Guest Post, Short Stories

THE SILVER WATCH

Passing by the street, his eyes were again locked at that watch in second-hand goods shop. Sam glanced at the watch and he felt as if he has lost the track of time, but a mere look at the price tag brought him back to reality.
$5 may not seem too high for a watch carved so beautifully studded with star shaped pieces across its circumference, but is was way too much for Sam, an orphan, a street rat who worked day and night just to fill his stomach.
Days, weeks, months came and went, Sam passed daily in front of the shop wishing to buy that watch, one look at the watch was enough to mesmerize him to send him to the good world of his thoughts, but reality was not that good as he was not able to collect $5 , all he had was $3 and 70 cents which he collected all his life but spending as little as possible, sometimes he slept empty stomach or else stole food from the streets in order to fill his stomach as it was not possible to eat daily in order to save money.
“But what will this street rat do with this watch?” asked the worker at the store to his employer; “only heaven knows” came the reply.
But one thing both the owner of the shop and his employee knew was that Sam glanced at the watch daily for hours and gathered courage once in a month to come inside the store to enquire about any reductions in the price of the watch.Months passed and Sam was getting closer day by day to attain that watch.
Months passed and Sam was getting closer day by day to attain that watch to fulfil his dreams, $4and 95 cents as he checked his life savings again and that sense of happiness was visible on his face as he was going to get what he wanted all his life. With that smile on his face he started to go to work, Sam was a chimney sweeper who risked his life daily to clean soot from the chimneys of the rich, although the day was tiring and he had to clean so much still that smile prevailed on his face and when he got his 5cents. He couldn’t wait for another second and ran towards the shop, he was like the happiest human on the planet and didn’t even thought of eating fruits which were on the tree, he reached the shop with a sparkle in his eyes but in a moment his world was shattered, the watch was not there.
Sam fell on the floor in front of the shop his money dropped from his hands and tears flowing from his eyes, the owner came to him and enquired what happened, on Sam’s reply he asked “why did you want the watch in the first place, what will someone like you do with that watch?”
The Silver Watch

These words from the shopkeeper took Sam back in time, in the world of his memories, his childhood when his mother was alive and  he used to lay in her lap happily with no worries about the world, she was a poor women rich by heart, raising her son alone after her husband’s death and no relatives to support her but she was happy, her son meant the world to her and he remembered her wearing that silver watch on her wrist all the time, this watch was his mothers only memory he had, which was lost the night she died in an accident on the street leaving him all alone in this world.The shop owner couldn’t stop himself from helping the boy, he searched his registers and gave the address of the man who bought that watch this afternoon, Sam got up and rushed to the address and told his story to that man, and asked him if he would be kind enough to sell that watch to him for which he had worked hard all his life and which meant to him more than his life. The man told him I bought this watch for my 12year old daughter and she has gone to play in the park and only she can decide what she wants to do with her present now, so Sam waited at their gate for almost an hour until the girl returned. He got up and went to her father and the girl’s father said “Maria, I want to talk to you about the watch I bought u this afternoon”.

The shop owner couldn’t stop himself from helping the boy, he searched his registers and gave the address of the man who bought that watch this afternoon, Sam got up and rushed to the address and told his story to that man, and asked him if he would be kind enough to sell that watch to him for which he had worked hard all his life and which meant to him more than his life. The man told him I bought this watch for my 12year old daughter and she has gone to play in the park and only she can decide what she wants to do with her present now, so Sam waited at their gate for almost an hour until the girl returned. He got up and went to her father and the girl’s father said “Maria, I want to talk to you about the watch I bought u this afternoon” and she replied, “oh the stupid silver-colored watch, what about it, anyways I lost it somewhere.”

  In a moment she lost a watch and, Sam lost his world!

