Happily Alone Together

In this cold and miserable weather, all she wants to do is curl up inside a blanket and read books all day long. She makes a warm bowl of cream and mushroom soup and cups her palms around it. She dreads the winter.

Every year she feels she will get used to the cold, but every year she ends up saying, “I can’t do this anymore!” The uncomfortable feeling of cold hands and feet make her sad. At present, she is wearing three layers of clothing inside her home. A pink slip with a black T-shirt and a striped sweatshirt. A pair of unicorn printed fleece pants, a beanie, thermal socks, and yet her nose is cold as snow.

Sometimes, she looks at her neighbours, diligently taking their dogs for walks in the snow and feels sad. She feels sad for not being active like the others, for not having the courage to step out every single day. Sometimes with great effort, she goes out once in a week to shop for groceries. Due to COVID-19, she has to work from home and hardly meets any of her family and friends. So, she always ends up feeling lonely and low.

One day, an unexpected visitor shows up at her door. She fixes her curly hair, straightens her glasses and opens the door. At first, she finds nobody but when she looks down, there is a Mr. Pussycat looking up at her.
“Where did you come from?”, she asks surprisedly.
She steps outside and looks around but finds nobody on the street. Since, she cannot not leave him alone in the bone-chilling cold, she picks him up and brings Mr. Pussycat inside. She opens a can of tuna and watches him lick it all clean. “Poor lil one must have been really hungry!”

Mr. Pussycat turns out to have a friendly and cuddly soul. He jumps onto her lap, snuggles cozily and falls asleep, all the while purring. Stupefied by the cat’s behaviour, the girl wonders if she has a new companion. Both turn out to have similar personalities so it does not take them long to get along with each other. She plays with him, cooks for him, snuggles and watches movies with him. Mr.Pussycat takes up most of her time and the cold no longer plays on her mind. Now, they live happily alone together.

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Stay

I have tried and tried
So many times,
To win your heart,
To make you smile.
But every time I try,
In your fright, you
– hide and cry.
I continue to wait with a sigh!
Will it take days or ages?
Come and stop by my side.

A Boy in School

There was a boy named Siddharth in her school. He was unlike the other boys, he looked like an old man with loose wrinkled skin. His purple-blue lips always had her attention every time he spoke. His voice was peculiar too, shaky and shrill. This boy was one of a kind with a bad temper. She would often look at him and turn away. One day, the teacher changed her seat and she was asked to sit beside him. It was a terrible thing to have happened to a 9-year old girl.

He sat in the corner by the wall and she was next to him. The girl did not dislike him for his looks but something inside her knew that this boy is an evil demon from hell in a child’s disguise. She felt like there were no bones in his body because he could never stand or sit straight, just loose hanging rubbery skin. He always slouched and looked like the letter ‘C’. But who would have imagined how strong he could be. He had a unique way of forming a fist with his thumb between his index and middle finger. He would often show it to her, feeling proud like he invented it. She can never forget that joy in his eyes every time he made that fist, because the next second she would be holding her arm in pain and rubbing it.

When he hit her the first time, the girl got angry and punched him back. But this made him angrier and it was followed by a quick succession of punches. He would go into a fit and punch the girl with both his fists, on her spine, shoulder, arms, and legs like a maniac. The girl was not crazy or as strong as him, so she would give up and say, “Okay, I am sorry please stop!” This would make him feel like a winner and he would stop. It was not only punches, sometimes he would poke her with his compass during geometry class, sometimes he would slap her hand with his steel ruler, and sometimes he would hit her with his bag while leaving. He was usually very quiet, did not talk to anyone or bother anyone much. But, he could lose his sanity any time and a series of punches could come her way, so she was always nice to him.

Every Wednesday, the school distributed The Times of India newspaper. There were four students per bench, every bench received two newspapers, and had to be shared with their partner. The girl’s partner, of course would be Siddharth, who would never share anything. He never let her read the newspaper in peace. Every week, one of the partners would get to take the newspaper home but the girl never got the chance to take it because he was a bully. The girl did not care much because she did not enjoy reading the news and there was always The Times of India newspaper at home. Soon, the girl started getting tired of the bullying and torture. Though, she feared his punches, she tried hard to punch him back with all her strength so he could feel the same pain as she did. Slowly, the fury of punches started to reduce. All the while, the girl was afraid of getting hurt and looking weak. But one day she decided no matter how much it hurts, “If he hurts me, I will not cry, I will not cause concern to my parents, and I will not complain to the teacher. I will find a way to deal with this bully in a manner that he understands.”

