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Arvind Iyer



Arvind Iyer


Roltu And The One Winged Angel

Roltu And The One Winged Angel

9 mins 4.2K 9 mins 4.2K

Little Rohan grew up under the care of his grandparents, his parents having very little time to spare for him from their busy corporate schedules. "Roltu” , his grandparents fondly called him, giving him that name because of his chubby cheeks and a roly-poly frame that housed his hyperactive body. His grandmother and grandfather, both in their late seventies, doted on him all day and loved their little grandson more than they had ever loved anybody before.

Rohan was like any other 6 year old; mischievous, full of life, always jumping around his house and never being able to sit in one place for more than 2 minutes but where he differed from his peers was that his imagination ran wilder than almost all of them, largely inspired by the fantasy-land that his loving grandmother transported him to every night, before putting him to sleep.

It was a land filled with delicate fairies and ugly ogres, with mysterious mermaids and huge sea monsters, with beautiful winged angels and fire-spitting dragons that chased them. Roltu's dreams would be filled with these magical characters that lived in his grandmother's tales , he would often wake up from his sleep in either an abandon of wonderment or a sense of acute fear, depending on which of the fairy-tale characters showed up in his dreams.

Roltu had another curious habit. His grandfather had once told him, "Roltu beta, if you really want something in life, each night, before going to sleep, close your eyes slowly, clear your mind of all other things and make the most sincerest wish for the thing that you desire. It would only be a matter of time before God answers your call."

And so it was the case that each night, little Roltu, utterly fascinated with his grandmother's fairy tales and having total belief in what his grandfather had told him, would secretly make a wish to God to send him a beautiful winged angel for real, an angel who would hover around his bed at night and tell him real stories, an angel with whom he would hitch a ride and fly out of the window and fly in through the balcony, an angel who would guard him from the slush-eating ogres and fire-spitting dragons.

And so the days and the nights passed, as little Roltu and his grandparents lived their quiet but fun lives. Roltu was on the brink of becoming a non-believer in his grandfather's words. His patience would surely have run out if God had not granted him his secret wish on the night of his 7th birthday.

It had been a hectic day for Roltu, running round the house bursting the balloons that his asthmatic grandfather had just about managed to puff up, gorging into the huge creamy chocolate birthday cake that his grandmother had lovingly baked for him, having had hell of a good time with his little friends from school and finishing the day with the best part - opening all the presents that had poured in! Tired and exhausted, little Roltu had fallen off to sleep without making his secret wish.

It was a quiet night, the breeze flew in gently from the window by his bedside and crickets croaked away merrily in the summer heat. Roltu slept like a log, too tired to even see his dreams that night. It was not until 4 am that Roltu, even though in the deepest stage of his sleep, felt someone or something gently caressing his hair. Roltu barely managed to open his eyes, filled to the brim with sweet sleep. But a little glimpse of what he then saw was enough to make him jump up and sit tightly on the bed.

It was a beautiful Angel, just like he had always seen in his dreams. Her delicate frame was glowing like a hundred stars on a moonlit night, her silky hair was being swept into sinewy waves by the gentle breeze, her big eyes were filled with dollops of innocence, she wore a flowing silver robe on her body and a golden crown on her head, and in one of her hands, she carried a magic wand.

Little Roltu's sleepy eyes were suddenly filled with wonderment. He craned his neck to the right to catch a glimpse of what he was fascinated by the most in an angel - the wings. As he shifted his gaze to focus on the wings, the wonderment in his eyes suddenly disappeared, giving way to huge disappointment and he even let out an audible sigh. God had sent his gift to him, but God had made a mistake - he had sent an Angel with only one wing.

Roltu couldn't believe his eyes. He was on the verge of crying. Just a moment ago, he was overflowing with happiness at God having answered his prayers, and it had not taken even a second for his dreams to be shattered.

He blamed himself for it. “Its all because I was so tired today that I missed to make my secret wish before going to sleep”.

He had so many questions that he wanted to ask the Angel- "What's your name?" , "Where have you come from??" , "What does God look like?", "Who taught you to fly??!! " . But in his disappointment, all little Roltu managed to blurt out was - " What happened to your other wing? " .

The Angel, not failing to notice little Roltu's change of expressions and moods, was not entirely taken aback by Roltu's question.

