The Glass

Daily Prompt: Is the glass half-full, or half-empty?

2 beers. Comin’ right up.

Pour, slosh, tap tap drip. Some beer ends up on the polished and drunk wood. Hell, with the amount of alcohol it imbibes in one night, it wouldn’t be allowed to be in the passenger seat even.

Sip, glug, drink drink drink. Wait, the beer is now at that mark. Half. Now let the debate start.

“Groan”

Half empty fellas. I could use some more. Pour. See? It took in more, it was half empty.

Half full, I say. I am still drinkin’ outta it. Ain’t I? Couldna do that if it was empty.

Half empty Jed, half empty.

Yea, is the same. Empty by full or empty by half, I’ll have none of it. It has beer enough for me to drink, so half full it is.

And so the debate goes on into the night.

All right guys, I gotta close up now. Can’t have y’all sitting here thru’ the night, the missus will have ma head.

Everyone filters out.

“Sigh”

Wipe glasses clean, upend them on shelves. Switch off the lights and close shop.

“Y’know, I never got that debate.”

“Aah, not you too!”

“Well why not, they are talking about us anyway.”

“You figure? It’s life, idiot. They talk about life.”

“I know. And I prefer empty, the day’s end, rest. Not the constant wet wet work. We have a life too, y’know.”

The Text, Text, Text, Text World

Daily Prompt: How do you communicate differently online than in person, if at all? How do you communicate emotion and intent in a purely written medium?

Communication online is a completely different ball game as compared to in person. In person communication is so much more interactive and dynamic. The process of communicating with someone face to face has so many layered nuances that each of us takes in subconsciously. And we use those nuances, again mostly subconsciously, to correspondingly frame our next sentence. You know, the other person’s body language, the other person’s voice, tone, volume, pauses, comfort level, the ambience around you, other people weaving in and out of the area, and thus, in and out of your conversation. So many things that subtly impact your communication. So many added layers, and yes, so many potential distractions as well; background sounds, the facebook/twitter updates sneaked in on the phone, the scanning of the background to search for other people. All these things colour up in person communication.

Now online, say on chat, or on any other purely written medium, so much of that ‘noise’ is filtered out. You get space, and time to think before you react. There are much less influences on your immediate and active thought train. How people use that noise free and sterile environment to react is upto each individual. I find it easier to be open, candid, more sharing,more accepting, less defensive when I am communicating online. The downside of communicating in a purely written medium is; all those nuances are lost. You don’t really know where the other person is coming from. You have a range of emoticons to use and slang /textspeak, which helps to bridge the gap, but really, that’s about it. Just the written word layered over with a veneer of smileys and abbreviations. Compare that to the 4, 5, 6 layers in personal communication, and you’ll find which style has more information, more metadata, more juice to get it going.

Re-read? Really?

Another daily prompt which caught my eye is
Second Time Around: Tell us about a book you can read again and again without getting bored — what is it that speaks to you?

If you know me, you’ll know there are very few books I don’t read. And if you know me really really well, you’ll know there are even fewer that I don’t read a second time around. Chances are, if it is in my home, whether begged borrowed or stolen, I will read it more than once. I have also read old copies of Reader’s Digest many times over.

However, for the purpose of this post, I will mention a few loved and lovable ones and list out why I reread them. Second time may not be accurate though, I have definitely gone a few over that 😉

To Kill a mockingbird: This is one interesting book. Good story, characters with backbones, and most importantly, it’s told from the viewpoint of the little girl. The same story wouldn’t have been as appealing from either her brother’s viewpoint or her father’s.

The Lord of the Rings: I have read this thrice already. Ok, I did get bored the last time, but only at certain portions. Which I skipped and went across to what I knew was coming next 😉 What makes this book rereadable for me is the sheer amount of imagination put into it, and the awesome tying up of loose ends. Given a plethora of characters, it would be easier than pie to let them loose, but JRR ties up 99.99 p.c. of them satisfyingly. The eagles now, I do wonder about them occasionally..

