A dreamer she was

basketball

Alicia’s counsellor remained impassive. It wasn’t the first time a child blamed an unsupportive family. But Alicia was different. She hadn’t attacked her parents or run away. She had, instead, hurt herself.

Her parents wanted a boy who’d bring home the Olympic dream. Alicia, however, had dreamt of bringing home the Pulitzer. When her father enrolled her for basketball, puny Alicia had to become athletic. With protein and unprescribed drugs for breakfast, she was ready in months.

Every time she dunked victory, she dunked her passion down, too. Now five years later, banned for drug abuse, Alicia dreamt no longer.

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Golden Gate Bridge: An inexplicable romance

For decades now people consider the Golden Gate Bridge as one of the greatest monuments in the United States. It’s the identifying icon for every soul living in the Bay area. Not only is the Golden Gate Bridge the most photographed bridge in the world but it’s also one of the most overrated.

Yes, I said it.

Having grown up listening to so much hoopla about the bridge, there was no way I’d skip the bridge during my visit to San Francisco. Besides, a trip to the Bay area is incomplete without a lame photograph reminder of the bridge. And now that I have plenty of photos to prove I’ve been there, I’ve also acquired some knowledge about the Golden Gate Bridge that’s made it less impressive in my mind.

Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge

To be clear, I don’t hate the bridge. And no, I didn’t hear some grotesque story about the bridge’s history. But I did realise that the Golden Gate Bridge isn’t the only awe-worthy construction in the city. In fact, there are more attractions in San Francisco than people give it credit for. Speaking of bridges, though, there’s the Bay Bridge.

When I first saw the Bay Bridge, I was still high above the sea level. I stared down at the bridge through the window in my flight. From up there, I, like so many other tourists before me, mistook the Bay Bridge to be the Golden Gate Bridge. After all, a typical misinformed tourist to San Francisco only hears about the towering Golden Gate Bridge that they have to see. My neighbour in the flight explained my blunder to me, and to pacify me, he also commented I shouldn’t feel bad because so many people make the same mistake as I. That only made me feel smaller.

Bay Bridge

The Bay Bridge

Even when I trudged to the Coit Tower about a week later, I saw the Bay Bridge more times than I did the Golden Gate Bridge. It was so massive that it popped up at every clearing. The Golden Gate Bridge, on the other hand, was shrouded in mist.

The more I learnt about the Bay Bridge, the more I felt bad for the injustice we’ve inflicted upon it. The bridge is the direct road running between the cities of San Francisco and Oakland. It’s a two-deck bridge that carries upto 260,000 vehicles a day, and was opened in 1936—about 6 months before the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Bay Bridge’s international orange-coloured rival, on the other hand, has always been the perfect spot for tourists and suicidal folks alike. And the fact that the mist from the ocean’s heat hides most of the bridge from view is only an additional attractive feature.

I won’t deny that the Golden Gate Bridge is beautiful. I will look at it all day if I could. But I will also look at the Bay Bridge all day. If I had to choose, I’d choose the Bay Bridge just because it’s more interesting. It’s interesting how much we humans under appreciate it despite the fact that it’s as deserving as the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s much like an under valued older son in a family of two boys.

Even odds

“I’m sorry, honey, this isn’t your game. Why don’t you play with your toys, instead?” Stroking his hair, Michael’s mother ushered him inside.

While his six brothers made the school football team, Michael sat in the stands. He couldn’t play because his parents thought him weak. As he sat, his eyes tearing, his ice cream melting, Julia sat beside him. “Why are you upset? If not football, try out for baseball.”

12 years later, Michael entered the pitch to thundering applause. He was no longer the outlier—the child with the bionic leg had proved his parents —and the world—wrong.

The Master

musician

She left her spotlight,

for ‘twas time for young to shine.

She had conquered Time.

Aftermath of a Challenge

One morning a couple of weeks ago, I sat in front of an open document, fingers poised over my keyboard waiting for the words to flow.

They didn’t.

I was stuck. I didn’t know what to do. I sat there for about an hour before deciding to do something else. I browsed through The Daily Post looking for ideas when I found the section on blogging challenges.

It couldn’t hurt, I thought and dove in. The first challenge that interested me was the Incredible Blogger Marathon Challenge. Now that is one good title. It triggered my curiosity and piqued my ego to just the right level. I wanted to be that Incredible Blogger. And a posting marathon is a challenge I could take.

incredible-blogger-marathon-challenge

I took it. It was a ten-post challenge, but I could take up to 15 days to complete it. I challenged myself to publish a post a day and finish the challenge in ten days.

The next two weeks was one of the best spells I’ve had in my blogging experience. It wasn’t easy as eating pie. It was as complex as baking one myself. But it was great fun. I had to think in ways I hadn’t done before. And the weirdest thing is that I had to first explain to myself how I felt about certain topics, before giving words to my thoughts.

It warped my head, but it gave me something to write about every day. It kept me going, even if I didn’t want to.

And now, it feels wonderful when I look back. It forced me to explore a whole new area in writing and I’m glad I took the challenge.

Have you ever taken up a blogging challenge? How did you feel afterward?