Recently I participated in an online workshop conducted my ‘WriMo India’. It was instructed by Rochelle Potkar, a well known creative writing expert. The writing exercises conducted were: to write pieces of flash fiction in the span of 15 minutes. I wrote the following pieces in 15 minutes each. It was very spontaneous. Both are set up in Indian senario. Would love to know your feedback. 🙂
Exercise: To bring characters from different background along with their conflicts.
P.S: I could not fully abide by the instruction though. It was a race and this is what I managed.
My mother would pool money from the left over amount my dad gives her at the beginning of every month towards household expenses. She saved 10000 in 15 years and bought some jewellery in Chennai when she went to visit her brother’s family after 20 years. My father was surprised and moreover impressed by her perseverance. He never took her interest in checking the gold rates everyday in the newspaper seriously until that final day. He saw she was more good with finances and securities.
My mother went to a government school until seventh grade and later was made to discontinue because high school was far away and she had already hit puberty. She had three brothers who could have helped her reach the school daily. My grandmother was so keen about her sons’ education. My grandfather died just before my mother was born. My mother hadn’t seen her father. I think she resents against her mother for depriving her of education and opportunity. She keeps throwing tantrums each time I forget to fill up the water bottles, she rountinely curses her mother for getting her married without her consent.
My father is a good man who understands my mother’s disappointments. Now, he hands over to her some money at the end of each year. She is my father’s emergency banker. That gives her a small feeling of empowerment.
Exercise: The tone of writing should be ‘anger’.
This has never happened in 30 years. I got my clothes pressed by different dobis each time we relocated to a new place. Nobody has been this careless and spinlessly irresponsible. This man has misplaced my new handloom saree I bought at Dharam. I thought it was going to help me put up with the heat this summer. He plainly denies to have even seen it. How dishonest! Isn’t this cleverly flicking off others things for his own enjoyment? His wife must be happily drapping eveyone else’s costly sarees. These small time workers don’t possess an ounce of courtesy, ethics or integrity. May be these are too heavy a words which aren’t even in their reach for grasping. There should be someone who could argue on behalf of me. I cannot go and stand in the middle of the street and pick up a fight with him. How do I stoop so low? It’s not about the saree anymore, it is about my ego that doesn’t want him to get away with it. The fault is on his side clearly.
Today is the eighth consecutive day the housemaid has not turned up. The neighbourhood is so collective vexed with the arbitrary leaves the domestic helps take now and then, without notice. Despite skipping work they still expect full month’s payment. It there anything called fairness here? They don’t let us replace them, nor are they regular to work. They are so ready with their sad stories of poverty, irresponsible husbands and sons and countless number of health problems. My housemaid can cry instantly. She should be in movies. All those who say the unorganised sector has to have rights aren’t taking the other side of the picture. I feel they are overly empowered these days. I hate doing the dishes and mopping the floor. I honestly feel it’s not my work. At least not my work alone.
My husband is as immovable as a rock. Very unapologetically basks in his privilege of not needing do take up the household work, finding a new housemaid or putting some sense into that dobi at the end of the street. Just nothing is mine and nothing is in my favour. What is that I can call my own? This house isn’t mine. I don’t have a home to go. On top of all this thanks to the epics and religious sermons I am served with. A woman’s happiness lies in her husband’s comfort and the perfection of housekeeping. My housemaid is in a better position, at least she gets paid. I cannot help but get into the act now even at the risk of being called a fighter cock by the neighbourhood. I am sure my mother is now very satisfied with what she set up for me. She must very proud with her sons’ accomplishments and reducing me to nothing but a trophy housewife!
dobi: A person who presses clothes for a living.
Thanks for reading. Do let me know what you think.