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Srishti-2021   >>  Poem - Malayalam   >>  ചുടുകാട്ടിൽ

Ranjini V

Finastra Solutions

ചുടുകാട്ടിൽ

നിതാന്ത നിശബ്ദത -ഇവിടെ
നിശ്ചല നിഗൂഢത
ഉയർന്നു പൊങ്ങുമീ ധൂമ പടലം
ഒരു പിടി നെടുവീർപ്പുകൾ- മനുഷ്യരുടെ
ഒരു പിടി നെടുവീർപ്പുകൾ!
 
മോഹങ്ങളില്ലിവിടെ,
മോഹഭംഗങ്ങളില്ലിവിടെ,
 
സുഖികളില്ലിവിടെ,
ദുഃഖികളില്ലിവിടെ,
മതങ്ങളില്ലാത്ത ഭൂമി - ഇത്
മരണത്തിൻ മരുഭൂമി!
 
വികാരരഹിത ഭൂമി,
വിപ്ലവരഹിത ഭൂമി,
സ്വർഗ്ഗരാജ്യമിവിടെ,
രാമരാജ്യമിവിടെ,
വിഹരിക്കുന്നിവിടെ,
വിലസുന്നിവിടെ.
ഒരു വിഷാദസത്യം മാത്രം,
മരണത്തിൻ നിഴൽ മാത്രം!
 

Srishti-2021   >>  Short Story - English   >>  Nature's Regret

Vinil Vijayakumar

Finastra Solutions

Nature's Regret

Ananya looks at the mirror. She is stunning in her dark blue saree with glittering embroidery. She ensures that her grooming is complete in all aspects. To give it a final touch, she uses her ring finger and takes a red sindoor, vermilion red colored cosmetic powder, from a small box and applies it at the parting of her hair above the forehead as a mark of auspicious ritual in Hinduism.

Today is her Wedding Anniversary. It's been 8 years since she got married to Sanjay. She has cooked - paneer fried rice, cauliflower manchurian and mango pudding for lunch - all of which are Sanjay's favorite picks.

The dark clouds start hiding the scorching sun in Mumbai's Bandra city and the cool breeze starts flowing through the doors and windows of her home indicating the arrival of downpour anytime soon. She walks into her room and enjoys the breeze that kisses her on cheeks through the windows followed by tiny droplets making its way out to find a place on her cute face. 

She chuckles and gets reminded of how Sanjay used to hold her from behind standing in the corridor and made her experience the water droplets falling from the clouds by extending her hand. The way she chased him in the home after he had got her drenched by pushing her out in the rain had flashed through her eyes. She then closes the windows and while she is leaving the room, a diary in the old wooden rack grabs her attention. It's Sanjay's personal diary. The diary is covered with dust and seemed as if it wasn't taken out anytime recently. The pages have become too old that mites have started enjoying them from one corner. She takes it out from the rack and wipes out the dust and the mites with the curiosity of reading through it.

She sits on her reading table with the diary and flips through the first page. The diary is 6 years old and dates to the year 2006 when Sanjay was serving in Indian Army in Srinagar. Her sharp eyes start moving to the first line of the diary. The diary reads -

"The queue of soldiers in front of Defence Telephone booth in Srinagar was unusual today. Sunday wouldn't have seen this crowd had it not been the eve of Diwali. Landlines are the only mode of communicating with our family members. Our city was placed under high alert from this week after the warning from CIA on the possibility of terror attacks.This had lowered the frequency of outgoing calls to once in two weeks. Soldiers here were excited to talk to their loved ones and enquire about their kith and kin.

I waited for my turn. I was extremely worried and had my adrenaline soar thinking about Ananya, who was pregnant. After a couple of hours in queue, I stepped into the booth and dialed 022-*** with fear. The call was answered by my wife. She couldn't control her emotions and burst out saying - "As you had wished, it's a princess." I felt as if I was the luckiest person in this universe and wanted to see and cuddle the child in my arms. I had always craved for a girl child and quite often I had expressed my wishes to Ananya about how I would take care of her and the child and satisfy all her wishes and dreams and support her in achieving her ambitions. I had then promised my wife that I would come home during the last Saturday of this month. The last Saturday is our 2nd Wedding Anniversary (I still remember ..No offence :)..)."

