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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

Gitanjoli Borah

Drama


4.3  

Gitanjoli Borah

Drama


The Wheels Of Time

The Wheels Of Time

9 mins 414 9 mins 414

Nimkis

“Don’t be naughty. Don’t go to the balcony and stay away from the kitchen.” Sunny contemplated breaking his promise. She would not even know. I will use the chair to get up. I am a big boy. Mom doesn’t know. I can push a chair. I can climb the window. I can kill mosquitoes by clapping my hands. I can sing five nursery rhymes with actions. The only thing I am scared of is being alone in dark. After all, I am just a 4-year-old kid.


I always start imagining. There is no time now. Mom is gone for an hour. She had fed me well before leaving, but I have always been a hungry kid (as if I have grown up). She will be back anytime but I cannot wait till then. I make up my mind.

With “I am strong” playing in my mind, I push the big dining chair to the kitchen. The bottle of nimki was kept on the top rack at the farthest corner. I look at it with longing eyes. Mom prepares the best nimkis and I desperately wait for festivals only for these.


Oh and for clothes and gulab jamuns too. Here, I go reminiscing. I hurriedly start climbing the chair. Once atop, I start climbing the rack. Inch by inch, very slowly I climb and move towards the right-hand corner. Just one big nimki. Mom will not know.

I reach near the glass container and try grabbing it with one hand. I was not prepared for this. I didn’t know what to do next. Both my hands are holding on to the rack top. Though I am trying to grab the container with my right hand, I fear the left hand would give away and I will fall. And Mom will definitely know I broke her promise when I will break my bones.


So, I decide to descend, without having any nimkis. Somehow the forward journey felt less risky. Just then I hear a ‘click’ in the door. Mom is back. I hurry towards the chair but just then my small foot hits something and that goes crashing down. It was another glass container. It breaks and I reach the chair. I know what will happen now. Mom will come and see this. She will be very angry that I didn’t keep my word. Worse, she will tell Daddy. My new Daddy doesn’t love me. He beats me. That’s why I was at home today. Last night he hit me, I got a black eye. Mom said it is better I don’t go out to play today. It will be good for my eye. And now if he gets to know this, I may not be able to go out to play tomorrow as well.


I wish I could turn back the clock and bring the wheels of time to a stop.


Words

Today she is getting married. To someone else, to someone who had the guts to tell her how beautiful she is and how madly he has fallen in love with her smile. I watch the Pundit chant a few mantras and then he ties the mangalsutra around her neck. She is looking heavenly and every time I look at her I forget everything else. She looks at him and smiles. She is happy after all.


I met her in the office. We were on the same team but different projects. I didn’t like her at first. It all happened so suddenly. We started working together on a project. We started meeting outside. We traveled together to the client site. We spent our nights talking there. That is when I realized how wrong I was about her. She was the smartest girl I had met till date. She was professional and yet when we came back to the hotel, she was her funniest self. How can anybody not fall for her? She was not drop-dead gorgeous. But she worked her magic with words, with the way she talked. She was a good listener and exactly knew where to pause and give you an ear. She was a good human being. She had her beliefs and I had mine and with that a lot of arguments but not even once did she feel bad.


She was a mixture of everything. She was matured. She was sensitive. And she was empathetic. Yet, she never understood my feelings for her. We soon became the best of friends. We were close, so close that we started caring for each other. While I thought she had the same feelings for me, she was actually being nice. For her, I mattered and that is why she cared. But for me, she was the one—the one who got away.


She was not wrong. It was my fault that I never told her. And when someone else did and she yes, I was every bit happy for her. I have read somewhere, soulmates are not meant to be together. This sentence gives me solace. I have been preparing for this day for the last 6 months. She had insisted I take leave and come see her be the bride. How could I refuse those big, yearning eyes? I was but a human too.


So here I am, being happy for her, being a part of the most important day of her life. I love her. Only if it was that easy to tell her. I look at them again. The pundit is busy with his mantras. The groom is looking at the sacred fire. And she, she is looking at me, smiling!


I wish I could turn back the clock and bring the wheels of time to a stop.


