Chapter 4

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It was a morning just like any other. Still it felt something was amiss. She did not feel like getting up from the bed to go for her ride. But Naaz must be really missing their regular dose of morning freedom. Somehow she could not bring herself up to do it..maybe it was because of that Guy! Aargh! Who was she kidding. Of course it was because of him. She still had not told a soul about their meeting and it was very strange since it was not like her to keep stuff to herself. One half of her was afraid to meet him again and the other half was imagining up scenarios of their next encounter.

It gave Cele a feeling of odd satisfaction by imaging that he too might be wondering about her. But since he was too good looking, far better than those in her school, she assumed he was more likely to forget a regular girl like her. True, she had helped him but much to her dismay it would not have killed her to be more polite. As much as she regretted not having a conversation, he was after all a stranger at the end of the day. Someone said once, the good looks are made to hide the devious hearts they have.

She gave one last look in the mirror at herself. A dark blue scarf with a white boat neck cardigan and faded blue denims. Her choice of shoes were a old pair of trusted sneakers. Pulling her bag’s strap on her shoulder she ran downstairs to grab a bite where she was surprised to see her uncle Romi was waiting for her.
Hey ya bossgirl!…he greeted her with a hug.
I missed u Romsy..she teased.
Where did you loose my Aunt Sara?

It was their joke from the day when few days after marriage her Uncle along with aunt Sara went to the local farmers market and while she was chatting around with a vendor he slowly looking at the stalls walked away..and returned home. It was after he returned to the house gates that he saw Cele and both of them suddenly realised what was wrong. He was running back the way he came when Cele’s laughter echoed in the background.

Till date both of them could not muster the courage to reveal the events of that day.

She will be staying a bit longer with her elder sister. I had to rush back because of the work you know. He replied while sipping coffee.

It hit her suddenly.. She was getting late for college!
Quick she yelled at him as she lunged at a sandwich from his plate… Start the car. I’m coming.
Thankfully her dad was at his usual morning spot..the old rustic sofa chair on the porch. Morning Daddy ..she gave him a tight hug and without waiting for a reply she raced to the gates where the engine of her uncle’s car was rumbling.

Are you studying well kiddo? He asked as they were nearing the campus.
Her college was a sprawling old castle which was renovated over the years to its current state. It was scenically beautiful with huge lawns and arched windows visible before the whole Victorian style structure came into view.
Pretty well as of now.. was her lazy reply.

As the college came nearer she gathered her bag and her wits. Bye Romsy..see you in the evening. By kiddo ..he said as she got out .Study harder…he smiled as she waved him.

It was 8:57am. With no time to spare she made her way to class navigating the throngs of students in the Monday morning. Hopefully Mr. Jenkins her English professor gives them one spare evening from the homework essays.

Her week had began with such a rush all because of her being in a dreamy state over a nonsensical event that probably did not mean anything. Her logical mind was prepping up for the week ahead. All she needed was her heart to take a backseat and her mind to take reigns of life.

How to series…No.1

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HOW TO WAKE UP EARLY

Waking up early is a wish we all secretly want but are never willing enough to work hard for.

For those of you who dont like this concept…let me tell you in words of a old englishman.. ” no eternal reward will ever forgive us for wasting the dawn” meaning if you dont haul your ass out of the bed early in the morning ,all that you want enjoy wont feel like a reward cz u dont have the gift of time given in the form of early morning. Hence the common phrase “i dont have time for this”

Time is to be used not spent. Used wisely its an asset if not ,we tend to spent (likely to overspend) on instant gratification rather than long term profits.

Now the key to this is to harness the early morning which adds the hours to your day which the others are simply wasting.

1. Sleep early : this is by far the most important step ..ever! I cant stress enough how important it is to get your 8hrs of regular sleep daily. This is where all your energy for the following day comes from. If you sleep late the previous night you feel tired, irritated, less productive and even doze off in working hours because zzz all you can think of is sleep. Or maybe not but your body may translate it into other things like hunger which leads to binge eating and worse..weight gain.

Also its more likely that the later you stay awake more are the chances you waste that time either on social media (aka stalking your ex or the bitch you hate) and less likely on important work commitments. This habit of yours is more harmful than it actually appears on the surface as its deep rooted effects are seen later on when it has cost you your mental peace and your health. So you see..this is a vicious cycle. And the only way out is setting a night routine with a suitable fixed sleep time.

