The earth, as they say, is a living being. A massive body with a mind of it's own, and we're just mere parts of it's living ecosystem, much like cells of our body, or the billions of beings that live on our body without us knowing it. 

Back in the days of old, the times when ever person, ever sentient being was connected to the Core, the Earth's life energy, things were different. Every single living breathing sentient being was connected to each other and shared urges, emotions and thoughts in synergy, always in touch with the larger scheme of things. The Golden Era, they called it. It was a time of peace, of harmony and joy. 

Then came the usurpers from a planet beyond, or so the scriptures said. 

One day, the sky turned grey, a cloud of unfathomable darkness blotting out the last specks of sun as the vessel dropped down from the heavens, setting the air ablaze as fireballs rained down from up above. It wasn't quite a vessel as they found out later, but a rock of massive proportions, that glowed white and grey, forever pulsating, almost alive and breathing. Yet it did nothing; at least for sometime; and for that while, all was well again with the world as they knew it.

And then it started happening.

At first, it was just small things that appeared out of place in the harmonious society of then. An angered butcher raised his knife at his wife. The neighbourhood dog bit a child playing near it. A horse threw its rider off and ran away. Lovers got into arguments over the littlest of things. Jealousy became a thing of reality. No one seemed to suspect it had anything to do with the rock. After all, it had been years that it had been there, a glowing presence against the night sky and a glimmer in the daylight haze. 
The elders across families started noticed this change slowly. As they traced it back to the first instance of such anomalies, it dawned upon them and their eyes grew wide with fear and disbelief. It became clear as to what they needed to do. 

Destroy the rock. 

Harnessing the elemental powers they gained from the Earth, they tried their best, focusing all their energy at the rock, but no amount of concentration would breach the outer crust of the glowing behemoth. So they decided to build an army. 
Never before had an entire species come together to achieve something as impossible as this. But then again, never before had such a need arisen. It took years for the elders to discover the ways to focus the elemental energy into four distinct elements - Earth, Fire, Wind and Water. 
Earth-Shakers were the farmers of their time. Deep rooted in their connection with the soil and what lies underneath, theirs was the faction with the strongest connection to the Core.
Fire-Breathers were the smiths, the metal workers. Harnessing their knowledge of different earthly elements and how they got along with each other, they focused on the ways fire burned and affected things around them. Together with Wind-Whisperers, they made a formidable force, setting the air ablaze at a whim.
Wind-Whisperers were the messengers. Fleet footed and quick in thought, they could talk to the wind, making it move to their command. 
Water-Movers were entertainers. A faction of oddballs from the look of it, theirs was the largest and most united faction, able to stop rivers and move seas in large groups.

The elders led the factions, each taking over one and leading them into a united front to destroy the rock. But it wasn't without resistance. A revolution never is. 
As they attacked the rock, it fought back with pulses of negative energies that created greater and greater rifts in society. The Water-Movers went down first. An entire new generation drowned in their own jealousy and anger. Being the most diverse group, the rock's influence struck them harder than most others. Then went the Fire-Breathers, but not without a bold stand. With the Wind-Whisperers' help, they set the crust of the rock ablaze in columns of white hot fire. They would have succeeded too, if the effort hadn't spent them so much. Such concentrated fire for long amounts of time took their toll on the soldiers' bodies as they started burning up slowly from the inside. It wasn't long before they could go on no more, having lost enough men and women to the attack. But their valiant efforts yielded an opportunity that won them the war. Earth-Shakers sank the soil around the rock and pressed on it's sides as it sank down deeper and deeper into the soil. Wind-whisperers sang their eerie war songs as they focused wind into a hurricane of electricity around the rock. So strong was this hurricane, they almost blocked out the rock's radiations. Taking advantage of this opportunity, the Earth-Shakers concentrated all their energy into one beam of pure green-gold that emanated from the Core and went straight up through the heart of the rock, shattering it into billions of pieces that flew in a thousand directions. The Wind wasn't slow to respond and caught all pieces in it's gust before flinging them into the dark abyss of space that it had come from.

Well, almost all pieces.
And this remained buried, lodged among the rubble that resulted from the Core's attack. As the factions celebrated their victory and mourned their losses, this piece of rock dimmed into darkness, apparently dead and decaying. 
Till it pulsed.

Since I promised, here's one for my dear friend N ;)

Staring at the starry night
I'm thinking of all the times
I've wanted to say what my heart feels
But it all just stays inside of me
However hard I've tried.

