|[Created in 1 hr in the English Creative Writing Competition at the M.P. Birla Smarak Kosh, in 2001, this is one of my early attempts at short story. Though my style of writing has changed over the years, I have retained the language in which I had first written it.]|
Cimmerian Darkness all around
No light shown for me
I yearned for a stop somewhere
But no signal shown to me
Ebony black darkness surrounded me like a thick cloak, which my vision failed to penetrate. I never comprehended that the path would be so long, narrow and derelict. The asphyxiating environment nearly chocked me and I longed for an end to this uncanny silence. Now I wished I had not embarked upon this never-ending journey. I could endure no more and stopped.
-Hello! We are going out to watch that latest movie in town. Want to come?
-Oh! No. I am sorry.
-Hey, why not? Everyone’s-
I put down the receiver without waiting for her to finish.
-Hi! This tinkle is only to remind you of my birthday bash next Saturday.
-Please excuse me. I am very sorry but I am…I am, well, out of sorts.
-You have a week’s time. You’ll certainly recover by then, won’t you?
Being unable to find an answer I slammed down the receiver in utter despair. How could I tell him that I was at a complete loss. Life was playing a cruel joke on me. All my peers were having a gala time after the Board Examinations. But I confined myself to my own world, kept my friends at an arm’s length and shed tears of repentance. I tried to ignore the situation but those sinful moments haunted me day and night.
Darkness seemed to have faded a little. A faint light showed my path ahead. My inner soul responded and cried out ‘Mother’! I spoke out aloud, ‘I am sure you would never abandon me. Please Mother, I can bear this no more. I had put my heart and soul in my studies to fulfill your last wish, - the wish which you had nurtured in your mind since my birth. You had always wanted me to be a topper. Aren’t all those trophies in music, dance and fine arts, occupying six shelves of the living room results of your ambition, which you implemented through me? Yes, I have always kept your word. I have been excellent in everything that I have done.
Even when you wanted me to beat all the spectacled intellectuals in class, I stayed up late at night and woke up before the sun to achieve your goal. Yes, Mother, it was your ambition, not mine. I wanted life, but you refused to give it to me. You enjoyed telling every one around that I was a topper, but I felt disgusted in front of their stare mixed with bitter admiration.
Your last wish was surely a death sentence for me. Didn’t you know that there would be thousands of toppers from schools all over the state in the Final Board Examinations? But still you wanted me to top the merit list! I thought I would rebel but your cancer-stricken face prevented me. You had pinned your last bit of faith in me and left.
Mother, I know I have deceived you. I have committed a sin, which have shattered your trust. I desperately wanted to make your dream come true, but I could not gather enough confidence. I had all the world’s happiness when newspaper headlines flashed my name – but my conscience cried. My sufferings increased all the more and became too heavy to live with.
Life had given me everything and I lost all of them. I have no complaint against you, Mother, as I know that your efforts in making me a topper was the only way to fight those who sighed at your girl child. The last thing I want to do is to cry in your arms. At the end of this road, I know that I will meet you. I can see the light, which will erase all blackness. Are you there to receive me with open arms? Please, Mother, grant me my last wish.
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