5word5 theme 35 – Never

The next theme for your writing exploits is “Never“.

If you’re new to my blog and wondering what is 5word5 or just want to refresh the rules, I have a pretty detailed intro post that you can read and get up to speed here!

As always, send in your 5word5 stories by Tuesday morning (India time!) and I will publish it on my blog along with the next theme! Go ahead – Unleash your creativity!!

5word5 theme 34 – Deep

Deep in a cavern, as a tramp waits earnestly for the golden rays of the rising sun to touch him through the crevices, shoals of fish scurry in the deep waters of the sea, some narrowly escaping becoming a meal and others not so lucky. Waves crash the shore sometimes carrying treasures hitherto hidden beneath.

As the sea merges into the ocean, bending around straits, gushing into trenches, a deep sea diver plunges into the depths, going deeper and deeper, until the beams of sunlight no longer illuminate the translucent waters around him. He soaks in the silent calm of a beautiful world that exists below the one we inhabit.

Back at the beach, the day progresses. The calm of dawn makes way for the chaos of crowds – first the distance swimmers, then the early picnickers, lovers, families and eager children. Hawkers and shack owners open shop. Sounds of deep-throated laughter, excited succesful shell seekers and the distant blaring of ship horns fills the air.

Amidst the crowd, a young woman with deep pockets, sunbathes in an expensive bathing suit and a pompous hat, having lavishly slathered on some deeply nourishing moisturiser and sunscreen lotion. When she’s done, she wraps her colourful sarong, folds her portable lounger and drives away in her fancy car with a swag that screams empowerment.

From the distance, the tramp watches her go. He glances at his family, waiting for some careless or generous picnickers to leave behind scraps. Many eyed them with a deep sense of disdain, some with genuine sympathy, some simply ignored them. Over time, he had learnt to identify those with beauty that was only skin-deep.

He held a deep seated desire in his heart that one day he’d build his family a place they could call home. He would be like the roots that dig deep and make themselves rough so the trees that stand on them can flower. He stares at the horizon as dusk settles over the ocean.

A couple sits on a solitary rock, deep in conversation, their fingers entwined and their eyes soaking in the sunset. Their bond deepens as they together watch the sky go from blue to yellow, orange to red, then a deep crimson until the blazing sun sets, carrying the promise of a brand new dawn tomorrow.

As sunset gives in to twilight, which in turn makes way for night, hundreds of shining stars and a faint crescent moon adorn the black velvety sky. The tramp wishes fervently as he sees a shooting star. He settles in to sleep, a smile on his face and a secret hope deep in his heart.


A rather long intro but I tried something different today – each of the above paragraphs is exactly 55 words!! A barrage of 5word5 your way!!

What to do? I’ve had a long day but I had to compensate for the late post by making it worth your while to read! So I hope you enjoyed it!

And on that note, moving on to the real 5word5 of the day!

Slokabs

The long, clandestine phone calls, weekend meetings, sudden dinner plans with “friends” – how could she not see through the telltale signs. It wasn’t until she saw “Sweetheart” flash on his phone for a number that wasn’t hers that she realised how deeply entrenched in the relationship she was and how blind it had made her!

Ashok Wahi (blog)

Kahin deep jalen kahin dil‘ was a favourite song of my youth. But I do realise that this deep is not the deep that Sloka is talking about. She is a smart and deep young lady and may not even know the song: Kahin deep jalen kahin dil. I hope my deep is good enough!

Haha, indeed uncle, this wasn’t the deep I was referring to but what is 5word5 if not the freedom of interpretation!! Happy to have rekindled some happy youthful memories for you!

Shruti Pimplikar (blog)

I found myself on an empty, abandoned road. There were plain green fields on both sides with no cars or humans in sight. I searched for the horizon on both sides. It was being elusive. I kept walking along the stretch feeling a deep sense of calm. This was one of my favourite dreams, yet.

Anusha Arvind

It was the first day as an intern. The time to practically apply all the acquired knowledge. Posted in the emergency. It was a busy night. The wounds were fresh, deep and oozing. There were tiny glass chips. The wound needed meticulous cleaning and neat closure. Tough job but was totally satisfied with the output.

Julie P

The bees and birds would surround him
on balmy summer evenings.
Ducks would walk past by him, but never really engage.
“Ha! Nothing here”, said the Men.
“Not a peep!”, quacked the ducks.
But then it shone brightly one autumn evening.
Revealing a thriving aquatic life. 
Did they really know,
that Still Water Runs Deep?

