The Lance in My Heart

August 26, 2012

Uncorked Angst

Image Source:; believed to be in public domain

Is love a primordial element of life? It depends on the lover, of course! Yet, there are few who have not smouldered in these flames.  Indeed, many have turned to cinders. For it is the nature’s trump card to ensure both succession and sanity in the maelstrom of life. Just as it is nature’s trump card to check destruction and wildness in the tranquility of life.

The Lance in My Heart is a tale of love that flowered over four thousand kilometers, as the crow flies. It is the tale of a man who went to the erstwhile Soviet republic as a devil-may-care youth. He stayed put through the turmoil of the republics as they tumbled like ninepins from the iron clasp of the USSR. Somewhere in the middle of the dust and debris of the apocalypse and the natural treasures of Donetsk, he chanced upon a rare rose. Lady luck held a beatific smile for him as she was also drawn to his candour and directness. Their paths merged despite their shockingly different languages, cultures and parents. One day, when he proposed to her under a Ukranian moon hanging in a violet evening sky, she nodded her head in ‘yes’.  Wallowing in her love, he ignored lucrative employment offers in Singapore and Europe. Having scored over the heart of the ravishing beauty rooted to the soil of her land, he set out to scale the hurdles of his own emergent country, India. But just as they say, it never rains but pours, his story held a couple of blizzards in its folds, waiting to pummel and spread layers of gray over the rose beds.

The writer of his story is stung by the pain of the flutist who sits on the bank of a rippling stream, watching the leafy trees flutter in the transparent wind. He is at his wits end trying to meld the joy of clouds dancing in the azure sky with the poignant notes of the sparrow that has lost its mate. If he has to be the wind and the sky and the clouds and the river, he has to be the bird in mourning too. He notes the inflections of his notes, pauses and begins anew. He strives to store the lightness of the wind, the mirth of the clouds, the serenity of the sky and the jiggle of the trees in the melody. At the same time, he yearns to lace the tune with the melancholy of the forlorn bird. So that, when he moves back to the sea of life he would forever remember the unbearable beauty of love as it can be and he would forever remain pierced by the pain of a grieving heart whose loss is compounded by the joy of the world. And so will be others who listen to his tune.

About umashankar

I am just a watcher then. Sometimes I watch life. Sometimes I watch death. Many times I watch in between...

View all posts by umashankar


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103 Comments on “The Lance in My Heart”

  1. The Fool Says:

    Beautifully written. Best of luck with the Harper Collins. I am waiting to see your published story though. I suspect your story would cause indigestion to the Indian masses fed on a diet of Chetan Bhagat, Durjoy Dutta and the like.

  2. sudhagee Says:

    If the idea and response is so gripping, I wonder what the full tale will be like. Looking forward to reading your story in the Harper Collins book. All the very best. :-)

  3. Rachna Parmar Says:

    Looks like this will be one hell of a tale going by the idea that you shared. I look forward to seeing your published story, and there is something about these love stories, ain’t it? Wish you luck!

  4. alkagurha Says:

    This is indeed a breathtaking tale of love. Interesting, intriguing and poignant ….I am sure this will get published. Good Luck.

  5. suranga date (@ugich) Says:

    a Double Bass stiffly plucking
    on the freezing rose
    on an Cyrillic inscribed stone;

    undulating shehnai dirges
    rippling through
    the tropical streams,
    he watches and wonders
    how the mind-rose
    a crescendo ,
    wilful winds,
    thundering percussions
    lashing branches,
    torrential sky tears,
    and even some ,
    now spineless thorns.

    The flower
    bereft of petals,
    stands tall and stoic,
    the ground strewn
    with fragrance
    of the flutist’s plaintive music.

    The sparrow
    descends in hope,
    to collect the petals,
    one by one,
    to be dropped into the recesses
    of its mind.

    Sweetened by memories,
    Collined and Harperized,
    and preserved
    for times to come,
    as the
    Gulkand in its Life….