Ananya is interrupted by her child Deeksha who had kicked open the front door with the excitement on her face. She is back from school and look drenched. She was waiting for her grandma to open the front gate. As soon as the front gate was opened, she came rushing to her home like a sprinter leaving behind her grandma and the umbrella she was holding. Her eyes move in all directions as if she is searching for someone. When she couldn't succeed in finding, she comes to her mom and asks - "Hasn't dad come yet? Where is he? Hope he doesn't cheat on us this year." Ananya kisses her on her forehead and says - "So sweet of you darling. Take a quick shower and wear the new clothes placed on the cot. He will be arriving soon." The grandma stands still looking at her daughter-in-law and listening to the conversation she was having with her granddaughter. She then rushes towards Ananya and before she could utter a word, Deeksha holds her hands and pulls her for shower.

Ananya continues reading - 

"After the call, I went to my room. I was shocked to see that the door was locked. I wondered where Mahesh and my other two roommates had left. Mahesh had already completed his call much before I had joined the queue. I have decided to wait until he comes to throw up the surprise of me getting promoted to the role of a father. After an hour, Mahesh had arrived with a gift in hand and hugged me. I was baffled and before I could speak, he took over - "You know what..?? Today is the biggest day in our life. The day we have been craving for. Aisha's parents have given their nod for our marriage." I was much delighted in hearing this news. It had come out of 7 years of struggle to convince Aisha's parents for her marriage with Mahesh. He then said - "I have applied for a vacation and once it's approved, I will be travelling on the last Saturday of this month as our parents have fixed our engagement the following Friday." I was taken aback by his words and felt happy for him. I had the usual practice of explaining him every time about the happenings in home during the night of our call. Today, he was waiting for me to speak and when he couldn't get any hint of me opening, he asked me what had happened and enquired about Ananya. Though I tend to divert the topic, he held on to it and questioned me repeatedly. Then I opened saying that I have become a dad and Ananya has given birth to a baby girl. As soon as he heard this, he lifted me up and started celebrating with my other roommates. He then said - "Hey, there is no wait. I will cancel my leave plan for you. Go for it and meet your cute little princess and your queen." I was a bit hesitant to accept it. After a long-heated discussion, he made me apply for leave and he reverted his. He had one request for me - to hand over the gift to his Aisha as soon as I land in Mumbai. After the discussion with my higher authorities here, my leave got approved within 3 days of applying. I am starting my journey of love tomorrow early morning. Love you Ananya..!!"

Her eyes start filling with tears. She flips through the pages craving for more. When she realizes that the remaining pages had no traces of ink in them, she bursts out weeping and rushes into her room and slams the door behind her.

In the meantime, in Borivali, situated at 16 miles from Bandra, Aisha stares at a photo captured with Ananya, Mahesh and Sanjay in the main hall. She knows the importance of today and starts visiting her college memories when Mahesh had proposed her and the opposition she had faced in her home for her love for a non-Muslim guy. It was when Sanjay had accompanied Mahesh to her home and explained her parents about the love his childhood friend has for their daughter and literally begged her father to get her married to Mahesh. When her father had turned down the proposal on religious grounds, Sanjay had always been in her support as her elder brother and requested them not to lose hope and concentrate on their career. He had also assured that he will again talk to her dad once Mahesh makes it to a good position in his career. Mahesh's parents were broad-minded and had clearly stated that they would accept the proposal provided their son gets a job offer and owns up responsibilities.

A few years later, both Sanjay and Mahesh got recruited in Indian Army. The sooner they received their recruitment news, they went to Aisha's dad again to revive the marriage proposal. Her father was firm in his decision in not letting his daughter tie knot with a Hindu guy, no matter even if he is a millionaire. Sanjay had promised her that he wouldn't let their love go in vain and would get to see them married with her parents' consent one day. 

Just a few months before they were posted to Srinagar, Aisha and Mahesh had pushed Sanjay into the marriage with her school best friend - Ananya, as he was finding reasons to drop all the proposals coming his way. Ananya, a beauty with talent and a pure soul, was a perfect match for him.