Anusha Arvind

The competition was getting intense. Each one had mastered the culinary skills in depth. The sound of the mustard seeds crackling, the aroma of the exotic spices and the exquisite finesse of the dishes left the judges in awe. The final task was a test of time management and skill. The winner was truly deserving.

Snacky

Even though Govind had a decent season with “Chennai Legends” in Pro-Kabaddi League, Indian control board for Kabaddi didn’t select him for this year’s “South Asian Games”. He was unhappy and not in a mood to meet any channels and well-wishers. Govind was deeply worried by constantly consuming social media and taking in others’ thoughts.

Nicely combined themes 33 and 34, Snacky 🙂

Slokabs

Deep within her, a little life was taking form. One that would show them it is possible to love more deeply than they could imagine, care more for than themselves or anyone else in the world and feel their heart beat outside of their body. Oh! they had no idea what unbridled joys awaited them!

Slokabs

She mixed some dark blue, magenta, light red and black. She kept mixing till she got the perfect shade of deep aubergine purple she wanted. She smeared it all over her canvas, adding swirls of blue and black and a layer of scattered white spots to get the perfect galaxy to lose herself deeply in!

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5word5 theme 33 – Mood

Mood is such a funny thing, no? You can never predict how or when it can swing! It could be something you watch, something someone said, something you read or even the fact that no one said anything!

Women are often accused of having more moods swings (and I will plead guilty!) but this phenomenon is not restricted to us. Some men have equally unpredictable moods! Perhaps the expression differs – and that can make all the difference. Despite moods being such a natural phenomenon, it continues to be a determining factor for how our relationships fare – whether we unleash the impact of our moods on people around us and how we do it, both matter. Most importantly, expecting people around us to mirror our mood can truly be the beginning of the end!

And yet, we can’t deny that the mood of people around us (or close to us) does rub off on us atleast a little bit. It’s hard to be morose when your partner is animatedly excited about the first rain of the season. And equally hard to be upbeat when your roommate has just had an altercation with her boss and is fuming or worse, devastated! And it’s quite hard to be around a family member who is angry for no apparent reason. But above all, it’s not an person’s moods that are difficult to deal with as much as their unpredictability.

For all its implications, moods are temporary; a state of mind. Unlike emotions which are more deep-seated in the mind, moods are more transient and momentary reactions to words, actions or events. They can colour your vision and all your interactions briefly – so if you are in one of your bad moods, even seemingly harmless conversations can go downhill. So also when you are in your better moods, you may agree to something that you might otherwise have not.

This makes it important to read your counterparty’s mood when you want to have important conversations – such as an appraisal discussion at work, a chore-sharing discussion at home (!!) or even a short (albeit important!) one about which movie or show to watch tonight! In that sense, you need to exercise a bit of your Intuition!

Or you can always get one of those fancy mood rings. I haven’t used them so cannot claim with any degree of certainty that they work. But apparently, they are filled with certain heat sensitive crystals that pick up on changes in body temperature and change colour depending on whether the wearer is feeling happy or anxious (or somewhere in between). They were quite the rage when I was growing up but I don’t know if anyone really trusts them. Maybe gift it to someone whose moods you simply can’t read and try it for yourself!!

Meanwhile, here’s a neat mood-o-meter I found online that pits various moods on a scale measured by their extent of positivity on one end and their potency/degree-of-energy on the other. If you are struggling with communicating how you’re feeling, this is a great place to start!

I didn’t make this so I am not responsible for the spelling mistakes in the grid!!
P.S. – Now you’re looking for them!

And lastly, I just want to say how much social media and the content we watch/read/follow on other online platforms impacts our moods, now that technology has come so far. Don’t blame me – I just finished re-watching 5 seasons of Black Mirror on Netflix which has me high on cynicism. My 5word5 for this theme is actually inspired by episode 1 of Season 3 – ‘Nosedive’. A word of caution – Black mirror is dystopian and some episodes are quite disturbing. if you plan to watch it, I would strongly recommend starting with Episode 2 of Season 1 (instead of Episode 1!).

Moving on to the 5word5 of the day!!

Slokabs

The coffee machine wasn’t working. The printer was running low on ink. Her clients were constantly calling her to send the report. By lunch, she had given up on her day.
Just then, her mobile beeped. She smiled. 2252 likes and 750 comments on her photo. That was enough to get her through the day!

Aditya Arora

One tick and the whole day changed, and everything became bitter.
All it took was one sentence that rubbed me wrong. I wish it were different.
I wish I could control my anger, my mood.
But the truth remained that it hurts. One word, one sentence can hurt.
It can break someone’s day or more.

