“It is already 12.30 am , go to bed, ..bhaiyya” She said , faking anger.
“Just let me complete it.. ” I turned my gaze to the blank screen of Microsoft word in my laptop
You are writing a story? She asked
“Yeah.. I am trying, this time it is going to be a special short story” I said keeping my eyes still on the screen.
“Special story huh?? Okay, I am sleepy , You carry on.. call me once you complete it..i want to know how ridiculous it is!”
With that she left ,gifting me her dimpled smile. My sweet sister!
And I start to type it…
Dark clouds gathered again. They harbingered the storm to follow. Nature has been playing a dirty game here in Gouridesh. Heavy rain flooded the entire district leaving thousands of people homeless. More than four hundred people lost their life, some are still trapped under the debris of landslide, families are left alienated. Parents become childless and children become parent-less. Heart breaking scenes can be seen every corner of the village. Before a week, everything was normal in Gouridesh, but now things are changed… villagers are still to accept how terrible their life has been for the last fateful days. Death hovers around the sky as dark clouds. The entire village is awash by now.
Eighth day of the calamity. Refugee camps are rife with people and communicable diseases. People started to fight each other for limited food supply. Life becomes insanely non-livable there. Grief stricken faces are all around. Everyone seems to have a story of missing and misery behind their façades. Hospitals are crowded with causalities. They have only that so called ” fate “is there to blame on.
Rudra a 35 year old school teacher, wriggled out of the partially dilapidated house, pulling his wife Mani who almost lost her consciousness. They are trapped inside the house. They lost their 6 years old son Rishwi. They still don’t have any clue if Rishwi is alive or not. Rudra took her in his arms and stepped in the rescue boat. As the boat moved forward, Rudra blankly stared at his house… Rishwi’s giggles were reverberating in his ears. He closed his eyes and held his wife tightly who just got back into her senses by the help of first aid. She was chanting her son’s name, still hoping Rishwi’s return. Rudra failed to pacify his wife.
In the corner of the boat a cute little girl was watching the new couple on board. She was about four years old. Her face carried no expressions. She was also a victim. She was itting in such a way that her chin is being propped up by her knee. She was wearing a worn out frock. The terror of being alienated from the loved ones all out of blue can be seen in her cute little eyes.
This girl? Rudra asked the guy who was rowing the boat.
“Don’t know masterji, I got her from a devastated farm outhouse, only this kid was left there. I think the rest of her family is alienated, Poor girl” Man said
Oh!! Rudra sighed, and looked at the girl.
“I asked million times about her family and whereabouts, She didn’t say anything. She simply nods head” Man continued.
“May be she is too terrified to speak or react” Rudra held her wife tightly to his chest, as boat made jerk. She was sleeping now, exhausted and mentally shaken by his son’s absence.
“Idhar aa beta” (please come here dear) Rudra beckoned the kid over.
She didn’t reciprocate his call, she was fiddling with her frock laces.
Railway station was rife with the villagers who were moving to the refugee camps and villages which are less affected with this horrendous flood. People scampered across the platform. Grief stricken faces were seen all around. Some were lamenting of their losses. Some were not able to cope with the loss of their kith and kin. All were desperately trying to swarm into the jam packed compartments. All they wanted was to escape from their homeland. They were forced to leave behind what they possessed for years. This outbreak was way too heavy for them to withstand. That was the time when everything became trivial except our own life.
Somehow Rudra managed to get seats for his wife and the little kid. Train was over crowded. He waded through the compartments with his weary wife and the little girl to get a seat. Train howled and slowly crept out of the station. Mani suddenly wriggled out from Rudra’s arms and rushed to the window with last ray of hope on her face, a hope of his son’s return. She struggled with the window bars to get a last look to the platform. She dreamt of his son running after the moving train and finally filling in her embrace. But it remained as mere hope. Train moved faster gaining more speed. Tiny drizzle sprinkled on her face and blended with the salty tears and trickled down. She gripped the window bar tightly and wailed. He grabbed her and she snuggled against his chest. Rudra cried, silently.
“I am thirsty ” Little girl shook his hands.
Rudra turned his gaze to her face. She looked all tired and pale.
“ I will get you when train stops in the next station” Rudra said and patted on her head. He lunged and kissed on her forehead. She was still fiddling with the end of her worn out frock.
Rudra got off the train. It stopped in a station, which was less crowded. He strode to the pipe to collect water. Suddenly he stumbled upon something and lost balance. He fell down and the empty bottle was thrown off his hand. He managed to go up and found a boy sleeping on the floor. He was laying on his belly.
Rudra felt something strange and familiar at once. He bent on knees and tried to see his face!
He overwhelmed, it was his son! Rishwi
I closed my laptop and called her.
“Oh it seems you are done with your story” She smiled
“Yup, I am done” I replied.
She opened the laptop and started reading.
She smiled and said
“I asked papa to collect water and he found you” She said.
“My sweet sister” I smiled.
picture courtesy: http://strangesounds.org