2. Set Your Alarm : this is too basic. Let me rephrase, set your alarm 15 mins earlier than the previous day. This helps develop a habit and does not leave you feeling sleep deprived. Also accomplishing small tasks daily goes a long way in achieving your life goals.

Also your alarm tone should be something that you love to listen to when you open your eyes rather than the irritating beeping sounds that leave you more flustered than fresh. It could be a prayer hymn or a new favourite song. Do keep updating it after a few days to prevent it from getting boring.

3.Light it up: Light is a stimulus for your brain to secrete melatonin a hormone which basically helps your body to gear up for the day. Open up the curtains if you have the morning light coming in or just switch on the lights in your room. Its likely to help you from getting back in the bed.

4 . Something Cold: As much as a warm snuggly bed is inviting a cold temperature is a better stimulus for waking up. Make sure to splash your face with cold water, drink a glass of cold water or simply set off the air conditioner’s timer so that it starts to a cooler temperature an hour before you want to wake up. This is how we humans operated to when we lived in the wild because in the early morning before the sunrise around 5am the temperature generally drops when most animals tend to wake up.

5. Get up and Move : do not sit in the bed or in a chair. Move around the house, go to the bathroom, the kitchen..if possible just a few simple basic stretching exercises while listening music or while waiting for the water boiling or your bath getting ready..move your limbs and let your muscles know that they have to get to work.

6. Get a buddy: Try getting help from a friend who too wants to develop this profitable habit. This helps you both to stay accountable and quit slacking. You can call or text each to check on the other. Also You are less likely to quit once you share it with someone.

7. Go outside : Staying in your room indoors is more likely to make you sleepy. Go out preferably out in the nature. Look at trees and birds before you embrace your daily responsibilities.

8. Anticipation :Think of the most exciting part of the day. It will stop you from pressing the snooze and the excitement wont let you go to sleep easily. It could be anything..from a party you have to attend later on to the cute guy in class or an episode of game of thrones. You can also use anxiety as your motivation to get up from the bed. It could be an upcoming exam or a meeting. The butterflies in your stomach will pull you out of bed that instant.

9. Reminders : visual reminders either on the phone screen or a post it note on your bedside, basically somewhere you look first thing in the morning when you open your eyes and read it. This will instantly open your eyes wide but be sure it is something nice and fun. Don’t scare your poor heart as soon as you wake up. There will be plenty of instances in the day for that to happen.

10. Morning routine: setting a personalised morning routine filled with activities that you enjoy including fun stuff like dancing or reading a novel before you set out to work can be the real incentives that urge you to wake up on time and get things done. This way you can escape the usual hurry-rushed-morning scenario which involves missing breakfast and forgetting something you needed to carry or a task you had to do but instead actually start getting up early to get everything done at your own pace enjoying life in its every glorious moment.

Just remember that not everyone gets the gift of a new morning so rise n shine baby. Put a smile on your face and sparkle in your eyes, you got this and i believe in you!!

*Hustle hard and follow your sunshine*

Chapter 3

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The day was going just fine. She had an early breakfast with her dad on their front porch. The cook had made eggs delivered fresh from their farm with goats milk and a cheese toast. Ah! The wonders of a farm life.

It was followed by a heated discussion on the new business venture her father was about to begin which involved choosing a partner. His choice was a fellow farm owner who was known for his tight handling of his money and his two time wasting sons. Needless to say Cele was not so happy with his pick. A business is like a small child which grows up to be strong only if its nurturing is done by strong parents or in this case partners. In their hometown her father had a spotless image of a neat man and she did not want it to be taken advantage of by a shrewd person even if he was an old associate of their family. She had made her opinions vocal to her father who had somewhat agreed with her .

Her father had always discussed with Cele all of his matters be it related to their family or about their farm business. He liked too keep her informed even when she was younger and encouraged her to think in her own terms about how a decision would affect their lives. As she grew up these discussions grew stronger in opinions and wider in topics. They helped her develop an insight into business as well as how she choose her personality .Now these discussions were important to her as she had started to play an important role of a decision maker and even her father had come about to respect her viewpoint if not always agreeing. Even today in the end they had agreed to wait for some more time in search for a better option.

The slow weekend crawled on and Cele was sitting in the library on an old mahogany wood sofa her legs on one armrest and back against the other, going over the week’s newspapers. This was her favourite sunday noon pastime. It was like real life stories happening all around the world with written updates over the days. You could read the story published on one day followed by the reactions to the news next day and the popular public opinion. All in same sitting. It was like watching your favourite tv series with a season in a day approach.