Anusha Arvind

Sitting alone all day
With a book by the bay
Grooving to some favourite tunes
Munching on some berries and prunes
Stepping into little puddles
Collecting some pebbles
A stroll, enjoying the evening breeze
Pizza with extra cheese
Petty fights with a sibling
Silly conversations with a darling
Often elevates the mood
Like good food.

Badmaash Dil

It wasn’t a good morning for her. She woke up with a splitting headache that was enough reason for her bad mood. She couldn’t let that upset her schedules. She had to make breakfast, pack lunch for her husband and settle kids for their online classes. Mood swings were no longer relevant in her world.

Shruti Pimplikar (blog)

She came off a week of Covid-19, tired and weary.
The cough had stayed on, leaving her tear-y.

Between her meetings, she looked for a song.
Instead she found a video, she had been searching all along.

She smiled and cried a little at her luck.
Who knew her Monday was not going to suck.

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5word5 theme 32 – Intuition

Intuition can be a powerful ally. Sometimes, we feel an urge to do, or not to do something with no real reason for such a feeling to arise.

It could be an inner voice that says ‘Call your mom’ or changing your pitch presentation at the last minute because ‘something didn’t feel right’! Sometimes that little inner voice tells you to trust someone or to avoid them. Whether you follow your gut or not can often alter the course of your life, or that of someone else.

Intuition is a sort of sixth sense that can really add to your emotional intelligence (EQ). According to science, intuition is a bridge between the conscious and subconscious parts of your brain and operates through the entire right side of our brain, the brain’s hippocampus and through our gut (yes the digestive system….. That’s why it’s sometimes colloquially refer to as gut feeling).

Women are believed to have stronger intuitive powers which has a larger bearing on their overall decision-making. Here’s a really good article that talks in detail about the science behind intuition.

I believe that intuition has a strong influence on some of the important decisions of our life – like where to invest our money (from which stocks to buy to which house to buy), whom to take as a life partner, whether to stay in a job or look for other opportunities, which course to pick for your specialization, which school to put your kids in – as rational as some of these may seem on the face of it, even if you make these decisions based on a checklist which is as objective as it can get, you may sometimes find yourself rejecting the seemingly rational choice for reasons that may seem inexplicable. Often in hindsight, these decisions taken on a whim or on your gut turn out to be right (I won’t say always, but isn’t life about taking a leap of faith?!).

On that note, here are the 5word5 for the week.

Happy Easter to everyone celebrating!

Slokabs

She picked up her bag and keys and walked to the car. Something didn’t feel right. She had learnt to trust her gut when she thinly evaded the 2007 train blasts by sitting alone, spending some time on Marine Drive for no apparent reason. She headed back home to find her brother having a seizure.

Shruti Pimplikar (blog)

“Describe yourself in one word,” the interviewer said.

“Intuitive,” she answered immediately.

How could she explain to this person that she knew how to gauge people. One glance was all it took. She could figure out everyone’s secret. She knew who to trust and who to ignore. Also, who to hate.

This was her superpower.

Snacky

Arjun clocked in for a casual meeting with Yaara, carrying a symbolic gift – an oil painting by René Magritte – to mark their first meeting. But things unfolded differently from what he had imagined. Yaara seemed to address Arjun as a patient. He was surprised. Yet, Arjun’s intuition said, “Yaara will certainly marry him”.

Anusha Arvind

Her mind was filled with determination. She took up the challenge with a lot of inclination. The murder mystery left the people in confusion. She was the new police officer and the suspects were in position, Strategy, scrutiny and a war of words with a pinch of intuition brought about a conclusion! It was all imagination!

*****”””

5word5 theme 31 – Paint

I just realised that the theme of ‘Paint’ is just in time for Holi – the Indian festival of colours. I promise I didn’t plan it but boy! Am I glad it happened! Happy coincidence! And Happy Holi!!

I love everything about colours – the light ones, the dark ones, the neutral ones, the neon ones, pastel ones and even those in-between shades that may not even have a name. I am not much of an artist and if you handed me a paintbox, you probably won’t be able to figure out what I have drawn when I am done but you can be sure I’ll have fun with it!

When I was young, I attended a class – a sort of vacation activity – to learn card making and I was introduced to the technique of ‘marbling’ with oil paints. I went totally bonkers and for the rest of the year I was using marbled paper for everything – from gift-wrapping to covering my school notebooks. Colours and paints tend to have that effect on me.

