Q for Quiet

He was always afraid of the quiet. Silence around him meant that the voices in his head would come out. He was a depression patient for a long time and had been taking medicines too. But so far none of the drugs had helped quieten the voices in his head. Anything he used to do, the voices used to tell him that he would never be good at it.

Even when he got married, the voices used to convince him that he was a terrible husband and that his wife hates him. He used to increase his medications in those times, but it would be of little help to him.

And then she got pregnant. The voices got even  stronger. They used to tell him everyday that he would be a horrible father and the kid would hate him and wish him dead. He started getting scared of the unborn child. The tiny clothes his parents brought for the unborn child used to haunt him at night. The toys used to be his nightmares. 

However nothing could prepare him for what he experienced on holding his baby for the first time. The moment he held his daughter in his hands, all he could see was her tiny eyes transfixed on him, the small toothless smile building up and all he could hear was the rapid fluttering of her tiny heart.

That night, lying next to the new horn’s cradle, he slept peacefully for the first time in ages, the sound of her heart beat being his lullaby of peace. The voices gone forever. Quiet no longer scared him.

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P for Phone call

Every day Trishala used to get a call on her office landline. The call used to come at the same time each day and there used to be an old lady at the other end of the line asking for Puneet. Trishala had no idea who Puneet was and every day she used to tell the lady that it was a wrong number. Since she was an old lady, Trishala didn’t have the heart to be rude with her for calling everyday. 

At night, during her daily calls to her mom, she used to tell about this call. Then they used to discuss about the plights of abandoned parents and the children who do so. 

That day it was slightly different. The call was unexpected. When the phone rang, Trishala picked it up to tell the old lady there was no Puneet here. But instead there was a younger one at the other side – a sterner one. The old lady had heard a phone ring. She ran to the phone thinking it was Puneet finally. The running did not go well. She tumbled down the stairs and is now critical in the hospital. If at all there was a Puneet there, please tell him his mother has very little chance of recovery.

The phone froze in Trishala’s hands. It was a few moments before she could speak. And then it was the address of the hospital that she asked for. Puneet might not understand. He might not even care. But at that moment, Trishala saw her mom in that old lady. She did not wish for her to die alone. 

That day, those persistent phone calls gave an old lady a companion during her last days.

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O for Orphanage

Nilay and Niyala never liked the way their parents celebrated their birthday. Every year they used to go to an orphanage and spend the entire day there helping the kids and arranging food and school stationary for them. They wanted to spend their birthday like their friends did by going to shopping malls and buying clothes and gifts. Of course their parents did that too, later in the day. But the day always started with a visit to the orphanage. 
But this year, they decided they had enough. 6 year old twins Nilay and Niyala were planning on having a talk with their parents. It was their birthday and they wanted to do things which they liked. So, the previous day of their birthday, when their parents started arranging things for the visit to the orphanage, they walked into the room with serious faces and declared their interests. They did not want to go to the orphanage. They wanted to go to the mall and play games all day. Their parents were initially surprised. Then their mom sat them down and said, ” my babies, I am very sorry we are forcing you to do things which you are not interested. But we feel that you should not forget your roots. Have you not wondered that you never visit your grandparents from mom’s side? That is because your mom does not have any parents. I grew up in that orphanage. Those are my roots. Today we are well to do and living comfortably. But some time long ago, your mom was living in those tiny rooms with no one to look after her. We just thought you should know that there are many children who are not getting what you are getting so easily, and that your mom was one of them.” 

All this while, the kids saw tears in their mom’s eyes. Their mom was a super mom. They have always seen her strong and handling every monumental task by herself. Seeing her cry like broke the 6 year old kids’ hearts. Both of them hugged their mom and said, ” we are sorry for saying that. We don’t want you to be sad. And don’t feel that you don’t have Ma and Pa. We shall be your Ma and Pa from now on. And we will never complain about our trip to the orphanage.” 

During that year’s visit to the orphanage, the kids saw the world with new eyes.

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N for Nose Ring

The day her mom got pierced, she was there. It had all started with her grandmother insisting that all the married women of the house had wear nose rings. it was apparently a tradition. Her mom did not want to do it. She was afraid of the pain. 

Navya saw her mother cry out in pain just to have a shiny object plant itself on her nose. Since then, every time she saw that ring, it used to make her terribly sad.

