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Nelson Mandela Day

 18 July Nelson Mandela Day As the world reflects Nelson Mandela's legacy, we thank his life, leadership, devotion to humanity, and humanitarian causes. Mandela (18 July 1918--5 December 2013) Nelson Mandela, the Republic of South Africa's first president, does not need an introduction to the world.  His birthday, July 18, is declared Nelson Mandela International Day, and South Africans take this opportunity to celebrate his life the entire month.  South Africa became an independent republic in 1994, overhauling the apartheid that ran the show as a legal regime since 1948, Mandela, its first president.   Mandela's contribution to the peaceful transformation of South Africa, from a racially pitting people into a rainbow nation, is the most celebrated example of positivity.  This positivity shines on every individual when they make an individual positive action to help and reach others.  July is a month for taking this action and spread the Mandela values--fighting injustice,

Apple of My Eye

  Picture from Google. Madhuri stuffed her bag with the steel tiffin box, small flask, and purse, dropped it on the Glossy creed black and white coffee table. Pulled the diary out of the bag, scribbled the grocery list stuffed it back. Removed two bulging plastic files inside the table made them flop near the bag.  Just another day, she gasped. She measured her movement as she sat on the sofa.  The September sun sneaked in through the window signalled a throbbing headache, a lacklustre sensation.  She was strongly inclined to take a break from everything to take a trip to somewhere alone-will it ever happen?  "One minute ma," Ankush called out from upstairs.  It was nearly eight. She should be on the road now.  A throb on the temple blinded her-- she hushed it with a fingertip and craned the head to scan the stairs. Not a sign of him.    "I have a test in the first lesson Ma, cannot wait for him," Megha reminded her from the sofa across from her--she was ready for t

Teary Eyes

  She slipped into a pair of sandalwood shade pyjama, pulled over the head a jacquard cotton salwar top, pinned the pleated maroon shawl on the shoulder. Na, not going to wrap it around the neck.  She sleeked down the pleats to make her look a head taller and hide the fat around the middle. In the dressing table not being full length couldn't figure out how the pair of designer sandal in maroon matched with the rest of the attire. With a smile oozing with self-pride, she grabbed her purse, locked the room stepped out into the hotel foyer to the walkway outside.  The milky air outside was fresh. The leaves of the hibiscus lined by the walkway were wet from the morning rain. She touched them fondly, shattering the water pearls dancing on the edges.   A lazy breeze from the valley of Neem trees cuddled her hair loosened a fringe to tumble on to her forehead.   The road in the front hadn't changed a bit in the years. The clusters of old shops on the sides teetering with the goodies

A Brave and Startling Truth

source   #MayaAngelou, #scienceandpoetry, #CarlSagan. On Feb 14, 1990, NASA's Voyager1 probe snapped a photograph of Earth from 6 billion kilometres away.  This was the first time earth was seen from the outer reaches of the Solar System. The mission of the voyager was to photograph the outer planets and the cameras before shutting down took the picture on Carl Sagan's insistence.   The grainy photograph now has become the iconic image  showing earth in the mostly empty space that Sagan limned the 'pale blue dot,' the title of his bestselling book published on September 8 1997 .  In the book, Sagan wrote, "everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives on this mote of dust suspended in this sunbeam."   The poetic phrase, 'the mote of dust' caught the imagination of people all over the world across disciplines of science and art. . In t

Goodbye 2020

  Goodbye to 2020. Begonia and Peace Lilly from the flower gardens of   Cape Town, South Africa. Wishing you all a happy and better 2021, from the ever-beautiful city.  Bidding goodbye 2020 is like feeling the loss of something not owned.   I didn’t own 2020 feeling hunted by some dark stuff sitting beside me trying to grab me and eat me. I couldn’t connect with it emotionally, how would, I didn’t receive anything soothing, tender from it only melancholy and tragedies.    I couldn’t meet our daughters, their husbands, in-laws and friends. No parties, no visiting Kerala that takes rounds with the families and friends there, travel and all such.   (I don’t deny the bitterness and the confrontation extravaganza at the families there at times, Covid or not) I’m sad, not bitter; we’re all safe not turned statistics to be counted among the millions who have left us, the reward from using masks and the sanitizer.   The dark stuff whenever had set eyes on me gleefully got neutralised by that

A girl in the neighborhood

"Shall we not visit the classroom?" Shruthi asked Maria, the school counsellor.  Commerce 3.  Out of the three girls missing from the school, two -- Gauthami and Clara -- came from that class.   "Of course, that's a priority of the hour," Sara didn't have to think twice.  *** "Good afternoon Mam," the chorus of greetings from thirty-five learners less by two hit the visitors like a wave of grief. Shruthi greeted them back with a big smile, being the headmistress, she should cheer the girls up.   Gauthami's and Clara's desk brimmed with 'please come back' cards, mostly handmade.   "Who was Gauthami's best friend in the class?" Shrithi asked the class after the initial chitchats.   "Clara," the answer came in a chorus.  "Her second best friend?" "Rani."  Rani stood up from her seat, flashing a shy smile on her face. The girl with a wiry build and a decaying lower tooth sat a row behind Gauth

Showing versus Telling

In creative writing, we always hear showing versus telling.  What does that mean? It means you create a scene in a story, showing all details rather than explaining it. Or do not make it expositional, or describe, only show.  For, e.g., instead of telling your character was angry, show how his eyes went red shot, his mouth quirked in disgust, he stamped on the floor etc.,  When I joined my creative writing course, my facilitators stressed that point throughout. The first time I heard it from them. I'm sure all of us practising writing stories have heard this.  But it's challenging to practice. I haven't practised writing in this way since I started it in my mother tongue-Malayalam.  And I never came across anyone mentioning this kind of rule in that publishing world. I don't think any such regulations exist in that language.   I just wanted to bring this to my reader's attention because we are all striving towards one objective --to get our work published. If I comb