I’ve come to realise that it’s the same with most people – whether or not you are ‘good’ at art, given a paintbox and an empty canvas, few people would walk out of the experience saying they were bored.

And it’s interesting if you consider how that can be applied to life. Here are a few of my musings (take it or leave it!)-

  1. Just like when making art, you can keep on layering till you get the right shade, so in life you can keep on practicing till you get where you want to be.
  2. Just as you would usually begin your art with a rough sketch and then an outline, so in life it’s always helpful to start with a goal and have the big picture in mind before you get down to the details.
  3. Just as you can keep developing your masterpiece and sometimes, people walk in on you and wonder what you’re doing. At times, people don’t understand even when you are done; but you realise what it means to you. It’s the same in life – not everyone understands you (albeit, you don’t understand everyone either), your life, your perspectives, your aspirations or even your decisions. They may question you along the way. They may question you long after. They may appreciate you but never understand you. And THAT. IS. OK.
  4. Sometimes, you may be so into a piece of art that it may take all your effort and attention. As in life, one thing may sometimes take up so much of your time and headspace that nothing else may seem to matter at that point of time. At other times, you may be working on multiple pieces at once – leaving some half-done, others nearly done with some finishing up left to do, some that are still at outline stage and others that need layering. In time, you may get to some of them while others may remain forever incomplete. Similarly in life, we may be juggling various balls – career, personal life, hobbies, philanthropy………each may be at their own stage of completion or (im)perfection. But eventually, you will find time and the spirit in you to get back to the things that really matter to you.
  5. And lastly, if you really don’t like the way a piece of art is shaping up, you can always discard the canvas and start over. Here’s a friendly reminder that you can do just that in life as well! Really, YOU CAN!

So,

Paint away your blues,
and fill your life with hues,
Black & white or colours galore,
Whatever brings you joy, do that more,
And if you’re lucky to find your canvas dripping
While another’s lies bare,
Go ahead and give them some of yours,
After all, the colours of life are meant to be shared!

(unintentionally turned out to be 5word5!)

Slokabs

Neil stared at the whitewashed gleaming walls, reminiscing the days when they were filled with patches of scribbled lines, amateur art, food stains and remnant height markings as his kids grew up. What he would have not given for the gleaming white walls then. And what he would not give for those patchwork walls today!

Ashok Wahi (blog)

He keeps painting 24/7. All His paintings are divine and are ever fresh and ever new and multi dimensional!! I can keep looking at the ever new and ever changing and evolving canvas, with splashes of paint here and splashes of paint there, the whole day! Oh Divine Painter at Thy feet I do bow!

Anusha Arvind

Everything was black and white. Her visual perception of the world was different. One of the finest in abstract art. The palate was filled with a mix of earthy, vibrant colours. It was a visual treat for her admirers. Once, she received a special pair of glasses so she could see colours. Tears of joy!

<P.S. – also head over to the previous post (here) to see why Anusha could not send in her entry in time – Hint: She was creating something beautiful!>

Badmaash Dil

As they sat on the beach visualizing a beautiful life together, the sky, the ocean and the entire universe seemed to be painting a picture with myriad shades of colors on the horizon. Just like the countless dreams in their eyes and boundless happiness in their hearts, the vast canvas painted itself with infinite colors.

Slokabs

He eked out a living doing menial day jobs. Today he’s got a wonderful opportunity. He put on the polka dotted onesie and the curly yellow wig. As he clipped on the plump red nose on his colourfully and animatedly painted face, he smiled knowingly. Today, he would definitely make atleast a few people laugh!

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5word5 theme 30 – Pack

Keeping it short and sweet this time and jumping right into your 5word5!

Pictures courtesy Google. Collage courtesy befunky.com

Slokabs

Self-love is the first step towards success, she had heard.
She hastily silenced the constant voice in her head that delighted in feeding her toxic thoughts.
She gently mixed coconut oil, turmeric and rose water, applied the face pack and shut herself to the chaos around her but more importantly, the one in her head.

Badmaash Dil

It was unusual for her to stay so late. Her fingers were mechanically typing away but her mind was miles away. Something was wrong. The last thing he wanted was to invade her private space yet he couldn’t walk away.
With two cups of steaming coffee and a pack of milk-bikies, he walked towards her.

Badmaash Dil

She was a mystery and he always felt that she was a pack of lies. Yet, he could neither let go of her thoughts nor ignore her presence. His eyes darted to her whenever she was around and in her absence, he felts an unexplainable void. Attraction was undeniable but he wouldn’t dare cross boundaries.

