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Friday, September 18, 2009

My first short story...

 (This story has an interesting history. My late grandfather had told me the art of story telling, but it got lost with his cremation on 14th January,1997...It was not until in standard eleven that I rediscovered my talent. It all started because of Radhika, a wonderful person and a very loving friend. In spite of being nearly four years younger to me, we became friends, as we travelled by the same school bus. One day, having talked about all messy thing, gossips, fights and analysing teachers, Radhika demanded for a self made story. I lied to her about the source of the story(told her that it was from an old college magazine...) but this was my creation, my first step towards story telling and story writing. It was not until last year that I first penned down this piece. The aura of it had always frightened me and had drove my to a strange state of mind, towards disbelieving it to be my own creation...too much has being said...yet so much beyond my expression..read on)

The sketch 


The face …the white breeze…no a white sari, a woman wearing it, a woman with a long braid…a night street…she is walking down the empty night street…I need to stop her…”Didi”… I gasped for breathe unable to speak!My eyes opened to the revolving whiteness above and met the fluorescent beams scoring the ceiling. I turned left. My wife was sleeping as quite as a fallen petal. Our bed was quite big. But she loved sleeping, nestled against me. With no intention to wake her up at this hour, I cautiously turned right and switched on the bed side table lamp. My hands went for a paper cutting, well secured under a fancy paper weight, on the bed side table.- The 7’’ inch piece of paper, a cut out from today’s morning news paper. It announced the felicitation of …’Didi’. I read the paper again and again. My eyes closed to let a tiny tear drop of tear roll down my well shaved cheeks.My mother’s voice calling me from behind…’Bubai’…I run down our front door stairs mumbling excuses…keys jingling in my pocket…I rush across the road…stuffing my mouth with two biscuits(all I could manage to grab from my afternoon Tiffin)… I rush up the red stairs. Fishing out the bunch of keys from my pocket, I selected a particular fancy key and opened the front door. There is a creek, my mother has by now, reached our front door…I open the door in front me and close it with a thud on the face of the outside world. I am safe, I am free I am inside my Didi’s house…Didi will return a few hours from now, and till then I have her house at my disposition. I am not alone in this three roomed one storied house. I have her books that are arranged all along the side walls, I have her China dolls singing to themselves on the table at the corner, and above all I have Mr. Goodie Boy to talk to. Didi’s living cum study room seems incomplete without Mr. Goodie Boy. The strict essence of discipline, education, and all the rest of the things that accompany them, have all seemed to have found a comfortable place to reside in Mr. goodie Boy. I do not know what his real name is. Didi would always give me a funny smile whenever I asked this question. Who so ever it was, he was no doubt a patient man. He never complained of being stretched across the whole wall. He was a man, may be in his mid 20’s, obediently bend over his study table, scribbling his mind out. My father, an engineer by profession, had remarked that the painting was done with a graphic pen impression. The strokes, he thought and I agreed with him gave that impressing stoic look to the contours of the face. His hair fascinated me the most. They were a mop of perfect curls I had ever seen in my life. I always had an opinion that curly hair was a god gifted item and had some kind of a spiritualism attach√© to it. Whoever, had such kind of hair, ought to be a good boy. The first boy of my class had curls so did my cousin and both of them scored high in their tests, unlike me, much to the increasing frustration of my mother. Our Mr. Goodie Boy had thick curls that covered the nap of his neck. He was the first thing that a person would notice while entering Didi’s house, and he would be the most important thing that the visitor would remember after he or she has left the house. I do not know, why I felt this, but surely he was the only thing that made Didi’s house complete. Didi lived all by herself.Didi was a teacher, a researcher and also a social worker. She never had relatives visiting her place. All those who came were either related to her profession or were academic people, wanting her to take classes in their institution. Often few newspaper people would come to take her interview, which she would politely decline. No one ever heard her voice. She was strict, but again soft spoken. She indeed spoke little. May be I was the only person she spoke too, somewhat freely. She was simple, just like the white covers of all her books, methodical, like the disciplined manner in which her books (she would call them her soul-mates) were arranged in their chocolate brown wooden book selves. Often I would run down my fingers along those in the lower selves and would imagine strange tales of battle won and lost. Of nations destroyed and unknown lands discovered…My thoughts were interrupted by a prolonged ringing of the door bell. I looked out of the side window. A group of six people were standing at the door. It was afternoon and I could hear the big bully boys playing in the field on the other side of our complex. I opened the door to six set of enquiring eyes. There were four women and two men. They exchanged looks, finding a skinny teenager answer the door. But I had my dialogues ready.