She placed a soothing hand on his chin and spoke in a soft, magical voice - "When I was leaving the world of the magical beings and entering your world of reality, the forces in between caused a flux and one of my wings got caught in between the two worlds, and for the sake of fulfilling your wish, I let go of my wing and entered your world without it".

Little Roltu didn't know what to say. Once again, he said something which, later on, he felt he shouldn't have said. "But can you now fly with just one wing??"

The Angel smiled sadly. She flapped her one wing in the gentle breeze. Her body lifted up ever so slightly, but couldn't take flight without the help of the other wing. Roltu watched, in horror as the Angel's body tipped to one side and she fell off from the bed.

Roltu sat there, stiff and unable to move. But the Angel managed to get herself up on bed again, that sad smile still persistent on her lips.

Sensing that all that the little kid ever desired was to fly with her, she pulled out a magical carpet from under her silvery robe.

"What if I don't have my wing? I have this.", she said with a broader smile , "Why don’t you hop on, dear kid , and we'll take a little ride across the skies".

Little Roltu listened, but this generous offer from the Angel that could possibly have salvaged the situation, didn’t manage to change his mood. He was really upset with God for having cheated him like this; what use was an Angel if she couldn’t even fly?

Roltu, unable to control his emotions, broke into in an indefinite bout of tears.

"Please don’t cry. " , the Angel begged , " Your tears will cause me to melt away and I will disappear forever".

But little Roltu , unable to gain any control over himself and feeling entirely cheated by his grandfather's words and God himself, continued to let out pools of tears from his eyes and watched without any emotion, as the beautiful Angel slowly dissolved into the dark of the night.

Twenty three years later

It was a cool night in the middle of autumn, as Rohan sat upright in his bed and listened to the gentle sounds of leaves falling from trees eager to sprout newer ones. He was stretched out in the bed of his luxurious apartment, looking lovingly at his wife of three years.

God, she was beautiful. Her angelic face was adorned with a pair of the most beautiful almond eyes he’d seen, her delicate frame glowed with the radiance of dazzling diamonds, her velvety hair curled unto itself as the breeze blew through it and as she slept, the calmness on her face reminded him of the innocence of a sleeping baby.

As he gently ran his fingers through her hair, his mind went back to the day when four years ago , he had first met her as a colleague in office and been smitten by her instantly. It was a mutual attraction between them that got them closer, and eventually he’d fallen in true love for the first and only time in his life, and had surrendered himself to his gorgeous woman.

They’d been married in a quiet ceremony with only family and close friends in attendance. The last three years of their lives had been pure bliss. She’d filled his life with a happiness he’d not known until then.

Now, as he looked longingly at his wife, his head heavy with nostalgia, he continued with his usual routine before going to sleep.

He slid his hands gently across her delicate neck, his left hand slowly caressing her right arm. Eventually the fingers of his left hand found the ones on her right and he smiled to himself as involuntarily, in her sleep, she held on to his fingers tightly.

He looked up, slid his right hand slowly down her neck onto her left arm and stopped just in time before it touched the unsightly blunt stub, beyond which her left arm ceased to exist.

An emotional tear rolled down his cheek.

His mind went back to the memories of the time when he’d dated the love of his life. It was not until the third meeting that she had revealed to him that her left arm was missing since birth.

It has been lost in the flux created by resistant forces when I entered this world”, she had jokingly told him.

He had looked up to meet the gaze in her eyes as his mind was trying to trace the familiar sound of the words to events in his past.

He had taken a good look at her, his mind filled with conflicting emotions. God had cheated him again. He had sent him a gift , but had made a mistake. This was not what he had wanted.

But then had he looked at her again, her angelic face, her almond eyes, the innocence in her words, the warmth in her demeanor and it had not taken him more than a few seconds to realize that this is the woman he wanted to marry. This time, he would accept His gift with open arms.

Now, as he looked lovingly at the stub of her left arm, he kissed it a gentle good night , leaned back onto his pillow, closed his eyes slowly, and whispered the same lines he’d been saying for the past four years before he went to sleep ..

God , thank you for giving me the strength to recognize your gift. Thank you for refraining me from making the same mistake again. Thank you, for sending my One Winged Angel back to me.”.


If you like the above story please order my new book, now available on Amazon

22 Minutes of Love and Other Short Stories


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