Another Provocative Question #97

Fandango asks: Is it more important to you to be able to help yourself, help your family, help your friends, help your society, or help the world?

This is a really tough one to answer.

Not because I don’t know the answer, but because it requires both absolute honesty and deep self-awareness.

I think the answer is myself.

Not because I always put myself first, but because I think that even when I have prioritised others, it was to satisfy myself. My need to be a good mother, a good daughter, a good friend, etc. It is important to me that I feel like I have done my responsibility towards all those roles. Yes, that I will confess. Most often it is responsibility that directs my actions, then love.  

There is a hierarchy of course – family and friends (who amongst them depends on the situation), the world and then society.

I still have hope for the world. Society I am pretty disillusioned by, and have almost given up on. Society as it is today will end the world. By that logic its more important to fix society. But I don’t know how to help or fix society. I at least understand a few ways to help the world.

Battle strategies

The battle was raging.

Angry dark vapour laden clouds were firing arrows down upon the earth. Fierce winds attempt to topple over the palm trees, who through sheer doughty grit rose back up again and again. The music they were making was intoxicating and primitive.

An impertinent thought pops into my head. I want to join the dance. Is it a figment of my imagination or are they calling my name? Thrilled by the invite, I open the window.  

A hard gust of icy cold wind smacks my face and I retreat and hastily gobble down the erstwhile plan. What was I thinking! Even blindfolded, one does not walk into a battle with nature’s wrath.

I look through the window again. The sky beyond the proud palm fronds is slowly morphing into a deep royal blue.

Reading the motifs, I experience an absolute clarity of purpose. I know what must be done.

Snuggling back into the warm and tranquil embrace of my bed I tune into the latest season of The Crown.

Photo by Hunter Tober on

Written in response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Photo Challenge 342 and the following daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (impertinent, vapor), Your Daily Word Prompt (tranquil, doughty), Word of the Day Challenge (gobble, figment), The Daily Spur (dark, thrilled) and Ragtag Daily Prompt (motif, crown).

The demur

It was a rather irregular and vulgar affair.

Two complete strangers seated around an ostentatious spread.

“Eat…eat…” he urged me on pointing towards the turkey as he continued to farcate. However, the spittle flying out of his mouth and the gravy dribbling down his chin decimated any appetite that I may have had. I had been burning the candle at both ends and had no patience for his grandiloquence. Instead I attempted to drown my simmering rage in my glass of punch. Eventually the thelemite let out a burp, and I almost felt relief realising that this signalled the end of the charade.

He buzzed and a pathetic looking man-servant hobbled in dragging his steps. Noticing a bandaged foot that was obviously still healing I felt compassion for the poor man. That was until he got closer and I was hit by his malodour that was a mixture of dusty clothes and stale sweat. The strong perfume of amber that he had on served only to make the smell more noxious.

I looked towards my host but he seemed unfazed.

“Well, now we can get down to business,” he proclaimed. “I am having tea with the minister and should be off to the club soon.”

I was seized with an almost violent urge to leave the room. The temerity of the man. If it were not for his hubris, we would have no business to get down to.

“Many have approached me, but I have chosen you. Now tell me, what is the best that you can do?” he added.

“It’s rather a paradox. The more you have, the more you need, I suppose. Basically, if you impignorate this mansion I can give you the money that you need to repair it,” I offer with scadenfreude.      


This temerarious attempt is in response to the following daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (hubris, temerity, paradox), Your Daily Word Prompt (seize, proclaim, demur), Word of the Day Challenge (candle, impignorate, farctate, healing), The Daily Spur (relief, irregular, affair), Ragtag Daily Prompt (amber, steps, compassion) and MMA Story Time Word of the Day (rage, turkey, punch).

To all the shadows cast

Just a parental reprimand

Girls don’t take a stand

You cast a shadow

A passing pinch on my bottom

Subtle brush-against in a crowd

You cast a shadow

Boys will be boys

Don’t dress to provoke

You cast a shadow

Just a harmless kiss

With no respect for my will

You cast a shadow

Life is all about compromise

It’s a woman’s job

You cast a shadow

Casual sniggers

Is it that time of the month?

You cast a shadow

Those shadows grow

Devour me whole

Batter my soul

And when I scream

Confused you ask

What’s all the fuss

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter

Rochelle wanted us to write fiction based on her Friday Fictioneers photo prompt. But somehow the eerie shadow inspired this outpour. Fiction? If only!

Furtive thoughts

Is it the golden leaves of autumn

Or is my heart on fire?

Are those the rain bearing clouds of November

Or a reflection of my eye’s desire?

Portentous grey firs loom in the distance

An omen of misfortune dire

No, No. I refuse to dive into my dreary thoughts again. There is great beauty in nature’s canvas. I must be positive. Positivity begets the positive. I shift perspective and start again.