By: – Anant Bhardwaj
ANANT B

Anant Bhardwaj is currently pursuing law from Faculty of Law Delhi University. He is a dreamer who is mostly lost in the world of imagination, movies and poetry. A big time TV series enthusiast and a huge huge fan of NBA, Anant is fond of writing short verses and heart touching stories. 
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Poetry

A Day Without You

Call myself to you
I am barren and brown,
without your water

I want to seek,
Your light
Your wisdom
Your joys
Your pains

Our Love
Our Agony
Our Wisdom

Call Me, Call Me Love…

Call myself to you,
I am barren from betrayals
I am done with the world
I long for your hand

I shed every tear
And continue to stand…

Call myself to you
I shall never grow
I shall never reap
I shall never see

Call myself to you
You were my light
You were my night
And, I can never be
A Day without You

Saumya Kaushik

Poetry

If Only…

If Only, I could control my mind,

I would be much sane.

If only I could tell that girl,

Her efforts are not vain.

If only, I could sleep a night sound,

I would be much sane.

vintage

If only, I could tell that demon,

To not leave me in disdain.

If only, I could tell that mother,

I would be much sane.

If only, I could control my mind,

I would be much sane.

If only, she knew her seeds,

Are now fountains.

If only, I could share that pain,

I would be much sane.

If only I could control my mind,

I would be much sane.

If only, the beggar knew,

Lies no magic in his mountains.

If only, I could control my mind,

There would be no pain.

If only, the girl, the mother, the picker

were not fighting from pain.

If only, they knew they would be much sane.

If Only…

Uncategorized

Two Decades and Two years

Since past two years, I hadn’t celebrated my birthday with full zest and zeal as other people in my age do. This year, I tried to go for the like. I had been pretty much excited this year, because of the celebrations and the recent great additions to my life. I chose a birthday dress; not one but two for different parties and every morning till the day; I’d wake up to check the calendar dates. When the date arrived; I guess I had completely murdered my excitement because it so felt that it was- just another day in life unlike the calls at 12 am and timeline posts.
The people whom I had expected to greet me with a call or least a text message made it much simpler for me; to kill them in my head because of their hard efforts of posting- “Happy Bday”. I personally believe posting on the timelines doesn’t translate into a real wish, especially when Facebook is reminding you that “Oh! You have a person in your list too”.
I began my day with a friend who is new to his day job and I was slowly getting killed at breakfast because I hate blabbering about “office politics” and “corporate chicks”. But, then he obviously made my morning aka 12:30 pm by gifting me tonnes of chocolate. I then proceeded to “Café Hawkers” at C.P. which is a really cool place. They serve you starters and main course in mini hawk carts.

 

hawk

Obviously, because of the excitement, I called up a few more persons in the evening to eat more calories and tell them that they matter. And, my bubble got pricked when I realise that they’ve ditched me at the final moment and I had to wait for my mother to arrive for dinner. So, I picked up a book and started reading in the scorching heat until a beggar approached me crying about his pregnant wife in labour pain on the street. I managed to take her to the nearest hospital and in no time, she was admitted to the labour room.
I am actually happy that the excitement did work and I contributed a hand in bringing a life into this world on the same day as mine.

So! I left the hospital around eight, had dinner with my mother- she telling me stories about her birthdays in her twenties. And, I won’t think again, if I have to write. It was indeed a happy birthday!

Good Night!

Short Stories, Women Empowerment

The Lonely Widow- Published in Minds at Work 3

We are glad to have on our set the bestselling writer of ‘Life after him’ – Mrs Anjali Arora, whose novel has sold over a million copies nationally and abroad, is present among us to give a few tips to the amateur writers of the nation. Her book is soon to become a big box-office hit.

The interviewer announced my presence at the interview with sheer excitement.

So, Mrs Anjali How did the idea of penning down a book pop up in your head at the age of 52? The interviewer initiated the interview with her first question.

Well, Writing has always interested me and if I don’t write to empty my head I’ll go insane. Writing a book was never been my cup of tea because I always imagined myself as a homemaker residing in a countryside with my husband.

But your articulation of speech has made your readers (especially women) run head over heels after you and they’re expecting another masterpiece from you soon.