Shruti Pimplikar (blog)

Pack the nightmares. Pack the dreams.
Pack the memories. Pack the screams.

Pack the sunny days. Pack the late evenings.
Pack the fancy clothes. Pack the nice earrings.

Pack the grieving. Pack the healing. Pack the feelings.

Keep it all in the cupboard. Keep it inside.
You haven’t been vaccinated yet; you can’t go outside.

What a timely poem, @ShrutiPimplikar!! With Covid again on the rise, it seems this needed to be heard!

Snacky

Arjun reached Yaara’s clinic for a meet-up, which was requested by both parents. When Arjun was waiting in the reception area, Yaara slightly gazed at him in astonishment. Arjun was completely actor material and Yaara had conceptualised him with six-pack abs. Now she had to believe the science behind falling in love at first sight!

Dhiraj (blog)

Mama loves making me lunch. Sometimes a cheese sandwich, sometimes paratha, all in a nice pack. But today she just got off a call saying nothing, she just wanted to finish making the pack. She did smile though but the eyes gave it away. It felt like she was getting ready to pack a punch!

P.S. Edited to add this creative woman’s entry

Anusha Arvind

I was pretty packed for the week. My son is keeping me on my toes. I also had an urge to sketch after a long time. Needed practice but plunged in for relaxation. I got started and couldn’t stop till I finished what I had in mind. And that’s when Sloka’s 5word5 slipped my mind.

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5word5 theme 29 – Pressure

We all have our own way of dealing with pressure. For some of us it’s music, for others a good book, for some a good conversation, for others a spa treatment, for some a holiday or even just a getaway whereas for others, just the joy of being home doing nothing. The beauty of pressure is that while it’s on, you can do very little besides riding the wave and getting through it. It’s once the pressure has lifted, or slightly levelled, that you can take a break or unwind. Much like the pressure cooker, which is called that for a reason – it cooks under pressure and then lets off steam.

We all have our phases in life. Sometimes we thrive in pressure – diving headlong from one challenge to another and choosing to put the pressure on ourselves if others don’t put it on us. Whereas at other moments, we tend to be happy in our comfort zones and eye oncoming pressure (whether in our personal lives or professional) perhaps signalled by an imminent deadline or a looming conflict with disdain and panic – in such cases, the pressure is really set off in our minds even before it really comes down on us.

Pressure in the mind is a result of the weight of expectations (own and that of others’), negative thoughts, fear and past (unpleasant) experiences. Pressure also manifests in the body – sweaty palms, hyperventilation, unexplained hunger/thirst, acidity and of course increased blood pressure. Seemingly mild repercussions can often escalate rapidly if left unaddressed for long.

So it’s always a good idea to keep the pressure off rather than getting to a point where you have to take the pressure off! Whatever it is that brings you joy, indulge it when you have time – so that it energises you enough to face whatever life throws at you. Let off some steam!!

Slokabs

Between the maid’s absence, her energetic toddler and her husband’s travel, the advancement of her project’s deadline just didn’t help. It was a crazy month of working long hours, managing her child’s tantrums and all the housework. Looking back, she wonders how she did it. Perhaps adversity does bring out the best in a person!

Dhiraj (blog)

The laws of Physics will say that Pressure is Force per unit area. That’s it. What it does not tell you and leaves it to the person using this science behind it is –
per unit area of what”. It could literally be any part of your body – the forehead, the brain or your fantastic bottom.

Anusha Arvind

Stainless steel or aluminium
Prestige or premium
I intermittently let out some steam
Some whistling is good it seems
I fair well under pressure
Usually the ingredients are measured
You could use me to saute
After all I am a cooking pot
Sometimes my handle may get loose
As I am often put to use

Snacky

The scores are all tied after the extra-time. It’s the Golden raid in Pro-Kabaddi League’s final match. “Chennai Legends” team seems to be under pressure and our captain cool decided to gamble and offered Govind a chance. It’s Govind’s day today, as he performed well. And it’s just one point away for a fascinating victory.

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5word5 theme 28 – Immoral

I grew up on a healthy diet of moral stories – Panchatantra, traditional folklore and even many of Enid Blyton’s books that had pretty strong moral undertones. I think it’s very important for kids to be introduced to the ‘moral compass’ at a young age – a sort of framework within which “right” and “wrong” can be seen in context, to develop a value system that is strong enough to help them make the right choices and decisions when they have to.

But who decides whether something is moral or immoral, right or wrong?