The lunch hour had finally arrived. Their cook named Mahey was a heavily built balding man in his early 60s .A former wrestler who came back to their hometown ,leaving the sport altogether at the prime of his career. He settled down with his brother’s family and took to wandering around the streets during the day. On one such day when her father met him he suddenly surprised him by asking for a job. Her father who desperately needed someone to handle the kitchen as Cele was 8yrs at that time and surprised him even more by offering him the cooking job. Needless to say he had no experience but was desperate as he needed his life back to a purpose and they needed someone to take care of their meals at home. It was a match made in heaven of sorts. Slowly over years Mahey had learned the tricks but there were a lot of initial days being when the three of them survived on milk and eggs or what he told her was the wrestler food. She however called it the Mahey burned-down-trying-something-new-again-today food .His cooking skills had grown up along with her and matured faster than she were now. Being at their peak now it was a treat every Sunday when he cooked up new heavy duty dishes .Today was no exception with a typical full plate cream chicken with naan bread and green chutney. A meal that demanded a nap for the digestive juices to work well. So after helping clean the dishes Cele quietly walked upto her father’s which was nearer to the kitchen than her own room upstairs and she had no inclination to climb the stairs. and slumped face down on the bed. It was going to be one hell of a nap.

Chapter 2

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It was a weekend.. She usually took time aside in the mornings to pray. This particular day however she had no time thanks to the wanderer who made her take a particularly long detour. But no had forced her to..she could have just moved on..he would surely have found someone else to help him. Not that he would have died if she did not act as his saviour. A saviour sent by the morning mist bidding adieu. She missed out on breakfast oh God! The horse too would be wondering as to what was going on today. Hush Noora..this is our little secret now. You are as much of an  accomplice . you too could have complained.. Instead of readily giving him a ride.

Muttering to the horse she led back to her stable. A lot awaited to be done today. She still had the whole afternoon ahead. Homework was not soft on anyone.. Even if life could sometimes be. The tons of her study material collected over the week eagerly waited to devour her weekend.

As she stopped in front of the mirror to change.. She cringed at the thought of the handsome stranger looking at this appearance of her. Each strand of her hair had decided that it would not live with the others and was determining to find its own way out of her head. She didn’t hate her appearance or even obsessed about it as often as other girls of her age. But this frizzy mane was intolerable as if was telling her to get on with her singular existence already. As perhaps he already had. A winter morning dream it was and that’s how it shall be forever dismissed she said aloud. As if the shear will of her words determined the events to come.

After a fresh shower and a successful  trip to the pantry with a muffin and goat milk tea she sat down for a long day of study.

She loved her books, the pens ,sitting at the desk with a fresh mind every time. She could do it as a hobby her whole life. Her passion for reading was what had gotten her through life this far. Those hours spent in the parallel worlds without even a sound or thought of her own life, was one thing she would never exchange for anything in this world…But the task itself of studying to cram up rather than learning of the subjects which were tough to understand or the professors who could not make the learning more important part to focus upon rather than attendance which often took a toll.

She read a few chapters and was in the middle of writing a paper …

She woke up with a start. The scene out of the window took her breath away every time. She thanked her father for the huge stretch of greens outside her window. Their lawns merging with the vineyards which melted with the golden orange of the sunset.. On the other side of which her mother now lived. It was the perfect part of her father’s small gifted paradise.

Evening… The velvet from sunshine.

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Everyday sets with the same sun but as the day ends..it closes with it another leaf of an experience, a lesson learnt or let go.

The way we bid  adieu to our days determines the way we shape our lives. Long or short.. What impact each passing day leaves behind in our life or in those around us is summed up as life lived. How well…it depends on us.

Maybe we need to change our attitude towards endings. Instead of the sharp contrast in the way we treat our mornings and nights we should take it as a way to approach a peaceful companion. To introspect how well we lived..the memories we collected.. The opportunity to rectify the wrongdoing and make peace with that fact that every evening gives us a night full of peace and rest and a morning to look up to.

A peaceful rainy evening with a open book and a hot brewing cup is the perfect unwinding to a day uneventful or not. Evenings are the extra time gifted to us which should be used wisely to store the events of the day as well as the extra push we need to make perfection out of the next day.

Also its the idyllic pause between the hectic sunny Morn’s n Noon’s to get a breather before the night befalls.

Whether your night is a family time or a party out ..the evening is still all yours.