I laughed. Well, Yes! I write for women empowerment and if we take a glance at the current system of the country; my book is definitely a ray of hope for a few.

What is the story of your success? Your readers desperately want some fodder from your life and would like to know how you inspire them so much?

Ok. I haven’t spoken about it till now. There is a sad story behind my success. There have been a few incidents in my life which have shaped me into the person I am, today.

Please tell us the story Mrs Anjali, this time verbally, on air. She said pleasing me.
It happened two years ago.

************************

“We need to perform a few more tests on the patient; there are no signs of recovery” said Dr. Mathur.

I nodded my head before him, giving a helpless consent to save my husband. I rushed downstairs towards the reception of the super specialty hospital where my husband was being diagnosed for Liver-failure. Fifteen long days in the medical I.C.U and no hope of recovery. He was not even in his senses from the past week.The ventilator on his body was constantly giving him life-support and never once in a week did he gain consciousness and blinked an eye before any doctor. His condition was critical; none of the doctors expressed the belief for his betterment. I was left with no option but to agree to the doctor’s decision of keeping him on the ventilator and the treatment by the lifesaving drugs. I stood fourth in the queue of the billing section. Within a few minutes, other attendants left the space and an old lady sat before me wearing spectacles; her eyes glued on the computer screen.
“Yes Please”. “Patient’s Name”? She asked in a low tone.

“Deepak Arora”, I replied. “I need to submit the money for the X-Ray, Hemoglobin test, Liver Function Test and RBC count test. I stammered before her the names of the tests trying to understand Dr. Mathur’s handwriting.

“Give me the prescription”. She said.

“Here, here it is.” My mind battled with the thoughts of my husband on the ventilator; how he must be feeling? Does he know that he is getting support from a machine to breathe? Has he been sleeping from the past seven days?
My disbeliefs were disturbed by her instructions…“Six-fifty rupees mam” She gave away the prescription with her signature to me. I completed the formalities and rushed back to the medical I.C.U. on the ninth floor. The security guard stood before the gates of the I.C.U. and I was just a door away from my husband. But, I didn’t want to see him in a precarious condition; I had never imagined him, fighting between life and death on a hospital bed. Never ever in my worst nightmares!

“Bhaiya, here is the receipt of the tests, please hand over it to Dr. Mathur, for patient ‘Deepak Arora’, bed no-3”. I said panting my breath.

“O.K. Madam” He replied and went inside the I.C.U., I saw my husband’s bed from the closing of the door and the machines which occupied him. He returned after a few minutes with tensed expression on his face.

“What happened Bhaiya”? “You didn’t give the receipt? It is still in your hands”. I asked him embarrassed.

“Madam, Dr. Mathur has called for you, there is something serious”. He said looking at my face in a weird manner.

“What happened?” I repeated my question.

“Please go inside Madam” He replied opening the door.

As soon as I stepped inside, my heart beat thumped; I felt as if I would faint the next moment. Each step near my husband’s bed made my mind thought of the worst, while my heart prayed for the best.

“Has Deepak left this world”? Shut up Anjali. He might have re-gained consciousness. Think Positive. Stay calm. He’s alright. He’s alright. Everything is alright. God is listening to you. He’s alright.

Dr. Mathur’s gaze made me uncomfortable; I would hear any bad news the next minute. I tried to divert my mind from his gaze and my eyes shifted on to the ventilator. It wasn’t running anymore! The lights were shut down and there were no beep sounds coming from it.

My hands went cold of the most horrible premonition.

“Wha-what Happened Doctor”? I asked. My eyes welled up with water, I was half aware of what he would speak next.

“We are really sorry Mrs. Arora. Your husband is no more, we couldn’t save him”.

My eyes became red in a minute, and I turned my neck towards my husband’s body. He didn’t breathe. It was a dead body. Has he left? For real? He’ll never come back? Never? For always? My Deepak. My baby.

The auspicious day of our marriage, flashed before my eyes on hearing the news of the demise of my love. How beautifully I dressed up as the bride and we were united by the Hindu rituals.