    • umashankar Says:

      Suranga, perhaps, this was the tune the flutist was yearning to capture! Regardless of the eventual HarperCollinification of the story, the strains of your poem will remain etched on my mind for a long, long time. Thank you for the honour.

  6. Bikramjit Singh Mann Says:

    UMA sir, first of all , all the best with the publishing. I am sure it will do great, Not very good authors out there, But your articles and stories are very thoughtful and as i have mentioned earlier I learn a lot each time coming over and reading ..

    Love indeed its a beautiful emotion, but my problem is I dont know what True love is and how to distinguish it ..

    • umashankar Says:

      Bikram, I truly don’t know what I will be up against out there, but I’ll count my blessings as they come. Thank you so much for those kind words.

  7. Debajyoti Ghosh Says:

    promises to be nothing less than a blockbuster!!! all the best for this publishing thing. i am more delighted to see a post here after a long time.

    • umashankar Says:

      Many thanks to you, Deb, for your continued support. I have been in a trough of sorts of late, can’t say I’m truly out of it but here I am!

  8. AB Says:

    You have already created an enduring love story…..there are many who are deeply in love with your writing….Wish you best of luck

  9. Jas Says:

    Wonderful idea. I am sure it will flourish into even more loveable tale. All the best. Looking forward to reading the tale in the hard copy.

  10. Zephyr Says:

    This is perhaps the best curtain-raiser to a tale — any tale. I am sure it will be among the top entries in the book. I am as usual, out of the race even before it started, but I am glad that my dear friend will be featured there. Take care.

  11. Richa Says:

    Harper Collins should be honored to publish writing of this high caliber. ‘Love remains the lone force that can make us sing and shine as well as mourn and pine.’. I am floored! Your command over the language delineate each sentiment in every sentence so expressively! I look forward to reading the whole version.

    • umashankar Says:

      Richa, that is an overwhelming compliment! Many thanks for the resounding reassurance. The pleasure of presenting the whole version will be mine!

  12. Liu Says:

    Boss , aapun ka khopadi hil gaya.. I am just amazed how beautifully you arrange the words and substances.. Smooth and silky , some gentle twist and turn.. Wow

  13. Saru (@SaruSinghal) Says:

    Charming and very captivating. Good luck with it:)

  14. Latha Says:

    Aww..Cheating…I was hoping to read a great love story here and it’s just the introduction? Can’t wait to read the complete story. I won’t say good luck. I rather say Congratulations!! I don’t doubt a bit. Do keep us posted when the book is published too..I promised I will buy it and read..:) btw, glad to see you back after long time.

    • umashankar Says:

      I seek your forgiveness for the shortchange, Latha. But I have written as ordained by the organisers. Yes, there has been a break in the pattern. Thank you, so much!

  15. sudhir srivastava Says:

    What a beautiful narration. Its quality is perfectly in resonance with your enormous talents. But I can,t agree more with the gentleman who said something about indigestion of the Indian mass readers. You stamp your class again in this curtain raiser and Harper-Collins people may have hit the gold.

    • umashankar Says:

      Many thanks to you, Sudhir. However, I wish to ask you this: when you are in the flow of your elements, imparting the best to your pupils, have ever paused for a second to consider how it all may sound to the masses? You don’t and you can’t. Does it mean that the art that you have in you is futile? I understand that it serves a specific function but what is it beyond that? Yet, someone must indulge in that very art. If it is not you it will be someone else, probably better. By the same logic, I am performing in the only way I can and I will probably break if checked. Incidentally, I believe I am a denizen of this world and I write for the humanity and I fervently hope that viewed in this light, my scope expands enormously.

  16. Shankari Says:

    What an idea, Sir ji! It didn’t strike me that this would be just the idea. I was really looking forward to reading the whole story. I will hold that thought. All the very best!

  17. Bhagyashree Says:

    A very poetic beginning USP. Will be waiting for the rest :)

  18. Amit Says:

    This story is worthy of featuring in the book. Beautifully written as usual.

  19. ashreyamom Says:

    oh.. thought there is more there.. it is just a trailer?? waiting to read more.. all the best !!!
    ( i just realized that i might be the only one here commenting in very normal,simple English.. hope to pick up little language from ur blog too.. )

    • umashankar Says:

      Many thanks for your kind thoughts.

