Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The Silver Lining

Every person faces a time in life when things look bleak. At these times, it can be tempting to give in to the thought that hope is meaningless. However, remembering how we overcame in the past can help remind us that bad times do not last forever and every dark cloud has a silver lining.

Change is inevitable. A person with an indomitable spirit understands that to live and thrive, one must accept change and carry on. If you cannot return to doing the same things that you were used to, it may be time to move on and change the direction of your life. It may be time to step out of the comfort zone and learn to make new choices and difficult decisions.

Here is a short story that I wrote. It is called "The Silver Lining" and is both a tribute to those who have overcome and an encouragement to those who may be facing a crossroads in life.

Every dark cloud comes with a silver lining.

A journey to mark the new direction of her life

Lightening streaked across the shroud of grey thunderclouds. Potent yet silent. Strange how that white bolt of electricity made no sound, powerful as it was to permanently mark anything in its wake… But then came the thunder. Ending the quiet with a deafening crash. The wind thrust its way through the trees as raindrops began a steady patter across the red tiled terrace beneath her feet.

This was her favourite place - a sprawling terrace that was elevated a few stories above the busy streets of Chennai. It afforded a measure of privacy. It was a place to get away from the noise and pollution that pervaded the city during the day. And whenever there was a thunderstorm, the stunning force of nature entirely eclipsed the drab everyday life of the city, creating a momentary drama that pushed everything else out of her mind. And it was helping to calm down her tumultuous thoughts now.

He had passed away last week. A man who had seemed larger than life. She had never thought he would die. He was too vital, a force to reckon with in the small community where she had grown up. Her grandfather, who had been a father figure to her and taught her the things that fathers teach their children because her own parents had not lived long enough to teach her. He had taught her to aim high, to pursue her dreams, to have faith and not fear the future. And now he was gone. Permanently removed from earthly existence to a place from which he would never return.


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Once upon a time... there was a fairy tale

“Once upon a time… blah blah blah… and they lived happily ever after…” 

Who doesn’t like a good fairy tale? Fairy tales have delighted children from the time of our great grandparents and long before that too.

There's just something about a fairy tale that hooks you in. Ever since I read my grandmother’s copy of Grimm’s fairy tales as a child, I began to see the world through a magical lens. I read fairy tale books by the dozen… Evenings after school, weekends and holidays began to be filled with escapades into another world.

The greatest appeal of these fairy stories is that good always wins, the bad people always get what they deserve and true love triumphs. Throw in a damsel in distress and a dashing rescuer or maybe a gentleman in distress and a dashing damsel who rescues him. And it doesn't get any better than that.

So what's better than reading a book of fairy tales? Writing one, of course!

Wouldn't you like to write your own?

Here's how you can with this time tested fairy tale formula:

The Main Protagonist
This could be a typical fairy tale heroine like Cinderella (damsel in distress) or someone like Lucy Pevensie (the brave heroine).

The Setting
It could be set in the past with the age old "Once upon a time..." or it can be a contemporary character who falls into an age old adventure. The sky is the limit so get as creative as you want to be.

The Adventure
This is the plot for your fairy tale. Throw in some good characters who help the main protagonist and some bad characters who cause the problems. The protagonist overcomes the difficulties with the help of good supporting characters.

The Grand Finale
This is the final culmination of the troubles and the happily ever after. If you want to do a sequel, then do a cliffhanger instead of happily ever after.

Here's my version of a fairy tale that takes the brave heroine Samantha Bennett from the present to a strange new land where she meets her dashing Prince from another time. I'm still writing this story and would love to hear new ideas on how to take the story forward.