Aisha then remembers what had exactly happened on this day, 6 years ago - "It was a fine evening. I had opened the door with the excitement of receiving Mahesh after 2 years. To my surprise, it was Sanjay. Mahesh was nowhere to be seen. I had welcomed him and got his blessings as my parents have accepted for my marriage with his close friend and congratulated him for his little princess' birth. The acceptance wouldn't have been possible had it not been for the constant effort of my brother in convincing my father. Though I was happy in Sanjay's arrival, I had expected Mahesh to come home as he had confirmed of his arrival the last time he had called me. I wanted to hug him with love for the marriage approval after years of struggle. Sanjay had read my mind and decided to surprise me before I turn emotional. He had opened his suitcase and handed over Mahesh's gift to me. I took it and ran to my room and unwrapped it. The gift was a crystal "Taj Mahal", a symbol of love that stands against all odds of nature. It was a symbolic representation of our love that had gone through all hardships and have now emerged successful in opening the doors of marriage. "If true love ever exists, it would bring us together to lead the next phase of life." - Mahesh's words made my eyes wet and thanked my brother for making my dreams come true. I wanted him to refresh and have a cup of coffee. But he was so much excited to meet his wife and the baby that he didn't want to spare anymore time here and took leave. On entering the front gate, he had raised his voice and said that he felt complete in all aspects and that he would come a week early with Ananya and baby for her marriage. He then smiled and bid adieu."

She couldn't come out of that shock even today.

Meanwhile, a few miles away from Borivali, there is a children's park. Mahesh is seen sitting on the park bench. He is lonely. It's been 4 years since he was transferred to Mumbai from Srinagar. This park area had remained special for many reasons. Before the corporation had built it, it was an empty land where he had grown up playing with Sanjay. They were always together, ate on the same plate, sat on the same bench in school and college, played together and even slept together in one of their homes. Their families have always treated the other as their second son. Sanjay had always been his well-wisher and considered his happiness only next to Mahesh's.

Mahesh wonders - "When he had expressed that he had become a father, how he had hidden his joy and feelings and enquired about my happiness in Aisha's parents accepting me? He still wanted me to go home and meet Aisha." He adds - "I didn't know how to repay for all his struggles to bring the families closer. The only thing that came to my mind was my annual leave. Though it's been nearly 2 years since I have last visited my home owing to a heated argument with my parents in looking for another girl for marriage, I felt sacrificing my leaves might be a small favor compared to what he did. So, I have decided to revert my annual leave and insisted him to apply for the leave as we work on the same division and two leaves cannot be sanctioned for the same period. In fact, I yelled at him and at a point slapped him when he was speaking for me repeatedly and made him to apply leave. I hugged him then out of love. I requested him to hand over my gift to Aisha when he lands in Mumbai as I wouldn't be letting her know that my leave plan is cancelled. I didn't want to hurt her saying that and believe the surprise gift would make her feel somewhat better. Sanjay left the camp with a sweet hug and forgot to carry even his personal diary out of his anxiousness to meet his family. I had then handed over his personal diary to Ananya later when I came home on leave."

When he was brooding over the past, he was interrupted by an old lady who was selling peanuts in the children's park. Looking at her grit of earning at this age for her livelihood, he bought a peanut packet from her and asked for the price.

She replied - "It's just 10 rupees, my child."

When Mahesh took out his wallet for the change, a photo of him taken with Sanjay fell on the ground. The old lady was shocked seeing the picture and took it from the ground with trembling hands and handed it over to him. He then thanked her and paid her the price and left the spot.

Tears rolled down her eyes as she sat on the park bench. She untied the knot from her saree and took a photo from it - The wedding reception photo of Sanjay and Ananya together.

She started blaming the Almighty for what had been a serious nightmare for her 6 years ago on this particular day.

She speaks up looking at the picture - "That day, I wish, one shouldn't come across in his life. I was thrown out of my home by my son in the evening for turning old and being a burden to him. I didn't know where to go. I came to railway station and sat on the floor. I was starving and didn't have enough money to buy food. With the money I had, bought a water bottle and fainted on the ground while drinking. When I woke up to senses, I could see that I have been rested on the lap of a young man of my son's age. He was wearing an army suit and looking at my condition, he took me to a restaurant and bought me food. Seeing his helping nature, I told him everything that had led me to this situation. He felt pity for me and assisted me with almost what he had in his wallet. He introduced himself as Sanjay and told me his life journey and where he is heading. He also said that he has been yearning to see the face of his beautiful wife who had given birth to his cute princess 3 weeks ago. He then showed me his wedding reception picture. I blessed him and his family from the bottom of my heart. He then looked at his wife in the picture and smiled at her saying that they have received the blessings of an old woman whom he had just met, and that is by far the most important blessings that one can receive in one's life rather than being spiritual. The very next moment he could see his train heading the station and he took leave from me. 

