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
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

Sharique Jamal



Sharique Jamal


Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time

5 mins 296 5 mins 296

"Our sincerest laughter With some pain is fraught,

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thoughts"

These haunting yet so true lines by Shelley kept hammering in my heart and soul. Not until I unlocked the rusted padlock in the attic of my mind.

A deluge of songs, laughter, whisperings flew by on wings of a dream. Never ever thought that the moments which seemed so strong and immune to any changes, would one day be my dreams, to relive or to mull...did it happen or is it the delusion of a lonely heart, when the music played on, long after the party was over. Was I dreaming or awake? I cared not, for I was back, in my home, where my life was underscored and enhanced by the ones I loved.

My astral form saw my sleeping self and before I knew, I was standing in front of my house, so many miles away. The house was my home once.

I walked through the doors, rusted and barred but not to me, for even the bricks, long decayed and covered in moss and ferns, knew me and stood in rapture.

Nature had made its insidious presence everywhere, with weeds and nettles covering the walls, now a ruin, even in my dreams. What is yesterday, today or the future? The words I write slides into the chambers of yesterday, the moment being the present and the blank pages the future... which one can only contemplate. I was just reading the pages of my life backward. With trembling, hesitant hands I turned the pages, afraid that even in dreams they may fly away, as what invariably happens when one is awake. 

The season's kept changing, as in slide show. I touched the door with a pounding heart, which opened to welcome me back. As if an epiphany, dawn of light awakened the ones I had loved yet lost. The home became as I knew, with my dogs, all three of them rushing to greet me, as they always did when I came back from any journey. Is it possible, that in dreams tears can overwhelm my senses, for I could barely see yet got down on knees and hugged them? 

My mother, looked at me from her room, with the smile which had always dusted and healed the smallest pains and tribulations I had felt while growing up. My school friends, all were sitting at the dining table. Was a party going on? I cared not, for after ages I felt the warmth of being wanted, in my comfort zone once again.

My mother, I rushed and just broke down in her arms while she just soothed me with the touch I was so familiar with.

" Why did you all leave me? What travesty had I done that you left me standing all alone, to face the world when I was not even ready? Tell me mother, for you had promised to never leave my side?" She just smiled and whispered " Be at peace, for you are home now. And we all have returned, to take you with us. You shall suffer no more but a question, not destiny, for the plans it has hidden, it does at the beckoning of the Lord. Look your father is also here. Don't you recognize him." Amazed I started at an older image of myself, in a shawl and gestured me to come forth. I had lost him when I was in second grade, how was I to remember except for some memories with extreme clarity, which is etched on a formative mind.

He looked me in the eye saying " See, how the little one I knew has grown up." And I could bear no more, for even in imagination one feels like a tumultuous upheaval of tears, which had been in a small chamber in some corner of my mind and now, the key had been found, it burst forth like a volcano.

I moved to other rooms, my friends smiling and singing the old schoolyard song, which had been the anthem of our youth.

My bedroom was as if I had left only yesterday, with posters and my books. The kitchen was lit up and our old maid was making my favorite food, as I could never forget the smell.

My head was feeling very light and as if I had drunk too much gin and vodka, but what exactly was going on!

The house said in a slow booming voice, for in dreams, all can speak and move. " There are no happy ending my dear friend. It is just that some people move away and the pages are always empty, for never does a story end, such as the enigma called life. It just goes on. No endings or periods just a flow of moments, with people being replaced. Be at peace, my friend. You too shall find the crossroads of life, with your milestone denoting the time has come, to rest in peace and join all your loved ones. But the question, not the hills or streams, for they know the destiny of timelessness. ."

"But who shall say what I want in the present or future?" I retorted. " Am I not in control of my life, then why make plans and think that my parents, my dogs or ones I love will be with me? What larger good can God have, if He is the one who has the control knob, to take my parents away and leave me at my mercy, alone and at a loss, of what to do now? If so be it, take my soul too, for fain would I live in the dark chambers of loneliness now, having been in exile and ostracised for more than a decade now. Tired am I of crying and the dreams which you show for my awareness but I plead, I do not want to wake up alone." Hence this was my swan song, the last stroke of the brush on a palette, the last leaf of the fall or me finally being lifted by the angels.

Hence once upon a time, a man was found at peace in death, in health, and of a young age. All came and said " Its a pity he died so young. What could have happened? "

I looked at them and smiling, as I held the hand of my parents and walked into the light beyond the veil, into the blue skies where angels dwelt.

Somewhere over the rainbow, somewhere beyond the stars, in peace finally, forever and ever.

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