      Do have a look again at everyone else’s language: they have all used ‘very normal, simple English’, just as yours.

  20. Jyoti Mishra Says:

    I am stung by the pain of the flutist who sits on the bank of a rippling stream, wa………………………………. world. And so will be others who listen to his tune..

    breathtaking imagery.
    Can’t wait to read the whole story. Pain and Love was oozing out in every sentence.

  21. Akshay Kumar G Says:

    In awe as always, Mr. Pandey. The last paragraph was a master-piece. I started listening to the tune of the flute as I read it. Beautiful. And all the best for the publishing part, you are born to be a published author.

    • umashankar Says:

      Thanks for your glowing words, Akshay. I had started missing your assessments! While I am not sure about the publishing part, writing is something I would remain drawn to.

  22. Deepa Says:

    Looking forward to reading the entire story (in print!). It’s going to be one rock solid venture I feel! :) Best of luck with Harper Collins! PS: I did complete the series Second Chances, after our conversation during the Indiblogger meet. Would love to hear what you think!

  23. Sia Says:

    And you truly deserve a place in the Harper Collins publications. Look forward to read the full story. I wonder how I missed coming here all these months!

  24. inducares Says:

    Of course Harper Collins will be honored by publishing your story.If the trailer is so impressive then the the whole picture is bound to be OUTSTANDING.

  25. inducares Says:

    BTW i hope you are out of the trough now -good wishes!

  26. raju070 Says:

    I had to read it three times to completely soak in all the magic you had offered and to make sure I didn’t miss any. There is a purity in your writing which cleanses and soothes the reader. This is a scintillating prelude to what could only be phenomenal. You have chosen the most potent emotion of all and I am sure love will look and sound even more beautiful in your words. All the very best and I am sure I am going to be buying your book very soon.

    • umashankar Says:

      Raju, I am rendered speechless by your words. I request you not to have such high esteem for me: I may fail to deliver! I remain grateful to you, however.

  27. Dark Knight Says:

    That was a beautiful narration of a love story. The flurry of metaphors that you used have a lot of deep, rich meaning. I had to read each sentence at least twice to grab the full meaning of the words.

  28. dnambiar11 Says:

    Now that’s something to look forward to. All the very best USP.
    You’ll shine, I’m sure. :)

  29. sridevi1974 Says:

    With a deluge of all those “National Bestsellers” flooding the market and “I will love you till I find someone better” creating records of sorts …this story comes as a whiff of fresh air …Hope Indian publishing will wake up from stupor with tales like these :)

    • umashankar Says:

      Thank you for the support, Sri. As you say, there is this thing called hope, and I’ve started wondering if I am wasting it in the context.

  30. Rinzu Rajan Says:

    I loved the diea, a breath of fresh air in the CB, Curjoy Datta times, but you have broken one essential rule, the word count for the idea.! It has to be 500 words! And I presume they wont ignore this in the final judging process! Well, just an error I pointed out! Mine is here please read and see if it worthy of making it into the anthology!

    • umashankar Says:

      Rinzu, I don’t write within rules and I am not bothered if I have tripped over some. Let us not please duscuss merit here – it has nothing to do with your writing. Collecting the ‘likes’ will see you through the anthology. I will like your entry somtime in the day -my mobile’s browser is buggy. Thank you.

      PS: Incidentally, at the time I submitted the idea of the story, no word limit was prescribed. It is a subsequent development, as is the provision for submitting more ideas. I am touched by your concern, however.

  31. Rinzu Rajan Says:

    Soryy for teh spelling errors dint edit my comment in haste! Thank you! for your time in advance!

  32. Nirvana Says:

    Beautiful …. as is the case with all your fiction, it conjures up images – one frame after the other. I can’t wait to read the whole thing. All the best.

  33. panchali Says:

    Very well penned, Umashankar. Wonder, how did I miss this blog. I look forward to seeing your published story…!!

