Dainty

What do you notice about a person first?
The glint in their eyes or the mischief in their smile?
Their winged eyeliner or how they team a bright scarf with a skirt and manage to get the look you desire.
Have you observed the souls around and tried to soak in the tiny details of their simple being?
How they tuck in those tresses shyly behind their ears and look beautiful.
The way they curl their toes and and cuddle their knees when they shiver on a winter night.
How they hold a pen when they finish their first poetry, their dainty fingers smeared with ink.
How their eyes light up when they see their favourite dessert arriving in the restaurant.
And then the smile that adorns their face on a good hair day.
How their nose turns pink-red when they catch cold yet they never fail to look cute.
And the way they flaunt their pierced belly with that crop top.
I don’t know if it is beautiful to find someone adorable in parts.
But what is more important is loving someone as whole.
And I hope you do both.
-Shubhda Pujare
***
Diary of an Introverted Schmuck turned one on the first of April. To celebrate, I asked some of my friends to write poems or short stories on a word of their choice.
This poem is written by my friend Shubh on the word “dainty”. She’s so freaking multi-talented. She writes, she quills (brilliantly, if I may add), she dances, she learns languages…you name it and she’s done it 🙂
I’m sure she’ll love appreciation, encouragement and constructive criticism.

When Dreams And Reality Intertwine

  Mikaela ran through the shrouded labyrinth, knowing full well that this had to be a dream. Sleep was never a welcome distraction. Because in her sleep, she dreamed. Not dreams about unicorns and rainbows or buying the perfect dress for prom night. Nighmares. Terrible ones. Usually ones from which she emerged kicking and screaming. This dream seemed more perilous and threatening in particular. She halted for some air. All the running had left her breathless. She looked around her. The labyrinth stretched into two dark hallways before her. She was tired. This was usually the part in the dream when something really horrendous would happen and her loud wails would cause her mother to shake her awake. Her dreams somehow always seemed very realistic. This one however, had made it to the top of the list on the reality factor. Instinct made her take the right pathway. It seemed to be dimly lit and smelled vaguely of lavenders. Mikaela squinted her eyes to get a good look ahead. But it was the same as all the other paths. She could perceive nothing but darkness. She walked slowly, taking in the strange carvings on the walls which looked like distorted faces. Something about the faces enthralled her. She shook the chills which occasionally ran down her spine and walked deeper into the labyrinth. And then she stopped dead. One face on the wall grasped her attention, awaking an indescribable terror in her. As she took a step closer to it, the identity of the face dawned on her. It was hers. The dream had suddenly become a bit too real. She wasn’t even sure if it was a dream anymore. A sound of shuffling footsteps behind her startled her out of her reverie. It was time to run again. As she ran, she saw light streaming in ahead of her.

  Yes! Finally an exit! Maybe she could wake up now!

  But when she reached the end of the hallway, she saw a group of people who supiciously looked like doctors and some cops. There were a few patrol cars in the background with silent alarms

  Mikaela was bewildered. She couldn’t comprehend the situation.
Had someone been injured? She came to a stop as a doctor advanced towards her, a look of pity and horror etched across her face. And thats when Mikaela looked down at her hands, her face contorting with disbelief and disgust. Her hands were laced with blood.
“Is she the one?”, she heard a cop ask one of the doctors.
“Yes.She somehow finds a way to sneak away at night and the next morning we find her dishevelled and disturbed in her room.”, the doctor said.
“Is she mentally unstable?”, the cop asked.
What? Mentally unstable?
Mikaela was sure this was a dream. Panic seized her. She wasn’t crazy. But the doctors kept looking at her like she was.
“She killed her entire family in a fit of madness and was discovered later in a tunnel underneath their house not unlike this one. She was dazed and couldn’t remember what had happened”, the doctor replied, looking at her like she needed to be chained to a wall.
Words failed her.
Killed my family?
She was flabbergasted.
Hadn’t her mother just awoken her last night from a bad nightmare?
“She suffers from a sleep and identity disorder of sorts. And sometimes wakes up in a trance, unaware of who or where she is.”, the doctor continued.
Sleep disorder? Amnesia? What the hell was going on?
One of the doctors stepped forward with a syringe that looked like a tranquilizer. Mikaela opened her mouth to protest but was held still as she was injected. The night sky with stars aligned around the distant planets was the last thing she saw before she passed out.
She woke with a start, beads of sweat on her forehead.
“Are you alright sweetie?”, asked a figure beside her. It was her mother! She wasn’t insane. It had indeed been just a dream.
“She seems to be hallucinating too.”, one of the doctors said to his colleagues outside the observation room in which Mikaela had been placed.As the doctors walked out of the room, the last thing they saw was Mikaela hugging the air with all her might as if it was a flesh and blood person.
“Mom I’m so glad to see you!”, she exclaimed happily.
She wasn’t mentally unstable at all.

