Sunday, October 31, 2010

Kinginni - The Anklet

*P.S.: This entry has been declared the winner at the 'Moonlit lounge' contest at TWL. Click here for the judge's comments. Presenting the winning short story of the picture based story writing contest held at Writers Lounge. Yeyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!! :D :D*
This is my entry for a picture based story writing contest held at Writers Lounge. We were required to write a 500 word story on the picture used in the story below. Hope you all like my attempt. Long time since I sat down to write a story. Still rusty rusty :-)


KINGINNI - The Anklet

When we die, we become stars. Forever shining and up there for people we love most”, Ammalu told her 5 year old girl.

But Amma, you won’t even be able to see or hear me from far up there”, Kinginni frowned.

Molu, you were named Kinginni which in our native tongue means the anklet. The sound of these anklets will inform me. There is always an invisible umbilical cord that connects a mother with her daughter, no matter how far she is”, Ammalu tried reassuring her daughter, wiping away tears which she had so valiantly fought for the past few months.

This conversation was still fresh in Kinginni’s mind though it had taken place two years back. Ammalu had passed away that very year, leaving Kinginni with her maternal grandmother and fisherman brother Velan. For the last two years, like a ritual Kinginni would head to the rocky beach towards the other end of her adopted home on every birthday of hers and converse with the brightest star closest to the moon. The sound made by her anklets would echo all around announcing her arrival. She would open her heart out to this twinkling star and share every single thing that had happened in the last one year. And the star would shine brightly while Kinginni smiled, fade out when she cried, twinkle at her complaints and bathe Kinginni in the cool moonlight when she would yearn for her mothers touch.

Today was her birthday. But things had gone terribly wrong. Kinginni had lost her anklets two days back while playing near the beach. She had spent the last two days crying. The new white frock her uncle gifted her this morning had failed to cheer her up. It had been raining heavily for the past few days and today was no different. As soon as it stopped raining towards the night, Kinginni made a dash to her spot. There was an eerie silence all around and the place sounded unfamiliar today without the echoes of her anklet. With a heavy heart, she glanced towards the sky. She let out a gasp on seeing the sky without a single star. Tears swelled up in her eyes and she rushed back unable to handle the shock.

She ran along the beach with the stream of tears gushing down her cheeks. She felt something prick her legs which made her stop. She had almost dismissed it as a thorn. But the shine of that object made her dig the surface of the sand only to reveal her anklets. Kinginni could not believe it. She thanked the sea for this gift on her birthday and rushed back to the spot, the anklet adorning her leg. The place echoed in rhythm to her pace as she sprinted to the corner. With a smile on her lips, she looked towards the sky in anticipation. And like God’s play, a strong wind blew the black clouds above revealing a bright twinkling star besides the moon.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Moment

"Ishitaaaaaaa...Ohhh My goddddd!! You here??? this hour!! How??” Rahul was rubbing his eyes in amazement.

He could not get himself to believe that Ishita was here at his place at this unearthly hour. But Ishita had always been like that. Crazy to the core. And this was not the first time that Ishita had climbed up all the way to his room on the first floor. She had earlier surprised him on Valentine’s Day last year. She knew very well that Rahul slept with his balcony door wide open. He could not get himself to sleep without feeling the whiff of fresh air that the open door and windows brought in. He always knew that Ishita was a crazy girl, but her daredevil stunt on last Valentine’s Day had wiped away any iota of doubt he had in his mind. But that was last year. It seemed like ages ago. Things had not worked out the way they wanted to. It was a mutual decision to move on. The fact that Ishita's dad got transferred to Mumbai also didn’t help much.

"Ishitaaa!! Good Lord! I can't believe you are here. I thought we would never meet again. I have been missing you like crazy", Rahul's voice was choking with emotions. He had got over their break up with much difficulty. How could he forget all that suffering he went through just at the sight of his long lost love? He tried to control himself. The twinkle of love in his eyes vanished.

He stared hard at Ishita, "You never even bothered to call me up even once in all these months. I could not because no one here knew of your whereabouts. But at least you could have called me up. I have been pestering your best friend Roop all this while to get your contact details. She was adamant. And here you are.....turning up on my balcony without notice...just like that...and you feel that I will still be waiting for you here with arms wide open? Go away bhondu...sorry...Ishita...I wish not to go through the pains of parting all over again"

Rahul felt that Ishita wanted to say something, but the volley of words from Rahul's side had made her stop in her motions. She just looked at him lovingly and gave him her dimpled smile. He had prayed all these months for this moment. This one fleeting moment which he had thought would never come again in his life. His last wish had been to see her flash her dimples for him, for one last time. The moment that he wished to frame in his mind and take it along with him right to his grave. But life does not always turn out the way you wish it to. When you feel that everything is going fine, it transforms itself into an unknown entity. Rahul felt his heart melt when he saw Ishita turn and walk away. He could not see her depart like that. He tossed around in bed and buried his face in the pillows. He cried his heart out. It had taken every bit of his inner strength to show Ishita the door.

Rahul forced himself back to sleep. He tossed and turned in his bed for almost two hours. He could not get himself to sleep. There was this feeling of guilt within. He woke up with a start. Why had Ishita turned up all of a sudden today? She was here for a reason. She wanted to say something. What could be it? It was then that realization dawned on him. It was 25th Feb today!! Their anniversary! Ishita had remembered. She had come down all the way to patch up. His face lit up. All the hatred that had accumulated over the past many months faded away. He cursed himself for being rude to Ishita. He ran towards the balcony to catch her on her way down. She was nowhere in sight. Rahul rushed to his table and grabbed his bike keys. His phone rang that very instant.

"Hello...Rahul. Hi, Roop here. Hope i did not disturb you at this hour?"

"Rooop...No yaar...have you gone mad?? And i know what you have called for. I knew she would have reached your place by now. Hand over the phone to Ishita...right now...I scolded her a lot yar...Plz hand over!"

"Rahul....It's your anniversary today......right Rahul? Ishita had waited....waited for this day to patch things up with you. I think you should know this. She always missed you..........God! Give me strength to say this.....She is no longer with us Rahul.....She met with an accident on her way to my place. She.......passed away...She....left all of us....a few minutes ago"


This story was selected by BlogAdda as one of their 5 "Spicy Saturday Picks" of the Indian blogosphere, on Feb 28th.
This is what they had to say on my story at "The Writers Lounge":
Who : Sandeep Balan for Writer’s Lounge
What : The Moment
Spicy : Sandeep in this very well crafted post speaks about a moment which made a difference in the relationship and lives of the people involved, The post is sweet, touching and simply awesome! That is all we would like to say about this ‘Spicy Saturday Pick’!