Through the years, Navya’s mom struggled to give her a decent life. Basic things like education was a fight as their tradition did not allow women to receive education. When they did not get any support at home, her mother used to stitch clothes and sell to make money for Navya.

Today, sitting in the flight with her mom by her side, she finally feels like the Princess that her mom wanted her to feel. Of course, her mom is sitting right next to her in the Business class and made to feel like the Queen that she always was for Navya. Navya was taking her mother on a world tour and then to settle with her in Denmark, where Navya’s business has expanded. The Nose Ring rests happily on Navya’s ring finger. It no longer gives her any pain. Mother’s day had never felt better.

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M for Moby Dick

It was there since a long time. The dream had come to him when he was a child. And it had repeated a lot since then. He learnt painting just because of that dream. And the only painting he ever painted was that dream. He had put his heart and soul into creating it and therefore the painting had felt very real by the time he had finished it.

That scenery. He did not know where it was. He had tried to find it out. Tried a lot but failed every time. No one knew such a place. Then why was he dreaming about that place? He put up his painting in a well-known gallery and put up the title – “Where is this place?”

Anyone who would see that painting remained mesmerized by it. The waves felt so real that it was almost like a window to a beach. There were so many offers to buy it, prices increasing with every bid, but he did not want to sell it. He just wanted to know where it was. It was starting to consume all of his thoughts – it had become an obsession.

He quit his job and started travelling. He started working in odd places to get money for the next travel. He searched high and low, went from pillar to post, went everywhere, still the only thing he found was his flair for writing. So he started a travel blog with posts about every place he used to travel, and also used to paint some of the scenes he visited. Very soon he became a very famous blogger and painter. His paintings started getting enormous attention from across the world as the case with his blogs.

He got fame and money, what every one else wanted in life. But he still could not find what he wanted in life – that place. His travels started taking his age with it. Years passed and he started getting too old to be a wanderer. His travels became less and less frequent. But he still hadn’t found that place. Slowly he started accepting the fact that maybe he will never find that place. Maybe his dream will remain that – just a dream.

And along came an offer – an offer from a friend for a final travel. It was part of his friend’s bucket list to visit a remote place he had chosen. He knew it might be the last travel of his life. So he took it up and agreed to go with his friend.

The day arrived and they landed at the place. From the moment they arrived, he started feeling restless. There was a pull in the air he could not define. He let his friend rest and took up in the direction he felt a calling to come. The journey was long and it took him from a lot of varied landscapes. And just when he was about to call it quits and return home, he reached a landing to a beach.

He had reached the place of his dream, and that too at his last travel. The calling was from his subconscious. He was meant to come here. He went to the beach and sat there – sat there for a long time thinking “Now what?” He had achieved his dream which was haunting him since childhood and now he was an old man finally at the destination.

By that time he was so tired that he fell asleep right at the beach. And that is when that dream came. Another place. This time in mountains with a small stream of river flowing down. He woke up with a start. The dream was so vividly engraved in his eyes that he felt he could touch it.

And that is when he realized that life had not stopped yet, and neither should he. He had found another dream to pursue and away he should go once again. His Moby Dick is not gone yet. Thus taking up his laptop and painting kit, he goes on to find his next dream at yet another destination.

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Love Lost

20 word story challenge

As she started crying after her MTP, he stood outside with a smile, updating his social status “Feeling Relieved”

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L for Leap

She could never get him out of her mind. No matter what she used to do, his were the thoughts that always clouded her mind. At work, at home, with friends or family – be it anyone she would be with, she would still be thinking about him. But he was unachievable. He was out of her reach. She tried to move on. She got married to someone else. Her husband was a very caring man. She convinced herself she could get over him. But then, her dreams stared getting filled up with him.

And then she thought, why not? She started thinking about him – in detail. She started picturing him – what he was wearing, who he was talking to, what job he does, who are his friends, his family, his likes and dislikes. She ignored the rest of the world and focused only on him. She talked about him, wrote about him, dream about him and even started seeing him around her. She became obsessed with him.

Finally, after a long struggle, she published her book. It was a brilliant detective novel and people loved her work. And that was when he finally smiled at her – the detective who was trapped in her head was finally out. Her imagination finally got a release. She took the LEAP from the normal person that she was expected to be and became who she was meant to be – a writer.

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