Staring at the starry night
I see the twinkle in your eyes
The way your hair falls down your face
The way you slowly rise.
The way you wink at me
With a playful little smile,
The way you hold me in your arms
It's been such a while.

I've seen you move to rhythms divine,
I've been at your side,
and you've been at mine,
We've seen time fly,
From the time we first met
To the day we said goodbye,
Not once my feelings did I confess
I knew not if you'd say no,
Or if I would hear a yes.

I wish I'd said those three little words,
And then you'd have known
How much my soul yearns for you
But now the bird has flown.
And here I sit, under the stars,
Thinking about you,
Of all the times I wanted to,
But never thought it through.

If I had a second chance,
I'd ask you out to one last dance,
Twirl you around into a spin,
The world blurs around to a world within,
A sparkle of fairy dust, a glimmer of joy,
A moment of fantasy, just you and I.
And then you'd know, this much is true,
My heart beats only, and only for you.

But here I sit, under the starry sky,
Thinking of the times gone by,
A silhouette etched against the night,
The setting moon my only light,
Yearning for just one little chance,
To take your hand for one last dance.

Well, this is a special one. Hope you like it H!

Since You've Been Gone

Every now and then
I drift back to those days gone by
When the world seemed to revolve
Around the two of us.

It seems so long, a lifetime away
When you and I were together.
When you would be the one I see
As the first ray of sun poured into the room
Calm and fast asleep.
When you would be the one I see
As the moonlight poured into the room
Your face lit by the milky hues.

Every now and then
I wander down those lanes
of my memories that remain
About the two of us.

I miss the long conversations we had
Being honest, open and free
Sharing things we'd never tell others
And all that we told them too
I miss the times spent being silent
Finding comfort in no words at all
Sharing the songs that make us laugh
The movies that brought us to tears
Finding quirk in the silliest of things
And intellect in nothing at all.

Every now and then
I look back and think
of all the things we said we'd do
Just the two of us.

I miss how you laughed,
that little frown on your nose
I miss your tantrums
yes, I miss those too.
I miss your smile, I miss your face,
I miss the way your perfume smells
It's an ache, a gap, a little big void
A hole that hasn't been filled as yet
I think of ways to hide it all,
I think I'm good at it now

But every now and then
My memories take me back
And I'm back again with you
Sometimes I wish time would turn back again
To when it was just us two.

- S -
So, I've been cleaning out my blog for sometime now. Spring cleaning you can say. And here's something I found that made me look back, think about how my thoughts, the way I see things and who I am, has changed over time. 
Interesting, to dig into your mind's musings from years gone by.

Of MICA and Of Love being only in the Air

Valentine's day is three days away.

It's been so long since I've actually felt more alive, so immersed in the world I'm in, so do I put it...well integrated into the scheme of things. There's so much going on in my life that I've thought of as perfect. Yet I've never felt quite so lonesome.

MICA is an immense sensory and emotional roller coaster ride. One that takes you through a journey that's a life in itself. Two whole years have passed and I've gained what I can only say is priceless. Living in a hostel for nigh two years has forged bonds with my fellow batchmates that I can confidently say will be able to stand the test of time. Open your doors and you can shout out to your neighbour for some food and get two abuses and a pack of chips in return. Three hundred individuals of similar mentality in a twenty and two acre campus makes for some great times together! Parties till the break of dawn and beyond, midnight snacks at Chhota, drowsy classroom projects, weird story nights, poker, badminton till 4 am...yeah! This is the place to be.

Yet in all of this, I do not know why, but I feel lonesome. I barely talk about this to anyone though. It's been what...three years or so since I've been single. And I now miss that companionship...
Culcomm (Cultural Committee at MICA) has decided to set up a Prom night to get all those couples-to-be together. Taking a friend to prom just isn't what I see it to be. Remember Neha's story? (read it here if you haven't) Prom's like's kinda special. More so since my school didn't have a prom in the first place.And I've not really found that special someone with whom I share the same wavelength so to speak. Many have, and it's just amazing to see all of them so happy. Even one of my closest friends here, one who believed her heart's closed to relationships for the time being, found happiness with a batchmate of ours. It's just is it that I cannot find that one person to share my life with? Is it really that difficult? Or is it all just some acts of destiny/fate that's gonna "magically" bring us together? I don't know. And now I do care.

It's great knowing that there's that one special person you want to take care of. That one person who not only knows you best but wants to keep knowing more about you. She's your best friend, the yin to your yang, the addition to your subtraction, she's the cadbury that lifts your spirits when you want something sweet, the sunlight that drenches you in its warmth. Quite simply she gets you.

And I miss that.

