Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cynics--soAk nO moRe~





It had stopped raining. The park was empty; Ravi was lying on one of the wet benches, with arms folded under his head, gazing at the sky now full of stars. His heart was dark, as dark as the surrounding darkness, with hopes cascading down into exhaustion. Ravi inserted a cigarette into his lips, leaned back, and closed his eyes; he was unhappy, that much was clear, and he had been unhappy for several months now. He drew into himself and groaned,’ I’m so tired, it’s all because of me…my wrong decision, everything went out of control’, he intoned, slapping his head with his hand. His anger was burning into bitterness….


Background:

Ravi’s decision to leave his village and land up on a heedless father-in-law’s doorstep after marriage turned out to be totally messy. The bride's family knew about his poor financial status, so they thought he’d never return to his ancestral home and kept crushing his pride….Only Subhadra, his wife was sympathetic, stayed suitably chagrined, and kept worrying about him. She observed cynical attitudes of her family members; fretted and fumed, and then one day opted to chuck it all and move out. She told Ravi, that she would respect freedom than living like slaves in her own house.

Ravi’s head started reeling. Until this moment, his wife's image constantly evoked only as an individual face in that household; he scarcely bothered about her as his responsibility. He pushed his lower lip in recognition. There was a suppressed joy in his heart...!



Ahhhhhhh▲hhhhhhh....SOAK NO MORE....


The breeze was strong; he smoothed his hair back on his head. Determinedly rubbed his dirty shoes in the grass, and started pacing down the lawn, faster and faster.

The sudden illume was blinding; it gradually grew brighter, stronger, and threw him out of the cocoon. He cursed himself for keeping himself wrapped in its rent unnecessarily for two years.

The whole household was watching a late night serial as he stepped in…. The sonorous jingle of the 'Surf Excel Matic' came floating through the air. Ravi went inside, watched the Advertisement with unimaginable patience. He realized, the entrancing words in blue weren't ordinary; there was something persisting in that blotch of pink paint. His mind ran faster than it had ever done before and pretty soon he was able to connect with the meaning, intent, and voice phrased in that language. The lyrics came to his aid as a  savior and he was on guard immediately...

’Soak No More’… The words seeped into him and took him beyond the realm of soaked clothes....  The jingle pumped in noteworthy strength into his mind. His  life was literally soaked in stain and muck, he tried to smile. His reputation in the house was dirtier, grungier and perhaps more besmirched than clothes et al. It embarrassed him a little...but, he muttered,’ I've reached the end of my patience....ah, I must soak no more....’ !! His voice sank low, to a barely audible whisper.

The self-imposed task of ‘not having to soak anymore’,offered him a gift beyond price. Like vibrating molecules  of the detergent; eddies of emotions were already moving and flickering within him. He smiled right back, accepting this implicit challenge.




Shubhadra was sitting in the swing rigged up in a corner, under the shade of a peepal tree in the courtyard. Ravi’s mind swung wildly; he tugged at the rope, and let the swing rise up in the air. Her blue sari went fluttering towards the sky, racing his heartbeat; and the memory of the first kiss aroused Ravi.... a clear night stood blue between the two of them after many many nights.

Shubhadra’s bangles jingled musically as the swing came down…closer and closer. Ravi’s gaze sharpened, and he held the rope; winked and let her flow out of his hands once again. Shubhadra flashed a sweet smile and it 'soaked up' all his worries… 

The swing kept swaying in a lazy rhythm… 

After some time, Shubhadra rose, leaned closer to Ravi and retched,’ Thank you very much for everything you’ve done for my family’, it was clear, she wasn't expecting any answer. Subdued, she stepped away, and managed to get inside the room. Ravi followed her. Fast. And she loved it...

Ravi remarked . 'I was lucky, that I had a proper home to keep you, my dear… but now, you’re ready to stay with me in my fairy-land; an island that might just disappear one day into a mist… I am a writer, Shubhadra, very much a ruler, a king of my mind…but, I have very little money to keep my wife 'sequined like a queen’, … his mouth quirked, his expression lightened.

And, without any warning, he rushed out. Shubhadra's started walking smartly behind him with a tin suitcase. 

They reached Ravi's ancestral home, and stepped into his tiny room. The small house was in a dilapidated condition. His room had a single bed, a study-table and a few books on the book shelf. Card-board papers were glued to the broken window panes, the walls were peeling from the floor-to-the-ceiling. Shubhadra kept her emotions to herself, she was satisfied to find an accommodation at least; lack of freedom had driven her mad. 

She pushed open a window, the outside looked beautiful, calm...a breath of fresh air gushed in and first time in her life she saw the most spectacular honeyed moon; a beautiful curve like a motif floating up in the night sky...

'Do you think, you'll be able to stay here, Shubhadra?', asked nervous Ravi.

'We'll survive, don't worry,' she whispered pacifying his pleading eyes.

