Thursday, 28 August 2014

An old fashioned song, on his 100th

The old folks don't talk much
They talk so slowly when they do
They are rich they are poor
Their illusions are gone
They share one heart for two

The old folks don’t talk much’? John Denver did not get it right. Or maybe that’s because he never met my grandfather. Old folks can talk a lot, I tell you. Mostly, about things and incidents from the longest time away, as if memory starts ageing backwards and what remains freshest in their mind’s eyes are those choicest of images from younger days, cherry-picked – to be mulled over in free time or to be shared. With grandchildren, first and foremost. What a fortunate relationship!

Two days back, my nana ji turned 100. No, not on Earth. I have no conclusive proof of better places but I do know that wherever the dandy went he must still be wearing his best skin, and not just because it’s his birthday. Some gentlemen are like that. It’s their birthday, everyday.  

You know how it is after a certain age. You start preparing for your exit. Not that you are ready to go, no matter how much you say otherwise, for who knows what reality unknown lands may hold? So, they prepare – in worldly matters and matters spiritual, clinging on to the former and clasping on to the latter for dear life. 

'They are rich they are poor' makes me think. The will is signed with bad eye sight but eyes which have learnt to see people much better. See through them too. That gets done and dusted, signed, rolled up and locked in, before the ageing mind plays tricks of its kind. But that’s serious business, and I am digressing into a mood I don’t want to. This is about him as my grandfather. Why get a will into it? 

Where was I? Ah, rich-poor. Perhaps as a way of acknowledging the big number, my nana ji started a ritual after he turned 80. Every birthday he would give us four cousins money which equalled his age in number. Did not leave him much poorer but made us all so rich. Or was this his way to keep us looking forward to the increasing numbers? Praying for them too? Maybe. He alone knows. I for one enjoyed the pocket money. And still wonder how hard he must have worked to arrange the exact change.

The paan wallah at Astley Hall chowk must have helped.
Their homes all smell of time
Of old photographs
And an old fashioned song
Though you may live in town
You live so far away
When you've lived too long

Oh, for sure their homes smell of time. Time has a smell. And by the time it takes its toll on your senses, your nose is the only one which cannot smell it. The young may pucker theirs because odours from balms and favourite woollens, newspaper clippings and boxes with precious little are not something they can take for long. Others who stay around the old get so used to it that a house scented with designer candles would make them want to throw up. 

My nana ji had lived a glorious life, which found innovative ways to be preserved. Why not! A wooden cupboard which went from being an out-of-bounds treasure trove for our children's eyes to one which creaked, always ajar, as if asking desperately to be noticed. Right behind where he lay. In it we believed were things from his past, though no one really ever found out. The finest suit pieces he wore, the diary which documented how he never lost a case in his life, odes to Gandhi when socialism became an obsession, a wrist watch held so dear that it ticked away its life hidden from all eyes. And a radio, the sight of which will make you smile. Silent now. A life and its times preserved, to be rummaged through in the middle of the night. When sleep refused to come, or a nagging ache kept him awake – in the heart or in the mind? No idea! To think of it, I never slept next to him. Never spent the night with him. I wonder why?

But, what’s the point.

Have they laughed too much
Do their dry voices crack
Talking of things gone by
Have they cried too much
A tear or two still always seems
To cloud the eye

Can laughter reach a ‘too much’ point? The teeth may go, the lips wrinkle, but there’s more to laughter than just that. Or so I think. Why else would he guffaw remembering us four tots playing 'Paploo' with playing cards till his dying day? Must be the joy of seeing us kids together. Just for that I would swallow this inherited pride and become Miss Paploo all over again.

His voice was cracked but what could act a dam to the flood of stories he came with? Stories from old folks that make us travel to scenes and situations which no children’s story books contain. A world used to open in front of our hungry eyes. Fergusson College, Lahore to High Court, Allahabad came alive with his voice. Dehradun in all its lost glory, with its clubs and bars, and the Rs. 2 shared-auto experiences when coming to meet his grandchildren. If only words could translate into pictures, real pictures to hold and slide into family albums, what a collection I would have had today to boast about. 

