Monday, January 21, 2013

‘The Mountains Came to Mohammad’: My entry for the Get Published contest

The story is set in Hong Kong, where Raghav and Kareena employ an Afghan driver, Mohammad Khan. Mohammad Khan wears a flowing beard, refuses to look women in the eye and prays five times a day. A Nepali maid looks after the two children in the family. Her name is Parbati and she is from Siliguri in India. She is withdrawn, but emanates a calm strength. Parbati and Mohammad have different backgrounds, different beliefs, follow different faiths. Yet something unites them – their love for the young children of the family, and a yearning for the mountain homes they have left behind. As the days pass, they realize that nobody understands them better than the other, but do they have a future?

This story is real because stories like this take place everyday.

The story will unfold through normal events that take place in any family and will include descriptions of the underrated natural beauty of Hong Kong. We will delve into the back-stories of the characters and how that informs the decisions they take. An excerpt from the story-

He drove into the petrol pump, and while getting out, turned back to explain, rather needlessly, “There is no petrol, madam.”

“Why does he look sideways when he talks to me? It’s so creepy!” Kareena had the quick and breathless British diction of a certain kind of Hong Konger. “Like he’s got no eyes, know what I mean? But Raghav went on about how he is being respectful and how their people have ‘tehzeeb’ and all that...”

“Yes it’s a pity,” her friend agreed. “If he ditched the skull cap and shaved his beard, he’d be quite dishy, don’t you think?”

“Puh-leez!” squeaked Kareena, “He’s not old or anything, I grant you; his ID says he’s twenty seven. But his eyes!”

Parbati, sitting in front, was too surprised for words. Maybe it was the beard or the Pathani Suits, or his gentle demeanour; she had thought of Mohammad Khan as an older man. She looked at him as he walked back after paying the petrol bill. He wore a loose shirt over track pants she realized, not a Pathani suit, and he was tall and strapping under those clothes. He got in and turned around as always. “Chocolate for Rishi Baba,” he said, to a chorus of protests. “Mohammad, you cannot give Rishi sweets. I am serious.” Kareena was worked up. “Parbati this is for you too. Don’t let him give any sweets to the children, do you hear me?” Parbati involuntarily looked at Mohammad just as he turned to her, his eyes full of humour and mischief. He had forgotten to look away. Parbati’s breath caught. He had the most beautiful brown eyes, fringed by the darkest thickest lashes she had seen. His eyes…


Deepa said...

Beautiful! You should be promoting the story! Best wishes! I would love to read the rest! Voted.
The British are back

K said...

Thanl you Deepa. How do you promote the story? Pls help me...or is it too late?

Deepa said...

When I mean promote, I mean on Facebook (any blogging groups that you're a part of), Twitter and such online forums so that your friends know about it. If they really like it, they would help spread the message too! And thus, you would get more votes! I think you do have time till the 14th of February! Best of luck!
PS: Just so you know many bloggers/readers find the word verification (Captcha)a very irritating distraction when they're trying to leave comments. May end up affecting readership. If you are worried about spam you could enable commenting by only registered users so that Anonymous people don't comment or you could simply turn on comment moderation. Just a note :)

Anonymous said...

Deepa, Thanks for the help. I am too embarrassed to put it on FB. So how do you remove the Captcha function and turn on comment moderation?
Also do you have an entry as well?

Deepa said...

Within Design --> Settings --> Posts and comments, turn the "Show word verification" to Off. You can then set the "Who can comment" setting to Registered user so that no one can comment spam using Anonymous. Comment moderation setting can stay at "Never" for now. If you find someone spamming your blog, then you can turn that on. But turning comment moderation on would mean that you would need to approve every legit comment. And I wouldn't have said promote if I hadn't thought it was good enough :) It definitely deserves promotion, but I'll leave it to you :)

Deepa said...

And forgot to answer, Yes, I do have an entry as well. Here's the link. Not even half as interesting as yours though :)

K said...

Thank you. Did all that. Also checked out your story, which I am hoping to read more of. By the way I am unable to see my story on indiblogger. Obviously I am kinda bad at blogging. :)