***

Diary of an Introverted Schmuck completed a year on the first of April. To make a big deal out of my Blog Birthday, I asked some friends of mine to guest post here.

This story is written by a friend of mine called Haya on the word ‘labyrinth’. She’s a terrific writer. You can check out her poems on her instagram. Drop some comments while you are at it. I’m sure she’ll love them 🙂

Chaos and Symmetry

He enjoyed the Sunlight
while she preferred
The star-sprinkled night .

Darkness scared him
and the lights itched
her innocent eyes.

The differences didn’t bargain their lust for one another.

They danced to the symphony of their heartbeats during the dawn and the dusk, and thus
found symmetry in their chaos.

***

Diary of an Introverted Schmuck completed a year on the first of April. To make a big deal out of my Blog Birthday, I asked some friends of mine to guest post here.

This was written by my friend Netra on ‘chaos’. Mind you, she isn’t a writer. She draws and is awesome at it. Netra is the one who made my gravatar profile picture. 

She has a Facebook page called PASSIONOBBY where she sells the cutest bookmarks and wands!

Thanks Netra! 😀

Eclectic

My mother calls me an “eclectic”

At first, I thought she said “electric”

As if I were a robot

Or some household appliance

With some manufacturer’s label

Describing exactly how to

Heat the food

Wash the dishes

Print that five page report that was due yesterday

What I was made of

Every function, component, and detail precise.

But she had said “eclectic”

Meaning I would love both rock and pop music

I would read everything from the newspaper

To the sci-fi novels about interstellar travel

To the picture books about magic chickens.

Meaning I would pair frilly tops with cargo pants

And I wanted that clean, slick look of modern décor

But adored the rustic, rough edge of vintage.

Meaning I would look for meaning

In cells

In the stars

In the pages of books

In my mind

And in my heart.

Meaning I wouldn’t be satisfied with just one.

“Eclectic” meant that I was born here

On the other side of the world

Far away from anything that resembled

The Filipino of my face.

Far away from a mother tongue.

Closer to the stereotyped

Maple syrup blood and politeness

Than the miles of rice and heat and dust.

Meaning that when I reached out west for the orient

I came back with eyes full

Of animated demons, and magical girls

Who would twirl their wands and save the universe.

I reached west for the orient

And came back with hands full of objects

Stamped with “made in China.”

I reached west for the orient

And found myself wrapped in clothes neither foreign or native

Eating food that was neither native nor foreign

Celebrating something I didn’t understand.

I reached west for the orient

Reached west for the orient

Reached west

Reaching so far west

That I had missed the orient entirely

And instead found mystical figures

With animal heads on human bodies

With control over the skies, and the sea, and the dead.

But like electronics, I was stamped

Skin tone

Eye colour

Facial features

My own name.

Oh, you’re Filipino?

Last name? Ah, good family. Knew your Lolo.

You speak?

No?

Born here?

Well, you should learn.

You cook?

Good. Good. Learn the native foods.

Native foods.

Made with fish that was imported frozen

Made with vegetables that wouldn’t survive the cold

Made with flavored powder that looked indiscernible from the sandy beaches

That the food was “native” of.

Native. What a tricky word.

When handed a “Check one box”

I stumbled

Between what I looked like

And where I was born.

Between what I ate

And a language I couldn’t understand.

Born in country that embraces origins

How can you bring something

That is already there?

“Bring a history,” they said,

I don’t have one yet.

“We are multicultural,” they claimed,

Well, so am I.

My mother calls me an eclectic.

Sometimes I wish she had meant “electric”

With the functions, components, and details

Written clearly on a label.

***

This wonderful, wonderful poem is by Leanna who blogs at Short Story Long Blog. She writes the most comprehensive book reviews. Do check her blog out! I’m sure she’ll love comments and appreciation here or on her blog 🙂

The prompt chosen by Leanna was the word ‘eclectic’.

Diary of an Introverted Schmuck completed a year on the first of April. To make a big deal out of my Blog Birthday, I asked some friends of mine to guest post here. Leanna’s poem is the first post and I’m so grateful to her for agreeing to write something. You rock, Leanna!

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