The scene he recalled the most, and with utmost pride, was the one that unfolded between him and a Brit lawyer in a bar. Where he overheard ‘Hamlet’ being discussed at the white table, being quoted incorrectly. Oh sacrilege! He went over to repeat the soliloquy and gained a friend for life, that is once the incredulous look expected on hearing an Indian quote Shakespeare verbatim in those B/W days was washed off his white face. And then down with good whiskey. This friend flew home to England and left behind ‘the house with a 100 rooms’ - the one in Doon, the one especially constructed as if to play hide-and-seek in. With the gate that opened every evening at 5 pm to walk the kids to the dairy. Fresh cow’s milk, and an excuse for the cousins to meet!

Tears? I remember none. None of regret, for sure. He was a proud, proud man. Perhaps, that helped with keeping the back straight till the 92 years of his life. Kept him fit and fine. And he tried, tried his best to make us four as proud of ourselves as the ripest plums are. My cousin was to work towards becoming the finance minister, and I was to do a Ph.D. She’s at it, getting there with her love for numbers and scores of yore which made him go into extreme states of beaming happiness. I quit. I could not complete my Ph.D like he dreamed. Maybe he went too soon. Or maybe, I was just left without any inspiration any more.

They tremble as they watch the old silver clock
When day is through
Tick tock oh so slow
It says yes it says no
It says I wait for you

Then comes a point when their thoughts become their confidants. It happened with him. Slowly, but surely, he was busier with them than with us as if they had replaced all of us. Sometimes walking on a street in Pakistan. The next moment attending Gandhi’s talk in Delhi University’s gardens. When he came out of his reveries, panic would strike. A phone call to my father to come, hurry, something is happening to me. False alarms. Or fear? The tallest, most regal succumb to the fear of the dark valley. The sharpest of minds end up not recognizing their own kith and kin. That's what happened with him. One day he thought I was the nurse, another day another stranger. No longer his granddaughter. It hurt, in his last days. 

But then, what if we were to believe that they reach their new worlds much before they leave ours? Maybe, it is indeed a beautiful homecoming after a glorious journey on Earth is done?

Yes. Just the thought that I was looking for.

The old folks never die
They just put down their heads
And go to sleep one day
It doesn't matter now
The song has died away
And echo's all around.

[Written for WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts. The prompt for today was - Prompt - Take the third line of the last song you heard, make it your post title, and write for a maximum of 15 minutes. GO! – I picked “Old Folks” by John Denver.]

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Book Review - NINE - Vengeance of the Warrior Book Two by Shobha Nihalani

All introductions to Shobha Nihalani’s ‘NINE – Vengeance of a Warrior – Book II’ intrigue you. There is promise of angry wars, numerology wrapped in mystery and superheroes with beneficial powers. Most importantly, we are made curious about a vicious Kalingan warrior’s spirit which has risen only to annihilate King Ashoka’s secret legacy.  In short, we are promised action, mystery and a tweaked version of history.

Story first. 

A Kalingan warrior’s spirit, trapped in Angor Vat, is looking for a willing human body as a host to carry out its revenge against Ashoka’s secret society, Nine. Tejaswi, a woman harassed by an arm-twisting shopkeeper and her father’s murderer, approaches a tribal witch seeking power to avenge her father’s killing. In her body and mind then the two revenge combine – personal and historic. Akash, Tara and Zubin are three out of Ashoka’s ‘Navratna’ and Nine’s front line for defeating and re-capturing the Kalingan warrior’s spirit making use of this feminine power. And there is Anita, a woman researching her grandfather’s mysterious ailment and subsequent death. The dots combine to culminate in a war right where the Battle of Kalinga was fought. Anything more divulged and I may give away the ‘twist’.

Three questions came to mind when I began reading this fantasy drawing on history:
1. Why is history being awakened? Does the author want to overturn the version we know by rote?
2. Is the alternative presented more conducive to modern thought? Is it plausible? 
3. Was the merging of history and fiction seamless?

What I liked

Shobha Nihalani’s historical premise for the story is brave. While we know ‘Navratnas’ as the nine talented men in Ashoka’s court, Shobha adds supernatural to this slice of history and transforms them into ‘men with special powers’ hand-picked to safeguard secret knowledge, with at least three of them placed in contemporary life surrounding us. So what you see here is not a re-interpretation but a fantastical appropriation of a chapter of yore in a genre far removed from that of our school history text books. The idea is creative as well as a challenge to execute, for it needs to deliver a story more entertaining than the real one, and more plausible too. 