If be it gearing up or winding down…evenings can still turn out to be the way you want. A symbol of hope in the midst of a day with a lost cause. A push to a downhill task or the ideal relaxation among chaos. When it can become all that you desire it to be..Then why are evenings so underrated??

The novel Chapter 1

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She was a little girl when her mother passed away and she was raised by her mother’s sister who later married her father but soon had a tragic end during childbirth. She and her father were the only family left to each other when her mother’s younger brother came to live with them. As she grew up she saw him get married and settle down with his family in their house as he helped her dad run his successful business. She too longed for her own big happy family one day.

As seasons changed and years passed , Cele grew up to be this wonderful strong spirited young woman who was her fathers shadow and his strength. Business was good and so was life .But her growth into this independent soul was marked by the yearnings of a little girl who despite of the immense love from her father wanted the love she deserved but had been deprived of for too long.

One winter morning she was out on their fields with her horse that she saw a shiloutte of a man walking towards her . The walk was of someone as if he owned the world. She halted her horse and waited for the tall stranger to approach close. As the thin fog cleared she saw a young man with a loose jacket over a checkered shirt n denims. As she looked down he wore no shoes. His clothes didn’t make him look like as if he could not afford any shoes. Slowly his face became clearer with a careless chop of hair ,some of which were falling on his forehead she almost had a gush of excitement from her chest as their eyes met. He was a handsome one, she would give him that. Not a sight she would mind on her morning walk everyday.

Hi..

What are you doing here? And she glanced at his bare feet..soiled in the mud.

He looked down following her gaze and grinned back at her sheepishly. Good morning

You need help?… Don’t know why she said that. She should be on her way back home.

Actually I am lost I think.. I can’t find my way back.

Where are you supposed to be?

Home.. In about an hour I think..

He was deliberately giving her evasive answers or what! He obviously was lost.. I’ll give you a ride back if you tell me your address.

Actually I think if I find a big old barn by the huge pond along the road i came..I’ll be able to find the house that iam visiting..my friend it is.

Hop on..there is only one road here with a barn alongside a pond. I’ll take you.

Oh lovely.. Let me just.. Get on..this… I’ve to admit this is magnificent horse as they sped up .

Just to show off she kicked Naaz to pick up speed when he suddenly put his hands on her arms to steady himself.

She felt a jolt of blood rushing from her stomach to her throat. Her cheeks flamed and she loosened the reins as they slowed to a trot.

May I.. He asked as her put his hands above hers holding the reins..

Umm.. That was all the response she could manage right now..her hands felt on fire inside the gloves.

His grip was firm but he was not trying to overtake the horse from under her. Slowly she guided the directions and he controlled the speed.

The morning fog cleared up as the sun started rising and through the mist a faded barn became visible across the pond which was still covered with a cloud of vapours rising from the water to flow with the winter morning breeze.

That’s your spot.. Isn’t it?

Yes..it perfectly is.

I should be off then .It was pleasure riding this beauty. Until next..

Nice day..and she took off without hearing the rest.

 

1. Running away or falling back?

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It was the ideal busy morning for Cele. The alarm which was meant to wake her up at 6 had failed. It was their combined failure..hers and that stupid alarm’s. She had got it online few days back for it was meant to be the solution for all that was wrong in her life..isn’t that the goal of everything in the media anyway.

Oh shit! 9:50..this was too much. Her dad had alrdy left for work at 7..leaving a cup of hot lemon water by the window. Again she failed to see him off at the door. She could not anyway.. Not with this blasted knee anyway which had swollen to the size of a melon thanks to repeated attempts at kick starting her blasted scooter. It was her 7th day of prescribed bedrest. Not so easy when your room is upstairs and the kitchen downstairs. Food is the sole motivation for existence for every being created by God. Which reminded her to pray more often than her current once a year pattern.

Her ideal morning will start like this from now on..

1. Wake up at 5:30 ( or before dad whichever was later).

2.Draw the curtains and let the light flow in.

3.Play some music(optional), brush my teeth, wash my face and comb my hair, drink a glass of water.

3. Go for a walk or to the prayer house nearby before it gets too sunny outside.

4. Shower. Cold. (If everything else fails..its sure to wake you up)

5.Make a to do list or daily timetable.

Ah! The perfect 5 point mantra. This was all she needed to make her life easy and perfect.

Whoa… 10:45.

How did this even happen? She rushed off to the bathroom hoping tomorrow would be a kind morning.