FERRY TO FREEDOM

The ferry loomed before them, just across the huge gantry-type barricade, their transport to all they hoped to have. They just needed to cross the border customs check and they would be safe.

They waited in queue, watching the officials check the car ahead. With every passing minute, their trepidation mounted. They had waited a long time for this and saved every penny for life ahead.

The officials waved the car on and paused to confer, a brief respite in their busy work stream.

They beckoned to them, eyeing them making their way down the wet road.

“Your passports, please.”

MONEY PLANT

JUNE9TH

She cut through the swathes of money plant surrounding and hiding the house. Her mother had loved to nurture it because of the belief that it brought wealth.

Folklore was that the home where it flourished would overflow with wealth. However, unless you were fortunate to procure it from an empty place, you had to ‘steal’ it from someone’s home and plant it in yours. Otherwise, it would have no effect on prosperity!

It didn’t need much care, tending to proliferate and grow profusely. Her mother would religiously rejoice in its progress.

Her mother was no longer there, but it was!

*Epipremnum aureum is a species of flowering plant in the family of Araceae, native in Mo’orea, French Polynesia. The species is a popular houseplant in temperate regions, but has also become naturalised in tropical and sub-tropical forests worldwide, including northern Australia, Southeast Asia, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Hawaii and the West Indies, where it has caused severe ecological damage in some cases. The plant has a multitude of common names including golden pothos, hunter’s robe, ivy arum, money plant, silver vine, Solomon Islands ivy and taro vine. It is also called devil’s vine or devil’s ivy because it is almost impossible to kill. It is sometimes mistakenly labeled as a Philodendron in plant stores.

It is known as money plant in India and Bangladesh.

Epipremnum_aureum_31082012.jpgMoney_Plant_(Epipremnum_aureum)_4Epipremnum_aureum_in_Udawattakele.jpg

E. aureum can become a highly invasive species when introduced into tropical countries where it is not native.

In Sri Lanka it overgrows several hectares of the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary in Kandy. Having no natural enemies, it completely overgrows the forest floor as well as the trunks of trees, causing severe ecological disruption.It has also invaded the Kurulukele Forest Reserve in Kegalla, Sri Lanka and other places where it has been planted as a decorative plant, or to hold steep banks along roads. It was included in the Florida Exotic Pest Control Council’s 1999 list of invasive species.

*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc.,  expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s beautiful photo prompt © Sarah Potter

A DIFFERENCE

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How was your first day, Sally?

Great Bess. Rural school, beautiful countryside. 
Children eager. From hardworking background. Great classroom. 
Wonderful principal!
How was yours?

(Sighs) The less said the better! School in a homeless shelter.
Not even a proper classroom. No material, furniture, principal. 
Unruly kids, uninterested parents. Ruin, chaos, confusion...

That's enough to put off any teacher, leave alone a first-timer!
Going back tomorrow?

I must. I need to. Nobody wants to hire someone fresh out of school!
Besides, I keep seeing their faces. 
Its as though they know I won't come back.
Guess I'll go back. Maybe make a difference!
Just before sitting to write this, I watched a Hallmark movie called BEYOND THE BLACKBOARD. This week’s pic resonated with what I saw in the movie. So I wrote about it!
Beyond the Blackboard is a Hallmark Hall of Fame original movie starring Emily VanCamp and Treat Williams. It is based on the memoir by Stacey Bess titled Nobody Don’t Love Nobody. The story takes place in 1987 and follows a young teacher and mother of two who, fresh from college, ends up teaching homeless children at a school without a name. With the support of her husband, she overcomes fears and prejudice to give these children the education they deserve.  Stacey-Bess-242x300Beyond-the-Blackboard-27-1024x683.jpg
Stacey Bess is an award-winning educator with great insight into the hearts of children in need. She believes that the way to most effectively teach children any subject is to treat them with love and kindness. Audiences around the nation have discovered the treasure of Stacey Bess and the magic she works with children.
*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc.,  expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s beautiful photo prompt © J Hardy Carroll

LES MOUSQUETAIRES

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We were inseparable, as neighbors, Sunday school friends, schoolmates, college roomies together everywhere.

Our regular haunt, this diner. The owners knew us and our preferences. Didn’t need to order.

We spent holidays together – cycling, swimming, sleepovers, book reading, sightseeing.

Our parents always knew where to find us. You found one, you found the others.

We shared it all – exam scares, teen woes, career struggles, love pains etc.

People marveled, seeing we were red and yellow, black and white.

Oh, we did have our fights & squabbles. Nothing lasted.

Until marriage, kids & families. We flew apart. Too busy to connect. Until today.

*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc.,  expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s beautiful photo prompt © Roger Bultot

SNATCHED AWAY

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Tired from shopping for bridesmaids dresses, I sat replete with satisfaction.

Trrrrrriiiiiingggggg! I reached for the phone.

Helena…(sobs), Esther Margerate is gone!!!

What do you mean gone…

She died in a car crash just now.

Nooooooo! Just yesterday I spoke to her. She was so excited about her trip!

It was on the way there. Don’t know how it happened, but car jumped the median, hit a truck headlong.