Now, while Shobha rests the story line on fantasy, she tries various ways to reign in our willingness to suspend all belief, and to keep us rooted in the real. I found this balancing act interesting. From the well-known haunted Bhangarh to Angor Vat, from a village in Eastern India to the actual battle ground of Kalinga – geography helps keep the reader on the ground. What furthers this attempt at plausibility is how she symbiotically connects our world with the supernatural through the constant significance of intelligence agencies, a sharp media and advancements like ‘easy-access communication and smartphones’, because of which ‘these superhumans cannot hide. They leave behind a trail of breadcrumbs to follow’, thus antagonizing the preservation of centuries of secret knowledge.  The narrative is rife with such references and help merge the ancient and the modern somewhat seamlessly. 

The idea of a Kalingan warrior needing a woman’s body in order to carry out his revenge is most appealing. How a woman is the new-age warrior! How ‘The Kalingan, renewed and invigorated, felt the surge of feminine power.’ How gender assumptions are over-turned as ‘she was going to be his intellectual force, he would be her emotional strength.’ Some of the most enjoyable portions of the book are the ones where Tejaswi and Kalingan speak as two conflictual voices in one mouth, two consciousness so intertwined it’s hard to separate one from the other.

The weak points

The test of every brave concept is in the execution. And that is where the problems with NINE - Vengeance of the Warrior arose.  

There is a story in place, which moves smoothly for the most part till it reaches its climax. At some points, the surprise element too pops up – either in the form of strange objects emerging in the middle of ponds or words in red in the most unexpected of places. Important links in plot vary from casually handed business cards in taxis to men in suits or sages with sticks emerging out of thin air. However, while Shobha uses all techniques to intrigue and make this a page-turner, three things constantly stand in her way:

1. Confusing contradictions – We are told a number of times that the ‘Nine are strong and have to protect those whose minds are weak’. However, in scenes of action, we see Akash, Tara and Zubin struggling to overpower the Kalingan from controlling their own minds. Then, while the Senior Six promise to ‘guide them and project our own thoughts on them for their safety’ when the three face the warrior’s spirit, the six are nowhere to be found. In fact, the book seems divided in its opinion if they are actually the chosen ones or simply ‘Nine are not superhumans, they are imperfect beings in an imperfect world’. I wish the book had made up its mind on this soon enough. Honestly, driving around looking for a syringe for antidotes in the thick of things did not seem superhuman enough to me.

2. Clichéd characterization – From the kind of professions they are in to the superpowers they have been endowed with, the three heroes of the book border on clichés. In fact, atop a tower, Akash ‘stood … like Batman’. They reminded me of some of the popular Western heroes, in movies and from comics. Nothing seemed Indian about the legacy they were carrying, while it was the promise of an Indian texture which lures one to pick the book. Moreover, they failed to become individuals in my mind (despite the persistent insistence that they are only humans) and only remained as specific power carriers. The book confidently called Tejaswi ‘conniving and manipulative’ and thus useful for the Kalingan’s brave consciousness, while she was never introduced as that. Also, why is a woman possessed by an ancient warrior wearing ‘high-heeled boots’ in the final battle? As confused as her dress at that point is her motive in the scene, for she/Kalingan admits to Akash that she cannot change the past or the future, but ‘I can destroy your present’. The real aim of this vengeance lost somewhere along the line. 

3. Language – While simple language appeals to the masses, it doesn’t help with creating impactful stories every time it is used. Say, in this book which could have grown to be a modern Indian saga. The grandeur of Shobha’s idea which is laudable was diluted by the ordinary language it was put in. If each sentence is on an average 8 words long, and such sentences follow one after the other, the writing seems hurried even when the story is not. Apart from that, the scenes of paranormal activity seemed drawn from movies and those of action failed to raise enough dirt to develop into images playing in the readers mind. The ambient descriptions were not developed enough and even the descriptions of the witch and the voodoo dolls were typically western. But my biggest disappointment remains the way the characters talk and think in this book. 

Sample this. Akash receives a message that the Kalingan is back. His reaction? ‘Jeez, what the fuck!’ and you wonder if it is only you who is serious about this vile spirit. 'Shit’ is the superhero word for the most stressful and the most fantastical happenings in the book and which comes at just the right time to take your grip from the scene of action away. Tejaswi talks to the spirit that possesses her saying ‘What the hell was that? Kalingan you have a lot of explaining to do’ and I wonder if they are college buddies. Kalingan himself, that ancient warrior who lived in India eons ago, responds – ‘Get a grip, Tejaswi’. Are we over-simplifying language in order to get readers? Or are we not ambitious at all, even when the idea behind the story demands us to be? 

