A Hundred and Seventeen

I know, I know, not an imaginatively titled story.

So, as with all my PDF-filed posts, here’s a mandatory premumble.

I’ve always been a little inclined toward reading women’s perspective in Literature. And lately, I have gone quite overboard with it. I’ve been stuffing my head with an assortment of girl-stories, ranging from flippant chick-lit, to some dark, serious, matter of gravitas kind of writing.

Of course, as with any personal type (is there any other?) of Literature, a favourite kind of narrative is the Coming of Age one. This narrative, in the prism of women’s perspective, contains a large, and I mean LARGE, volume of stories dealing in some token themes: insecurities with the male figures in our lives, the realization of social inequality, the onset of menses, negotiating sexuality, being appraised as a prospective bride (I *loathe* this theme), a time of bidai, singlehood, motherhood, renewed singlehood, loss of a child, old age, beauty.

No, sillies, I am not quashing the validity of these themes.

These themes will forever hold water, because these experiences are recurrent. And interesting stories are born here everyday, because everyday, these experiences are morphing in our ever-changing world. MMS will mess with our sexuality. FB will make us feel ugly. LinkedIn won’t break the glass ceiling. But, Pinterest might help us setup a baking business.

If you’re still with me, this is the better part of my observation: that very little Women’s Literature deals with the softer things that make us Come of Age. Urban loneliness. Pride. Friendship. Forgiveness. Our idea of personal space. Our intelligence and our kindness being the source of our self-worth. The difficulties in a sphere where gender is irrelevant – you know, un-uterine stuff, but still about us women.

Off hand, I can only recall Zoe Heller’s brilliant, brilliant Notes on a Scandal that deals strongly with the theme of friendship in a woman’s world. (You there, thinking of Hunger Games, no, wrong example.)

My point being, I think there is much on the fringes of our bodies and our XX chromosome – namely our minds – that begs for more storytelling.

Enough blade I have put. Now please go read A Room with a View. A (sorta) short story that seeks to mishmash my concerns upstairs. A piece that is actually far outside my comfort zone (I *loathe* this term), but I have had fun foraying there.

I hope you enjoy it.

Peace, potatoes… you know the drill.

Oh, and the shortlink said “eV”. Evey. You know. Never mind.

Psst, thank you N. You know why.

A Hundred and Eleven

Okay, so this one, I’ve been slaving at for a while.

The idea occurred some half a year ago. I was talking to my evil twin H about it, and the minute he got speechless (believe me, this is a feat), I knew I had a nice new plum in hand.

So, I had a beginning. I wrote in fits and starts. The visuals came nicely.
And it read like pure and eloquent shit.

It wasn’t until I started writing regularly at workshop, that I found closure for this story.

It’s been such a fun ride. I’ve been writing and rewriting feverishly for about three days. Now, I will go eat a meal that does not have even the M of Maggi/Mosaru.

I want to one day do the crazy other idea I’ve put in this story. Obviously, I’m not going to tell you what that crazy other idea is, not in this pointless introduction. And as usual, you will need to be armed with a PDF reader, and a finger-inch or two of patience.

I don’t really like subscribing to genres. But if I must, let’s call it Speculative Fiction.

Wah. I am done sounding like a prat.

Now please. Go read. Hindsight.

Peace, potatoes, love. And try not to hit anyone.

For you, H.

A Hundred and Five

Here’s Pralaya.

Pralaya is a word my grandmother uses to denote the time it would be if I agree to fulfill both her dicta – to oil and keep my hair tidy; and to marry some agreeable bloke. It is, more accurately, the time that will come when the world will find itself dissolved, null, void.

Here’s a little about Pralaya, the story that I present to you here.

I have never attempted Pulp Fiction before. And this is among the longest things I’ve written and laboured over.

Rightfully, like all Pulpy stuff, you will find that I pay tribute to a range of favourite people and characters (in my mind, the difference is indiscernible): Roald Dahl, to Harper Lee; Irene Adler to Wednesday. It is also the stuff of Sandalwood movies (I might be over-promising here).

Writing this was a little difficult on many levels. Closing many loops. Straddling that horrible line of giving too much away, or saying too little. Worst of all, it involved Maths.

And it also involved something that I actively avoid in my stories – dialogue. Like Limp Bizkit had eloquently put it, “It’s all about the he said, she said, bullshit.” Difficulty also came in my choice of not using native words for terms (Eg.: I desperately wanted to use “Chikka Ejamanaru” for “Young Master”). I feel it quite prat-like to put an asterisk and footnote clarifying what a native term means, but I still wanted to make cultural references. Hopefully, it still works.

Ok, this presumptive preamble is also seeming prat-like as I carry on.

Onward to the story then. It was a bit much to post as a blog entry, so I made it a PDF. If your smartphones do not support PDF, I suggest you start calling them paperweights. With immediate effect.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Peace, potatoes, love.