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Stories

My Idea of Strength – #WriteBravely

posted by Anupriya June 30, 2018 13 Comments

As I take in the morning breeze and look around at the long stretch of the beach buzzing with activity, a particular figure stands out in my vision. No, I couldn’t possibly know him in person. Yet, I am confused because I seem to have seen the face somewhere. I racked my brain to recollect but to no avail.

I get distracted with hot babes jogging on the beach with their tight slacks and tank tops, but only for a while. My eyes keep falling back on the old man’s figure. Not that you could ignore it anyway. The old lean frame hunched over a walking stick yet exhumed dignity of a life lived well. As he walks closer in my direction, I see his grey white hair. If I were to pick a number to guess his age, I am sure he would be older than that.

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Joy of Living
Stories

The Joy Of Living – #WriteBravely

posted by Anupriya June 29, 2018 14 Comments

An orphaned boy, who survived the Bhuj earthquake and a girl from a village near Jamnagar. That’s Kishore and me chasing our dreams with a scholarship to study Mechanical Engineering at a reputed government college in Mumbai.

To say that we were friends in college who turned lovers is definitely a cliché. But the thing about love is that once you have taken the plunge, the question about how you fell in love doesn’t matter.

Our time in college went by like a dream. We were two excited kids, running around the city of dreams, making plans for life in future while coping with the pressures of our courses. Our relationship was cherished by everyone who knew us. By some play of luck we had everyone’s blessings. I was happy. No, happy would be an understatement. I was on cloud nine. With time we were blooming in each other’s company. Every time I saw Kishore wink at me meaningfully amidst the practical lab from across the table, I felt my heart melt with the warmth of his love that gushed out of his dark brown eyes.

It was like we had our ‘happily ever after’ planned. Until that fateful day…

I heard the news of the serial blasts in Mumbai’s local trains from my classmates in hostel. But the news that Kishore was on one of those trains was brought by one of his kin from the orphanage. I didn’t know what to do. Everyone was worried about me, as I failed to shed a single tear. Even on his pyre, I kept staring with hope that he would emerge from it and engulf me in a hug.

Are you wondering, what transpired of me after Kishore passed away? Hmmm! I gave up on life. No, I wasn’t brave enough to commit suicide. Instead I drowned myself in work at the job I had obtained through campus. I performed so well there, that I had this young celebrity like status in my office. But happiness and contentment eluded me.  My sister pointed out that despite performing well and all, I am living in denial. That’s when she introduced me to Samar. It seemed to be a good decision then, because after our very first meeting at the meditation centre, I returned smiling. I was to meet Samar again in week’s time. I couldn’t wait for the week to get over. And then week after week I continued to see him.

Other than our weekly meetings at the meditation centre I also agreed to accompany Samar to his social responsibility endeavors at the nearby orphanage. I was once again poised to be happy in life by helping others and spread love. Samar’s kind words reflected deep understanding of life and were a balm to my wounded soul. In his beaming face, I found a silent assurance that it was possible for me to be happy again.

But last month when I told my sister about my decision, she went numb. “You can’t be serious about this. It’s too early for you to know, if it is all worth it!”, Her words were echoed by our parents.

I told them, that when Kishore left me, I didn’t think I would ever fall in love again. But… I was 22 then and life is long. And I’m feeling things right now that I haven’t in a long, long time.’

Today I sit at my parental house. Swara, my sister tells me biting her lips, ‘You need not follow your muse to the path where he leads you. You could simply live with the joy he has given you. Going after him will mean that you will have to sever ties with all of us. You won’t be allowed to even meet us.’ There was alarm and urgency in my little sister’s voice.

My family realizes that they are only talking in vain. They know that I have made up my mind, and they have just today with me.

The next day my family accompanies me tearfully to the monastery where Monk Vidyanand will give me Diksha to become a monk. They see me walk towards the palanquin with Samar leading the line with 6 other people in tow to adorn monkhood for life. Swara calls out frantically that I should change my mind. But then, they do not know. Only I know. I know that it is the only way that I will find respite from the pain I have lived in ever since Kishore went away. I was breathing because I did not believe in suicide. But in Samar’s thoughts and beliefs, in his understanding of life I found the route to emancipation from the endless torture of living. In the future lay a possibility to breathe without feeling any guilt of outliving Kishore. I could even come to understand the joy of living without him.