Shobha Nihalani’s ‘NINE – Vengeance of a Warrior’ may make fantasy lovers read till the end. But for me, it does not plausibly or seamlessly fill up those ‘gaps in historical data’ which could successfully transport me to the Battlefield of Kalinga. I would like to think that somewhere Shobha has attempted to show a modern society bereft of the five virtues Ashoka’s pagoda stood for – faith, hope, compassion, forgiveness and non-violence. Perhaps, that is why Tejaswi is one-eyed, to symbolize how seeing half-truths gives birth to vile feelings of vengeance? Just a thought!

Let’s see what Part III holds.

Publisher: Penguin

[The review was commissioned by The Bookaholics. I was told not having read Part I would not affect my opinion about Part II. All views are my own.]

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Full Moon

The full moon shone bright. As bright as a perfect bowl of pure silver which had passed through fire. Seven times over. As brave too, for the bluest of darkness surrounding it could not steal even a ray of its light.

But little Tarini wanted to steal tonight. She really did! She sat in her cot pushing sleep away and making a staircase with her Lego blocks. To climb, right up to the moon. Why, to steal the rabbit that lives there, of course! Haven’t you heard? Just this afternoon, Lakshmi ma’am had read a story from a very important book, which only grown-ups could touch, about the fluffy rabbit that stays on the moon. As if by divine coincidence, tonight, when the moon was so round and so big, Tarini thought she saw the bunny hop. Twice! She knew instantly that he was very lonely up there, just as she was down here. So, she was going to steal it tonight, get it home and care for it as much as her mother did for her brother. Without a sound, and with dolly her one-eyed confidante by her side. But first things first! She had to build a long stairway to the heavens above. And that is exactly what she was doing, putting block upon block, tongue popping out in concentration, sleepy eyes glancing up to make sure the moon remained, whispering ‘I’m coming to rescue you, bunny. Just wait for me. Be my best friend’.

The lonely bunny must have heard her whispers and then her snores which followed close behind. It must have also heard the deep sobs coming from another window.

A woman stood there, crying. Tears of desire and longing combined. Beautiful beyond belief she was, and if you were to know her real story she would remind you of Rapunzel in a tower, trapped. She stood staring at the moon which became two dots of silver light in her wet eyes. As if a sign of the power she carried within. Power to love with the ferocity of a huntress, but none to overturn edicts carved with stony old thinking. He’s Muslim, she knew. When her parents came to know they wanted to know no more. The full moon tonight was the last one she would see with unmarried eyes. At least she saw the moon, for her husband’s face she was yet to! Bathed in silver she swam back to when she was little. When the moon meant a rabbit, a fluffy one. And then, those days in the hostel of secret chanting to the old man known to play ‘cupid’ sitting on the moon – “Full moon. Full moon. I hail thee! By all the virtue in thy body, grant this night that I may see he who my true love is to be.” Giggling. Praying to dream about the face of true love, those girls just out of pigtails, but grown up enough for now they bled. She smiled and opened her eyes. How far back it seemed. How juvenile! True love … a tear slipped down her left eye.  Sat on the window sill, and then dried.

The old man on the moon must have seen it fall. But what could he have done? He looked around. Luna! But the goddess was busy elsewhere.

At the ghat which burned with human cries in the day sat a bald woman wrapped in white tonight. Riding on the full moon’s silver palanquin, as if possessed by its rays, she had broken out of her ashram through her lonely window. Could the silver disc in the sky have lead her there, after a fit of hysterical screaming at flashes of memory which she saw as monstrous shapes, only she? The air around was still alive with murmurs, but the water slept calmly. She sat there listening, beads in one hand the other making wild movements on her head as if pulling the hair that wasn’t there. If you saw her you would think she was crazy, but she was just a widow punished with this life because the man she married died. Because of you, for him you did not love, repeated the voices. Accusingly. The same voices. A thought touched her like a gentle breeze does a searing heart, that right below the water was a peaceful kingdom. That is where the moon shone brightest. With a fluffy bunny sitting next to an old man promising her true love. She went down the steps, slowly unwrapping the cotton sari from around her wrinkled frame which formed a trail of chaste white on the holy steps. Soon, Tarini became one with the water.

