Turn the Page, Turn the Life | A Writer’s Battle for Survival | Help Her Win
Turn the Page, Turn the Life | A Writer’s Battle for Survival | Help Her Win

Jisha Laha



Jisha Laha


Malini's Chili Plant

Malini's Chili Plant

5 mins

"Malini...Malini...Where are you?" A female voice yelled.

Malini in haste got up and peeped in from the balcony. It was her friend, Sita, who was eagerly waiting for her friend to give her company for the rest of the morning.

 Sita stared at her with enormous shock. Malini was untidy with mud on her face and a rod in her hand. 

"What are you doing?" asked Sita.

"Come up. I have something very special to show you."

Sita scrambled up to the first floor to unfold the fact.

There she was, her friend, Malini, busy with a small plant, a rod, and a bottle of water, trying to plant something.

Sita approached her sweat-drenched friend. 

"Is it a ..."

"Chili plant," Malini replied with a grin and a glow. She was hoping for a spicy yet sweet result. 

The plant found its abode in an old bucket and the sprinkled water was catering an extra shine. It was looking like the leaves just witnessed their happiest moment and was expecting a lot from their life. And Malini was their Messiah.

"You know, Sita, I can't wait to taste the sweetest chili ever," Malini addressed her friend.

"I think, you are too overwhelmed to remember how a chili tastes actually."

"Aye... It's sarcastic, girl!"

Sita replied with a childish chuckle.

They passed the rest of the morning, discussing all the necessities required to nurture a chili plant, what they would do with the chilis, how come she came across the idea of planting, and many such. It was mid-February and the scorching red hot sun wasn't an issue to deal with, rather they were savoring it with utmost joy. 

Every morning, she contributed an hour of a day to taking care of her plant. Watering, putting tea leaves in the soil, even sometimes she added cow dung. Cow dung is nothing less than her enemy, but her plant was her first priority. It's quite similar to a rule of life. Though you hate something, you have to sacrifice your enmity to help your near and dear one. 

Gradually, the plant became her child who needed full care and protection and a silly mistake could hamper its growth. 

One day, Sita rushed to Malini's home shouting," Malini... Malini...I heard a tip."

Malini was curious to know it. She came down, flaunting her new long skirt and her open hair asking, "What's the matter?" 

"Don't yell. Come up. See...we need to put barriers so that no one can touch them. It's running out of protection, "Sita whispered.

"Who the hell will steal chili?"

"Arey the cost is high, the world is contaminated, people don't possess humanity. Come on, let's pile up sticks. "

They spent the entire afternoon rummaging through torrents of places, in order to collect sticks. They, at last, created a feeble barrier. However, they thought it formidable. 

Days passed, months passed, one day Malini woke up to get bestowed on the biggest surprise of her life. A tiny white bud was dreaming to bloom with all its hue of peace. She gazed at it for a couple of seconds and the gaze was followed by tears trickling down her cheeks. She was smiling and gradually an outburst of happiness caught her. 

"Mumma...Mumma...come see what happened," Malini shouted.

Her mother came up and saw the flower, but the smile on her daughter's face was more valuable to her.

She became more conscious about taking care of the plant. Whenever she used to see a garden, she always peeped in search of some beneficial tips and even sometimes she used to come across the owners, and then a solemn yet sweet discussion used to begin. 

Her soul was getting transferred from her body to the growing plant. Many weeks later, her plant decorated in long green chilies caught her vision. She teared up the moment she touched one chili. It felt like she was touching her own child, for whom she did a lot, even more than herself. The dormant mother within her was waking up, waking up to bring up her child. 

She didn't pluck any, rather kept it there for days and wished to keep the result secret. 

One day, Malini met Sita in a shop, and in no time the inquiry about the chili plant began.

"So, how's your chili plant?" asked Sita.

"Hush, "Malini replied with her index finger on her lips. She continued," don't shout. It's growing. No chili yet."

"Oh, girl! I feel for you. Listen, hope for the best. I want to see your plant once again. It's been so long I saw it. Let's go."

Malini became numb and was wracking her brain to get an idea to keep her friend at bay from the chilies. 

"What happened?" Sita tapped her shoulder. 

"Nothing. You do one thing. You come tomorrow. I am busy today."

They parted with fake smiles and mutual anger. Malini, on her way back home, met Mrs. Bose, a botanist in the locality. They both dived deeper into the information about plants, especially chili. 

She reached home after half an hour. 

"Malini, dear,..."

"Oh, Mumma. I'll listen to you later on. I have some important work to do," said she and came upstairs with a mug of water.

She gradually approached the plant with a bunch of expectations, but, devastatingly, she discovered nothing but a chili-less plant. She became a slave to despair. Her heart broke down into thousand pieces, the mug fell down from her hand and the water splashed on the ground, her limbs lost sense and a cold chill ran down her spine. She yelled with pain and from nowhere Sita came with a bag full of consoling words. 

"Don't cry. It's only a plant. The monkeys might have stolen it. You know, failure is the biggest pillar of success. Trust me, next time, you'll be rewarded a handful of chilies. Don't worry. I was just passing by your house when your yell reached my ear. Oh, my dear friend, I care for you. I can feel you. Come on. Get over the pain. "

Malini continued weeping in silence. She wanted to hear nothing and was just lamenting the loss. Sita woke up and bid her friend farewell and moved out of the balcony. 

After a couple of seconds, Malini stood up too and leaned against the wall of the balcony. She saw her friend going back and definitely with a smile. But, when she went a meter away, there she, Malini, got the biggest shock when she saw a chili hanging from the back pocket of Sita. 

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