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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

Thirsting For Home

Thirsting For Home

5 mins 22.4K 5 mins 22.4K


A dark pallor spread over the waters as clouds started to crawl above me. The distant roars of thunder foretold the impending rainstorm. I lay on my back, blinking in the receding dusk, wondering what it all meant.

As I watched, more and more clouds blended together, terminating their fight against the dying sun. The sun, having lost the war, receded into the fuchsia-shot sky. The victorious clouds growled with wild joy, pushing out any traces of the sky as they formed a dark canopy above me.

The waters glided close to my feet, sprinkling on me with every wave. I lay with my head resting on a damp rock, watching the sky turn black with beauty. It felt like heaven: being able to get away from the nastiness of life, lying in front of the endless sea where the earth meets the sky. Here, I could get away from the heartbreaks and struggles that my life was made out of. The beauty of the sea, the freshness of the sprinkling water on my face and the tang of saltiness in the air sent a bolt of joy through my body.

It is unfortunate that when the human mind is engaged with a thing of sorrow, it cannot stray away from it for long. The darkening clouds brought back the darkness in my life; I felt something swell into my throat as tears welled up in my eyes. Trying to reject those dark thoughts, I turned side wards to look at the array of rocks that hosted the clashing waves that increasingly became rough.

Suddenly, two pigeons came into my line of view and sat on a rock, as if forced out of the air by the wind which had now turned stormy. Their rock was close to a puddle of sea-water, and bird which was closer to the puddle dipped its dry beak into it. I imagined them dripping with perspiration, shaking their wet feathers in a swirl of droplets and drinking the refreshing salty water.

They stood in stark contrast to the other birds flying overhead, which seemed quite anxious to get home. I felt a connection with these two rebel pigeons who did not want to go home and preferred to weather out the approaching storm.

The first pigeon had been enjoying itself in the puddle for a while now; the second one had been fluttering its wings impatiently. The first pigeon had been ignoring it and now the second pigeon was cooing in anger. I smiled to see what appeared to be pigeon-banter, as both the birds started flapping their wings at each other.

I watched as the second bird now jumped ahead of the first and, as I imagined it, pushed it out of the way. I laughed as I saw the first bird cooing loudly at the second, as it had the vantage point now.

The second bird started to dip its beak into the puddle but the first bird did not allow it. It shrieked loudly as the first bird cooed and flapped at it, still thirsty. There seemed to be an avian scuffle over the puddle water, which seemed to be what each bird wanted and thought had a birthright over.

The birds stopped cooing and suddenly fell silent as a peal of thunder flashed across the sky. Little droplets of water fell on my face, mingling with the tears I had shed before the birds came along. I blinked through the shower which was increasingly becoming harsh rainfall to see the two birds fly away, frightened by the thunder. The rain became a downpour in the stormy sky which was now filled with blinding flashes of thunder and torrential water. I stood up, still unwilling to go back home, looking around for a shelter.

At that moment, I heard a loud cry. It came from the rock the two pigeons had been sitting on. The torrential rain precluded them from flying away to safety and they kept flapping their wings as hard as they could, but in vain. The smaller pigeon, which had not drunk from the puddle, was struggling more. It was no longer dry, but its wish for water had been more than fulfilled.

It lay struggling on the rock; its little body weighed down with water as the heavy rain shot like arrows on its form. To my surprise, the other bird no longer attempted to fly away. It kept nudging the smaller bird with its beak, urging it to try to take flight.

Thunder streaked the sky and lit up everything around me for a second. In that sliver of time, a blinding jet of light struck the little body on the rock. I watched in horror as it shrivelled up against the sky. All was left now was a charred mass which immediately became drenched as the rain poured down on the rock.

Miraculously, the second bird was safe. It was shrieking loudly, now completely drenched and unable to raise itself even a little. I knew in that instant that they would never be able to go home.

A feeling of complete despondency filled my soul. I turned around and ran blindingly across the rocks and water, which cut into the soles of my feet. There was no thought in my mind except a deep terror and an insane desire to run away from that place, which had converted from a thing of beauty to a site of horror in a matter of minutes. The image of the charred bird with its dying mate whelping near it filled my eyes.

I ran across the shore, falling and bleeding, and I knew; my rebellion was over, my thirst was quenched.

I needed to go home.



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