Thursday, October 20, 2005

And the story goes on

My attempt at the story-building tag after being tagged by RS. I don't have much by way of contribution. Have set it up for the next set of people. I have to confess I participated in this simply because I really liked the idea. So here's the idea. The first few blocks below are part of a thread that came to me. I am simply continuing the story below. There are details on the rules. I am tagging RTD2, SD and Ragini

He thought it would be an ordinary journey. Standing behind the pillar he watched the train snort arrogantly into the station. With each snort he was reminded of his grandfather's words "You will fail in the city and return penniless"; with every heavenward whistle, he heard his cousin, "Don't worry. Come here and I will get you a job at the construction site." Now he had a 34-hour journey to prove one of them wrong, and he expected the excitement at the end of the journey. He looked at his ticket once again: compartment S9 berth 23.

Pushing his luggage under the seat, he sat close to the window. "Papa, when will you be back?" - his four year old daughter Munni asked innocently. He stared into those soft brown eyes of the motherless kid. He held her frail palms in his, through the window. "Munni, Papa will get you a nice gudiya from the city..Say tata," his sister spoke to the kid, to avoid an emotional outburst. In a minute, the train pulled forward, and Munni's little fingers parted from between his. "I need to go..", he thought, "I have to, at least for Munni's sake.."

The humid summer breeze and the rattling train coaxed him into an uncomfortable state of drowsy consciousness. He dreamt that Munni ran away, the closer he ran to her, the farther she was, like a mirage. He woke up with a start and squinted at his watch.
"What is the time please?"
A smallish woman, a meek voice as if she was scared that her existence would annoy someone. Her only noticeable feature was her rather large, expressive eyes.

Something made him look at the woman again. He had stopped noticing women long back. Ever since Meenakshi passed away...

Four long years. His daughter’s birth. His wife’s death. Joy and sorrow in an instant. A heady cocktail. He had hardly recovered from it. He barely had a chance to. You can’t be a poor farmer in Andhra Pradesh and have time for emotional upheavals.

Life betrayed him once with the death of his wife. Life betrayed him again, three years in a row, with the failure of his crops. Every year, the debt increased and it felt like a noose tighten around him. Tightened till he could not breathe. He shivered with the memory of the night, where he took a bottle of poison in his hand …

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(Everything below the dashed line above should be copied and pasted with every accepted tag)

This is a Story Tree and is best nurtured as follows:
1. A blogger can add only 90-100 words (not more or less) at a time
2. All previous snippets of 90-100 words need to be copied before the new set of 90-100 words are appended.
3. Each entire snippet should be linked to the respective author (and not just the first sentence or so)
4. Characters, scenes, etc. can be introduced by an author
5. Bizarre twists, sci-fi, fantasy sequences are best avoided.
6. A tag must be accepted within 7 days else the branch is a dead branch
7. After appending 90-100, the Story Tree can be passed on to at most 3 bloggers.
8. If more than 1 branch leads to a blogger, s/he is free to choose any one of them but cannot mix the snippets of the individual branches.
9. The Story Tree is best left to grow than concluded10. Please attach the image of the Story Tree below with each accepted tag (the link address can be copied and used).


niranjan said...

That gels very well, and twas an interesting cue at the end. Gotta wait and watch where and how the branches are going to end.

aparna said...

waah! this is very interesting!

RS said...

That's quite interesting! Surprising, how many trails of thought a single story line can lead to!

RTD2 said...

Is it ok to be crazy and neurotic and manifest all my psychoses in the next branch??? Nice one, though, and good idea..

RTD2 said...

Done! Strayed away from my neuroses and psychoses for once :)

Extempore said...

Very, very nicely done. I like the turn it takes to AP and into the mind of the man and the trail off into the past... that leaves it open for a great deal to happen.

I like your economy of expression very much! :)

sd said...

Hi Parth,

Well written. I particularly liked our observation - "You can’t be a poor farmer in Andhra Pradesh and have time for emotional upheavals." Thanks fo the tagging...I am not sure if I will take it up though:-)