Musical Undertones

Basically I have been attempting the November prompts, I just haven’t been posting. I don’t know why but anyways, here’s today’s. Even if I’m not writing a novel or anything. It’s just that I enjoy them. Anyways.


They tried to take her with them. They tried to drag her away from what would be her destruction. They all tried. She saw them, and heard them, but did not understand. They were vacating the mountains and moving to the plains.

The mountains would be bombed.

They wanted to save her — a fragile soul, delicate skin, big dreamy eyes, face like a nectarine. However, she wouldn’t have any of this. The threat of the air strikes did not worry her weary mind. She had worried too much for her young years. Father, mother — all gone. She had been alone for a long time now. The mountains were her security. She could not leave them. The souls of her family traversed these paths with her. She knew they were there.

They tried to console themselves. Her delirious mind would bring about her destruction, they said. She laughed at them as they turned around to leave. Destruction? No.

Her bare feet led her to the river that ran between the two mountains that constituted her village. She decided to go up to the bridge. In the middle of the bridge, with the river roaring furiously, she stood and stared. Eyes fixed on this massive water body, mind racing with thoughts better left alone. She remembered everything. Her father taking her hand, telling her not to be afraid as they crossed the bridge. Her mother, scolding her and sending her outside the house in the cold as a punishment. The men that came. The way she hid, paralysed with fear, behind the bush. The way the house was set on fire. But what stood out the most — the screams. She wished she could forget. But they never did stop. Bloodied screams in a blazing fire.

She saw the river. How beautiful! Her internal conflicts resonated with the rage of the river. Her heart was at peace at last. It seemed to her as if the river had turned stationary, and she (with the bridge) was accelerating backwards. She felt an odd sense of calm and serene descend upon her as the river dissolved her identity. She was losing herself, she was aware of that. But she wasn’t afraid. The river — a massive body of rage and fury, but with musical undertones. Blue and grey on the surface but concealing all colours in its cold depths. Apparently indifferent, but actually holding the secrets to all of human history. How could she be afraid? What had sounded like the wrath of the river was a melodious voice singing to her.

Yes, she was losing herself. But to her Beloved.

Her beloved embraced her with cold, open arms.


Writing prompt: Musical Undertones (day 5)

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A Wish.

In a land of absolute normalcy, and nothing out of the ordinary, there was a girl. A girl who was completely normal, ordinary. There she was, in class that day, the 20th of October. The professor droned on and on, but her fragile mind was on other unnecessary and unimportant things. The girl was nostalgic. With her heart split across three continents, this wasn’t an infrequent condition. There were smells she longed to inhale and voices she wanted to hear. There was a certain temperature of the air she wished was there.

She thought of waffles and shortbread. She thought of flavoured yogurt and freshly made finger fish. With beans. And sweet corn. And flavoured water.

She thought of a house that would be warm and comforting against biting cold winds. She thought of the maternal presence in that house. She thought of the last time she had hugged her. The way her short plump figure had completely encompassed her entire being in a split second. Perhaps she had not realised what she was to the girl. If she had, she would’ve held on longer. She thought of all those times she had woken up from unpleasant dreams to find a familiar, comforting snore gently rock her back to sleep. She thought of all the times she had been fussed on upon, the many summer holidays spent in ignorant bliss. The way her grandmother had tried to make the most of the every meeting, to somehow cover the distance of an entire continent.

She thought of a tiny bundle of joy, blessed with the most beautiful smile, barely a year old. She thought of her niece, the way she giggled when she was thrown in the air. The way her smile melted the hardest heart, the way she spread love and joy indiscriminately with just her presence.

There came to her mind an old, fragile-looking man too, with endless grace and dignity. A man who was a living miracle (literally). A man who was the most splendid example of resilience, hardwork, determination, and above all, will power. A man loved and respected by so many, but she considered herself so lucky to be loved by him. A man she looked up to, her grandfather. Countless times that old wrinkled face had smiled upon her, as if her insignificant being was actually the source of his pride. A brown face, sometimes appearing in her memory sitting in an intense Punjabi sun, other times laying on a pillow, sleeping in front of the fire, cozy against the frost outside that so many Punjabis yearned for but never experienced. Most of the times, though, he was either dressed in a three-piece suit, or a crisp shalwar kameez, actively pacing about, never a dull moment. The best storyteller.

There were other memories on this continent, some personal, others not as much. Her wandering mind, however, moved to another continent, one she had never been to, but which contained a piece of her heart. A family, more beloved to her than belgian chocolate, if chocolate was a scale. A family she hoped to see again, soon. But the prospects looked dim.

Finally, the third continent. The continent she currently found her physical being on. A land containing almost all her memories, some sweet, some sour. A land where she was thankful to still have some of the people she loved and cherished. Her paternal grandfather, a man with unwavering faith in Allah. The most patient man she had seen in her life. Born to be great. And that was what he had achieved. Though not as expressive as herself, he had loved them in his own way and shown it. She knew him by the words: bravery, wisdom, chivalry, gentlemanliness, discipline, tolerance and trust. A man of endless dignity and grace, a man she looked up to. A man was respected greatly and deeply by everyone. A man who taught how to respect, simply by showing it. A man who led by example.

