After it rains in Singapore

I’ve lived most of life with four seasons, so the first stay in the tropics was a revelation. In the tropics, there is the rain, and the sun—two seasons, in alternative fashion, through the day.

As I write, outside it pours, with the peal of thunders, lightning flashes. It is dark. The sky means business, you’d think. It will rain though the day and in to the night, and maybe the next morning.

Wrong. In a few minutes, the sun will laugh it all away, people would dip into swimming pools and play basketball below my apartment, the trees would gleam, and the only trace that it had ever rained would show for a while on the wet roads. And then that would be gone too.

So when it rains in my heart, no matter what country I’m in, I wait. I know that for now, raindrops pelt the glass and weep their down– the overcast skies pour down their anger, but it Will pass.

In the minutes it has taken for me to write this, the sun is out, bright and shiny, because that is what happens right after it rains in Singapore.



Writing about rain again

Writing Prompt from The Upper Room

Writing Prompt from The Upper Room

I woke up to another decidedly overcast morning, and now as I sit at my desk, it is pouring in sheets outside.

I do not envy those who have to go out to work today, this morning would have made a perfect holiday.

I have no excuse not to work though, because my study is also my office and it is time for my daily writing exercises.

One of my writing prompts today is this passage from Mary Monroe’s “The Upper Room”:

Maureen pursed her lips and looked at her with annoyance, recognizing a familiar gleam in his eyes, a gleam she had noticed many times before. A year earlier she had succumbed to that gleam and allowed Bobby to talk her into surrendering her virginity on the bank of the Blue Lake one hot evening in June.

Feel free to take up the writing prompt and make it your own piece of fiction.

Writing about rain, storm

This morning, I’ve woken to a storm. Or may be I actually woke to the threat of one. Dark skies, distant rumbles, an occasional streak over the trees far away. The wind came through the open windows and made billowing sails of my red curtains.

And then it came, the angry storm, in drops as big as my palm, the gale carrying them almost parallel to the ground. I shut down all doors and windows and retreated behind my desk. It has been raining for a quarter of an hour now, and I cannot see much beyond the hazy outlines of nearby houses. The roads and the cars that must be speeding down them are invisible. I can see yellow lights in windows at 8 am.

Another new day.

Strange how nature sometimes decides to reflect the landscape within you. Think I will go stand outside on my balcony, let the shower cool my spirit.

Writing about writing with a view

I have written before about the view from a writer’s window, but that was when I was in Singapore, and the view included the Singapore Harbor Bay, and the tree-filled East Coast Park. The only kind of homes I could see in the distance were tall apartment blocks.

But now, back in Kuala Lumpur, the view has changed. I can see rows of 2-storied town houses, a few 5-storey bungalows with two swimming pools each, roads snaking about far and near, and cars racing along them, like so many shiny beetles when the sun falls on them.

I can see apartment blocks in the distance,but what I most like seeing are the clumps of greenery, in gardens, on the streets, and pieces of tropical jungle that haven’t yet been meddled with, and hopefully never will be

As I sit and write, I have to look up and think, work out some odd crinkle in my head, and I see an old lady doing Tai chi in her garden, a young boy going for a run, and I’m grateful for the morning around me, and grateful for the song of the starlings whose voices reach me so many floors above the ground. And I’m grateful for the breeze that wafts in, teases my hair, wanting to play.

At lunchtime when the sun beats down most days, I hang on to a glass of orange juice, and spoon through a little leftover casserole that melts in the mouth, and try to tell myself I must finish this piece or that one, and send it off.

Afternoons, the sun beats down into my wall-sized glass windows, and I hide, drawing the curtains close.

I like the shadow of play and light on a rainy day, when it might be raining up the hill, but perfectly dry and sunny in my neighborhood. I draw away the curtains and watch.

I love the vibrant orange sunsets, with colors thrown around in happy abandon, as if toddlers had been splashing around in colored water, orange, pink, dusky red, and smearing them on the blue face of the sky. And amid all the color, the sun itself, looking tame and benevolent after the exertions of the day, like a naughty but exhausted little boy.

If a good view from the writing desk made for better writing, I would’ve been a writing goddess by now. But it sure doesn’t hurt, and I write every day in the hope that someday I would finally do justice to this writing desk with a view.

Words written January 6= 800 (misc.)

Writing about Rain, Writing, Home

Writing when it is raining outside is such a joy. Specially when it is the kind of rain that pours down in Malaysia, in torrents, clouding out everything from miles around, darkening the sky so you have to switch on lights in the afternoon.

Writing about Rain, Writing, Being at Home

Writing about Rain, Writing, Being at Home

A friend of mine who is stuck in traffic in KL town just called me, and said I was so lucky, I could curl up at home with a book if I wanted to. She certainly wouldn’t mind, she said.

I know I’m lucky. I don’t have to go out to work, I can be writing in my pyjamas and nobody would be the wiser. I can lie back and take a break on a rainy afternoon, go tinker with the aquarium or place some of the plants in the balcony so they can take a shower, even get wet before heading to the shower myself.

Being able to stay at home doing exactly as you please is one of the blessings of a freelance career, or of a writing career in case you are not too worried about the bills.

But paying the bills is a big part of who we are, especially in these financially difficult times. A time which would perhaps someday be known as the Second Great Depression.

So, rain, poetry and writing for the sake of it is all very well, but I need to get down to work if I want cash. Which I do. So, back to work.

See you all after the weekend, I hope it is a relaxing one for one and all!

Writing about emotions and conversation

I have been writing a fair bit these past few days, and somehow have not made it to my blogs. (Some of my writing exercises have made it to a local web-zine, which is good, specially because I like most of the other writing that has been published there so far).

While writing in the past few days though, I found that all our emotions have precedents, but all of them, really. Everyone, each one of us, goes through similar emotions, it is merely the extent of emotion that differs.
This has taken away for me a bit of their magic, their uniqueness, their unrepeatability and unpredictability and rendered them common, banal, somewhat like a beautiful piece of poetry when the feeling and intent behind it is explained in different words. What I feel at any given moment has been felt by others, will be felt by others, only their reactions would be different from mine.

Depressing. (And as I write it is pouring, the way it pours in Malaysia sometimes. In sheets, sounding like a waterfall….depressing, depressing).

Writing about conversation and emotions

Writing about conversation and emotions

Never mind feelings, then. I want conversations. Conversations like See-Saws, see something one moment, then talk about what the other one saw, vice-versa, and so on. And by “see”, I mean really look, realize the truth behind something, and be able to express it. Deep, soul-wrenching conversations which are addictive and scary at the same time.

Conversation, anyone?

Writing About Rain

Writing about rainWriting about rain comes naturally to me,  it is one of the things I can write about and never run out of things to say.

It always makes me a little sad, fills me with an unknown longing, it throws me sometimes into a spiritual trance in which all the life  around seems to take on a new meaning.

With each clap of thunder I can sense the retribution against injustice, with each drop of water that touches the earth I can feel the benediction of goodness, the blessing of plenty, the promise of well-being.

Writing about rain is a pleasure.

Letting myself be bathed in it is a greater one, one that I have denied myself over the years.

Maybe today is the day I should indulge myself?