The Cabbie and the Barkeep

The true measure of a man

Might forever remain a mystery

But to measure the depth

Of human misery

One needn’t look any further than

A barkeep meeting with a cabbie.

Can you even begin to fathom

The stories they would swap

Of a myriad emotions

Passing across human countenances

Visible through a mirror

Of a plethora of burdens

Lightened over the course a drink

To a sympathetic listening ear.

Tape A Tale – Let Stories Unfurl

[Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post]

In a world that is becoming exceedingly visual/image oriented, where CGI effects are taking over storylines, you get a more than nagging feeling that something’s lacking. Fortunately, the old world charm of books and stories can still hold its own. Our very much needed respite. 
Where books, on the one hand, leave a lot open to the interpretation of readers, the art of story-telling is so much more than that. Haven’t we all fallen prey to a misinterpreted text because someone did not get the intended “tone” and “tenor” of it, hence, resulting in major misunderstanding? Thus, the written word is somewhat more concerned with the perspective of the reader, which, in its own place, is invaluable.

Hearing stories, on the other hand, is not only a lesson in imagination, but the charm of experiencing feelings, expressions and emotions, in the way originally intended by the story-teller, accompanied by a voice that dips and rises, hums and croons, tremors and powers through is a pleasure that has no parallel. 

Aren’t our most favourite of childhood memories centred around listening to bedtime stories? Wasn’t “Do the voices, Daddy” our favourite exclamation?  Or is there any memory that fills more warmth in your heart than the beautiful remembrance of lying down in your grandmother’s lap while she serenaded you with fairy tales?

If stories are your preferred food for soul, I’ve got a treasure trove for you this weekend!

I recently came across a website, Tape A Tale. It’s an online platform where visitors can record their stories for everyone out there to hear (yes, even anonymously). So I got to listening to the recorded tales and I’ve been completely booked ever since.

It has a little something for everyone. Ranging from the story of a young girl who lost her father in the Kargil War, to that of 75 year old man recounting his first ever realisation that he was beginning to lose his memory. There’s a tale of a first date gone horribly wrong, there’s also a tale of a girl choosing to marry her own self. There are struggles of having overcome depression and domestic abuse, there are struggles of dealing with autism. There’s a girl narrating how she met her father for the first time in 24 years, there’s another girl narrating how she smoked up with her mother for the first time. Spanning across five categories, viz., Funny stories, Adventurous Stories, Emotional Stories, Thought-Provoking Stories and Different Kinds of Relationship Stories, the content on there is endless.

No more long, boring rides/drives to and from work for me. Even while doing any sort of work, I can let dulcet tones of stories give you a pleasant company. Restless nights of tossing and turning are done away with by letting a bedtime tale lull you to sleep. I’ve been listening to stories anywhere and everywhere!

So, if stories have a special place in your heart too, let Tape A Tale become your warm, cozy, nook. 

Head on over there, explore around a bit, record a few, hear a couple, then come on back here and tell me how you liked it!

Even I’ll be recording my story on it today, just need to find a quiet room first so that I can sit down with my phone’s voice recorder, mail it out and I’ll be all set. In case you happen to give me a listen, please give me your feedback in the comments section down below. For your reference, I’m copying the link to the website here as well:

Just so you know, this is not a sponsored post, because, let’s face it, who’s even going to sponsor me! So the only payment I receive would be the smiles on your faces when you listen to something you really like. I think I can live with that quite well.

Thank you for reading.

Of Words Long Lost

I wrote a poem today which included the word “respair”. This was neither a typo nor something I just made up. It is a word that got lost somewhere along the pages of time. The last known citations for it date back to 1425 AD. For a word that defines the return of hope after a period of despair, it’s been an undeserved and shabby end, don’t you think?
I, for one, have always been fascinated with words. It baffles me that something as full of complexity like feelings can be conveyed through words. We might not be able to find the right word for what we feel at the right time, but there’s comfort in the fact that one certainly does exist. If not in our language then in some other. 

Recently, I even did a short story series that brought to the fore a Welsh word called Hiraeth and another forgotten word called Sonder. Please click on the links provided to read a story conveying the beauty of these two words. 

I am thinking of putting in an attempt to rekindle love for words that have very specific meanings. Not only would they cut down on long ramblings, but will also enrich the beauty of our prose. 

Now, I do not wish to test the might of the wisdom that had gone behind sending these words into oblivion in the first place. However, don’t you feel it’s nice to learn a little something new every other day? So if you’re up for a trip down memory lane of words long lost, give me a thumbs up in the comments section down below. I’ll turn this into a series then, with, of course, stories rather than just an informational like this one.

Just so you know, there’s a German word called ‘Schadenfreude’ which literally means the pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune. These Germans really have a word for everything!

Do let me know if you think the series would be a good thing for you too. Thank you for reading!

In case you want to reach out to me on social media or for any of the reasons mentioned in my about page, I’m always available on the following links:

Feminism in Fiction

A few days ago, I expressed my angst and ire at the incredibly sexist portrayal of women in fairytales. They’re shown as damsels in distress without fail. One cannot even begin to imagine how detrimental such images are to the impressionable minds of young girls growing up
to believe they need to wait for someone to come rescue them. However, I also mentioned Disney Films were changing this perspective now with their recent crop of movies. Then I went on to expound upon how the character of Princess Devasena from a South Indian movie, Bahubali, was a lesson in feminism and a breath of fresh air.
Sarah, from Written Word Worlds, has very admirably made a compilation of Feminism in Fiction and I’m sharing her work here for your benefit.

Written Word Worlds

Looking back on many of the fairytales I’ve grown up reading and loving, I’ve realised that the majority of them are incredibly sexist. They seem to indicate that women are not in control of their lives or their fate and are in constant need of saving. With awareness for feminism being the most it has ever been, it’s a wonder anyone thinks that reading these archaic, misogynistic stories to children is acceptable. Not only does it teach our girls that they have to rely on a prince to save them and that they have no say in the matter, but it teaches everyone else that women are helpless victims who will never feel fulfilled in life without a husband.

Let me stop you right there, sexist society. We don’t need saving. We’re perfectly fine on our own, thank you very much. The last thing we want is you Facebook stalking…

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