“And the best writer award goes to Ayesha Banerjee for ‘World through the eyes life of an introvert’.” The presenter announced as a spot light hit my face. I graciously stood up hoping the sneakers under my dress are not seen. Adjusting my dress I walked up the stage to collect my award.
“Congratulations!” the presenter smiled at me handing me the award.
Taking a deep breath I moved to the mic to give my acceptance speech. I still have stage fear and still fumble in front of a crowd, although I’ve been improving on this, I still hope not to fumble today.
“As I came here today, I didn’t know what to expect from this night.” I began, trying hard to maintain eye contact with people.
“Many of you sitting here have won my heart with your stories and I feel blessed just to have been nominated for this with you people.”
“So I’ll share the story behind this story, I won’t take long, promise!” I continued as heard some laughs.
1 YEAR AGO
“Ayesha wear this on your outing today!” My mom walked in holding a long black dress in her hand. I’m so done with reminding her to knock my door before she enters, I just rolled my eyes and went back to my series. Wait what did she say? Outing?
“What outing?” I asked her as she lay the dress on my bed and moved to my cupboard like she didn’t hear anything! She just knows how to get on to my nerves.
“These earrings will go!” she said picking some random earrings from my cupboard.
“What outing?” I asked. Calm. Breathe Ayesha. Breathe. In. Out. In. Out.
“Oh, I set an outing for you with your school friends. I heard they are meeting for a reunion today. Did I forget to tell you?” She acted all oblivious.
“WHAT?” I screamed. And she still walked around my room doing God knows what.
“Who asked you to?” How did you even come to know about it? Wait did you check my phone?" She paused in her stance.
“Did you message from my phone?” She still didn’t reply. “MOM?!” I said sternly.
“Ya, so what? You need to learn to go out, you can’t be sitting at home on weekends as well.” She said in an annoyed tone.
“You work the whole week and the only day you get a holiday, you're on your bed.” She continued.
“So what? I’m not five years old, I’m twenty-five; for crying out loud!” I exclaimed in frustration.
“No. Ayesha you are going today and that’s final. Get ready you’ll have to leave in a while!” She ordered and marched out of the room.
I am so done with her. That’s it. I dialed my dad.
“Hello?” he answered the call.
“Dad I have accepted the offer from my company for the raise in my position!” I said calming myself down.
“Wow, that’s great!” He said in a happy more like proud voice.
“But...I’ll have to shift to Kolkata for almost two years!” I said slowly. I have no clue how he’ll react. We’ve been having this discussion for a while and I was a little confused about it.
“And I have to leave in two days.” I added and there was a long pause from his side and he finally spoke “We'll talk about it when I come back home!” I mentally nodded disconnecting the call and sat on my bed thinking if I did the right thing.
I stared at the dress on my bed for a while and threw it on the table pulling the blanket as I fell on the bed.
Why does my mom have to keep pushing me? I’m not a person who likes meeting people. I don’t like being around people. I like my life the way it is, my work, sleep, books, series that’s what I like doing. That’s who I am. When will she ever get it? I closed my eyes and soon sleep took over. “Ayesha!” I felt someone shake me. I pulled my blanket away from my face and saw my dad standing there.
I quickly sat up and he asked me to freshen up and meet him in the dining area.
This is going be one hell of a discussion! I thought, entering the dining room.
After a good two hours of discussion and some conditions from my mom’s side they agreed to let me go.
The next two days were spent packing followed up by a whole lot of emotional drama, and as much as I hate to admit it, I will miss my house and my city. But leaving it right now is very important for my sanity.
2 weeks later...
Finally, my house is set and I’m kinda also feeling at home with my neighbourhood. But my mom will just not give up on me, she still wants me to go out with my colleagues and new friends to see the place and the worst part of it is that she wants to visit me SOON!
I honestly have given up on her.
As for the time being I have to write a short story for this charity organization which is being organized by one of my neighbors. After getting to know my interest in reading she encouraged me to write and as I was running quite free I took it up. There was a small amount of entry fee you have to pay and apparently some renowned writer is judging it. Not only does the winner get to meet the writer but also gets the story published. But anyway, it’s just time pass for me. I’m not that fortunate to win competitions and certainly not to get any book published.
The deadline I’ve been given is merely twenty days away. I hope I’m able to come up with something to submit.
Days passed as I kept procrastinating and finally a night before the submission I mailed my copy to the writer DakshAgarwal. As soon as I mailed it, I googled the guy’s name and a list of his achievements popped up, I was too lazy to actually go through them so I shut my laptop, switched the lights off and dozed off.
The next few days were pretty hectic we had meetings and I had deadlines to meet.
The weekend finally arrived and as I sat to sort my mails. And all of a sudden my screen popped up with a new mail. Before I could open it I heard a knock at my door. It’s almost midnight who could it be? I walked slowly and peeped from my peephole, I saw Naina (the charity organizer).
As soon as I opened the door she embraced me.
“I’m so proud of you Ayesha!” she yelled happily.
“Shhh, Come in!”I said closing the door.
“What happened?” I asked her but she walked to my laptop with me following her like a lost puppy.
“See!!” she said turning the laptop towards me. I read out loud:
Ms. Ayesha Banerjee we are pleased to inform you that your story has been shortlisted and will soon be published under the prestigious tag of our publishing house...OH MY GOD WHATTTTT?!” I screamed my lungs out, as Naina closed her ears with a grin on her face.
“Naina, I WON!!” I said absorbing it as I shook the life out of her.
“Yesss!!” She said equally excited.
“Ok!" I straightened myself and sat down.
“So, they want to meet you tomorrow!” she said in a happy tone. I nodded getting serious.
Soon after that she left and I slept all proud and surprised by myself.
The next few months were quite hectic as so many things changed and it felt like I’m meeting a new version of me; who is more creative, more responsible, more organized. And I kinda like this new me.
As I finished I heard the crowd go Aww.
“I hope it was worth your while, Thank you so much!” I completed, walking down the aisle as people came to congratulate me.
Life has been good to me so far, hopefully it stays the same.