I wondered how a son born to me had treated me as a burden and abandoned me and how another guy, being a stranger, had showered his love on me. I started thanking the Lord for me that kindness still exists in this World.

Much before I could end my conversation with God, there was a series of blasts in the adjacent compartments of the train, about a 100 meters from the station. The same train which Sanjay had boarded. I screamed and ran to the spot praying from within to safeguard my son from this incident. There was smoke all over with some bodies torn apart and some half-burnt with bloodshed all over. There was a complete chaos with people screaming and running in all directions. I couldn't find him anywhere. Police were restricting the public from entering the spot. I cried my heart out seeing the situation. A small paper bit caught my eyes just a few steps away from the exploded compartments. As I went near, I wept uncontrollably. It was the same picture which Sanjay had shown me a few minutes ago, now with blood splash on it.

Nature perpetuates the species by switching between birth and death. 

Does it mean it needs to blindly follow its cycle without considering the deeds the humans carry out in this World? 

Do all humans weigh the same in nature's scale irrespective of the love and hatred they show for one another?

If nature is a human, she would regret for her action that day." - saying this the old lady leaves the park with a heavy heart.

Srishti-2021   >>  Short Story - English   >>  THE LONG LOST GIRL

Greeshma Somasundaran

Finastra Solutions

THE LONG LOST GIRL

She rested her jaw in her left palm revealing her blink as the only sign that she is alive. Breathing became slower and slower as if her body is finally taking its only leave it has. Deep down in her heart she might wished to stop everything and endure the pain but she felt a sudden heat at the center of her palm and it was crawling all over her body. Her blinking suddenly stopped by allowing black eyes to see the world forever and her last breath came as a quiet warm breeze touching her wrist most lovingly.

 

Even though she had led a quiet life, her mind was always reciting conversations and songs. Somewhere in that life journey she had lost her ability to create sentences through her voice. She always thought that there are somany people out there like her. But that doesn't count, right? Her pain was only for her to suffer.

 

How are you so quiet?

How come you be so quiet?

Are you always like this?

You are like this in your home too?

First they enquired, then stated by replacing the question marks with periods:

 

She's always like this.

She's lying about her chirping and fun in her home.

She loves loneliness.

She loves to be alone.

 

But little they knew that she loved both laugh and smile. By the time they come to know her courage she would be long gone. Sadly that was her plan all along.

 

That's why she opened the table drawer that day. That's why she took a dull dust painted book and a pencil. She didn't care to find a black pen even though black was all she thought at that very moment. She was used to scribbling and carving in paper but still she conjured courage to move the pencil along the paper with a slow pace and steadiness. The pencil marks become letters and then drawings, each of them linked to the other. Then some letters stretched their arms out to lock the fingers next to them. She watched with numbness the formation of words and sentences outside her mind. Her lips tried so hard to tilt a little to make something resembling a smile.

 

Her face become as blank as it ever been. Her mind ripped her thoughts out of its net and spreaded it outside. An invisible scattered letters, numbers, symbols, words, emotions, sentences, ideas and who knows what else?

They were probably looking at the point where the pencil nib met the paper. Maybe they were the ones who helped the pencil markings to hold hands. Anyway that had worked. She put down the paper and slide the chair to the desk to be closer to it.

 

At the very moment the light left her eyes without taking time to say goodbye, I opened my eyes looking into the wooden roof protecting me from cold air and sparkling beauty of stars. I used to know that girl a very long time ago and maybe she is still living in a dark corner of my mind. But acknowledging not only her pain and weakness but her strength and calmness gave me somany reasons to dream by spreading my hard wings. And it still is my lever to wish, to dream, to imagine and to achieve that lost girls dream.

Srishti-2021   >>  Short Story - English   >>  D-QWERTY

Rahid Abdul Kalam

Finastra Solutions

D-QWERTY

Hey, Don’t you feel it !! Your little baby is making a move !!

 

My wife always use to get excited right from her 2nd trimester whenever our baby use to make some movement which was of great ecstasy for her. Days were gone and that time came in.. She woke me up and said that she wasn’t feeling well and the symptoms seems to have shown up.  I was really tensed and was really feeling the fragileness of my mind. If I took another glimpse of her face, I would have wept. Like any men, I don’t want my girl to see me down at least that day and kept myself under control.