“Mrs. Arora? Mrs. Arora? Are you alright?”

I didn’t know what happened post that tragic news, everything appeared black and dim to me. Dr. Mathur’s face faded before my eyes and the least I remembered was; I fainted in the I.C.U.

****************************
I tried to open my eyes but the brightness killed me. My head ached as if somebody had blown a thousand hammers in it. I hadn’t slept for seven long days. My eyes didn’t open while my ears processed wails of some women in my house. I immediately expanded my eye lashes and the crowd at my place looked at me with mixed response. The lady in the green suit pushed me up and made me sit on the bed. I started remembering everything,
‘I am sorry Mrs. Arora; your husband is no more’.

The words replayed in my mind again and again. I became the center of attention in everyone’s eyes; women in my house came up to me and hugged me crying heavily, making depressing noises in my ears. I didn’t know how to react.
Deepak! Something has happened to Deepak… No!!!!! He had left me alone.

The memories of him breathing his last on the ventilator came back flooding and a tear rolled down my cheeks. I got used to the aroma of my house on my husband’s funeral. I was no more a married woman, but a widow. Lied ahead was a bumpy road of loneliness with nobody beside me, my daughter had settled abroad and I had nobody after her except Deepak.

“God needed your husband beta, more than you, and so…” Said my aunt in a monotone. I felt like slapping her. I didn’t want to hear anymore. I just longed for Deepak to come and shake me up, to comfort me by saying that all this is a lie!

My husband had died, died…

I was furious with God. He took away my husband. How could God do this to me? Taking away my life from me? I cried blindly, sobbing my heart out.

I went closer to his dead body. It was covered with a white sheet. I didn’t see his corpse; I just knew that this is a body. This is my husband’s body. I could not summon up the courage to touch him. My face went all sweaty and I breathed heavily, there was another panic attack rising up in me. My grief was so intense that I couldn’t bring myself to ask for a shoulder to bank on. Not even when my relatives and extended families offered solace.
After all the rituals were performed at my house, the place seemed to me like a cage with no exit points. One day, my mother came over to my place to check how I am coping up after the loss of my beloved. She decided to stay with me for a few days until I got over the shock. She got me books to read and made several attempts to distract my mind from Deepak’s memories.

I sat in my balcony for hours crying while turning the pages of our marriage album. I didn’t move and kept staring at one thing or the other for long hours. I became a walking corpse, the house was empty and quite, I felt scared and felt as though I’m going insane. Cooking alone pained me and eating alone killed me every night. I threw away the food with disgust. Relatives tried to comfort but unless they hadn’t experienced loss, they couldn’t fathom the sick, gut wrenching feeling that comes with losing someone you love so much. My husband was everything to me, he took good care of me in every way and made all the major decisions, and I felt so scared and alone to be doing all I need to do, things I’ve never done before and not having my greatest supporter by my side. I’ve often wished that it could have been me instead of him, but I don’t wish anyone to go through this nightmare. I just didn’t know if I would ever get any joy back in my life, I thought. He was truly my soul mate, someone I wanted to live my life with, all the plans we had, all of them made no sense now. I was a lonely widow.

I had a small part time job. When I came home at night I cried all alone. No one to say ‘Hello Anjy. My beautiful wife’.

The weekends were the worst, I felt isolated in a room full of people and watching other couples eat and drink together in parties and meetings made me cry all alone in my heart. My neighbors started getting fed up with me as I was so down and they did not know what to say to me. A few ladies made ugly faces while I walked passed them and pitied me. I wanted to run away from that society.

The lonely, lost foggy feeling was sometimes unbearable. There was never a day after his demise that I slept smiling, my mother who was most close to me after Deepak was worried about me. She wanted me to attend therapy sessions but I refuted. One day while cleaning my closet she found a pile of diaries between my clothes.
“Anjali, what is this”? She asked confused.

I was taken aback. They were Deepak’s diaries. We used to write together every night about our day from the morning to the night. I had kept them safe and now they were in my mom’s hands.

