We laugh until we think we’ll die, barefoot on a summer night. Nothin’ new is sweeter than with you..? Reads my sister Theodoicia, pausing awhile as if to make sense of something nonsensical, she frowns. What is that supposed to mean?
I was expecting that question. Sighing, I reply with a query of my own, Why are you looking at my Tumblr platform anyway? Ever heard of “privacy”?
Sorry but… I just wanted to see what you like so much about the Internet.
Umm, I live a more active life there than in reality?
Argh, I groan, tired of her interrogation. Theo! Can you leave me alone or do I have to call mom?
Theodoicia huffs, Fine cranky-pantz. Bet you can’t stay off the Internet for a week.
Pfft! I scoff, I definitely can.
Oh boy… My younger sister has that “thinking mask” of hers on, making me wonder what ignominious plans she’s brewing around in that hyperactive cranium. A moment later, she asks, I suppose you won’t be afraid to make a deal then, huh, Artemisia?
This is going to be bad… Probably. However, I’m not one to back out of challenges. So I straighten my spine, set my mind, and accept. Theodoicia looks scarily excited, eyes wide and a rather demented grin cracking apart her otherwise cute countenance. Okay, so this trip we’re taking right? To Bhutan?
Yeah… What about it?
I know that as soon as we get to the hotel, you’re gonna be like, “what’s the wi-fi password?” or like–
Am not! I protest.
Are too, she counters, adding, You gotta stop interrupting me and let me complete!
Right. Whatever. She can be so annoying sometimes, honestly.
When she finally leaves my room, I sit on my bed, doubting myself more than Thomas on his first day in the Maze (get the reference?). You know that feeling? The dread and the self-doubt?
Here’s the deal. My cunning little sister has dared me to leave all my beloved gadgets -including my darling phone- behind, and instead of liking/hearting/sharing/blogging quotes and excerpts around the web, I draw inspiration from real life -from my experiences on the tour that we’re going on, from Bhutan- and write them in the red journal that mom had gifted to me on my sixteenth birthday.
I cannot believe I agreed to that, and so stupidly even. What was I thinking? Oh wait… I wasn’t thinking at all, only dead-set on proving that I can survive without electronics and the World Wide Web.
Well, since I’d already sealed the nefarious deal, nothing worse can happen now. Hopefully… All I gotta do is pretend to be Shakespeare and purple prose the seven days I spend in Bhutan.
Oh gods… I moan, dropping back on my bed. Rolling over on my tummy, I decide to make use of wi-fi as long as I can because I’ve gotta live through seven days without it. As my screensaver changes to the tab I’d been operating before Theodoicia so rudely interrupted (and landed me in this quagmire), my gaze falls on the reason behind my predicament.
The devil stares back at me, still singing the cheerful, lyrical quote from a colorful background:
We laugh until we think we’ll die, barefoot on a summer night. Nothin’ new is sweeter than with you…
Why, oh why?
You are about to read a typescript of my red journal, filled with blue scribbles of extended metaphors and fragmented similes, satirically named Purple Proses from Bhutan.
A prose a day.
Purple Prose 1
Our flight takes off, ascending up a beveled path, taking to the heavens at a leisurely pace. The firmament, obfuscated by sporadic fluffs of gray, promises a gentle drizzle; the closure of monsoons with its last bit of rain. Veiled in cloudy gloom is the milieu, howbeit this isn’t enough to dampen our blithe spirits -for us, the rains are a joy, our trip is to be one of joy.
To Bhutan, we go. We await our descent into the country with the most smiles per unit area.
I sit in my seat, sighing every now and then; the seconds I enumerate in my mind don’t go by as fast in reality. Time seems slow, deliberately delaying the path to our destination.
The Eastern valance town of Bhutan, named Samdrup Zongkhar, is a tiny place; quaint and homely in ambience. Set in the lower alpines, midst the commingling territories of the deciduous and the coniferous vegetations, it is fully harmonious with nature. No high-rises, no phlegmatic giants of bricks and concrete, just lush verdancy -fresh and enlivening- dotted with these cozy little houses, each embellished with their own unique, intricately painted woodwork.
The Immigration Department here stays closed on weekends, thus restricting us to stay in the town. It leave us with no choice but to spend the night here…
I am eager, I anticipate the future with an amatory zeal. For tomorrow morning, we shall pass the real egress into Bhutan. Bhutan, or as the patriotic natives denominate it, the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Rather grand, isn’t it? It is. And so is their government, the royalty, and their army, although pertaining to the indigenous roots, still attaining modernity in their armories with help from India.
The governance by a monarchy doesn’t bother these people, for their free-spiritedness, their infectious, happy-go-lucky demeanor inspirits me. One particular value instilled in them touches me on a spiritual level, their closeness with Mother Nature. Their love for trees. It’s deep. They planted ten thousand trees on the birthday of their prince, the future king; it’s a world record.
This is true oneness with Earth’s woodsy spirits; I cannot wait to lose myself in this verdure serenity and then rediscover my soul imprinted into the planet that sustains us.
Tomorrow… Tomorrow soon.
Purple Prose 2
I want to scream. And vociferate out all of my uncontainable happiness. And also, do my classic exultation number. But I can’t do that whilst simultaneously thinking up intricately worded proses, can I? Definitely not. Must make purple proses, extended metaphors, and nebulous similes first.