    • umashankar Says:

      I appreciate your support, Panchali. Although I consider my stories already ‘published’ on my blog, I shall meet you in print soon. A million thanks.

  34. sajanrajagopal Says:

    Uma! Sounds very interesting. All the best!

  35. Yashodhara Says:


    Just wanted to tell you – you should amend the last line of your post in compliance with the new rules, as on Do check out the same to make sure your entry is valid :)

    • umashankar Says:

      Yashodhara, I am grateful for your input and I have carried out the amendments. :) However, I wish to register my protest here: it is not inappropriate to amend the rules but to do that with a retrospective effect, rendering entries conforming to previous specifications invalid, implies scarce regard for the blogging community.

      • Yashodhara Says:

        Protest noted and agreed, Sir. The issue was that only after going through the first 50 ideas, we were able to arrive at the need for some standardization and updated the rules subsequently :-). But you are right – it is far from ideal. It’s an evolving initiative though, and terribly well-meaning… so let’s live with the hiccups and support it as best we can!

        • umashankar Says:

          Madam, I hugely appreciate and thank you for addressing my concerns directly. Allow me to assure you that it is a privilege to be associated with HarperCollins and your editorial desk. :)

  36. Mohana Says:

    a piece of beauty!

  37. Nirvaan Baid Says:

    Now this is something heavenly, your story has some out of the world touch to it, it has pious feeling attached to it. Looking forward to see it published with Harper Collins. Good luck! Do check out my idea as well here “”

  38. SHUBHAM Says:

    lovd it..i cant wait to read the whole of it!! here’s mine nothing in front of what u hav written but still !! just wanted an opinion AND A VOTE OF COURSE ..:)

  39. nst2 Says:

    This story features at the top.. and rightly so! All the best… will read it in hard cover :)

  40. Sravant Says:

    It was an honour visiting your page.. I though Love could just be felt and would be impossible to express in words, but, you made me wrong today.. All the best.. :)

  41. Mohit Kumar Says:

    nicely written.. All the best :)

  42. daffodil Says:

    A lovely write-up! Best wishes, and hope to see it published… :)

  43. Amit Kumar (@amitsinha69) Says:

    really good, if u get some time have a peek on my story..Like is on your choice :)

    Love Story between a French Girl and an Indian Fisherman set in Pondicherry against the backdrop of Tsunami.

    What happens when they meet ?

  44. Kritika Agrawal Says:

    Very interesting, more so since it is real.
    Do stop by to read:

  45. Jasmeet Kukreja (@Jaszy18) Says:

    It was just bang on…my head n heart. I was flowing in the flow and as if i was considering me the girl u mentioned here. This is what the beauty of this tale :) I was procrastinating my idea and lazy in my writing. U really scribbled the love story in different manner…
    My best wishes to u UmashankarJi and wish u n ur family happy new year


  46. odyzz Says:

    Breathtakingly beautiful…loved the serene flow of your thoughts..
    All the best
    whenever you have time peep into the post of an amateur writer

  47. Abhishek Roy Says:

    Clean bold by your language fluidity and the poignant whiff of the trailer that you served us on the plate real hot here!! How badly I want to improve my vocabulary after reading your post. I am a first time visitor, but probably won’t shy away from coming back again and again because we all are here to inspire and get inspired. Thank you Uma Shankar Ji. I wish I get a chance to grab a hard copy of your masterpiece in the days to come. True moment of honour and bliss it shall be.. :)

  48. Mimansa Says:

    Read something like that after a very long time, except for in historical series of Mills and Boons.

    Here, is my idea, please vote, if you like it.

  49. Mak Says:

    I am glad to have read this.

  50. Shiju Sugunan Says:

    I really wish you win this contest. And I am glad you have chosen your favourite subject , intimacy.


  1. Déjà vu | One Grain Amongst the Storm - November 30, 2012

    […] me enough by now to slip a ten-foot python in my underpants. But hey, haven’t you liked my post, The Lance in My Heart, before? Why then, I am here asking you, nay, begging you, to like me at the link below, once more, […]

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