Fiction

The Most Truthful: A Short Story


1

A woman, and a girl kid – must be of six or seven years old, have come from Colombo to see someone here, near my town, without a precise address: having just the village name and a photo of someone – shot years back. Spoke sweetest of Tamil slangs – Srilankan Tamil.

I neither knew them nor owe anything.

The woman, wanted me to help find the person she is searching for. I resisted as much I could. But, she wasn’t ready to let me move, without what is needed from me. She wasn’t lending her ears to my point, she was just concerned about hers. I was loosing my patients. Annoying!

Kid, didn’t utter a word, just replicated the facial expression – adorably, from her mother. Perhaps, She understood the situation.

“Please…I have been desperate to see her for years…” She said, in a voice half swallowed.

“I told you already… I can’t come with you people to find the person you are looking for”

“Please…!” She said again. With her palms clasped at her bosom.

“How the hell….. I’m…sorry… For heaven sake, tell me… How could someone on this good earth would find a person you are searching for: just with the village name and a photo – that can’t help..” I yelled annoyingly. Grabbing the photo she had, showed it to her face.

Holding my hands hard “Please…”, she plead.  Another word she utter would make her tear up.

Couldn’t move on from there, Couldn’t give myself to help them, Couldn’t resist myself from showing off my discontent: was sweating badly on a gloomy morning. It was one awkward moment! Throwing my head back, looked at the sky, sun hid itself behind the clouds.

Bringing myself to sanity, looked at the photo I plucked from her hands.It was a young mother with a girl kid. The women and kid I was speaking to, weren’t the ones in the photo.

Srilankan Tamil  Mother
Photo, the women had

“Who is she… I mean, who is the person you are searching, for you?”

With a voice dissolved in flood of tears, she said “My….Birth Mother!… I’m… I’m begging you to help me find my birth mother”.

She didn’t stop sobbing for minutes, I couldn’t stop her either. Kid started crying too: perhaps, for the reason – her mother was crying.

Calming herself down, the women, started telling me the things in detail: the fact she ended-up here, the reason she didn’t have an exact address or a photo that can help, the sense she was so desperate and self-centered.

I couldn’t speak anything more than “Lets go..”

2

“How long still…Velu?” Venbha inquired tiredly; resting on my shoulders. In those few hours of walk to the village, Venbha – the kid, got along with me so well. Perhaps because, I was the only of two grown-ups, who atleast tried to answer the questions she popped up – Why we walk? Don’t we have buses to this village? How come people live in these very small houses? Why did you make my mom cry there in the town? Why do people live in such a remote place? Can’t they live in towns or cities? , I quenched her curiosity as much I can.

“Another ten minutes” I said.

“ufff… You are saying the samething again…” she said disappointingly, balancing her jaw with her little elbow over my head.

I couldn’t keep down my curiosity any longer.

“So… who brought you up, then?” I questioned Venbha’s mom.

“Asylum”, was the reply.

“What?!!.. I mean.. Why?”

With a faintest smile her face can express, she said “Abnormality is the normality of life, if you are a born Tamil in my Island. Will be shot before you speak, buried before you are dead, hospitals are the graveyard. I’m not afraid of hell.. you know. Hell must be a far better place than my slaughter-island. Giving birth to a girl kid in a place like that – my mother must have had her heart in her boots. My father died before I was born. She took refuge here, leaving me there to someone she had trust on. They brought me up – as long as they could and they left me in an asylum. I don’t know, why she didn’t take me with her. Perhaps because, I was too young to go-through what she would have gone through – to travel across sea. I came here not as a Tamil, but as a Sinhalese woman. Growing up as a street’s child, I have learnt sinhala too. My desperation to see my mother was more than my love on my mother language. Venbha is my adopted child. I have atleast got the news years later that: my mom is alive here. But, Venbha’s parents are in a better place than this planet, already”

Nobody, except feathered creatures and plants, made sound there for another few minutes.

“We have come to the village” I declared, looking at Venbha’s mom. Her face worsened: all at once – longing, anger, happiness; she started shivering.

I had the photo I grabbed from her. Showed it to every one we saw, inquired every home we passed by; only acknowledgement we got was “no”. Time passed fast, Twilight diffused all over the place.

A women – hairs grayed out, wrinkled skin covering her bones – without muscles, came towards us, saying nothing; Her face looked as if – it was tired of expressing anything. Facing Venbha’s mom quiet and deeper…

“Isai priya!!”, she said.

Venbha’s mom nodded furiously. Both broke-down. Purest of hugs and kisses. The Most Truthful exchange of Love. Sun went below the horizon: to shed tears quietly in concealment.

“How did she find my mom?” Venbha wondered.

“She carried your mom for months, in her womb” I said.

Coming back to the present, isai priya and her mother thanked me till words dried out.

Soon, I become the chief-guest for the village. Dinner that I never had in years, fulfillment that I never sensed before. That night, I stayed there in their hut. Lighter the heart, deeper the sleep.

Next morning, Holding Venbha’s cute little hands: “I’m afraid, I must take a leave from you” I said.

Looking down, She just smiled. Smile that expressed not happiness, but the acceptance of reality.

Kissing her soft on the forehead, I bid “Goodbye”.