We’ve taken to the serpentine, mountainous roads of Bhutan, finally alighting on our course in a Gypsy-van. It takes us along the unexpectedly twisting, sharply turning path, and I believe I’m going to spill the contents of my traumatized stomach -the only filling being the continental breakfast I’d eaten earlier.
As I moan, clutching at my tummy with a desperation to keep my meal from ejecting itself forcefully, and groan, agonizing at the dizziness I feel in my head -acceptable, considering how my brain is being rattling around my cranium due to all the jerking and jolting; I pray for the malady to end. And just like that, it does, for my eyes have caught sight of perhaps the most beautiful scene a nature-lover will ever see. My optic nerve sends the sensory signals to overtly reactive brain, and it perceives the sight as a glimpse of paradise. I behold Zion before me. I have laid my gaze upon Arcadia. Elysium has settled on Earth.
The view is simply breathtaking, just magnificent, utterly gorgeous; sheer masses of arête, their visages expressed in vivid shades of viridian frondescence, colonized by the prime lifeforms that keep our species in existence. It’s a facet of our life sustaining planet quilted in the finest of velvet shawls, woven with reflective greens; an emerald cashmere enfolding of the most enriching flora laid upon the tectonic curves of our terra firma -untouched by the desecrating grasp of urbanization.
The variety and diversity of the foliage astounds me… Makes me wonder how many are yet to be discovered and catalogued…
Purple Prose 3
We’ve set up camp in Yongphula, at the Indian Military Training Team (IMTRAT), they were kind enough to accommodate us in one of their Major’s quarters.
Just like every place in Bhutan, the IMTRAT campus is a total beauty. A feast for any artiste’s eyes. A heaven on Earth. A piece of Shangri-La for the humans to savor a taste.
The garden is not entirely what I’d call a garden, more like patches of plants allowed to grow and thrive of their own accord, left to their own primeval state of being with the freedom of continuing on their own wild ways. The product thus obtained is, of course as Mother Nature would have each of her children to be, beguiling in its untamed resplendence. Flowers, vibrant and psychedelic, dazzle us with a startlingly artistic arrangement of their deviant colors and forms; an opera of songbirds serenades us with its gratifying symphony; each lungful of air inhaled is fresh and enlivening; the mountain breeze is vivifying, coming mingled with the light aroma of pines and cedars, and carrying around the soupçons of cold humidity.
I love it here!
A bonus comes with the whole pretty package- an adorable little Labrador called Christy. She’s our welcoming committee, being the first one to have descried new-comers at the camp, and since then, she’s been frolicking around us, yipping exuberantly and attempting to lick everyone’s faces. A pure-hearted sweetie is how I’m gonna describe her soulfully, and physically, well she’s as obsidian as unadulterated Buckminsterfullerene can be, and with that agility on all her fours, she can traipse the upsie-daisy-downsie-fall landscape like she was born a Sherpa.
I know I am going to have a fruitfully invigorating stay here, and with Christy around to keep us company, everything’s gong to be more than the fun we had anticipated.
Purple Prose 4
Our energies, being drawn out and consumed by our bodies to renew our lost cells after the tumultuous car ride, weren’t enough for us to even stand on our feet yesterday. But, today, oh-ho-hooo. Today, we are simply bubbling with an outrageous verve that has our mum screaming, Artemisia! Theodoicia! Stop running around before one of you falls over the edge.
Her warning falls on deaf ears, for we continue gamboling about with Christy chasing us and friskily nipping at our heels. A sigh and a shake of her head, indicate mum giving up on trying to make us obey her, and thankfully, she reverts to giving the driver directions to wherever we’re going today.
Rangshikhar Monastery! This is our destination today.
The drive is an hour long traipse downhill, in a spacious and comfortable Bolero, as opposed to yesterday’s Gypsy. After the signboard for the Pam-Trashigang route, we take to a dirt path and continue onwards from there, cruising on for another half an hour. The climate is, as per usual, characteristically pleasant and uplifting; the zephyr is clean and fresh, and the wilderness is in its full, form.
In literary criticism, purple prose is prose text that is so extravagant, ornate, or flowery as to break the flow and draw excessive attention to itself. Purple prose is characterized by the extensive use of adjectives, adverbs, and metaphors. When it is limited to certain passages, they may be termed purple patches or purple passages, standing out from the rest of the work.
Now, that just a definition of one of the many things in this world of our. And just like those othe things, this one has angles relative to everyone. So, to all the authors out there, whose love using flowery descriptions and become poetic, romantic, melodramatic whilst writing, OWN IT!
Because, while some may criticize your work and call it “purple prose”, there still are others who will find your piece exquisite and exemplary. I, for one, am a full on sucker for ornate descriptions, sinfully beautiful characters, and awesome, almost Mary-Sue/Marty-Stu-istic action, and other parallel stuff that “critiques” disapprove of. You are one free individual of planet Earth, it hasn’t been conquered by some superior alien race as of yet, so please, by all means, WRITE ALL VERBOSE FLOWERY PRETTY STUFF THAT YOU CAN THINK OF, BE IT HAIKUS OR POETRY, ESSAYS OF PROSE!
On a serious note, however, do it with proper grammar, punctuation, contextual usage of words, and suchlike… Since, weakness in their departments, those necessities of writing, is like disrespecting the language, so…
As long as you pay attention to keeping your basics of language and writing correct, go on and knock yourself out with those fervid writings!
Oh, and thanks for reading Purple Prose from Bhutan. Much gratitude and love has been sent your way.