 

It was all of a sudden the doctors started rushing to the casualty (Like we do see in many films J ), and then an elderly head nurse came towards me demanding my signature for a C-Section. I would never forget that moment of my life and would have never signed so ugly until that date. It was like a hell of a moment where so many things came up to my mind and were whispering to me. I would really call this moment as a faith restoration point, where we would really turn up towards the almighty seeking his help. Moments later, they handed over to me my cute little baby boy. I couldn’t pretend anymore. Seeing his innocent face, I just broke myself and wept. Thought of giving my boy my first kiss, She stopped me doing so. She had a lot many medical terms to shower upon me explaining the stage of my baby boy. His breathe rate seems to have a slower pace and they have to place him in NICU, that was all what I understood. I inquired about my wife and they said “She is OK” which was of great relief to me.  

 

They shifted my wife to ICU and I had to wait for hours until they allowed me to see her. As soon as I went near her, all she asked was about our baby and she needs to see him. I could barely help her with that as they were not ready to take my baby outside of the NICU for any sake and thus I could only tell her that he is under observation. Undergone a C-Section, she wasn’t really able to speak but still she was keeping on asking to see her baby. I went outside the ICU where I could see another family who were in great joy (that family was blessed with a baby girl). I requested the baby’s dad to just have her in my arms for a minute. He was really happy to hand over the baby to me. I opened the ICU door half the way and showed the fully covered baby to my wife conveying the message through site that “Our baby is OK, He is safe with me”. She just smiled and that was all what I need. I handed over that cute baby girl – who had a wrist band written “Baby of D----- “ to their family back. Really I don’t remember the name of her mom, I would say that it was written as Daffodil. She was a cute little Daffodil, unknown for me who came up for a moment to my life but made our day.

 

Daffodil Queen Where Ever u R – Thank You J

Srishti-2021   >>  Poem - Malayalam   >>  ഓണം

Muhammed Saifal

Finastra Solutions

ഓണം

ഓണമായ്‌ ഈണമായ്‌ ഒരായിരം വർണ്ണമായ്‌,കാനന വീണതൻ രാഗ മധുരമായ്‌.

പഞ്ചമി പൂവിതൾ പൊഴിയുന്ന രാത്രിയായ്‌,ചിന്തയിലെവിടെയോ ചാരുത ശിൽപമായ്‌.

പുഞ്ചിരി തൂകുന്ന നിത്യ വസന്തമായ്‌, പൂമ്പാറ്റയായി നീ നൃത്തമാടി.

ആ മധുര സ്വപ്നതിൽ, ഊഞ്ഞാലിലേറി സൗരഭം വിതറുവാൻ തെന്നലെത്തി.

ആയിരം കൈകളാൽ പൂക്കളം വിരിയിച്ചു പൊൻക്കതിർ വിതറി പുലരിയെത്തി.

അധരത്തിലമൃദുമായ്‌ പൂവിതൾ തഴുകി, കരിവരിവണ്ടുകൾ ഗാനമായി.

ഓണമേ ദേവതേ നിൻ മന്ദഹാസം തുമ്പപൂവായ്‌ പൊഴിയുന്നു ഈ രാഗ സദസ്സിൽ.

ഇനിയെന്തു വേണ്ടു ഈ മമഭൂവിനു ഇതിലേറെ സായൂജ്യം ഇവിടുണ്ടോ പാരിൽ.

Srishti-2021   >>  Poem - Malayalam   >>  ഉറുമ്പുകൾക്കെല്ലാം അറിയാം

Rahid Abdul Kalam

Finastra Solutions

ഉറുമ്പുകൾക്കെല്ലാം അറിയാം

മയ്യത്തിന് ചാരത്തു

നിന്നുകൊണ്ടൊരുറുമ്പ്  ചൊല്ലി

അറിയാം എനിക്കെല്ലാം..

മരണം വേദനയാണ്..

 

കത്തി തീരുന്ന ചന്ദന തിരികൾക്ക് ...

വെട്ടേറ്റ വാഴയിലകൾക്ക് ..

തെക്കേലെ മാവിന്റെ വേരുകൾക്ക് ..

 

നിങ്ങൾ പടുത്തുയർത്തിയ

ഖബറിൽ ചുട്ടെരിച്ചത്

നാമാവശേഷമായ അവനെ മാത്രമല്ല

എൻ്റെ കുടുംബത്തെ കൂടിയാണ് ..

 

എങ്കിലും

ഞാൻ വേദന കടിച്ചമർത്തും

കാരണം

എനിക്കെല്ലാം അറിയാം .

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