February 3, 2013 at 8:14 pm 1 comment

Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words, Take Two

For some of us, blogging is personal. Others are trying to educate or entertain; many more are hybrids. Yet we’re all storytellers. Creative Writing Challenges help you to push your writing boundaries, show off your blogging chops, and, hopefully, spark more post ideas.

To participate, tag your post with DPchallenge or leave a link to it in the comments. (It would also be great if you could link to this post to encourage people to take part – the more the merrier!) Your post should be specifically written in response to this challenge. We’ll keep an eye on the tag and highlight some of our favorite posts on Freshly Pressed on Friday.

You had a lot of fun with the A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words challenge, and we had a lot of fun reading your entries – so let’s go for Round Two. Your challenge this week is to write a post based on this picture:

Mint. There was a strong smell of mint. It seemed to come, not from the direction of his mouth, but from his neck; from underneath his thick-black hair. He’s been chewing it, he told me later, because he was nervous. He’s chewed some chaat the day before, at his cab-driver friends’ pestering, and he wasn’t sure if I could smell the leaf on him. He’s assured me quickly that he wasn’t a chaat-addict. He rarely uses it, unless he’s gotta pick somebody up early in the morning or had to go visit his cousins on holidays. But he was nervous. The day felt like it wouldn’t come to an end. He wouldn’t relax. And so—

I’ve rubbed his shoulder and assured him that it was alright. He can chew chaat if he wants to, can feel free to teach me how to, infact. And that I’d love to meet his friends whenever. What I need then, however, was a warm bath and something that wouldn’t stick to my skin. He’s carried all my bags, fighting my attempt to help, and quietly closed the door on his way out when I went into the shower room.

Here was a man I’ve only thus far known through emails and phone calls; my driver/guide, a man I declared was a friend I can trust before marching out of the room that housed my [weeping] mom and a friend she brought along to help convince me not to leave home to chase after a part of history that’s best forgotten. And here was a country, a part of history, I have only thus far read about and obsessed over; a family relic. I’ve finally made it! [I was here!!]. I’ve finally met him. And now that I’ve met him, I’m feeling my resolution suspect. Was there something more to my trip than just finding out where it all started?! Was there a hope–perhaps–of not just finding out about the past but of building a future?! Were I being completely honest with myself/my friends/my mother? Or was I…?! In that case, could I trust this man, whose culture and upbringing I have only thus far glimpsed through awkward emails and heavy accent that’s became music to my ears — calling to me conversations around tables I wasn’t allowed to be a part of? Were I not, perhaps, projecting my desire to belong on him?! Trying to find those that can no longer be found through him?!

He was waiting for me outside my hotel room when I came out. “A dress”, I said, laughing and trying to pull the “khemis” over my knee when I noticed his awed look “Thought I…”.

“Oh no”, he said, smiling and avoiding my eyes to look at my hand as if he can’t imagine me without something he can help me carry. “It’s good. It looks good”.

We stood there, awkwardly sizing one another up. Then something happened. I don’t know if it’s the light surrounding us, or the hub-hub from the fuel-train and/or the voices from the tourists that was both bubbly and comforting. Or seeing him there: beautiful, vulnerable and a part of history I was too shy to wet my feet in yet. But I had a crashing burst of affection for the man. “My God,” I said, reaching for his hand-wanting to squeeze it, “I’m so happy to be here”. That’s when he stepped forward and took me in his arms, giving me the biggest hug I’ve ever felt from a man that wasn’t twice my size. It was as if the only way he could communicate his feeling without stuttering, stumbling, risking saying the wrong expression or letting his shyness stand in the way was through a hug. A warm affectionate hug. “Me too”, he whispered into my hair, as if the emotion that crushed me was also shaking his voice to the roots.

“Well..”, I said, looking up and wiping a silly tear. “Shall we?!”. 

And that, my darling, is how your dad became the bridge – connecting my confused past to our assured present. Man I can’t wait till you are born!

Entry filed under: Latest Posts. Tags: , , , , , .

Year IV: Of losses & Gains The way you were…

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The blogger tries to think outside the box, or wonder why she sometimes can't.

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"I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint." - Antonio Salieri, from the movie "Amadeus"

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