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The 24-hour challenge - 5

Apologies for posting the next challenge much later than I'd promised to. I really like both alien and shruthi's entries.

Now for the next challenge. The theme for today is 'jet lag'. You have until 20:15 GMT Monday evening to come up with a story. Please keep it short and post it in the comment box. Thank you!


Revealed said…
She opened her eyes to the distinctive sunlight of this part of the world. "Yes, you can shine all you like, I'm thinking grey clouds in my head", she muttered into her pillow. Still damp. She clutched the cell phone and dialed the long string of numbers, worn with repetition. Her heart felt like it was breaking, broken maybe. "Hello?". She could almost see the voice, bridging the miles, like a delicately drawn out thread. "Hello? Yaaru peshardhu?" She gulped, worrying it'd snap if she didn't say something. "Amma? It's me." "Hiiiiiii, da. How was the flight?" She couldn't get any of her rehearsed words out. Tears already making their customary passage down her cheek. They'd make a groove soon. "Kanna, are you ok? What's wrong?" She had to stop the anxiety before it became an avalanche of concern. "Nothing, amma", she managed after swallowing the bits of her broken heart that were bobbing up her throat. "Just jet lag. That's all."

Stealing a march before 5 other people can use the same idea ;)
Jeeves said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeeves said…
The luminous room, descent from attic had them jetlagged for sometime!!! While they waited for the study, dinning table and books to be converted to a table, she placed a gleaming new ready made stand in the room.

From the claustrophobic old arrangement, the new stand was a welcome change, even for Laughing Buddha who was in wits seeing the Nepali woman with only head and no body. Bemused Andal tried conversing with Sita, but was not able look beyond the pot belly of Buddha. She finally managed some company in Saraswathi who was engrossed in her world of reading. The world of blogs was the latest addition to her reading list.

Dasavathar had to wait for another year to get the luster of Astalakshmi’s. Slight nudge by the painter broke the nose of Krishna, which psyched Mami and postponed the plans of painting them. Ganeshas playing cricket would amuse all of them in the lazy afternoons when Mami would be in siesta. The noise of the marriage party next door occasionally distracted the Ganesha’s. Next time they will have to search for better arrangement.

Next time was a year away and they had to catch up on all activity in the next nine days. The sundal, sweets, singing was already beckoning them.
Aliskandar said…
The sense of syncopation started somewhere over Greenland, I think, like a little slip at first, a tiny fumble, a soft blurring of focus for a second and then I got used to it--like when you first break a tooth and the jagged edge feels foreign, alien to your tongue, and then by morning you don't notice, not even the salty taste anymore. But I couldn't stay settled, and the pills never kicked in, and soon everything was falling out of phase, doubling over, crumpling into the condensed, weird topographies of an evening lost to motion. The sun never even set over the arctic, just broke and spilled dull red over the sweeping sky.
Shirsha said…
This time he had a little surprise for papa when he comes back from abroad, 'Oh, how neat...' he thought and clapped his little hands. He rehearsed what he'd greet papa with, one more time, 'Papa, this time I also got jet-lagged, me and mamma went to meet Grandpapa in plane, jet airways... ' Aah, he thought gleefully, finally to feel the pleasure of being on the same page as papa, finally to know what it feels like to be jet-lagged.
Sriranchani said…
How could i do this to him ? why did i agree for this ? He had trusted me deeply. Even crying for hours cannot wipe out my guilt.
Next Morning , in a hurry to office , i dint rehearse the answers am going to give him, there he stands waiting for me in the door . "What happened why arent you picking my calls ? no reply to my sms, voicemessages too. Why is your face swollen and puffed up ? whats wrong" . i have no answer my dear - " Jetlag !"
Vini said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeeves said…
Juxtaposed in a pre determined pattern

The lustrous Astalakshmi proudly gleaming at the old partners

Dasavathar’s, they were
Dull and wearing out,

For Mami was scared that the broken nose of Krishna
Would further be damaged by the careless painter

The proud Andal
Who was distracted by the potbelly of Laughing Buddha

The Laughing Buddha who was always in wits seeing the Nepali woman

For the Nepali woman had beautiful face and no body

The Ganeshas entertaining all of them with cricket sessions

Tossing the papermesh strawberry,apples

Occasionally disturbed by the noise of marriage party

This time they saw a gleaming new readymade stand

Not the dinning, study table and books converted to surrogate stand

Spacious to house the ever reading Saraswathi, Rama and Family and Krishna

The jet lag of descent from attic and the ascent to the stand

Was just a flicker for all of them!!!!

Who awaited the sundal, sweet and singing sessions for the next nine days....

Another version of my entry!!!!!
Vini said…
910. Another twenty minutes to go before the next one arrived. She walked to the other end of the bus-stand, where the shade was intact and provided relief from the afternoon sun. She had been taking the same route every weekday for three years now. Sweating and people watching under this same stand for most part of the year. The winters were different though. She could buy roasted peanuts with the smell of old newspapers and hot sand in every kernel. They helped pass time. But May! An Ikon rolls down the road and stops across from her. In front of the McDonald's takeaway. The engine is purring. The AC is on. He is waiting. She imagines what it is like. To have someone wait for you in an air-conditioned car on a hot May afternoon. To not feel obligated when asking your parents for the auto fare. To not have someone's crotch push against your backside in a crowded bus. To not have the conductor leer at your cleavage when your dupatta falls off one shoulder. To not have your self-respect fight you over the ladies seat when your feet are killing you with period cramps. To not carry a recycled cola bottle for water. To not worry about renewing the monthly pass. To not worry about the wind messing up your hair. The sweat wearing off your cheap deodorant. What is it like, to wear sunglasses without having glances thrown at you. To not worry about always carrying enough change. To always looking so fucking neat, like you just stepped out of a salon. What is it like?
nau-so-das nau-so-das nau-so-das. Her bus arrives. She walks over to hop on. Every step feels like lead. Her eyes hurt with more than just the sun. Her energy sapped with more than just the heat. Her heart disoriented with more than just May.