This is an ongoing story between the wonderful Anuradha and myself. You can read the previous parts here:
Valhalla - I
Aurora - II


He left his lookout point and stomped back homeward bound, muffled words of curse breathing out from behind his shaggy beard. As he walked down his oft-taken shortcut through the market, tired but beaming faces greeted him, bowing their heads slightly in acknowledgement. All he did was nod back at them and keep walking. But a few steps through a lane and across the main town square brought a familiar sense of calm about him. He looked up only to smile when he realized where his subconscious walk had taken him to. Up ahead stood a simple tall house, brown and yellow like the soil it stood on. A single lit lamp greeted the doorstep. There was nothing extraordinary about the house from the looks of it; although a row of holly and creepers had found their way around the walls, and wildflowers had grown abundantly from its walls. It quite gave the impression of a simplistically-made clay structure decorated by an eight-year old. But, as with all Earth Shifters, what's above the soil was just the beginning. From within, the soil had been tugged and turned and frozen in place by the fire-fans they used to dry clay, into unique, intricately detailed artworks drawn directly on the walls. The iron and copper in the soil had been manipulated to lend their colours to the art. A smooth earthen staircase lined with a soft carpet of moss and grass, lit by a row of wax candles led down and underground into the elaborate construct that they called home.
His father, although a soldier, had a keen sense of architecture, which he'd put into the home he had so lovingly built for his family. One flight down the staircase led the eye to the immense vastness of the room it opened up to. Ten feet underground and twenty-five feet wide, the living room was a combination of the brute power of shifting tons of earth and the delicate touch of a keen eye. This, like all rooms, were round, ensuring all the heat and wind stayed directed towards the epicenter of each room. Thin columns of shafts ran along the walls and all round the room, starting at just a few inches off the ground and broadening up at the top as they ran towards the central cortex of the ceiling and then straight up to the surface. One large column ran vertically from the surface to the centre of the roof, and through that shaft ran a large oval jewel. Smooth when it was dark outside, it was easy to miss the complex beauty of this curiously placed object partly jutting out from the roof. But when daylight hit the surface and poured down through the column and onto the stone, the complex network of leafy patterns that ran through the jewel refracted the sunlight and spread it across the room, lighting it up with a soft milky golden hue, just perfect to sit with his beloved wife and watch their children play. Rainwater accumulated through what seeped through the soil and into large vats that they used to drink from. The river-water, though, provided a year-long supply of water to whoever needed it, but as his father used to say, "There's something about the rain that quenches even the weariest of traveller's thirst without drinking a single drop."

He was just about to step into his house when something made him turn around, something that tugs at your stomach when you desperately need to do something and you're walking the other way, something he called his real gut feeling. 
He strode out his lane and turned right, towards the library. Something had struck him. Something that might change things forever for them. Maybe, just maybe this war could have been averted. And even if not, things could get a lot more worse if his hunch was true. He hurried up the broad white marble stairs and burst into the records room.
"Eleanor! Where are you?" he called out, the urgency in his voice cutting across the silence of the closed bookhouse.
A light, almost casual voice floated in from the northern end of the library, "Why do you always have to make so much noise, warrior? This is a house of knowledge, not battle. Calm your voice and tell me what you need."
He turned around to see tall figure against the large windows of the building, holding a candlestick and slowly stepping down the stairs. The light of the flickering flame highlighted the woman's deep-set cheeks, wrinkles of age not quite hiding the beauty of her features as they once were when she was younger. Thin-cut lips pursed in light irritation of being disturbed after dark breaking into a light smile at the sight of her visitor. He always had something interesting to say, this one. She looked down to avoid stepping on her heavy set pearl-white dress as it billowed around her feet as she walked. A pair of metal-bent spectacles set with tempered glass lenses hid the bright, curious green-gold eyes that were telltale of her clan.
"Eleanor. The stone." he said, hurrying towards her.
Before he could go on, she spoke with her calm demeanor, "I know. And it took you long enough to realize it. Come, we have much to talk about."
She turned without another word and gestured him to follow.
Far out in the darkness, the stone glowed ever so slightly, atop the Central Hall, A heartbeat was all he felt he heard within the silence of the library, but that fleeting moment caused him to turn around and peer in it's direction out the window.
Must have been my tired mind playing games, he thought and shrugged it off as he followed Eleanor into the inner chambers of the Library.
This is an ongoing story between the wonderful Anuradha and myself. You can read the previous parts here:
Valhalla - I
Aurora - II


There was something to be said of the warrior blood that ran in his clan. From the time he had been a boy, his father, a veteran-at-war had taught him the art of Earth-Shifting. It all fascinated him at first, trying to focus his energies into the palms of his hands until they started tingling and quivering, and then pushing it from his fingers into the small rock, trying to melt and mold it into a nice, round shape. 
"You should be able to command your energy so well that neither your hand nor your mind waivers when you release it.", he remembered his father's voice speaking it a hundred times over, as he touched the rock and stepped back to see it rumble, crumble and reform itself into a giant winged hammer.
"Remember son, strong as a hammer, and twice as hard."