 Ravi smiled, he noticed her dark innocent eyes and the tattooed bindi between her eye-brows! Her potent smile sent erotic little shivers down his spine. He wrapped her in his arms; the strength of his hands, the faint masculine scent of him, the gentle rocking in each other's arms --all combined to add fuel to the burning fire in the night. First time in two years, they followed what their hearts desired...

 Ravi was surprised how powerfully he was affected by a simple advertisement of Surf Excel matic...He let out a soft sigh and said, 'Thank you, Surf Excel Matic and HUL for your compelling presence.'



 This has been written for 

The Surf Excel Matic #SoakNoMore Contest in association with Indiblogger.... 






Picture from internet..

54 comments:

  1. Panchalidi, a sweet and lovely story..best of luck for the contest..

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    1. Lovely to see you here always, Ranita... thanks.. :))

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  2. Excellent story. Love it. Shubhadra is the joy of Ravi's heart.

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    1. I am glad you liked the approach, SG..:))
      Thanks for the encouragement...You made my day :))

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  3. Wow! The things an ad can do!! Very imaginatively woven!!

    Best wishes for the contest!

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    1. I am happy you enjoyed this ad post. Yeah, advertising jingles have been a staple of marketing since the early days of radio. Now, bloggers are making them memorable :)))
      Thanks for your lovely comment, Deepak...means a lot to me!!:)

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  4. Amazing how a foamy jingle can present a moment of revelation and a climax of sorts in a story! The theme was a forgone conclusion but you did manage to infuse life into it. Wishing you the best!

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    1. Thanks Uma,
      Appreciation is valuable when it comes from a someone we respect... permit me to feel elated.. :)))Thanks a bunch!!

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  5. Wonderful. You have a winner on your hands.

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    1. Rajesh, I wish I had words to convey my pleasure at seeing you here with most inspiring feed-backs. Your comment is most cherished... :))
      Thanks a lot :))

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  6. Wish you the best! A good entwining of the story with the ad.

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    1. Rachna, That was a delightful comment...!I am happy you liked the approach... :))That was truly inspiring. Thank you !!!

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  7. mam it was awesome , i am damm sure this entry is surely gonna win :) :)

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    1. Vinisha...!!!Now YOU'RE making me feel breathless....! :))) Am overwhelmed...! You've made my day. Thankssssssssssss a ton!

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  8. I too agree with Vinisha...very intelligent entwining of the ad...This is so surely gonna win Panchali di... All the very best :) :)

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    1. Rajrupa....!! Your comment has thrilled me to my toes..:)))))))Thank you soooo much...:)))

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  9. Bloody marvellous.. as an englishman would say ..

    enjoyed reading it , now awaiting the result of the contest :)

    Bikram's

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    1. Bikram, Loved you comment... Had my grin going full blast while reading and answering this :))
      I am glad I did not disappoint you...:)))Thank you...now I want that kindle :P
      Thanks a LOT!!

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  10. This post is very unique, Panchaliji. Loved the imagery. :) A simple Surf Excel ad can be so inspiring for a broken man to get his life back. All the best for the contest. :)

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    1. Akshay, You made my day!! That was honestly a delightful compliment...! Thank you for getting involved with the story that deeply...appreciation coming from a writer of your stature is thrilling....thanks so much :)

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  11. As Akshay said, it is very unique. A jingle inspiring someone, sorry an ad, I loved where you compared emotions and vibrating molecules. A very out of box take on the contest prompt and very well written. In the beginning I thought, since it involves marriage that you have remixed Sony and Surf contest :P

    All the very best Ma'am...:)

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    1. Thanks a ton, Saru. It is a common enough story.... somehow when people milk human lives with a crass insensitivity ...it blows me apart. In a way, this story is my answer to them all.Thanks for the lovely comment... coming from you that quite a compliment..:)))
      Thanks!!

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  12. Well surf excel+ you,washed out his lassitude--good job panchali & best of luck!
    btw your blog is pretty esp the theme.

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    1. Thanks Indu,
      Pleasure to have you here always... and to get your feedback... :)))You have caught the exact nuance of the story with amazing neatness...indeed, I washed out injustice, and lassitude like loads of laundry...:))
      I am thrilled you were prompted to write such a wonderful comment....you know, it means a lot to me :)) Thanks so much!

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  13. Good one there! You're a true story teller :)
    All the best for the contest!

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    1. Akanksha, It's always thrilling to get such a marvelous feedback:)) Thanks for your wishes, dear..:))

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  14. Hi Panchali

    A very sweet story. Small details like the tattoed bindi added a lot of color . Good luck :)

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    1. Thanks Jaish, Your comment has delighted me....You read it so well. Thank you for getting involved with the story that deeply.:))Thank you... for the visit and the appreciation... :)

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  15. I know why I missed your posts, your stories. You bring the subtle aspects out so well and every phrase is crafted so well. Who but you could have made such a simple advertisement into a beautiful story of love and companionship. Loved how you are able to stand in a man's shoes and write from his perspective--what he desires for his woman, how she appeals, what he remembers, how he remembers, why he remembers and how he wishes to give--clothing the man in the gentlest of lights without compromising on his masculinity...your writings are ones to treasure, Panchali!!! I await a book from you, no less.