This post is a part of the #WriteBravely Write Tribe Festival of Words


Write Tribe

The prompt for the day is –

“No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.” – Cinderella

Read more stories  in fiction section here.

Fruits of Perseverance
Stories

A Teacher’s Perseverance – #WriteBravely

posted by Anupriya June 28, 2018 14 Comments

“Mom! Why can’t I go to the party tonight?”  Saanjh struggled to get her mom’s attention as she rushed in and out of her walk-in wardrobe.  Twelve year old Saanjh had never questioned her parents regarding her strict routine. But Mrs. Deewan realised that Saanjh was questioning protocol more often recently.

As her parents bade her goodbye and left her in good company of Kamala Tai, Saanjh snorted and pulled at Kamala Tai’s lose end of her cotton saree.

“Why Tai? Why do Mom and Dad not take me to late night parties? All my friends have so much fun going out. But I am not allowed.”  Kamala Tai let out a lop-sided smile at Saanjh’s scowl. She could already see the rebel streak of an about to be teenager.

“It’s late dear. You must retire to bed. We have to wake up early in the morning. There’s a lot to do before you go to school.” Kamala Tai’s attempt at putting an end to the discussion was met with Saanjh’s glowering eyes. Continue Reading

Stories

Going Back to Her Roots – #WriteBravely

posted by Anupriya June 27, 2018 8 Comments

“I can’t believe I agreed to this.” Afsaana was extremely cross and Shekhar’s casual nod didn’t do much to calm her.

“Shekhar! Are you even listening to me?”  Shekhar turned to look at his visibly pensive wife.

“No! Don’t give me that everything-will-be-alright story again. When I agreed to marry you 12 years ago, you had promised that we will never go back to that place.”  Afsaana had to check her infuriated tone lest she would invite unnecessary attention from fellow passengers on the flight. She turned once to check on their 10 year old daughter, who was busy with an animation movie on the console in front of her.

Shekhar held Afsaana ‘s hand and pressed it to comfort her, “We’ve been through this innumerable times during the last six months dear. You know that this is the only choice we had. Don’t you?” Continue Reading

Finding Tamanna
Stories

Finding Tamanna – #WriteBravely

posted by Anupriya June 26, 2018 9 Comments

Their courtship was nothing like the normal starry-eyed couples that one often observed around. They met customarily to share a meal once a week or fortnight. The foundation to their compatibility was that they both considered their work to be their first love – Rishabh a marketing consultant and Tamanna a counseling psychologist.

Tamanna was sure that nothing much would change in her life after marriage. They could both continue with their high commitment jobs. Nothing could have prepared her for what followed just after a year of their marriage. Rishabh’s father suffered a paralytic attack and as a responsible daughter-in-law Tamanna paved way for Rishabh to focus on his traveling job and volunteered to take care of the old couple. There were nurses and other domestic help, but they needed supervision. Rishabh’s mother was emotionally broke worrying about her husband that she needed help herself. Continue Reading

The Moon Walking Bellman
Stories

The Moon Walking Bellman – #WriteBravely

posted by Anupriya June 25, 2018 14 Comments

Sagar stood behind the counter struggling to control his urge to yawn. It was just two days in this job and he was dead bored.

God! What am I going to do here?

But then he knew that he needed this job, because his meat shop owner father had refused to give him any allowances going further. His old man had coerced him into this job of a bellman at a reputed hotel where he had been supplying meat for years. This was the first time, he had used his contacts for personal favors, and Sagar did not have the guts to go against his father’s will. But the question remained, Continue Reading

Love is Enough
Stories

My love is enough for Both of us – #WriteBravely

posted by Anupriya June 24, 2018 12 Comments

/“Trust me Sarika! You will find someone much better to spend your life with.” Neev’s heart broke into million tiny pieces as he tried to pull his hand out of Sarika’s grip.

“You’ve been saying that to me ever since I proposed to you. But look, we’ve made it through eight long years as a couple. We just need to take the wedding vows now.” Sarika rested her head on Neev’s shoulder, thinking of how she could make him change his mind. She knew though that it wasn’t going to be easy. Continue Reading