One fine Tuesday, I suddenly felt uncontrollable spasms terrorize my body and I couldn’t bring myself to believe the changes I witnessed in my hitherto serene habitat. A sudden rush of shattering sounds ensued and all I could think was to hold onto wherever I was and not make any sudden movements that could make me look conspicuous. Once that ended, a small shaft of light slowly crept in dissipating the darkness and that’s when I saw those huge gloved hands moving toward me in swift motion. I froze in fear and surrendered myself completely to those hands that held me by my head and dragged me out of my place with monstrous impunity, and all I did in fright and shame was cry inconsolably until I saw my smiling mother and heard her say her first words to me, “My baby!”
P.S: Well, this was my entry for a Penguin-Hindustan Times contest to describe one amazing thing in my life in less than 150 words. Thought it was worth a post. Happy weekend, folks! 🙂
She is beautiful. She is dressed today in a lovely white frock charmingly printed with designs of exotic flowers. She is playing hide-and-seek right outside the park with four or five others of her age group. She does seem to enjoy the game quite a lot today, as the excitement on her face is quite apparent. She sprints from one end of the park to the other looking for a good place to hide while the countdown of the seeker in the game rapidly comes to a close. She furtively glances around and hides behind a bush just in time.
She slowly peers out of the bush and watches the seeker begin the search with a few good finds. She tries to control her giggling by crossing her palms on her mouth but that’s not good enough to conceal her sniggers. She realizes a few moments later that she is the last one left unfound after what seems to be quarter hour of play. She, with the help of her friends, who give out the seeker’s imminent moves and positions each minute, crawls from one bush to the other in swift clandestine shuffles, brilliantly evades capture and in time moves to the south end of the park.
She frets thinking that she has been cornered with no more ends to move without being noticed, but fortunate for her she is now being helped by an elderly man sitting on the park bench who suggests a good place to hide. She duly follows him to the safe zone by mimicking each of his moves and now they are at the far end of the park where she is secure. She has been pricked and scratched by thorns on the way, a couple of which still cling onto her dress. She hisses in slight pain while the man slowly removes her dress and picks the thorns from it with diligence so as not to spoil it. She scans around the bushes for any movement from the fear of being found while he gingerly cleanses the dirt off her hands and legs and continues to charter areas private to her and rightfully belongs to hers and hers alone.
She feels an oddity arise in her mixed with a peculiar feeling of invasiveness, a form of offense and guilt at the same time. She is unable to express this feeling of trepidation as clearly as she wishes to and only thinks about ending this new found association by running away as fast as she can. She is pinned down to the ground in one swift motion with his hands covering her mouth the very next moment. She mumbles words of escape and forgiveness to no immediate effect and now new meanings of fear and being a subject of unfair control gradually dawn on her. She is unable to dispose the huge mass that has imposed itself rudely upon her, which has now started making awkward motions by sticking its body closer and even closer to hers. She finds the cruel meaning of those motions moments later when the pain climaxes and the body above her slumps to the side in exhaustion.
She is unable to find her voice again while her naked body shivers on the grass. She can find her spotless white frock and tattered inner garments lying a few feet away but she doesn’t find the will to rise to her feet and gather them. She doesn’t feel anything except the stinging pain in her abdomen. She watches him settle his pants and walk away, and half an hour later she gathers her dress and walks out of the park cautiously wishing none of her friends would still linger around. She is ten years old and she is beautiful.
My father and I wait for the bedroom door to open any second. A small murmur is heard in the backdrop, nothing more than feeble whispers. Damn, tension grows each minute. The anxiety is clearly visible on our manly faces. Dad seems to have gotten rid of all his nails and right now he is peeling the skin off his fingertips. I also seem to have chewed my nails in the past one hour. Dad and I are unable to make eye contact with each other. The second our stares meet, we skillfully divert our attention to the door. In those fleeting glances, I do realize that he is lost in his own train of thoughts: quite understandable given the situation. This was the first instance he was about to witness such a thing in his lifetime. Grandpa is watching TV. He is kept unaware of all that’s happening. Truth be told, neither of us dare to explain things to him as it would most certainly jeopardize the evening’s plans. The old man demands to know now and then why the bedroom door is closed for such a long time and why both of us are standing right outside it the entire time. We say in unison its nothing. He continues to watch TV. The 8’o clock news is on. That gives another half an hour until grandpa’s attention is diverted and his suspicions rise again. My sis and grandma are inside with mum. It’s almost been an hour since all this started, yet no word from them yet. Father knocks the door with growing impatience. What’s going on, he demands to know. We’ll be out in a minute, my sis shoots back from inside. A tinge of concern is concealed in her voice and a little excitement too. Five minutes later, the door opens. Out comes my sis first, she is all smiles. Next, grandma walks out all coy. And there she was, mum at the door! I turn around to see dad in complete amazement for the first time ever! Sis and grandma unable to control their emotions anymore give out a wild shriek! This catches grandpa’s attention, who in the middle of all things is now giving a standing ovation. And I can’t stop myself from jumping up and down in unexplainable joy! She did it! God, my mum looks so young in a chudidhar she could pass off as my sister!
P.S: Time for me pass on the Blogger Buddy award I’d once received from Karthik. I don’t know if the rules permit me to pass it onto two at a time. Yet, I’d like to pass it to Archana & Anupama. Cheers folks! Keep writing!