And just like that, Contest 8 has come and gone.
We had 16 entries. To those of you who participated and took time out of their schedules to write something, thank you. I couldn’t help but notice a few common themes that ran through the contest. I will list a couple.
- The theme of hospitals and doctors. Not surprising given the prompt was ‘bloody hands’.
- Suicides. Curiously, more than two of our members made at least a reference to a jilted lover taking his own life by slitting his wrists.
1. The Ball Roller Award this time goes to Vinisha (britestarlites3). I’ve always believed that people who start conversations in groups need a special award, because we all know how hard it is, don’t we? Unless someone steps up and says something, we’re all just sitting there, wondering. So thanks, Vinisha, for getting the process underway!
2. The Committed Contestant Award, which we give away to those contestants who enter more than once, this time goes to both Vinisha and Rohit Bhasy. Though the prize is identical, Vinisha’s one is more polished and probably shinier, because she entered three times to Rohit’s two.
3. For the Rebel Award, given to contestants with the most disdain for the 300-word limit, this time goes unclaimed. Nitthilan, our resident rebel, has this time decided to buck the trend, and has entered with the shortest entry of the contest. But the honourable mentions for this award are Vinisha, Rohit and Ashish, whose paragraph-less piece does a good job of disguising how long it truly is.
1. Lakshmi Priya’s entry about a thanksgiving turkey was subtle, tight and evocative. What I liked about this piece was the sense of unease and discontent that pervades it. And even at the end, one doesn’t know whose side one is on.
2. Pradeeta Mishra wrote a chilling little scene about a woman saying goodbye to someone she loves.
3. Aparna HS, for writing a poem that took on the theme in a slightly different way, in the sense that the character is saying goodbye to himself and turning over a new leaf. Just for the twist on the theme I thought her poem deserved to be on this list.
The winning entry for this fortnight, though, was probably the most creative in the interpretation of the theme. It doesn’t mention the sentence ‘With bloody hands I say goodbye’ directly, but implies it. The writing was clear, and it kept me interested throughout. For that reason, Bhavesh Jeewani, the prize is yours. Step right up.
For your reading pleasure, I’m reproducing his entry here in full.
I was forged in fire, at temperatures I had learnt to withstand. I had learnt to bear pain. I became strong though it all. I was supposed to hold blocks together and help structures survive. They depended on my tensile strength for shelter.
It was a daily ritual for many like me. Some of us helped the painting adorn the wall while others stuck into country houses. But I was destined to travel.
I ended up in Rome, seas away from where I first took my present form. I overheard my owner speaking excitedly to his wife, “I am going to make many more like these. We will be rich”. I sighed. I was to be confined to the walls of his factory and would have to wait to get to the field. Often, I felt miniscule – a speck in the larger scheme of affairs. I questioned my being, the purpose of my existence and felt no-good.
I remember the day being Friday. My owner was out for his customary mid-day Namaz. The King’s men had come knocking and wanted stock for an important event. The owner’s wife picked up the nearest box she could lay her hands on and handed it over, fearing that they are not made to wait for long. As luck would have it, I lay in that very box.
Moments later, I stood soaked in his blood, wanting to melt into the very form I was forged from. This was not the purpose I had envisioned for myself. I was hammered in without my consent. I was the reason for his blood being shed. He bore immense pain till his soul left him. He bid goodbye to the mortal world, his hands dried by blood, only to rise up two days hence, on Easter.
What happens now?
The same thing that happens after every other contest. The winner will get his prize. And there will be another contest coming up quite soon. So see you all there!
Image Courtesy: Prezi.com
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