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***

THE leaves crunched under my boots, until they didn’t. We were now in complete sync and they had turned into a silent companion that would never forsake me. Unlike the rest of the world.

I had been walking for hours. Or was it days? It no longer mattered. All that mattered was that I had been able to get away; away from the torment of living together and being utterly, desperately alone.

Where am I headed to? I will know, eventually. Time will tell, point me to the right direction.

Right now I am happy to just keep on walking. And, for the silent company of the leaves.

***

 What do the leaves have to say? Find out at Saturday Centus

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 RITA lay half asleep in the rocking chair in the verandah. She glanced at her hands absentmindedly; thick blue veins criss-crossing thin parchment-like skin! One fine day, just like that, they had suddenly turned this way. It had bothered her then, these unseemly creases. But Vivek had held these very hands so lovingly and the meaning of her life had changed.  

Now, he was gone, but browns and greys no longer frightened her.

“How beautifully leaves grow old!”

The branches quivered in the fading light.  Rita closed her eyes and sank deeper into the rocking chair.

She was not afraid of winter any more.

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Please visit Jenny Matlock’s Saturday Centus for more shades of autumn

ANU was nodding her head mechanically in response, her lips twisted in half-smile, half-bewilderment; the ‘conversation’ was one-sided, the argument absurd, as always. It was appraisal time once again, and once more it was the same insincere platitudes that her supervisor was throwing at her while cleverly pointing to her imaginary shortcomings. “You are sincere and hardworking and we really appreciate that, but…” There was always a ‘but’. Her promotion and pay hike would come, all in good time…

 “It’s only words. And words are all I have got. Year after year, too!” she thought, coming to a no-longer-difficult decision.

It was time to look for a new job.

 ***

For more on WORDS, go to Week ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY THREE of Saturday Centus

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Kashmira placed the bowl of popcorn in her lap and settled down to watch a suspense film on television. There was no fear of being told she was a ‘stupid b….’ and having the remote snatched away. Vishy was gone; she smiled at the thought of the hammer coming down on his head as he watched his favourite game.

Just then the lights went out. ‘Damn!’ she swore as the house plunged into darkness. But wait, why was the TV still on and now switched to Vicky’s favorite sports channel? The room felt suddenly cold as an all-too-familiar voice whispered, “Are you ready for some football?” 

 ***

Enjoy more football at Jenny Matlock’s Saturday Centus

 

 

Was that really me?

I peer into life’s mirror and like what I see.

 Ah, Sixteen!

***

For Saturday Centus

Seema’s hands shook as she dialled the number; she shivered involuntarily as the phone started to ring at the other end.

What a shock it had been to know Ma was not her biological mother. No wonder people always said, “Hey, you are soooo UNLIKE your mother.” Who was her real mother, and why had she abandoned her? Perhaps the answer was at the other end of the line, but did she really want to know? Ma loved her and that was all that mattered.

Seema was about to disconnect when a voice answered; “The number you have reached is no longer in service“. It was music to her ears.

***

More telephone numbers, more stories at Jenny Matlock’s Saturday Centus

Aleck Smart strutted into the ATM cubicle in his skin-tight trousers and natty shirt. He had had a fruitful day; he was an ‘artist’ and the auntie-types were an easy target. He made them feel wanted and it always worked, he smiled. Getting the fifty-something woman to surrender her credit card had been a piece of cake. She had even told him her password!

He would withdraw the entire amount permissible, a measly 20,000 rupees, in notes of 1000, slip them easily into his pocket and walk out unnoticed. As he waited for the notes to appear his smile faded, the ATM machine began dispensing twenties…

===$$$$$$$$===

Find out what happened at other ATM counters @ Saturday Centus

 
Image prompt: Saturday Centus

***

I don’t have to be Wonderwoman

You make me feel complete the way I am

Let me take this opportunity to say

How much I love you, you are my man 

Happy Valentine’s Day

 ***

 

 

SHE waited to take the lift for the nth time that day. Endless signatures were required from endless number of officials located on completely different floors of the building that was uncompromisingly vertical. She had already been allotted work but no work station or terminal as yet – procedures have to be followed, it takes time, they said. She had joined work with enthusiasm two weeks ago, but hundreds of phone calls, emails and signatures later, all she could feel was exasperation. And it was growing bigger by the minute… she gave a wry smile as the lift failed to stop at her floor yet again.

***

Experience more ‘growing’ at Jenny Matlock’s Saturday Centus

‘Ooh Nani, look what’s in here!’ Sonia held open the box and pointed excitedly at the contents. Mina smiled at her 12-year-old granddaughter as she lifted the stack of letters from the ancient chest. Grandmother and granddaughter were soon engrossed, sliding out the yellowing notepaper from the discoloured envelopes and gently unfolding the now fragile paper.

Nani, you had soooo many friends, and y’all actually WROTE soooo many letters?’ Sonia asked incredulously. A world without email and texting, was it really possible?!

But Mina was already far away; she ran her hands over the sheets, caressing and caressed by memories, happy to once again touch and relive the past.

***

To find out what the other stacks of letters contain, visit Jenny Matlock’s Saturday Centus

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