One may argue that there is no universal framework for right and wrong and what may be wrong for you may be right for someone else. After all, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. Yet, there’s no denying that certain acts are above the luxury of interpretation and are universally condemned as behaviours you’d never want to teach your kids – stealing, lying, violence, cheating, and so many more.

If you read up on value systems and behaviourology, you’ll find that many cultures around the world don’t entirely condemn these acts. It’s the degree of tolerance to them that varies. Some cultures have stricter frameworks for moral and immoral behaviour while others are more loosely designed.

The truth is that we all view behaviours – especially that of others – through OUR lens and basis OUR compass. For some of us, North (i.e. “right”) on our compass is a point. But for others, North may be an area or merely a direction. And that’s perhaps why our narrow definition of what is right may be too restrictive for someone else’s broader interpretation.

There are many times in life when we are faced with a moral dilemma. How to choose between two seemingly right or, worse, two seemingly wrong paths.

An interesting way to understand moral dilemma is the Prisoner’s dilemma which is one of the modern concepts in Game theory. Many of you may be familiar with this but for those that aren’t, here’s a summary.

The Prisoner’s dilemma poses a situation where two prisoners A and B are arrested for a crime with culpable evidence. They are kept in solitary confinement to elicit a confession and given the following options:
1. If they both confess, they get 5 years each in prison
2. If one of them confesses while the other either denies or remains silent, the former is let off while the latter gets 20 years.
3. If they both remain silent or deny, they each get 1 year in prison.
The most moral solution to this is that both confess. But the outcome of the least moral (or most immoral, whichever way you look at it) option i.e. both deny/remain silent is more lucrative.

The solution to this dilemma is what is known in economic and decision-making theory as Nash equilibrium. This is based on two premises – 1) A player can achieve the desired result by sticking to the original strategy, and 2) each player’s individual strategy is is only optimal when considered in context of the strategies and decisions made by other players. When applied to the Prisoner’s Dilemma, the original strategy of not owning up (i.e. not getting caught and hence not having to own up) would work best for A and B, provided each of them knows that the other would decide similarly.

Likewise, for a businessman, if one brand increases their price, it can backfire. But if all competing brands decide to increase their price together (immoral for the customer!!), it could mean higher profits for the whole industry.

This is as true in life as it is in business – our decisions can be right or wrong only when seen in context and taken considering all other stakeholders and options involved. No one makes a wrong decision on purpose anyway! We all do what’s right for us at a particular point in time. But what is important to understand is the influence that your internal psyche is having on that decision vis-a-vis how much external factors are at play. At the end of the day, we all want a good night’s sleep don’t we? Ultimately, that’s what it comes down to.

This gamification of Nash equilibrium is pure gold. Do yourself a favour, spare 30 minutes from your day and check it out (yes, it takes that long, but totally worth it, trust me)! (Thanks are due to the husband for sharing this with me!)

Moral or immoral,
Who are we to judge, after all?!
The checks and balances
Will eventually speak
And that will decide
Whether we rise or fall!

And on that note, moving to the 5word5 for the day!!

Slokabs

As she walked back home carrying her shoes in one hand and her remnant self-respect in another, she shuddered at the thought of what could have just happened. She had sold her soul to fuel their business all along. But somehow, she hadn’t realised the implications until today, when her body became saleable for them.

Anusha Arvind

It was a nail-biting tournament between Lizzy and Tara, They were moving the pawns and rookies with uncanny intelligence. It was “check mate” moment for Lizzy who had always won the title. This match was to determine who would play national level. Tara won but to her disappointment Lizzy got selected. Not fair. What immorality?

Anusha Arvind

The vegetable vendor asks you for ten rupees tip. The auto driver says twenty rupees extra on meter charges. Someone you know gives a bribe to get their things done. A recommendation letter to get into college. Sometimes use one of our weaknesses to bypass the queue. Have we all breached morality at some point?

Badmaash Dil

“Who decides what’s moral and immoral?” Definitely not God but us mortal beings who don’t even know what’s in store for us the next second.
Judgements are passed, sentiments are hurt without a moment’s thinking.
Times have changed, yet even today narrow minded species exist for whom a girl’s moral values are always under scrutiny.

Badmaash Dil

“She is not right for our son!”
Her husband’s poor judgement about their son’s fiance disturbed her. He had just finished his monologue about the girl’s immoral ways.
She was used to becoming silent before her husband’s decisions but today the mother or rather the woman inside her woke up. She had to fight back.