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Fiction

Good limbs: A Flash Fiction


After an exhausting travel of two hours, rested on a chair – lined opposite to the ATM machine, in the huge hallway of Chennai bus terminal. As an add-on for the travel, got my watchband cut. Pulled it out from the side pocket. It was quarter past seven at the evening. Had enough time before the bus for my hometown to start, it was scheduled at 9 O’clock.

Leaving the sandals on floor, folded my legs over the chair. Took The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje out from my backpack. Allowed it to take me in. Ondaatje’s prose were poetic. Word were heart filling. Serene.

Hana. A twenty year old girl, an army nurse, matured beyond the age, lives in an abandoned villa in Italy, at the backdrop of second world war, with a completely burnt immovable patient – who speaks English.

Hana use to read few pages for the patient; from the book – that he has, sometime from a book pulled out from villa’s library. She entered the story as she read.

She entered the story knowing she would emerge from it feeling she had been immersed in the lives of others, in plots that stretched back twenty years, her body full of sentences and moments, as if awaking from sleep with a heaviness caused by unremembered dreams.

English patient enters his own story happened in life.

Ondaatje shipped me virtually to the abandoned villa in Italy, for sometime – should be for an hour. I just stayed there watching them as they do… like a God.

After being there in Ondaatje’s awesomely penned world for sometime, came back to the bus terminal, feeling myself sitting on the chair. Leaving the book into bag, plugged myself into the music from my xperia. Divenire by Ludovico Einaudi pulled me to the every note of it, when my brain started capturing things happening around.

Someone with – eyes wide open, head abnormally inclined, right arm much shorter than the other, fingers moving – randomly and rigidly, with saliva oozing out from the corner… was dragging himself towards someone – who must be his younger brother, by turning and twisting the body, with an uncluttered smile. Little brother seemed to be at his early twenties.

Younger brother spread his arms, as he stands facing the person rushing towards him, in a way a mother would do for her child making its first step, with his smile ear to ear.

Raul_pizarro's Oil painting
Raul pizarro’s painting

For his legs below the knees helpless, knees pressing the earth down, pushed himself up the air, harder, vein filling with blood, arm bended towards his chest, with a cry mixed with smile to give himself power. Younger brother didn’t help him, intentionally, it seemed as if he wants his brother to try himself out to the maximum he can. Elder brother stood for seconds, with his knees as his feet. Fell face down. Little one dusted off his brother, lifted him – as his limbs waving like a pendulum, swinged him towards his back – holding his brother’s Good limbs.God’s laugh from both the faces.

Me, watching this scene, with a best suiting background music – Divenire by Ludovico Einaudi. Surreal!

Tears came rushing down my cheeks to wet my dried-up heart.

Wiped my tears off, as arms bend, fingers move; as I say.

Didn’t know, as to thank god for me or to curse god for him. But I was glad in a way that, that less grown-up child atleast has someone to turn. For every man need is somewhere to turn.

How cruel it would be to live with a body that you don’t want to be in… from the birth.

Thanking God, moved on to catch my bus.

Blog

What’s God’s awesome plan for me?


There is this scene in the movie “Hugo”, where the little boy, watching the beauty of Paris at night from the giant train station clock, says to isabelle…

hugo

I’d imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn’t be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason too.

This movie made me observe few things happened in life, which I had just been passing-by till then.

On every friday, My mother used to wake my sister and me bit earlier in the morning than the other days, as we had a special tasks to be done – wholeheartedly! Even if we didn’t do so, we at-least made them believe we did so. I had to buy half a litre of milk and do some religious rituals to Mr.Ganesha who was sitting in the temple nearby my sweet home. And my sister has to buy a lemon, make an oil Lamp out of it and place it to lord Dhurga in the same temple. We were asked to do so, as Lord Durga and Mr.Ganesha are gods who bless people with knowledge and Intelligence. But, It was an hard time for both of them.

As days rolled on, Mr.Ganesha started to cunningly play with my marks, if I missed to make him happy. As long as I made him happy with half litre of milk poured over him, Mr.Ganesha helped me in getting decent fail marks. I remember, whenever I prayed to him those days, I tried to compromise him with cheaper things like – a camphor or a flower, asking the needs in particular.

When Life started becoming more than just a pass mark, I wasn’t sure of what to ask him. Things I thought would be right for me, went brutally wrong. And things I never had faith on, has made my heart drop its jaw with awe. One of the craziest thing in this processes of dying is, we have least clue on things gonna happen next microsecond or nanosecond.  Even if we have an hunch on few, its just an Hunch, just an intuition. At-least for me.. Decisions are made based on hopes. No matter how confident I am of my choice, I can’t help keeping the “what-if?” at bay.

Then on, I involuntarily started asking Mr.Ganesha, to do just what is good for me. I have thanked him for things that hasn’t went the way I wanted, Not once or twice but at many point in time. Few anecdotes has showed me.. why it hasn’t/has happened, years later.

I believe or things made me believe, all happenings in life is akin to some plan that is pre-written, and it is least possible to be re-written. Ore has to be pored on the mold to bring it to a shape. To a Shape, that would suit best for the machine to which it is gonna be fit. Wrench even is a Simple machine, just to repair another.

When I mention “fate”, word “Purpose” is within it always.

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
Allen Saunders