Shola

August 27, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Posted in Shorts

Madhubani – more than just Art

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Originally, Madhubani painting was a folk art practiced by women of all castes, communities and religions in the Mithila region which is now a part of Bihar, North India. Also known as Mithila paintings the women folk painted it on the walls and floors of their homes, capturing the expressions of every day life. The paintings, made from natural and vegetable colours, reflected the relationship between nature, culture and human psyche.

The traditional Madhubani painting provided women with an art form through which they could express their desires, dreams and expectations as well as amuse and entertain themselves. In India today, women and especially girl children lack even such forms of expressions. Gender discrimination is widespread in rural and urban India alike. When aggravated, discrimination takes the ugly shape of female infanticide and foeticide, exploitation and abuse.

The painting above  is my first attempt at the Madhubani art form.

Both the painting and write-up are courtesy the DIY Educational Activity Kit provided by CRY.

Written by Miss Shola

August 15, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Posted in Art

In a sentence

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She stood in the narrow doorway of the bathroom holding a razor under the unsteady stream of water from the faucet as blobs of foam mingled with long strands of grey and dyed black hair melted away, and beside her the old man in his wheelchair shakily wiped his frail face that now bore little semblance to the coy groom in her mother’s wedding photograph.

Written by Miss Shola

August 3, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Posted in Shorts