Jet-lagged. After a flight of fancy.
IdeaSmith said…
If I can't be the best in this competent league, may the shortest entry at least be mine --> :-D

Bangkok flight

*Beep beep*

I can’t come into office this morning. I’m thoroughly jet-lagged after that trip.

*Tap tap tap*

What you have isn’t called jet lag. It’s called a hangover!
ammani said…
I've never seen this time of the morning. It's pretty scary actually. May be I should call my mother and tell her. May be she'd be impressed to see how early I'm up. But then again, may be not. It's lunch time, she might say.
Revealed said…
OK, OK I got another one last night. Make up for quality with quantity I figure :D

He hoped he wasn't sitting next to one of those old uncle jis. Who'd constantly clear their throat of what sounded like copious amounts of phlegm and fidget restlessly while smelling of paan and the inimitable smell of sweat trapped in a safari suit. He was almost relieved when he saw a serious-looking bespectacled boy. Probably 18. He smiled comfortingly at him and settled down in his aisle seat. He found out that the boy was going to India on one of those school project affairs. He wondered how much of a waste of time those things were. After a while he decided to nap. To beat the jet-lag. He closed his eyes and leaned back in the chair. A hesitation later, "Do you want me to close the shutters, uncle ji?" He opened his eyes to the politely inquisitive stare of the boy. "No, no. That's fine." He smiled at him and closed his eyes again. It was no use. h
His head was throbbing and he felt fidgety and restless. He cleared his throat. It couldn't be jet-lag already. It must have been the uncle comment. He was only 29, for pity's sake.
avataram said…
Tachcholi Othenan was shocked. After the long flight to New York via Frankfurt, after getting through the vicious looking immigration and customs officers at JFK, the trip was useless. As he was so sleepy, he must have picked up the wrong box from the luggage carousel. He opened the box and found that it was full of bakshanams, veshtis and co-optex towels. Where was his chuttuval? How would he demonstrate kalarippayattu to the opponents of the National Rifle Association without a sword? He munched on some seedai and pondered.

At the same time, Sabapathy Narayanan was sitting under a bright bulb in his Kovanam. He had no idea what the time was, and didn’t know whether to put his fatigue to hours of questioning or to jet lag. He really had no idea on how a long curved sword ended up in his luggage when customs checked it. The boxes must have gotten mixed up. Security had taken him away even before he could say a word. He had told Appa many times not to buy the same box from Saravana Stores that everyone was buying, but that man would never listen.
Aravind said…
“What’s all this about people complaining? Why are they complaining?”
“Well, sir, they are complaining because their baggage is getting… uh… misplaced, and some of them are missing their flights.”
“Why on earth is that happening, should I fire somebody?”
“Uh.. no sir, I don’t think we should fire anybody just yet. We’re having these problems because some of those new jet planes that we’ve got are so much faster than the older planes, and the ground crew has not been able to change accordingly.”
“Hmm.. So how are you going to fix this? I can’t have people complaining about my airline you know!”
“Uh.. sir, its going to take some time for us to retrain our people, and..”
“I don’t care what you got to do, we should do something NOW!”
“Uh.. “
“I can’t think of anything we can do right now that..”
“We should be able to do something! Why did you say we were having these problems?”
“Its these new-fangled jet planes you see, they..”
“Ahh. Okay, lets just give it a name. Call it jet lag. From now on, whenever we get any complaints, inform customer service to blame it on Jet Lag. That should fix the problem. Make sure we also send out some press releases on how jet lag is causing these problems. Care for a drink? I believe the sun is down..”
lekhni said…
She clutched at her pillow and looked out at the grey dawn. "Welcome to the USA", he had said yesterday, "You are now an NRI, how does it feel?". She had smiled politely, automatically.

In a space of a single day, she had gone from "Vice-President, Marketing" to "Housewife". She thought of all the days that stretched out before her, and blinked back tears. Somehow, she felt defeated, lost.

Her mother had been so delighted, "He's an IIT IIM, and such a nice family ! Our Shailu is so lucky". Maybe she was, she thought tiredly now, maybe she was luckier than many..

He looked into the darkened room and saw she was still in bed. It's the jet lag, he thought, humming to himself as he started for work. A thought struck him as he tied his shoelaces. I hope she can cook well, he thought, the desis in the team are going to demand a treat soon..
venkat said…
Well-timed doses of Somnoplax pills while flying over the Atlantic meant that he had no sleep issues when he landed in India. But then there was the crush of relatives, all asking the same questions; his parents, haranguing him to get married the moment he landed.

For the next few days, he feigned stomach-disorders and jet-lag, and stayed put in the darkened A/C bedroom. He had to figure out a gentle way to tell his folks that he was already married.

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Died exhausted

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The Saturday Poem

Found this in yesterday's paper. Again, I wish I'd written it.


Now and Then

"Now that I'm fifty-seven",
My mother used to say,
"Why should I waste a minute?
Why should I waste a day

Doing the things I ought to
Simply because I should?
Now that I'm fifty-seven
I'm done with that for good."

But now and then I'd catch her
Trapped in some thankless chore
Just as she might have been at
Fifty-three or fifty-four

And I would say to her
(And I have to bite my tongue)
That if you mean to learn a skill
It's well worth starting young

And so, to make sure I'm in time
For fifty, I've begun
To do exactly as I please
Now that I'm thirty-one.

-Sophie Hannah

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Annon's story

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