Oh no, no, no… I can’t bear it! She was so full of life. She is too young to die!

I am trying to hold myself together and help the family bring her home.

*The above account is an exact account what happened to one of my dearest friends, 
a true sister.
She was an officer in the government, very honest and a beautiful human being.
I still miss her and often think of her, with fondness. 
This is my tribute and eulogy to her, simple though it is!

Senior IAS officer, two others killed in Krishnagiri accident

TNN | Jan 15, 2015, 02.24 AM IST

KRISHNAGIRI/CHENNAI: Three people, including a senior bureaucrat with the Tamil Nadu government, were killed when the car in which they were travelling rammed a van near Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday evening.
The accident took place after the front tyre of the SUV burst and the car crashed into the median, mounted it and rammed into a van on the other side of the Krishnagiri-Chennai national highways, police said. The deceased were identified as Shanthini Kapoor, 55, principal secretary to Tamil Nadu government in special programme implementation, her brother-in-law Richard Shristi, 48, and her relative Selvaraj, 52, who was the sub-inspector of prohibition enforcement wing in Chennai.
Shanthini Kapoor, her sister Petricia, 45, Richard Shristi’s niece Anna Christina, 20, were heading to Bangalore from Chennai in the car on Wednesday evening when the accident occurred. When they neared Kattinayanapalli Murugan temple near Krishnagiri around 4.30pm, the front wheel of the car suddenly burst and Selvaraj, who was driving the car, lost control. The car rammed into the median and crashed into the van, headed for Chennai, on the other side of the national highway.
The SUV then rammed the side wall of the road and an electric post. In the accident, Shanthini, Richard and Selvaraj suffered grievous injuries and died instantly while Petricia and Anna Christina were taken to a hospital with injuries. In the impact, another car that was behind the van, rammed the rear side of the van and seven persons travelling in the car sustained injuries.
Passersby immediately called the 108 ambulance, which took all the nine victims to the government hospital in Krishnagiri town. Doctors, who examined them, said their condition was stable. Meanwhile, Petricia and Christina were taken to a private hospital in Bangalore, based on their request. Krishnagiri district collector T P Rajesh, SP P Kannammal and other officials arrived at the spot and initiated investigation. A case was registered by Krishnagiri town police.
The incident came as a shock for Shanthini’s friends at the secretariat. “It is shocking. She was a wonderful human being and a committed officer at work, and preferred to maintain a low profile,” said a senior bureaucrat and Shanthini’s friend. When news of the accident reached her office in the evening, personal staff in her chamber were inconsolable. A steady stream of officials from the neighbouring departments dropped in the evening to console the staff and convey condolences.
The 1983-batch officer is survived by her husband, Peter Kapoor, a businessman and daughter Sanjana, who works for a non-government organization in Bangalore. The officer had gone to see her daughter, stationed in Hosur, and had planned to go to Bangalore for an extended holiday. The plan was to stay at ISRO guest house in Bangalore on January 16 and 17. “On Monday, she attended a review meeting, her last, by chief secretary on the special initiatives of the governments, including distribution of laptops, mixies and grinders,” said an officer.
In 2012, then Krishnagiri collector (now state project director of SSA) Pooja Kulkarni met with a similar accident on the Chennai-Bangalore national highway and suffered injuries. Her duffadar G Muniraj died, while two other staff members were injured. The collector was rushed to a hospital in Bangalore for treatment.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Senior-IAS-officer-two-others-killed-in-Krishnagiri-accident/articleshow/45892401.cms

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Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc.,  expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s beautiful photo prompt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

MEMORIES

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They eagerly peered out the car windows. Such a mixture of the new and the old.

“This is the Dataran Merdeka or Independence Square since we received our independence here and the Malayan flag was hoisted for the first time at midnight (time: 12:00 AM) on 31 August 1957. Our annual Merdeka Parade here commemorates it.”

“This 95-metre flagpole is one of the tallest in the world and a flat, round black marble plaque marks the location where the Malayan flag was raised for the first time.”

“This used to be the cricket green of the Selangor Club (now Royal Selangor Club).”

Their cab driver proved an able guide.

*My husband and I were in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last October. The Central City Square captivated us as it was actually part of the old city. This week’s pic reminded me of that place! The photos below record our memories of that time, which also happened to coincide with our 26th wedding anniversary!

IMG_20161021_171353IMG_20161021_170858 IMG_20161021_171546

To know more about the Merdeka Square, please access this site:
http://kuala-lumpur.attractionsinmalaysia.com/Merdeka-Square.ph
Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc.,  expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s beautiful photo prompt © Sandra Crook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A PLAINT

Here you lie among thistles and thorns
Forlorn, forsaken, forgotten?
No, never, by me,
Witness my seat by you!

You ask why I stay,
Ah, my love, how can I not?
My life is twined with you
Can I cut the thread that binds us still?

I live the present with the past in mind
Do I have a future, do I look forward?
Not at all, unless its my end
How can I, when I've lost my half, my you?

Man's life is like the grass flower,
Doesn't it bloom, die in a day?
Time, though short, seems long,
Oh, when will I go, when will I be dust?
Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc.,  expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s beautiful photo prompt © Liz Young