Snacky

Rishi and Lakshmi are still having their French fries and cold coffees. It’s Lakshmi who diverted the topic from ‘Social media’ to ‘Education’. Both accepted that goodness can be obtained through education and it will lead to happiness. Rishi concluded that rightful education purifies our mind and immoral education gives rise to arrogance and self-importance.

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5word5 theme 27 – Deal

Deal or no deal?
All or none…..
Fair or unfair….
Forced or mutual……

So many situations in which a deal can (or cannot) happen! A win-win is when each party walks away believing they got a bargain; lose-lose when each one believes they will get a raw deal (and hence usually does not conclude). What may seem fair to one may sometimes feel like a raw deal to another.

Something I have always wondered about (and my 5word5 today alludes to it as tangentially as well) is in cases of accidental loss of life, health, morality, or even property to some extent, when the victim is compensated in monetary or other out-of-the-legal-system terms, why do they accept that deal? Is it because ‘something is better than nothing’? Or is it because of convenience – because our judicial system will always back those in power and/or will take so long to deliver justice that the instant gratification and consequent soul-crushing to bury the wound seems more acceptable somehow, because kal kisne dekha hai (who has seen tomorrow)?

There was recent article in The Guardian about a week ago (you can read it for yourself here) which calls out an Indian judge for asking a rapist to marry his victim to avoid jail. How is this a fair deal? For the victim who is being punished by the very legal system she entrusted with getting her justice? For the society, where perpetrators are being encouraged and where victims will (as many have done in the past) avoid taking the legal route altogether?

There are many instances in the past where celebrities (I’m sure I don’t have to name him/them) and people in power have gotten away with grave crimes by paying their way through it, and people associated with the case who have chosen to take the bait have mysteriously “disappeared”. Where do we even begin understanding ways to solve socio-economic issues and addressing the problems of the common folks and the downtrodden when our basic idea of justice and fairness as a society is so flawed?

Clearly, some folks in our society have been dealt a poor hand – Just like in a game of cards when one cannot decided whether to bet or fold and just keep upping the stakes for themselves in the bargain. Until they’ve played along so far that they might as well go all in. Of course, in cards, you can always change the dealer! Not always, in life!

On another note, why are our interactions with other people referred to as our “dealings” – as in, ‘always be careful in your dealings with others’. Is it because an interaction, at it’s core, is always a give-and-take, so to speak?
You can give and take information.
You can give problems and take solutions/advice (or vice-versa)
You can give time and take a headache (tongue-firmly-in-cheek!)
You can give advice and take money (professional services)
I believe all relationships do have some element of give and take in them, but obviously they are not strictly a deal. A marriage, for instance, is not a deal. But you do have to give some and take some! So also in all other relationships. At the very least, you have to give time to get time and give love to get love!

And of course, as a financial consultant, how can I ignore financial dealings and business deals? Be mindful in all your financial dealings, I’ve been forever advised, and even more so now as most of them have moved online! Investing, shopping, banking – credit cards and online payment links have taken over the way we work! Changes in technology are happening so quickly (even more as observed in these Covid times) that it’s quite a wonder how we have adapted and dealt with these?!! Isn’t it? What do you say?!

On that note – let’s deal with the 5word5 of the day!

Slokabs

Don’t you want justice?
An eye for an eye?
Or will you be pushed to settle for less,
Just because your voice isn’t mighty and high?
Money, comforts, something else to bribe,
To keep your mouth shut, as your soul cries;
Is a deal what you really want?
Or is it just an easy compromise?

My musings

Her new husband often avoided confrontations and brushed aside her concerns with, “Don’t make a big deal of it”. She felt very petty.
Gradually she realized the benefit, using the same tactic on herself and her husband.
Their marriage bloomed as they channelised their efforts on major issues and trivial matters resolved without being dealt!!

Dhiraj (blog)

The ordeal of learning English includes learning words that can be used in any instance. No dear Osho lover, Its not the F word. I am presuming Slo makes a big deal to keep slokabs sanitised. But thats the deal with deal – I can deal cards , houses, cars, phones and anything I want with zeal.

Anusha Arvind

She wore a dress that was teal
The first time she was on the reel
A natural beauty with no chemical peels
No dark secrets to reveal
Her acting was more than real
Screen presence, she definitely did steal
Her audience loved her zeal
The critics’ lips on seal
It was really a big deal!

Anusha Arvind

Sunny opened a fresh deck of cards. Each one was crisp. He dealt the cards with style on the table. He was a pro. The game picked up momentum as the gamble money became more appealing. Winning this game, he would make a good deal of money. All his problems could be dealt with finally.