The full moon shone bright. As bright as a perfect bowl of pure silver which had passed through fire. Seven times over. As brave too, for the bluest of darkness surrounding it could not steal even a ray of its light.

[Written for WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts. The prompt for today was - The Full Moon - When the full moon happens, you turn into a person who’s the opposite of who you normally are. Describe this new you.]

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Lessons Learnt from my Body

This post was written thanks to Sumeetha Manikandan, who asked me to contribute to her beautiful space 'Lessons Learned from Indians'.  

An excerpt ...

My body has been talking to me.

Once upon a time a body, to me, meant black circles for heads and sticks for hands and legs. As a child, that is, drawing on paper with crayons and sketch pens, picturesque scenes I had never seen before and bodies so far removed from what they actually looked like, yet real in their sameness of being. Short-lived were those days, because when I was taught to a happy tune how chubby cheeks and dimpled chin and blue eyes and curly hair make one the teacher’s pet, the reflection in the mirror told this child’s head I could never be her. I had held the picture of the cherubic girl in the nursery rhyme book in front of the looking glass. Next to my reflection. To look at dark coffee next to peaches and cream. A horse tail next to luscious curls the colour of sun. Eyes with not even a drop of the blue ocean the teacher’s pet mirthfully looked at me with. In the mirror.

And my body sighed! Loud enough for me to hear its echo for a long time to come. It told me as it thought aloud that I could never be loved enough, because I looked different – from the girl in the book. Even from the doll in my bed who I dressed in pretty clothes. So pretty, my best friend. And so different, from me.
In my first school which was an all-girls convent, Monday mornings were ...

[To read the full post, kindly click here.]

Thursday, 7 August 2014

I talk. A lot.

A lot. Really.

Imagine a carrier truck which is carrying 20 SUVs. Now imagine a Nano inside each SUV, and Bajaj Chetaks between the busty bumpers of all the SUVs. On both tiers. Quite a house full, no? Wait, I’m not finished yet. Know too that the driver decided to take his wife and his triplets for a joy ride, and each baby carried three of the biggest toys they had, and the mother a diaper bag the size of all three babies put together. She had to, what are you a, non-parent? Anyway, there’s more. It rained so the driver gave a ride to a muscled man with a chest as wide as a carrom board who actually had the heart of a kitten and so he was taking the stray goat in his hands to the hospital. Fully grown adult goat, no kid-ding. His bicycle of course had to be adjusted between the door of the carrier and one scooter, where a family of babblers were hitching a free ride in the rain.  

Doesn’t that sound a lot? Packed! Well, when translated into a quantity that’s how much I talk. 

But that’s just me. 

You see, I tried to talk my way out of my mother’s womb the moment I stopped looking like a cross between a fish, a sea horse and a unicycle. I resorted to polite convincing first but all I heard in return were sounds of the blender making goodies for my daddy. I spoke my heart out to my surroundings but how much can you talk to the walls? Bloody ones at that! Soon as legs came along I tried kicking to let me out, for I wanted to talk and was bored of ‘Wilson’ from ‘Castaway’ I had imagined on my U-chord to communicate with. Once I hugged it so tight the doctor’s eyes popped out while looking at the ultrasound as if it was her neck I held. I could have, for who uses forceps on a baby? Look how my head is shaped now. Anyway, point being, no one heard me talk. If I had a pen I would have written my stories on the womb’s wall. Finally one day, I came out. Talking, of course.  

And I haven’t stopped. I can’t. If there is something to be said, I will talk. If there isn’t, I will still talk. Like right now, and I’m not half-way done yet. But you seem to be reading like a true friend and I take that as encouragement to continue. This post is 1500 words long. Love. Hugs. Muah!

So, I can talk in any position and on any topic. 

I can hang upside down from trees like an opossum and deliver sermons on how to live a very straight life. Palm facing front, calm on the face, pearls coming out my mouth and being hurriedly noted in diaries called ‘Life’s Little Instruction Book’. Or so I assume. But I must sound wise. I must. You see, why else would my husband stand at the bathroom door every morning?