Plastic

It was the flood that took them away—my Maa, Baba and our calf. I miss them. I miss those carefree days when all I had to think about was my homework. I remember my school very well. It was a government school and our Masterji was a learned man. Munni, Gungun, and Bhola—my best buddies. They must still be in school. Or are they also in this kind of situation. No! I cannot think of it. God is not so cruel.


I remember how I used to help Ma on Saturdays and Sundays. Baba used to take me to our farmland. Bhrigu used to accompany us. He was just born when Laxmi, our cow, passed away. From then he has been with me. I used to pick up weeds from our land. It was more fun than picking up used bottles, tin containers, plastic from the garbage. But I have no choice. At least Seth was kind enough to provide me a place to live. It is next to the railway station and the sound of trains at night sometimes wakes me up but I am stronger now.


After the flood, I searched for Ma, Baba, and Bhrigu a lot. But there was no sight of them. Dead bodies laid everywhere but not one of them belonged to my family. Our crops were washed off. Our school was broken. Then I saw men dressed in khaki uniforms in the village. They said they had come to help us. But Baba used to tell us how once a man in khaki had beaten him and his friend without any reason. So I left. I left my village and came here to the city. I didn’t know anybody here and one day Seth saw me near the railway tracks. He trained me to collect useful things from what people throw as garbage. In return, he feeds and provides me with shelter.


There are many like me. We all sleep together. Because we are so many in number, twenty to be precise, sometimes the food is not enough. But I have learned to live with hunger. I tie a cloth on my stomach, drink a bottle of water, think of my old days and try sleeping. I imagine myself back at home, Ma in the kitchen preparing khichdi for me, and Baba feeding Bhrigu. After that, I run out to play with Munni, Gugun, and Bhola. And I play in my head. I wish it was all true.


I wish I could turn back the clock and bring the wheels of time to a stop.


Love

Thomas was a Mongrel. I had adopted him when he was a month old. His mother had died and his father was of course untraceable. I still remember the day I got him. He was so scared. He could not even walk properly. But slowly he started jumping and barking. Slowly, he became a big part of my life. I used to speak to him. I used to cry with my head over him. We both were there for each other. We did not need anybody else.


He was the best dog anybody could have. Not that he did magic. He was handsome with a white and black fur coat and a long face. And every time he looked at me with those longing eyes, I would melt like a block of butter on a hot tawa. He loved playing with his green ball. He was possessive of me though. And that was why I loved him so much. He used to be so happy whenever I came back from the office. And every night he would jump on the bed and curl up next to me.


I have been with him for so long that I miss him terribly now. I don’t know if anyone can ever fill this void in my life. He left me so soon. He was a brave dog. He just wanted to save the dog he loved. Love makes you do things. It makes you fight with dogs bigger than you. Alas! He could not survive the fight and succumbed to his injuries. But he looked at me one last time as if to say, "Sorry, I am leaving you alone".


I wish I could turn back the clock and bring the wheels of time to a stop.


War

I miss him. I miss his breath next to me. I miss his voice around the house. I miss his pleadings to let him sleep a little more. After all, he used to come only for a few days. That was before the war.

Captain Sundar Prasad. He was my life. He was the reason I am here today. He taught me to fight. I may be a writer today but the words I write are his. Only if he was here. It would have been a complete picture.


We got married three years back and that was when I fell in love with him. It was not a slow process. It was that one day I suddenly realized my feelings for him. He was out in the balcony trying to make a birdhouse. I was trying to make a cake for him. Suddenly, I hear a loud bang and a shriek coming from the direction of the balcony. It took me 10 seconds to reach the balcony but each second felt like forever. I reach the scene and see that the Captain is all fine but his birdhouse has come crashing down. And there he was standing with a frown, unscathed. I stood there for a second. Then we both burst into laughter. And at that moment I knew he was my man, the man I have fallen in love with.


Whenever he was here, he made sure to make his stay memorable. He would wash the dishes with me. He would take me out. He would read me to sleep. He would enjoy the melodramatic serials with me. But that was before the war took him away from me. That was before I got that call. That was before he came wrapped in the tricolor.


I wish I could turn back the clock and bring the wheels of time to a stop.




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