Julie P

“Look! How my wildfires blow strong ,” bellowed the God of Fires.
” Huh? I can wreck havoc with a tiny organism.” The Keeper of Health pulled an ace.
“My turn to deal!”, cried the cherub of information.
An ordeal for the middle class. The grubby hands of poor just kept their humble deal. To soldier on.

Snacky

Ravi received the Favourite musician award on Digital Platform. The show’s anchor requested Ravi to speak a few words to his fans. Ravi said “Everyone has their own problem & they should know how to deal with it in a flawless way” and ended his speech by telling everyone a huge thanks for supporting him.

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5word5 theme 26 – Alter

A theme of “Alter” deserves to alter the regular structure of my 5word5 posts! And since I couldn’t bring all of my thoughts on this really wide canvas of a theme to converge into a single chain of thought so I thought why not do away with it entirely! And write four 5word5 instead!

So, fasten your seatbelts because here we go!

Alter – represented by Delta, a universally used symbol for “Change”

Slokabs

He persevered to separate the two worlds; he knew it was the only way of staying sane. He ignored all the trivial arguments and domestic tensions to be a doting husband and a loving father. Because at work, he had no choice but to indulge his alter-ego – the savage senior cop on the homicide team.

Slokabs

She huffed and puffed but couldn’t get the kurta off. It was one size too small. Again.
She didn’t mind inadvertently getting a size too big, because loose clothing she could easily get altered.
This was one too many though, she thought. “Time to get cracking, harness the motivation to get into those clothes!”

Dhiraj (blog)

At the altar of sacrifice , the cross at the Basillica in Rome, did he alter his decision to let go of his altered feelings. It was time to reflect on the period when his antipathy ruled over everything she did, forgetting all the cute alterations she had made to her life to make his whole.

Anusha Arvind

Compassion being her compass
Graceful like an empress
Guided by love
Fulfilling expectations somehow
Her family is priority
Doesn’t look for recognition from society
Deeply committed
Differently impacted
Finding structure in chaos
Keeping calm when things go for a toss
Possesses a unique power
Being a woman is something I would never want to alter

Such a lovely and succinct poem to extend the spirit of Women’s day, Anusha! 🙂

My musings

Ah, the challenge of daily meal plans!!
Likes, dislikes, a healthy diet, variety, expectations all form a part!! Then the realization of pantry stock and perishing stuff, kaput the best plans!!
Cheat days can’t be a routine!!
Tempting delicious home meals aside, Zomato and Swiggy continue to vie with the lady and tip the balance!!

Shruti Pimplikar (blog)

At 28, she hoped to get married.
She was to have a spacious apartment and she was to decorate it beautifully.
At 30, she was going to decide to expand her family.
At 28, all plans faltered.
At 30, she is still looking for what she looked for at 28.
The timeline had been altered.

Julie P

There was once a man called Lord of Gibraltar,
The crown’s treasury had declared him a defaulter.
They had been ‘alert’ after a hard look,
of several versions of his stealth business books.
Sixes and Nines were altered by this crafty crook.
The pheasants went wild and dragged him to the court by the halter.

Badmaash Dil

“To hell with your stupid meetings!” she screamed while he disconnected after a cold reply,
“Don’t get me started about your chaotic work schedules!”
Once upon a time, he was her architect hero while she his software princess. Their love was blind. Today, ego blinds and stops them from altering their schedules to accommodate love.

Snacky

Vishnu got promoted as Team Lead and his first task was taking an interview for a programmer position for his project. The team predominantly wanted a teammate who can work on MySQL (or) in any relational database management system. So Vishnu asked questions on “Select statements”, “alter table” and “joins” apart from fundamental coding standards.

My musings

It was his secret pleasure to watch his alter ego slander and slay!
Confident in his shrouded identity, he was on a roll while he trolled!
Gleefully tracked his vitriolic rants getting many likes!
Until cyber security caught him and made him tell all!
It wasn’t fun at all to walk into their cell!

Slokabs

She had seen and heard enough. Too many criminals were getting away on technicalities and the oft-used ploy of circumstantial evidence. She did not get into the civil services to stand by and watch as crime proliferated and perpetrators remained unaccountable. It was time to alter the laws and question the powers that be!

Slokabs

“So, what will it be? Peace or war, Draupadi?”, asked Krishna. “Your decision will alter the future of humanity.”
She thought long and hard, about all the oppression she had suffered. If a woman as strong as her in a position of power could be so helpless, what about the rest! “War”, she said.

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