Ah the golden leaves of autumn

In applause do deify

Curtains of clouds open

Reveal a caerulean sky

Glory to the Lord

Nature and flora join in outcry

Image by Bikurgurl

Written based on 100 Word Wednesday photo prompt from Bikurgurl

The mysteries of the night

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “the last thing you put in your fridge.” 

Image from wiki

The last thing that I put in my fridge was ‘roti’ or Indian flatbread.

Now if you are picturing something round and soft and fluffy – please don’t. At our place we gravitate towards the more abstract. No dull perfect circles. No Sir, we like our rotis in a myriad of shapes. When we pick it up, we like to guess which country or continent’s map it resembles. On other days it could just be the stages of the moon blocked by clouds (if you are feeling a little artistically inclined).

Sometimes, just to add nuances to the palate, we serve them half done or half burnt. You know, lest it be said that dinner is a boring affair at our table.

As for our fridge… Ah, what can I say about our fridge. It is that mysterious place where things go to miraculously disappear. Apparently, no body opens it at night. And yet…! I suppose the food gets teleported to where-we-shall-never-know and the dirty dishes get teleported to the sink. Now if only those dirty dishes would just as magically clean themselves… but hey, let’s not be too greedy for the paranormal.  

I find it more prudent (and peaceful) to just get up in the morning and take a fresh inventory before planning the day’s menu.

Of course, I also find it prudent to freeze anything that I want to keep safe from the mysteries of the night.

Written in response to the Stream of Consciousness Saturday

No Parry

Parents often bequeath characteristics to their children. I appear to have bequeathed sarcasm. My son being a rather capable gentleman usually responds to my jabs with an ‘I see you and I raise you one’ attitude. The battle of wits is quite a tough one in our home with a hysterical audience in my husband. In fact, we’ve made a sport of it where the loser proudly appreciates the winner; pride being a sentiment usually feel on the parent’s side at their child’s impressive triumph.

(85 words)

Written in response to Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt and for the following daily prompts: The Daily Spur (side), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (hysterical), Your Daily Word Prompt (capable), Ragtag Daily Prompt (tough), and Word of the Day Challenge (triumph).

I need me back

The paint on the walls must have dried several times over. That’s how long I have been looking at them. No matter how much I love my house, too much of even a good thing can suffocate. And while I may love to kick-back in front of the television, the constant broadcast of juicy tidbits and titillating advertisements does not lure me anymore. I need to meet real people out in the real world and listen to their real stories. Hugs and high-fives energise me in a way that nothing else can. No joy competes with a shared whisper or a secret laugh. There is no satisfaction like walking up to a random stranger and offering a hand.

I feel less than myself. Lord, I need this pandemic to end.


Written in response to Ragtag Daily Prompt (tidbit), and Word of the Day Challenge (lure).

Haute Cuisine

The afternoon was an engaging experience. It all began a few weeks back when I decided that my son must learn to cook else the poor Indian boy was going to starve in Germany without his desi food (Haha…jokes on me).

However, my reluctant gourmand (former) set a few conditions before his foray into the culinary world – it had to be simple, it had to be quick, it had to be healthy, he didn’t like washing dishes, he would not carry masalas from India (for some reason he seems to think that there should be no difference between packing for a two month trip or a two year trip) and most importantly, it should not make the kitchen or fridge smell of masalas as he was likely to share housing with non-Indians (very sensitive of him but very challenging for me).

I asked him his preference of foods. “Mum, when I look at food all I see is protein, vitamins and carbs. Let’s just have them in the right balance.”

“That’s not how I cook,” I splutter.

“Not trying to berate you mum, just saying that’s me.”

Naturally I decided to start with the basics – tandoori chicken. Then I started jotting down the recipe which included turmeric/lemon juice/vinegar and red chilli powder/chilli flakes and by the time I got to garam masala most of the ingredients started becoming optional. (Note: by today even the Indian has become optional. Palatable appears to be the only criteria… and the protein and vitamins.)

Eventually I hit upon a majestic dish that met my son’s expectations – one where you mix your chicken, frozen vegetables, quinoa/rice/pasta/millets and any spices available in your kitchen (I am yet to find an alternate for salt; suggestions welcome) with two grand variations of sauté or bake. For further recipes, simply vary the quantity of spices or substitute ingredients with suggested and creative alternatives.

“Mum, you’ve found me the perfect recipe. See, cooking should not be a chore.”

“Neither should eating,” I defeatedly reply.


Written in response to MLMM’s Sunday Creating Context prompt where we are required to write a response using the following as a starting point. Choose one of the highlighted words to shape our context.

The day/afternoon/evening was a/an hilarious/disappointing/engaging experience. It all began…..

Additionally, the following prompts: The Daily Spur (majestic), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (berate), Your Daily Word Prompt (quantity)