Go Rolling Tales: Roll out writer’s block

How many of you writers and budding writers complain of general lack of inspiration? You may crave for a helping hand, some divine inspiration, some planetary conspiracy, actually anything but yourself who enables you to write words; until words become a line, and lines swell into paragraphs and fill up pages.

A few months back, I came across an interesting game, called Rolling Tales, created by a Delhi based company called Chalk and Chuckles. It comes with 9 dices, out of which 6 are illustrated writing prompts and 3 dices indicating dominant emotions in the piece to be written, furthermore, there is a paper folder with separate sections for plotting, drafting, revising and editing. I bought it as I thought it would enable my son and I to create stories around diverse objects. I never expected it to be more than a weekend activity with my gabby three year old, however, I postponed unboxing it for some reason.

One afternoon, I was so dazed and uninspired and had no clue on what to write. I looked around the room and saw a glaring yellow box. The Rolling Tales game box. I was a bit hesitant, shall I actually utilize the game I bought for my preschooler, to work out the haloed writer’s block?  Wasn’t I a serious writer, after all? Thankfully, I didn’t give in to my cynicism.  I opened the cloth pouch, and rolled out three dices. I was amused to draw out the most bizarre prompts ever! I strived and created an equally bizarre story.  So, the days when I feel too constricted, I actually roll these magical dices and churn out stories of very different styles, setting and even genres. I could experiment a lot because of these.

I looked at the box carefully, it read, Age: 5-99 years.

There isn’t any age bar for telling and enjoying a story, and surely none for learning to tell a story!

Be on a roll!

Bahubali, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Bechdel Test

Plot one: (Setting : Some Century BC,  Mahismaati)

After the night of magical union, I decided to plunge into my deadly mission. I sedated him, my own love. He who had made me aware of my beauteous form, he who had initiated me into the pleasures of bodies, it was him, whom I  cheated.

How drab was my life before I met him, how I had disregarded my youth, my desires, and how he made me get in touch with my true self, “You are a girl,” he had said and “I am a man.” All those years of merciless martial training seemed worthless at that ephemeral moment of carnal knowledge.

I must have been thinking of him, when I was ambushed by the soldiers of the Empire. I had lost all hope, when he struck them like a thunder, he took on the entire army, he recused me, he made me swoon over him, all over again.

I was wounded. He dressed me very tenderly. He had taken a decision for both of us, he firmly declared, “You cannot go, I shall take your mission forward. You are mine, and so your enemies are mine, your mission is mine too. I shall go and rescue Devasena!” His determination muffled my efforts of  dissuading him. He marched towards his mission. I pray he comes back safe, I pray he succeeds in rescuing our Queen, my Mistress.

He shall get all the glory in this world, which was meant to be mine. But he deserves it, of course. And I? I shall wait. Wait patiently, wait quietly, and sigh.  While my feminine heart shall beat rhythmically in a body with heightened consciousness of its weaknesses and beauty.

Plot two: (Setting: Contemporary Old Delhi and POK)

People may think he is stupid, but I love him.

How can anyone look like a Greek god and be so simple? He is innocent; so very childlike. With chiseled muscles and body of Hercules, he bows down in front of every stray, rabid monkey that hops his way. I mean, how cute is that?  Isn’t his a heart of gold? He is working hard to get a house. My father knows how important it is for a man to be the primary earning member of the family, he is sort of training my love in masculinity. And my man is ever so eager to please, to prove.

Things were perfect till he found himself a lost girl. My hero is now determined to send the girl back to her parents in a different country. I even gave him the money we were saving up for our house. I had to support his mission wholeheartedly. After all, his mission is my cooperation.
He is long gone, and I am waiting. He shall return only after handing over the girl to her parents. I shall wait. It comes to me naturally. Mother keeps on asking if I know of his whereabouts. How do I know? I only know of my part. I make sure that I look like a woman waiting for her man should look like. I wear no extra makeup while he is away. Father is worried stiff, sometimes, I suspect that he is worried that he shall return, rather than being afraid that he won’t.

Plot three: (Setting: Two women discussing which films to watch, it is now called Bechdel Test)

Woman One:  “I have this rule, see…I go to a movie if it satisfies three basic requirements. One it has to have at least two women in it, two, who talk to each other,three, about something besides a man”
Woman Two:  “Pretty strict, but a good idea.”

Plot Four: (Setting: Parallel Universe)
Two star studded films, released  this July, flops after failing the Bechdel’s Test.

Excerpt 1

He borrowed slate and chalk stick from the estate accountant’s son, after he decided that he shall learn to read and write. Enough of asking others to write his letters. Enough of shelling out an anna every time there was a missive to be read. Pieces of paper will talk to him too. Now books will open up their secret world for him too. Who knows, perhaps, after learning to write, his father may grow fond of him?  He struggled with the first two letters, “aa” “aaa”. How serpentine these letters were! Wish it were easier than this. It took a lot effort, just holding a puny chalk between his stubby fingers. His fingers hurt. He immediately wanted to give up the pursuit. There were many more of these shapes to go. Its surely was way more simpler to speak than it was to read or write, he thought. He could have spoken so much during the time he was merely practicing first two of this large set. Show me your next letter, son” he asked the seven year old. The boy pulled out a twig from the nearby branch and drew on the red mud, “ee, eee”. He then, with a lifted chin, recited the entire set, “aa, aaa, ee, eee, uu, uuu, ae, ai, ao, aou,…” as pompously as an estate accountant’s son ought to.  Ramappa couldn’t bear the gibberish anymore.Don’t show off! Go slow boy.” You look like a bull and have a brain of a bull too!”the boy retorted. If you act too smart, I warn you, your teeth will all come rattling down. Just write the letters I need to learn today, and be off. ” The boy whispered, “Stupid Bull!” before bolting away. To be laughed at by someone so young hurt Ramappa a lot. But the latest epithet confered to him by his father had stung him deep. The words”Illiterate boar” resounded in his head constantly. Ramappa was determined, he spat the chalk stick he was nibbling at and carved, “ee” which such ferocity that it sounded like screeching car tyres on monsoon roads.

Someone hurled a stone at her sky.

Someone hurled a stone at her sky.

The glazed ceiling came tumbling down, though the target was high. There wasn’t a crash, nothing brash, just a gentle swoosh of a blanket slipping by. Now, the moon was cracked in the middle, frayed at edges, an anemic blot in the crumbled remains of the western sky. The sky splinters dropped down as snow flakes. The blue crumbs fell with a sigh. Refused to melt so on the warm earth below. Chemical arrogance, some thought it was, this blatant refusal to blend, with the elements of the periodic chart. Or was it stubborn sadness, fanatic discontent of the migrants with shattered hearts? They floated clumsily, those miserable shiny dots. Hungry kids tried to tease them, touch them, hoping they balm for their craving guts. But they refused to be touched, closed themselves shut. Ethereal, but condemned to earth, these blots, just like her who owned the sky. What hope could she live by?

Someone hurled a stone at her sky.