She was still nostalgic. She wanted to have everyone and everything within her grasp. She wished it was so. But at the same time she knew she could not be ungrateful for all that God had already blessed her with. So, she said a quiet, heartfelt prayer and thanked Him for all the blessings she already had.

The bell rung. She was forced back to Earth.


This prompt came along at the right time.

Vacant Stares

The river, it flows

Reflecting images in its course

It gushes forth, every second

A new image

Images never seen by humanity

Images the river hides

Images. The rocks’ secrets.

Of everything that took place

But wasn’t ever seen by eyes

The eyes that

When witnessed miracles

Nature’s greatest

Blinked.

And turned away

Often looked down

At artificial screens

In the presence of Grandeur.

So nature, in revenge,

Feeling insulted

At something the Creator

of the moon created

Being rejected,

Took away their sights

So that they never saw

And all that remained

Were vacant stares


I know I’m not doing these prompts everyday, and BELIEVE ME I had some pretty cool ideas too, but I just didn’t have the time! Also, I love how they make me think! It’s so fun. If you haven’t tried this already, why don’t you check it out here? Also, I’m doing two different prompts at the same time. So you can check out the other one in the previous post.

Check this one out here:

https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2017/10/01/october-writing-prompts/

Candy Wrapper

A ten year old boy holds the hand of a six year old girl. His sister, presumably. He has hazel specks hidden in the brown of his eyes. His hair is dirty from playing in the dirt all day. He wears a light blue shalwar kameez. He is smiling, and although his face is dirty, one sees the innocence in it. Now he gets angry, pulls his little sister towards him with a jerk. She had been trying to break free from her brother’s grip. The boy sees the cars along the road, he cannot let his sister be in any danger. Amma told him to take care of her. The girl protests in a loud voice. She has eyes identical to her brother, her hair equally dirty, her face equally muddy. She wears a traditional colourful shalwar kameez, which has tiny mirrors and stones sown into it. Right now, she is scowling. Trying hard to break free from her brother. Why doesn’t bhai let her go free anyways?! A six year old mind cannot fathom the dangers of a main road. He brother sees he has made her angry. He had been saving it for after dinner, when amma would put them to bed and then leave, but figures now is the time.


A little down the main road, a fancy politician sits in his black prado, amidst security escorts and protocol. He is to make an appearance at the local hospital, which had been sealed for the day. In one hand he holds a cigarette, which gently bobs up and down with the motion of the car on the bumpy road. He has a bored expression on his face, a thick black moustache with his thick eyebrows making him constantly look like he is scowling. His security officer briefs him on what must be said and done in the hospital, which wards he must visit, what expression he must have when the camera’s on him. The sirens of a security jeep continuously sound in the background. Three vans containing media personnel try to overtake the black prado, but fail to do so. Men from the security jeeps yelled at the drivers of the vans, threatening to report them to the Saab.


“O dekh! Gaddiyan jandi. (Look! The cars are going)” He said excitedly to his sister.

“Kitthe? (Where?)”

“O dekh na! Uthe.( Look! There)”

His hand had reached the bottom of his pocket. Out came the cheapest candy he could find, the two-ruppee-orange-flavoured candy.

“Ae le. Tere wastay. (Take this. It’s for you.)” he said.

Her eyes beamed with joy. She quickly snatched it from his hand.

The cars were coming nearer.

She let go of his hand. She opened the wrapper, and popped it into her mouth. She threw the wrapper in the dirt.

“Wekh ke guddi. (Be careful/look Guddi),” he warned her.

She was skipping now. Skinny six year old legs adorned with a baggy shalwar, skipping along the road.

“Oye Guddi!” He yelled, “Guddi! Gadiyan aandi pai(the cars are coming)”

It was too late.


The body of a young girl, the hysteric sobs of a brother, the nineteen cars speeding away that constituted the protocol and security of the fancy politician, the indifference of the politician and his subordinates, the lack of interest of the security personnel.

The Candy Wrapper that lay in the dirt.


Another writing prompt completed!

Check out the October Writing Prompts here:

https://zoyakubra.wordpress.com/2017/09/23/october-writing-challenge/

Mounds of Dirt 

They lay there forgotten. The world passed by, unaware of their presence. Barely visible now. The grass had grown tall now. The vegetation didn’t seem to notice there was anything or anyone here. To the grass they were just heaps of dirt. Organic matter.

A boy walked past, whistling. Two other boys rushed past him cycling. Chasing a dog. An old woman carrying a heavy bundle of something on her bent back walked past too. A man with a saw overtook the woman with an impatient expression on his face.

The car tried its best to get through this busy market place as fast as possible. So many cities left. So many kilometres left before it would reach it’s destination. No time to waste here. But a horse suddenly pulled free from its owner and, in a desperate attempt to flee, ran onto the road. The car, however, missed it by a few centimetres. In confusion, it turned sharply to the left and stopped. People gathered around to control the rogue horse. The argument that ensued between the driver and the owner of the horse was not really understood by anyone. The city dwellers in the car could not understand the local Punjabi dialect. And the locals were confused by this city language.

They, however, heard everything. And understood it. They lay there, aware of their fellow beings wasting away in petty matters, matters that did not matter at all. Matters that would soon be forgotten. Like themselves.

In mounds of dirt.