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Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra

Kanaka Ghosalkar

Abstract Crime Inspirational


4  

Kanaka Ghosalkar

Abstract Crime Inspirational


Kites Don't Fly

Kites Don't Fly

8 mins 186 8 mins 186

 

-Many a times it so happens when my laptop battery dies, I instantaneously plug it into the power source, but I forget to click the switch. 

Life is also like that maybe...

Sudha was reading her own article while patiently listening to Avantika, who, as usual, was bitching about her mother. The conversation wasn’t new to her.

“What the hell are you doing Ty? I told you to finish your homework and go to bed.” Avantika yelled from inside the kitchen all while bitching about her mother with her friend Sudha on the telephone. She used to work for the Indian Postal Service.

“Hey... do you think we should get in Seema on the con-call too?” Sudha asked.

“Oh sure. Why not. Wait I’ll dial.”, Avantika suggested.

“Hello!”

“Hey... How’s you Avi? How come you remembered me... Its so nice to hear from you.”, Seema said surprisingly.

“Hey… I didn’t remember you. I mean I did, but it was Sudha. Speak to her, we are on a con-call.

“Hi Seeems... How are you babes? How’s acting? Any new projects?

“Oh Sudhi! It’s so nice of you to remember me... 

Acting is nice ya... Was just rehearsing a monologue actually. This is for my drama school this weekend.”

“Oh my God Seema, you’ve joined a Drama School?”, Avantika retorted.

“Yes Avi, I have. And I must say It’s so much fun!”, Seema replied.

“How’s your journalism reporting going on Sudhi?”, Seema asked.

“It’s really awesome Seema. Just wait, I’ll send you a recent article that got published. It’s called, “The Dead don’t die.”, Sudha said.

“Hmm... Impressive title! I’ll definitely read it, Seema replied and started reading it on her email while still tending to the conversation with the two of them.

 

[“The Dead Don’t Die”

By: Sudha Sharma.

 

 Many a times it so happens when my laptop battery dies, I instantaneously plug it into the power source, but I forget to click the switch. 

 Life is also like that maybe...

A few years back a woman I had met on a train had a troubled marriage and then a horrific divorce. We were sort of... just acquaintances. Her life was so horrid; she had to leave with her daughter, in and with the only clothes that she was wearing, in the middle of the night, the last day that she was in her house with her husband when he ventured an abusive physical attack on her. 

Fortunately, since the time we had met I had helped her seek some counseling help, and then she had on her own been in touch with a women’s association. The association had warned her about the possibility of an attack especially because after having been so vulnerable all these years she was suddenly standing up against her husband. Accordingly, she was prepared and took due care to deal with the situation.

After she was divorced though I felt terrible, because, somewhere or the other, the kind of strength that she could fathom to take the steps that she took, as she says, was because of me.

 

I however was not very sure of what I was doing. Despite knowing that she was in a terrible marriage I wanted things to be mended for her because I very well knew the kind of person that she was. Loving, family-oriented, giving… But things didn’t turn out so well and although I cried on the news of her divorce, she seemed extremely relieved. Very soon she started picking the pieces of her broken life and putting them back together for her only family now, her daughter.

Probably at the time I was just a switch in her life. The switch that she felt was required to charge her, but she forgot to switch it off and ended up in a divorce. Even today I feel it would have been better if I wasn’t... 

When I think about my association with her today, I feel as if, in our entire transaction and all the conversations with her, I was not being me ... You know what I mean ... Today I feel if there was anything that could have been different for her it should have been... I would have wanted a happy family life for her... I wouldn’t want her to be alone, struggling, helpless, bitter... It's true one shouldn’t really decide what’s good or bad for anyone else. You don’t have to live with the consequence, they have to...

 

Although, as she says, and, as I can see for myself, I am very happy for what she has made out of her life today. Apparently, her husband was only feeding of, of her existence like a termite and she was happily letting him do so. It’s also true that sometimes circumstances make or break you. I really admire and appreciate what she has done with her life after her downfall. In a way, today, she gives me the strength to lead my life in a dignified manner.