Endless days and some more nights of parrying with his friends, wrestling each other into the mud and using the same soil to their advantage, he enjoyed it all! They said he was gifted with an imagination that set him apart from most of his clan. While others built up immense pillars of stone with a single punch to the ground, he would raise a column of spiked turrets, not unlike a giant mace, and bend the stone over with a touch to pound whatever was unfortunate enough to be in its way.

He had practiced, beaten, got beaten, bruised, even broken and held down by the veterans of the art. Yet he would get up and strike again. And again. He had some big shoes to fill in his father's prowess and there was neither time nor room for error. How could he have known that the very blood he spilled would be what raised him above everyone else. He had soon grown faster and stronger than the others, and more skilled than most. 

As he peered into the darkness, the control of the years of practice steadying his mind, the cool wind wove through his hair. The word had come as if carried by the wind, bringing a warning that was directed to him, and him alone.

No, it could not end here. He could not end.

The war had started in his family's name, and in his name it had ended. Hundreds had given up their families, their livelihood and their lives to make right the wrong that was done unto him.
He could not buckle now, when peace had finally set in.

He looked upon the horizon that seemed to sink into the darkness of the sea, broken only by the moonlight reflecting off the waves like chinks of diamond skimming the surface of the water. As the clouds cleared off like floating mists along the valleys in the distance, silhouetted against the moonlight, he saw a lone figure standing by the beach, her lithe figure broken only by the wind billowing through her robe, defiant and powerful.

He drew a whiff of energy from within, his eyes aglow with the green-gold power he drew from the earth and tapped his foot where he stood. A cloud of dust flew several feet into the sky. A show of power, and a reminder of who had won the war.

"Damned Wind Keepers", he muttered under his breath and turned around.

It was a warm, balmy night. The wind had just started picking up from a light draft to that high-pitched howl that only you can hear. He stood at the edge of the cliff, looking down into the abyss, contemplating that first step towards the quick embrace of eternal darkness.
He'd had enough. He'd done too much.
He could neither sleep at night, nor would his body allow him to stay awake.
His nightmares had crawled out of his sleep and into a sleepless hallucination of reality.
He wanted no more.

It needed to end.

The past four years had been one big war, from the barbaric tribes invading his homeland from up north, to the mysterious scarred scavengers from the wastelands beyond. Ever since his mine workers had started digging at the foothills of the Grey Hills, it had been one misfortune after another. At first, he'd thought that it was just the alignment of the stars. Why, he'd thanked their stars and the four Gods when they'd unearthed the immense crystal rock underneath a landfall of rocks and rubble. It now sat atop the Central Hall at the heart of his hometown.
That was when it started.

That evening flashed before his eyes as if it happened just a few moons back. He had been resting atop his favourite lookout point - a small overhanging piece of land on which stood a massive lone cypress tree - a sole sentry to the town. A few grey clouds in the sky silhouetted against a waxing moon spoke of a warm night ahead. He'd laid his head against the tree and sat there, staring at the vast, empty sky, the murmur of the townfolk sitting down to dinner not-so-far beneath him. Somewhere in the distance, a solitary seagull called out for the last time before landing his wings down for the night. He looked left and out to the Central Hall, admiring the crystal that had become the crown jewel of his clan. How brilliant it looked in the moonlight!
Maybe a little too brilliant, he thought. The moon is at a wax, not enough light for anything to shine as brightly as it was.
Maybe he was mistaken.
Maybe it was the lack of a sound night of sleep.

He looked back up at the sky, settling back against his seat, ready to just drift off to sleep when he heard something that send a chill down his spine and jolted him back to reality.
It was no wolf howl, neither was it the hiss of a viper. It wasn't even the scream of a drunk ravaging some woman unlucky enough to be caught unawares in a dark alley. That was all known and familiar.
This. This was different. It was closer, much closer. Too close even.
The whisper came with the wind, spoke a silent word in his ear, a shivering breath of syllables put together,

He stood up straight, palms sweaty, clenched against his dagger.

All he saw were clouds.