This morning, in the park, I saw a little girl playing with her mother. She is four years old. A while later, her sister came around, who is eight. I have been seeing these girls since the little one was born. London, my dream city. I shifted here five years back. Since then I’ve been living alone. I’m not as old as one must think, not as young as one might get confused. I have been living on this planet for the past 26 years.
I have no idea why I write this story but, I don’t even want to know. I just want to write it.
Seven years ago, Mumbai blasts, 26/11 2008, many people lost their lives but according to a meagre number of twenty people, they were serving justice to their religion, culture and their identity. The question is, do they even know what identity is?
That evening, I decided to take my sister out for dinner. Both of us lived in the city, all by ourselves, ever since mom and dad had taken a divorce. She was eleven. I told her not to move from the place until I get the wallet from the car, that I had accidentally forgotten. The car was parked across the lane and so I walked up there when I did not realise how, but I felt a jerk and fell across the other side of the car. My attention shifted towards the scars and blood on my arms. I was so engrossed, I forgot about the wallet, more than that, I forgot about her. The screams and the running of the people brought me back to my senses. I looked here and there and was totally confused to what was happening when I managed to get up from the ground, and looked towards the hotel, the taj palace hotel.
All that was visible to me was fire and smoke.
I went numb, I could see everything but I understood nothing.
Gradually, as I walked towards the place, I entered it, there were voices calling me to tell me not to go inside. I heard everything, understood nothing. I walked up the stairs to the second floor. Unaware of all the sounds or everything that I saw, I just walked. A few seconds later, though, I fell to the ground. No bullet or weapons had hit me but I tripped by someone. As I tried to get up again, my foot slipped by a pink skirt, with white stripes on it and a letter on its corner, ‘C’.
‘C’, that signified Chaahat.
I looked at the shirt, white, it was plain white when I had given it to her an hour ago to get dressed, now, abstract art by red covered it up. I did not have the courage to look at her face so I looked at her shoes, one of them had lost it’s beautiful silver buckle, on the black Swede, that she was so particularly fond of.
After a few moments of terror, I looked at her face for inviting in more of terror. Her face, well, it still seemed as beautiful and innocent to me as it always had.
I don’t remember a chunk of things that had happened after that except all the hassle that had started in the town. It went on for weeks, a part of it, for months.
A week ago, I saw the advertisement of a new movie that depicted a revenge idea for the time, and said through its tagline, ‘a story you wish were real’.
I don’t know if I wish so or not, but I just know one thing that if ever, something of that sort happens, I will make sure that I’ll be a part of it to let her have her treat for the result she was going to be awarded that evening with her favourite cupcake.
Today, after seven years, I went to the place again, to have the black forest cupcake with a candle in my hand, I lightened it up and blew it as well, singing, ‘happy birthday to you’. I cut out half of it, had that and gave the remaining half to a little begging girl outside the hotel. The smile on her face reminded me of Chaahat’s.
I walked back home smiling too.
Shubhrika is an emotional person and portrays that in her words. She is a coffee lover and hence an intrigued writer.
She loves to play with words and twist them as much as she can, that is her way of writing. But mostly, she loves creating suspense in her writing. She would never let the real story come out until the last part of her writings.
Writing is her life and her heartbeat.