‘Mom, give them to me’, it’s Deepak’s diaries. I snatched away the diary and rushed towards my room.
One by one I started turning the pages of our love story and how had life taken an upside down turn after the birth of our daughter. There were moments I shed a tear reading our fights written by him whereas his handwriting and spelling mistakes bought a smile to my face. His diaries were more than enough to get me back to life. I put them close to my pillow as if Deepak was alive in them. I took care of the pages as if they were my small babies. I smiled reading our words whenever I felt lonely. A thought popped up in my mind while coming home in the metro one day.

‘Why not write again’? Life is indeed giving me a second opportunity to stand up and fight against all odds!
I desperately waited for my station to arrive. When the train stopped at the M.G. Road station, I DE boarded hurriedly and ran towards my house as if it had been set on fire.

I unlocked my house, the keys lied on the dining table and I searched for my laptop in my study room, there it was! I typed the first word on the Microsoft document.

I lost track of the words I typed in a day and without eating a bit I kept writing. It seemed as a refuge to me. I created a blog for myself – An online diary where I would pen down all my activities and thoughts. God had closed one door for me but I had the potential to open thousands on my own. I published my articles and stories online on Life and its true colors. I started to gain readership and within a span of three months my blog’s link went viral on the social media. I had a life to live. Writing became my life. I didn’t feel gloomy anymore thinking about my loss. Penning down incidents became an escape; I could escape into a world of my words. I used to come home exhausted and immediately after my dinner I sat down on my table to write and answer to my readers. Reading and writing became not only my hobbies, but passion!

One fine day a fellow reader commented on my blog “When are you planning to write a book”?

The question seemed rather odd to me, me- A Writer? But after signing out from the blog I gave the comment a thought. Without a second thought and with full zeal and enthusiasm I penned down my book ‘Life after him…’ in a month.

Writing was a passion to me and I just had to give that passion a push. I wrote non-stop in the day, in the metro, sitting on the balcony and even while cooking food! My literary work with emotions required hell lot of dedication. There was no time machine to bring back or visit Deepak but I could make him live again through my words.
Life started to make sense to me now. My laptop became my only friend and Deepak’s diaries my inspiration. What had begun as a journal of events, slowly turned into a book of feelings towards life…

I went for long walks in the park smiling at the trees and the birds. No worries about life at all. Those were the moments when I became close to being happy.

I sent my manuscript to the biggest publishers in town and it got accepted within a month. That was a blessing from Deepak. If he wouldn’t have been there, I wouldn’t have accomplished so much in so little time. Writing had become an abiding interest and I wrote about everything which I saw in my solitary walks.
Life of a widow made way to my poems. I filled my diary with funny anecdotes about the patriarchal system of the Hindu society. My books, articles and poems received greatest response and were enough to make me re-live. I got paid a hefty sum for my articles and I saved them for my NGO. I planned to open one just for the widows of the nation. Deepak lived again through my words because I didn’t let this second chance slip out of my hands… Sometimes, when life throws curve balls we should never surrender before it. Rather, we should breathe again, smile at ourselves, forget the past and begin again.

There was pin drop silence in the studio after my narration. I glanced at the crowd and each individual exhibited emotions of agony and enthusiasm.

The interviewer gazed at me with sympathy and she sighed…

That was quiet a motivating one Anjali. Well, Now that I respect you more Anjali! After hearing your story. I’ll end up the interview with one last question. Please leave a message for our viewers.

Loss of loved ones is sometimes for the better. We are never too old to fulfill our dreams and never too lost to find inspiration among ourselves. I found my inspiration in me and my husband’s words. People will try to drag you down but you just have to keep going. Time heals all wounds. You also find one in yours. Just take a glimpse at the positive side of life and give yourself a second chance.

– Mrs. Anjali Deepak Arora.

The audience at the studio clapped enthusiastically, some even cried asking for autographs and then I took a bow!

PS : THIS IS A FICTIONAL STORY.

AUTHOR : SAUMYA KAUSHIK.