-“Didi would be back within two hours, you all may sit if you please”. They consulted with the man with a grave face and filed into the living room. Once comfortable, all around the sofas and cushions around, they had a brief glimpse of the room. First, they tried to talk among themselves, completely ignoring my presence. But they could not ignore Mr. Goodie Boy. Initially they tried their level best not to digress from their talking points. But soon all of them were engulfed with the enthralling beauty of the sketch. I followed their words and tried to enjoy the atmosphere of awe that soon revolved in the room. All said something or the other, except the grave looking man. His eyes were transfixed at the crystal ashtray on the centre table. His face was jaw tight. He seemed out of the place, lost in thoughts. Somehow, it seemed to me, he was not even thinking about whatever he wanted to speak about to Didi. He was lost in strange thoughts. I was quite taken aback by his reactions to the increasing comments made by his associates on Mr. Goodie Boy. He gave answers in monosyllables, something that had never happened before.I was shaken out off my reverie, by a doorbell. It was evening by now. And it was Didi at the doorbell. Her smile and her habit of shuffling with my hair made my day. I took the food packs from her hand and trotted after her into the living room. She greeted all the six visitors with her prosaic smile and asked them to sit while she made arrangements for their refreshments. The formal and usual ‘thanks-do-not-bother-your-self’ and ‘it-is my pleasure-and-I-am-not-bothered’ followed. These formalities bothered me because I had to tell my day’s story to Didi, and could not waste much time, because my mother would soon be coming for me. I did take time to notice Mr. Grave-face’s reaction at meeting Didi. I could bet he was not in himself, and he was feigning it. Once in the kitchen, I dashed about Didi, rumbling my day’s activities and my observations about her visitors. She gave me her funny smile once again and a suggestive look, indicating my time to rush back home. Like a reluctant schoolboy I dragged myself back homeward. From the window of my room I could see Didi’s neat and somber house. I was growing and quite typical to that age, the strange senses of negating those in the family and feeling the indispensible urge to share one’s innermost thoughts with someone apart. Didi was that ‘someone apart’. I did not even required to say many of the things; she would just know them or would simply guess them out. She was my best friend or may be more than it…she was like the wet earth, a village girl, or an earthen goddess…I wondered why did she never marry??My books were ignored; my eyes were scanning Didi’s windows. I had strange feelings like something unwanted was about to happen. The retinue of ‘six –intelligentsia’ (they seem to know a lot and worse, they were all up to prove themselves superior) left about an hour and half after my departure. The grave faced man was the first to leave. I tried to see Didi’s face and but she was half hidden in the shadows. The others thanked her for the hospitality, the ladies were loud, but the men were unnecessarily vocal. The grave man never uttered a word. I watched the team walk away and Didi closing her door. She would usually look up for me watching her, but she did not do anything like that this time. She was thoughtful or was she worried, was she sick or afraid…what was so wrong with her? My mother called for dinner…I could hardly eat…I rushed back to my room soon after a few bites. I reached my window to find someone at Didi’s door step, that grave looking man! ...my mother came in and before I buried myself into my textbooks I saw the man enter the house after Didi. I was not sure at that time of what transpired inside her house that time, but our part of the little world was filled with my mother’s abuses and my incessant yelps-the usual treatment for being inattentive, with exams round the corner! I went to bed with a sore back and a troubled heart. My eyes refused to close,” that man is still in the house”. Sleep and a heavy heart dragged me to slumber. Now Didi’s main door was quiet big, if any one opened it at night, light would surely fall inside my room. The door opened quite late. The grave faced man walked out with a huge board tucked under one of his arm. Didi was not at the door…It was a windy night; a gush of wind closed the door. I sat up confused, was it a theft or murder and theft, I thought of rising an alarm, I paced about my room, tried the lock at my door, an extension of my punishment, I was locked in my room. I needed to know about Didi, how was she where was she why was she not closing the door all by herself. What was the huge thing the man carried away….Questions tormented me. I stood by my window, eyes strained, trying to locate Didi. There she was! Oh! She was alive! But she was not in herself! She was wearing a white sari, her movements were pathetically slow as if she was dragging herself, She did not even tie her hair, this was never to happen…she walked out of the house…it was too late… she did not even close the door… Mr. Goodie Boy had gone! The wall was empty! The road was empty!! Didi was nowhere!!!”Didi!!!! I could not yell! The night did not permit me somehow.They could never locate Didi. She simply vanished, never to return. I complained to the police about my inhibitions about that grave man. He not convicted, when we met again during the proceedings, he took me to a corner, and said,” I am the culprit but of a different crime…I have a daughter of your age…my wife is suffering from a fatal disease…I knew her from my college days. I was her friend, I never felt I was her life, she knew I needed money that day, we went to buy that sketch, she refused in front of the others, she called me back to give it to me personally. I took my last impression away from her…”Some street dogs broke into a nasty fight. I got up with a start. My wife was sleeping like a lovely bud. We would have a new member in the family in months to come…If it was a boy, I would call him goodie boy, if it was a girl I would call her… ~

4 comments:

Subhasis Chakraborty said...

Well I as I was moving through the words, I always felt like am a part of it ...
... I will start being bad first ... You lacked binding spaces to highlight moments ... It sounded like an article more than a story full of facts ...
.. Awesome, Love-ly and Live-ly ... Well these are the words that make the story ...

If this is only your first make it your life ... I bet you are good at it ....


Subhasis Chakraborty
Collection Of Shayari

Karthik said...

It was very good, Shreya. Made an engaging read really. Enjoyed very much. :-)
There is one thing I want to mention: It would be better if you write in paragraphs. You know it would be a systematic approach.
Over all it was a lovely story. Keep writing more and let me keep reading. :-)

By the way, I am following your blog, but it is not showing on my dashboard. When clicked it gives an error and asks to check out the URL if it correct or not. Any idea what's wrong?

wanderer said...

@Karthik

I had written the story in paragraph form, but the number of times I posted it...it came in an one paragraph form...irritated and frustrated at last I left it as it is...sorry for the inconvenience.

Jidhu Jose said...

story is more weired....i think paragraph will help more simple...