Pride and Prejudice: Story, characters, wit aplenty, pithy writing, set in the regency era, what’s not to re-read?

Million Dollar Question

Daily Prompt: Why do you blog?

The title for this prompt is apt, it is indeed a million dollar question. And after seeing the stark question “why do you blog?”, I cannot go away, ignoring this prompt like I ignore all the other daily prompts.

I started blogging, when I was occupying a physical and mental space much different from the one I occupy now. I started blogging after a random comment made by a friend who blogged (not a blogger friend, there’s a difference). I started blogging, never imagining I would still be blogging more than six years later.

Coming back to the very blunt and beautifully short question, on why I (still) blog. I love writing. I love converting those random, messy thoughts in my head into something real and readable. I love hearing from the folks who read, and take the effort to leave genuine comments. I love the criss crossing of those comments, which forms a spider’s web* of virtual blogger and non blogger friends. I love putting out my writing for public perusal, though I have not publicized my blog and only willingly share the link with a very few folks.

I blog, because I can.

*Incidentally, has anyone else noticed the six degrees of separation in the blogging world? That can quite become another post in itself.

Turn and Turn and Turn

Daily Prompt: For many of us, winter is blooming into spring, or fall hardening into winter. Which season do you most look forward to?

So change the seasons. One melding into the next, the 2nd merging into the 3rd. Colours change, temperatures change, clothing styles change.

Those familiar with India would know we have 3 distinct seasons in the year, or well, used to have them before climate changes happened and now it’s majorly 2 seasons with only a very few months of the 3rd. I am speaking of the summer, the colloquial ‘rainy’ season aka the monsoon, and the winter. What part of India you reside in would determine the brevity of these seasons, and consequently the strength of your affection towards these. In my nook of the world, nestled by the sea, the winters are laughably short, the summers hot and humid and long. Is it any surprise I look forward to the monsoon? It washes away the grime and heat left behind by the summer, reveals the hidden greenery all around, brings a pleasantness to the air. The temperatures reduce much, the coolness and breezes start with gusto, many trees bring forward their full flowering and fruiting(is that a word?) skills. The famed mango makes its appearance on the streets, people pack off to the nearest hill stations for trekking expeditions.
Of course, I am romantising this season, and for every person you speak to who likes the rains, there will be ten others who hate it for the muddy streets and streaks, the traffic snarls, the impossible to avoid drenching, the sudden showers. If you wish to love it, look for the thunderstorms, the jagged lightning forks in the sky and the lovely wet earthy smell however, all other things seem small then.

An oldish man, sitting on the aisle end of a bus seat. Run down in appearance, with frayed and not very clean clothes. Stooping over, either from sleep, or some illness, or age, or something else entirely. Clutching a dusty big plastic bag on his lap. Oh, and his right arm in a sling underneath his shirt, with just the bandaged hand gaping out to hold the plastic bag.

A definitely old woman, sitting next to him, on the window side of the same seat. Rural in appearance, with a brightly coloured, clean sari worn in the older nauvari(1) style, with padar(2) draped over her head. From appearances, a dragon accustomed to defending her and hers, and of giving life two knocks back if it dared to give her one.

They do not seem to be together.

The man has a tough time hanging on to his bag, which slips and falls down, which he then has difficulty picking up. In the process, he bumps against the dragon, his hand and arm brush against her. The dragon then breathes fire on the presumption of the man, and speaks loudly and nastily on how he can’t hold his seat and deliberately brushes her. The man doesn’t respond, at all. Just picks up his bag and sits quietly, as much as he can.

Much later, someone who accompanies the lady helps her get up from the seat in order to get down at her stop. She is stooping now, and her age is more visible. She slowly walks ahead, a step a minute. The bus driver is impatient. She shuffles, and pauses at the head of the steps. She needs help getting down. An old, shaky hand grabs hers. Provides the support she needs to lean on while getting down the steps. That done, the bus starts and the old man then returns to his seat.

What does this act say about the woman? And the man?

(1)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kasta_sari
(2)Padar: Loose end of the sari