Alright, so it's Day 2. Amidst lukewarm response to the earlier post, there was one great critical feedback coming from a dear friend, school type academic stalwart. Namita, thanks a lot for your valued comment. That’s what friends are for, to help bringing out the best in you. So while all of us value our association with the most wonderful people on Friendship day, here’s wishing a very happy Friendship day to all my friends for being the wind beneath my wings. I am sure will take an eagle’s flight someday with all your support. Life has been on a continuous roller coaster ride for the past few months and turning points being created by the biggest maker. So while I unlearn, and learn few important lessons of life, shun some and find some new characters in life, here’s wishing for a brighter tomorrow. While my inbox is full with some amazing Friendship day messages, I quote one which truly touched my heart, which best describes what I feel right now.
My blogger friends must be surely aware of this amazing initiative by Times of India under the flagship of Times Write India campaign, but for those of you who have a budding author hidden deep inside and are unaware of the opportunity at hand, have a look at Write India. I planned to pen down my story last month, but the deadline got amiss. Truly fascinated by the plot, I post it here for my readers. The author of last month was Amish and the guidelines given are here. Briefly about the preface, the story is set in 17th century and what it speaks about, you will find out. Happy reading.
Close to the city of Paithan, in a small village called Sauviragram, which lay along the banks of the great river Godavari, lived a woman called Ilaa. Being cotton farmers, her family was well to do, but not among the richest in their area. It was the harvest season and cotton had to be picked from the plants. The wholesalers and traders from Paithan would be arriving in just a few weeks, carrying gold and goods for barter. They would exchange what they carry for the cotton that the farmers grew. The bales of cotton had to be ready in time! Work was at its peak!
But Ilaa was not found in the fields. She wasn’t working. Instead, she was sitting by the banks of the great river Godavari.
‘I am sick of this!’ she grunted loudly. Grappling with the growing turmoil within, she looked at her aging reflection in the calm and serene waters of Godavari. She could no longer relate to the image in front of her and the building emotional unrest threw her back to the disdained memories of the past.
The harvesting season had just ended and the heat of the sun had accentuated, making the river water comfortable for the early morning rituals to be performed by the young bride of Sada, Ilaa. It was her first visit to the holy river. She was accompanied by Sada’s mother, Ratna along with the other married ladies of the village. ‘Say your prayers Ilaa and seek blessings for a blessed life ahead. Request maa Godavari to always enrich us with her benediction,’ said Ratna with a smile exhibiting her proudest possession. Smitten with the beauty of young Ilaa, the village ladies smiled placidly with a reverential smile on their faces. Ilaa executed the rituals with complete veneration brushing off her narcissist side in the still waters. She did indeed personify heavenly beauty. Laden with the magical onset of youth, still in her teens, Ilaa dreamt of a fairly tale life for herself.
Sada, the only son of Hara and Ratna was a handsome muscular man in his late twenties. With age, formal education and added perennial knowledge, which got tried with time, Sada had acquired somberness and maturity. While he inherited and metamorphosed to a man in whom the religio-social norms embedded unquestionably, Ilaa was a perky young girl with her childhood still reflecting in her adolescence. Changes in the life of a married Sada were restricted to a separate room with Ilaa but by the time Ilaa could realize what it did to her, the dark looms took her over. The dreamy affair which it appeared distantly, with self made interpretations reflecting the glitz of dressing up and the promise of love, changed. The switch was too instant and turbulent. Her early days in the new house were full of compulsive doings expected out of a bride which did not come to her naturally and easily.
The banging on the door intensified with Ratna shouting out for Ilaa. ‘Ilaa get up. It's already quite late’, she almost screamed. Ilaa got up hurriedly and unlatched the door fighting her state of drowsiness. Getting up early was a tough ordeal for Ilaa even today after six months of her marriage, which bumbled up her mornings putting her on the wrong foot of Ratna everytime. Sada turned his back to the door while Ilaa moved out of the room and carefully closed it amidst banal grouching of Ratna. Moving towards the river for their morning chores the ladies walked quietly. Sauviragram was bathing in the morning glory of the unearthed dawn. While life came to light, the ladies were walking back with drawn water carried in pots on their heads. They reached the temple to offer their morning prayers. Ilaa had been devotedly praying to Lord Shiva since childhood, but as she stood there with a forgotten self, her heart pained with an undefinable commotion. Just when her wandering thoughts were in deep trance, a distant collective repetitive sound pulled her out of her inner rumblings.
Watch out for the concluding story tomorrow here on Day 3 of blog marathon.