They say whatever good you do does come back to you. I don’t know much about this because I feel most of the times when you are doing something you cannot be a hundred percent sure if it is going to be good or bad. What you are doing is only responding to the situation. What I am sure about though is that if you do things with a clear heart and conscience, even the worse does turn out to be good in the end. 

Just as I was saying about the laptop charging you know... In life also you do get to decide when to turn on the switch and when to put it off...]

 

 “Hello... Seema...u there?”, Sudha asked.

 “Haan... Haan, yes, I’m there. (Seema startled and stopped reading Sudha’s article.) What were you saying?

 “Nothing much, I and Avi were just discussing how difficult it has been so far living with the covid restrictions these days.”, Sudha replied.

 Seema, by then was feeling really captivated by Sudha’s article, and being the multitasker that she was, she snapped back to it.

 

[“The Dead Don’t Die”

By: Sudha Sharma ctd...

 

When I was small, about ten or eleven years of age, there was a lady in my neighborhood. She was terminally ill. She used to live in Dubai with her husband and daughter and every year or two she would visit India to meet her own family and her husband’s. While coming back she would make it a point to get back lots of gifts for our family as well, as she would do for her other friends and their families in India.

I often remember her while reading the poem, “The Kite”, by Harry Behn. It’s like this:

 

How bright on the blue

 

Is a kite when it’s new!

 

With a dive and a dip

 

It snaps its tail

 

Then soars like a ship

 

With only a sail

 

As over tides

 

Of wind it rides,

 

Climbs to the crest

 

Of a gust and pulls,

 

Then seems to rest

 

As wind falls.

 

When string goes slack

 

You wind it back

 

And run until

 

A new breeze blows

 

And its wings fill

 

And up it goes!

 

How bright on the blue

 

Is a kite when it’s new!

 

But a raggeder thing

 

You never will see

 

When it flaps on a string

 

In the top of a tree.

 

 One day when we were in her house, she was telling my mother how difficult her life was because of her illness and how unhappy she was in her marriage because it was ... well... unhappy. It struck me ... Her pain, her resentment towards life and the decisions she had made, and most importantly the fact that she had no support whatsoever from either her in-laws or her own parents.

It’s weird how life takes a nasty turn I felt. I mean I knew that neighbor before her marriage and she used to be a different person... That day my outlook towards life didn’t change..., but it got distorted and that helped me chart out my plan of action, for my own life. Up until then, I had never strongly felt for someone... But somewhere that day I decided to be a doctor. I felt I wanted to be the person who could help people heal. Be a part of their painful journey and bring them out smiling on the other side of life! It’s another story that, that never materialized.

 

I remember her even today because even in that excruciating pain that she was going through, both physically and emotionally, she spoke about praying for healing her in-laws and her parents. In effect healing their relation. As a child, I wanted to shake that woman to the core and help her understand that that very family and in-laws have consumed your bloody life and you are dying. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t understand how she could pray for the very people who were doing wrong to her. I couldn’t. Maybe because I was only 11.]

 

Meanwhile, Avantika and Sudha did some more bitching and secretly started doubting if Seema was really into the conversation.

Just then Seema said, “All this covid restriction thing is nothing as compared to what we experienced during the gas leak.” 

 

Sudha was a column journalist working for the Daily Herald. She, Avantika, and Seema had lost their respective husbands in the Bhopal Gas tragedy. At the time when the incident unfolded, it was only Avantika who was a working woman. Avantika and Seema were housewives. 

 

“Yeah... It was such a difficult day for all of us. But I’m so proud how far we’ve come. I really am.”, Avantika exclaimed. 

“True yaar Avantika. But the culprits of the leak because of whom about 300,000 people were exposed to MIC gas were not convicted until 2012. Isn’t that shameful? The legal system is so twisted. It’s rightly said, justice delayed is justice denied.”, Seema replied to Avantika and yet again she snapped back to Sudha’s article. (To be continued ...)

 


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