She stopped being nice to him. She stopped talking to him. She pretended like he did not exist. She knew this would cause trouble but she had to do this to save herself from his power punches.

He tried talking to her, she ignored.
He nudged her.
She ignored.

He pulled her hand. She turned sharply towards him with a burning rage in her eyes and yelled, “Don’t touch me!”, and she pulled away. He noticed the fearless anger and she saw his wide, shocked, ugly egg-shaped eyes. A slow evil smile formed on his lips, then came the punch with all his might. She used her strong, girly voice and screamed. She cried as loud as she could and hit him twice. Now the entire class’ eyes were on them. She hit him again and said, “Stay the hell away from me or I will complain to the teachers and bring my parents.” He tried to hide his embarrassment behind his hollow chuckle. But, he was a kid too and got worried that she would really do it and get him in trouble.

After this, he tried to hit her again a few more times, but she would face his punches without fear and hit him harder. Once she even called out to the teacher and said, “Excuse me sister, this guy is hitting me.” Nothing happened though, the teacher ignored her but this scared him. She started keeping the bag between them and drew a line over the desk. He would hesitate to cross the line, he knew that she did not fear him anymore so he stopped bothering her. Soon, the girl’s place changed and she never had to deal with his madness again.

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Let it Snow

It’s snowing and it’s so beautiful! My hands and feet are frozen, there is a winter storm outside, but please let it snow.

It is such a wonderful feeling to watch snowfall. This year’s first snowfall. It has been snowing since afternoon and I cannot stop looking outside.

Walking on a fresh white blanket of snow, making snowballs and sliding down slopes with snowflakes falling on our nose feels like a sweet happy fairy-tale.

In weather like this wrap yourself in a blanket and watch the snow fall outside the window with a hot cup of tea and some fudge brownies on the side. Let the smell of freshly baked goodies fill your house with warmth. If only I had a lap cat so I could run my fingers against its soft fur while enjoying this amazing view.

Quaint Country Cottage

Oh how lovely it is,
To come across a quaint country cottage,
That serves breakfast and tea.

A white arched picket fence at the entrance,
Decorated with pink cherry blossoms.
I walk across the green lawn
and enter a warm 1980s cottage.

The fireplace hearth in the kitchen
Warms the wooden interiors.
Baskets are filled with breads,
Glass jars full of jam,
A steaming kettle brews tea,
Pots and pans hang on hooks,
I settle down to read a book.

Why isn’t anybody around,
I say, “Hello?” and wait for a sound.
A little girl runs across the room
With flour on her messy French braid ponytail,
Followed by an old maid,
Who stops midway noticing my presence.
“How may I help you, today?”
I smile and say, “This is such a beautiful place!”
I get a curt nod and she says,
“We are closed for the day”.

I never had the courage to visit again,
I sometimes pass by the quaint country cottage,
and admire it from far away.

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Kiss and Make Up

There was some kind of silence in the air.
Each blamed the other for being cold.
She craved attention.
He was guilty for being away.
She waited to be pampered.
He was afraid of her anger.
They turned away and slept in silence.
All the while missing each other.

Purple Dyed

She wore white and flinched.
All these years, lavender was her color.

Lavender were the sheer curtains rising and falling with the wind.
The velvety pillow covers on which she rested her head to read.

Her closet had different shades of lavender,
Plum-colored scarves, mauve satin shirt,
Floral lilac dresses, amethyst gems in the rings.
Wine-colored sweaters, regal purple heels.

The sheets on the bed had stains of lavender.
The light shaded rug on the floor was faded in purple.
In a frenzy, she had painted the wall in the corner of her room purple.

The hanging basket in her balcony bloomed with fake mulberries.
On cold days of winter, she sipped hot chocolate from her periwinkle mug,
While a lavender throw lay at her feet.

The streaks on her auburn hair were purple.
Her nails painted purple.

Today, she had to forego the purple crown.
For a white bridal gown.