Oh, I mean I have to talk to him as I scrub Lux body wash in the shower. He shaves his stubble near the door. I have to talk, and he has to hear me over the water. No time like a fresh morning to motivate those men to go work, earn the bread, we love you dear, get the dry cleaning, we need new buckets, I will kill the maid, can we buy shoes today. Why am I asking? Of course we can! Come in time. With a towel on my head and feeling fresh I do come out talking too. How else do you think I ask why he is shaving on the bathroom doormat and not at the basin? These men can drive us crazy!


My driving instructor warned me he was talkative while he taught. Poor guy! Three weeks and I saw a shiny pond appear in the middle of his head. For the first hour of the first day he regaled me with heroic tales of how he has driven trucks and buses and maybe both together on roads half the size of my middle finger. When I began talking, he looked as if the trucks ran over him. Well, one almost did once. I was busy telling him about a neighbour who was so handsome, so handsome that I wanted to propose to him and for sure my parents wouldn't mind because why should they? Huh? We women have rights and we are not bound by another’s shackles and oh I want to become his wife and cook for him and bear him kids and dare anyone get in the way of this alpha-beta-gamma heart of mine when he had to scream to remind me the two headlights approaching me head-on belonged to a truck and not two motorcycles. I did stop talking, of course. It was scary, so scary that for that one second I thought I was going to die and then, on the way back, I told driver uncle my philosophy of death and how sad I was my goldfish died and how best to keep their water clean, in 101 steps. 

Water reminds me… 

I can talk underwater too. Okay, maybe not much but I do try. I was told try, try, try and you will succeed. God bless Ramadev ji, or was it Chetan? Once I did speak a whole sentence under water in the pool, complimented a pair of feet with night-glow nail polish and how they matched the frill of the costume but before I reached the full stop in went the water and up rose the gorge. Yes, the French fries came out quite intact. So interesting! They are one-piece even in the depths of the innards? Anyhow, the nail polish shrieked and left the pool. Oh well, now I always get traffic-free laps, as I talk to the blue tiles 12 feet below me. I just wonder why the life-guard doesn’t want to hear about my FB life when I back-stroke? Probably because he is yet to open an account? Dinosaur! 

Where was I? Yes. So, I talk on dance floors till my partner forgets his steps, excuses himself to go to the loo and runs off from the ventilator. I talk in crystal clear language even in my dreams, so much so I have been offered the job of a Communications Manager for a best-selling author. I refused, of course. What kind of a man cuts his girlfriend into half? Sheesh! Oh, and I’m quite a stunt-woman when it comes to talking with food in the mouth. Fine, some bits fly onto other’s plates but hey, that much less fatty food enters me then, isn’t it?

Just one principle I follow in my talk-life - I never talk behind turned backs. What’s the point when the winning dog from the dog show isn’t listening to what the bitch thinks?

And now to cut this short story shorter.

There is a kind of talking I will never do again, and that is for an interview which is being recorded.

Ishaan Lalit, from Sixth World Radio and his brother, Kartik, cornered me like ninjas with free coffee on the table and a cushy 5-star sofa under my derrière and made me talk for three whole hours. From books to writing, geo-politics to Indian politicians, Facebook to blocking, blogging to just bloke-ing, parenting to too-cool-for-school-kinda-topics, I did what I love doing – I talked and talked and talked. But, listening to myself talk on a radio is a different doll game altogether. 

Of course I don’t sound like a fool. It was my first time with a dictaphone before me and a video being shot clandestinely (I should have worn my pearls, really!) and truth be told it was quite a lot of fun. But like I said, when sight becomes hind, even a talker like me may want to kick her own behind for saying things as if she was out of her mind. And all good things begin with a ‘fore’, not ‘hind’. (Holy Haiku! Did all this just rhyme?)

Never again will I get interviewed, recorded and video-graphed at the same time. So let me just say here, I’m never ever doing that again! (For relaxation of this rule, contact me at thetalker@icantalk.ikid with crisp notes!) 

Here is the link to a 6 minute video for readers of my blog. Since the deed was done, I might as well go down in full public view. Down. And down. And further down into the sea of embarrassment. Till no one can see my red face.

But now you know what I will do when I am on the seabed. Talk, of course. How else do you think you can hear me right now?

PS - Before I stop, here is the link to the full podcast. Okay, now I stop.

[WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts. The prompt for today was - Have you ever gone to a new place or tried a new experience and thought to yourself, “I’m never doing that again!” Tell us about it.]

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