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    1. Bhavana!!I guess THIS is what one writes for... this understanding. You gave that to me today... Thank you...:))
      The brazen way in which some men get into this 'game' is amazing!! Unfortunately not many realise it .. maybe because of our indian or our childhood conditioning (call it what you may) of the fact that the parents know the best.
      Anyway,as I see it, to 'break the paralysis of the spirit and reverse mental deformity' is not an easy task. And to even begin to think on those lines is a victory by itself...:-))
      Thanks for the visit... it thrills me each time.. :)))))
      Now about a book..? well..It is this leap my mind has never been able to take..:)))) LOL..Thanks sooo much :)) xoxo

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  16. Innovative! ..unique imagination, great story and a wonderful style of writing make it a lovable post:)
    All the best Panchali:):)

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    1. Amit! Thanks for the thumbs up... :))))Am delighted that you enjoyed reading this..!! Thanks for the visit and appreciation...means a lot :)))

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  17. Replies
    1. Good to see you after a long time, rupam. How have you been?? NE is going through a bad phase. Hope all well with you and your family!
      Thanks for dropping in... always a pleasure to see you... :))

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  18. How very creative!I like that ur couple found their home :O)

    p.s. : Love ur header picture...

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    1. So good to see you here, Geetalima! Welcome to my space....Glad I was able to engage you.. :)) *patting her own back*
      Yes, being a bird/animal lover, you couldn't have missed the pic...even I love that :D
      Thanks for your appreciation!Hope to see you more on these pages :)

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  19. great story ! All the very best !

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    1. TTT!! Great to see you here again... pleasure to have you drop in.. :))Thanks for your implied kudos...means a lot :)

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  20. Nice work... Keep Blogging!

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    1. Welcome to my space, Vijay. thanks for the encouragement... it means so much to me... :))))) Hope to see you more on these pages!!

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  21. wonderful ! loved your way of writing :)
    all the best :)

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    1. Thanks Vimla for that lovely comment! And you... write comments that make me feel on top of the world :)Thank you !!

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  22. Hi Fantastic story..and must say very good layout of blog..keep it up..
    Do visit Again...
    Regards
    Bhavik Shah

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    1. Thanks Bhavik for your wonderful words of encouragement. Sorry about the delay..:) thank you.... :))

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  23. Dear Panchalidi,

    So finally, I read your entry. You have made this into a creative piece
    as well as a contest entry. I liked the way you have chalked out the character
    of your protagonist and his wife.

    All the best, for the contest :))

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    1. Dear Ghaz...Must apologise for the delay firstly...I liked that you liked...and that puts me on top of the world, my dear<3
      Thanks!!!:))

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  24. It has a message that you may derive your calling from anywhere. Everything around you signals you for the decision needs to be placed.
    'Soak no more' in worries :)

    All the best for the contest :)

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    1. Thanks Gayatri ---you got it!! Readers like you make blogging absolutely pleasurable :)Thanks for reading the blog so well...:)
      Hope to see you more on these pages...:)
      Thanks!!

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  25. Lovely post! Very well written

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    1. Welcome to my space, Shipa...Your feedback made me happy :D Thanks a TON!! Do visit again..please :)

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  26. This is an 'out-of-the-box' entry to the contest!! The intermingling of surf, the ad, the emotions, the story... everything was done in such a neat manner, only a true artist can boast of doing it. I was hooked till the very end! I agree with what Bhavana has said above, when are you releasing your book? I would so love to have an autographed copy some day :)

    All the very best to you :)

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    1. Arti...You comment has overwhelmed me with delight. I donno what to say... just shuffling my feet and blushing beet red.. :))))) For a lot of would-be authors, getting published remains a dream, one that they can turn to, daydream about, but never make any real effort around. I belong to that group..:D
      Thanks... your words have made me feel on top of the world...:)))))
      Thanks a million for your words of praise :)) xoxo

      ps- sorry about the delayed revert:(

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  27. m agreed with Bhavna and Arti :) me too in the queue PanchaliJi for your autographed copy.
    Loved ur scribbling and u r as adorable as ur posts are ....
    this one is truly held my hand to scroll down till the end
    My best wishes r always with u :)

    with adore n hugs//Jasmeet

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    1. Awww...Jasmeet, I am sooo pleased you found this interesting. Coming from you, this is high praise indeed...! :)) I lovedddd it dearly!! So, you also think, I need to get published...? Your words are music to my ears... hope you understand a bit of hindi...? Tumhaare munh mein ghee-shakkar... :)))But...you can't imagine how lazy I am...:D
      Thanks for your wishes, sweetheart.♥
      Thanks a lot!
      .

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