Categories
Short Prose

A Withered Flower

She had not seen her for the past two years. Two years, such a long time. It passed like two centuries, in a jiff. Each minute burdened her soul and months passed unnoticed. The nights refused to pass and days kept sliding. Flowers withered and fell and withered. Dogs wailed and sighed and wailed. She had not seen her for the past two years. Two years and her anklets tinkled in the empty room. Hands waved in front of the white mirror, but it reflected only white walls, the walls which refused to scream. They were silent. Silent as a deserted house. She lived in a house, longing for a home. Two years and her arms ached to carry a beating heart.

The milk she had kept for boiling, over the gas-stove, rises and rises and flows down all over. The smell reaches her through the passage. It makes her feel nauseated. She had never liked this smell. Was it because of this disgust of boiled milk’s smell that her breasts are dry? But she loved to drink milk. Her daughter would have loved it too. Why was she snatched away from her? She was not dead. She herself had felt her little heart, rising and falling with each breath. Yes, she was not dead. But they, they never listened to her. They told her that her flower was withered and they buried it under the ground. She stood up, untied the anklets from her feet and threw them negligently over the table, where they  failed to land. Lost in another world, she blindly moved towards the kitchen, through the hall. It was empty, like the rest of the house, but she moved with such an effort as if she was making her way through loads of stuff. The more she tried to remove them from her way, the more they blocked her passage.

She felt a wetness touch her feet. She looked down, and a silent scream choked her throat. The white tiled-floor was all covered with blood, red human blood, and it was making her feel nauseated. She felt sick. Her eyes followed the course of blood, but what she saw was more than she could ever take. On the gas stove, in her own kitchen, boiling in a black rusted pot, was her daughter – formless, featureless, only a piece of flesh – boiling. From it were flowing  bloodstreams, ceaselessly through her entire house, painting the white walls red, making her house a home. The silent room echoed laughter, laughter of hundreds of masked doctors. They had once snatched her baby, she won’t let them do it again. She ran towards the pot and in the hot boiling blood, which had now turned black, inserted both her hands.

Her baby. Her baby was now in her arms, she kept it on her breast and felt her warm heart melting. For the first time in two years, a teardrop fell out of her eyes. She had screamed and kicked and yelled, when they had snatched her two years back. She wanted to cry but tears never showed up. She thought her heart was stone, but today the stone melted. She wept and sang and smiled and the whole house, which was silent for the past two years, echoed her voices and rejoiced. She kissed the flesh, again and again all over, till she started recognising her baby’s features, her little face, hands and feet. It was the happiest day of her life. She wanted to dance. She will dance. She ran to get her anklets. She bowed down to pick them up from the floor, but the beads had scattered. The music had stopped.

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Categories
Short Prose

One Day

She was not sure about where she had gone wrong. She looked at the drawing closely, added few strokes here and there, darkened few areas and added little more details, but she was still not satisfied with it. Where had she gone wrong? It was irritating. She wanted to do crazy things. She wanted to throw it away with great disgust, she wanted to paint it black, she she just wanted to destroy it in some cruel way to satiate her anger. She had worked the entire week on that piece, but it was perhaps the worst she had made in her entire career. Whoever looked it, no doubt went off the boundaries in praising it, but in every praise, in each word of appraisal she heard a mocking satire, she saw faces laughing at her, telling her what a failure she was. She wanted to scream at them, she wanted to scream at everyone. Everything, she thought, was making fun of her. She realised how the yellow of the walls of the studio matched with the colour of her dress. She now, on looking closely at the walls saw how the pattern engraved, instead of adding any beauty, gave the room an ugly look. She was surprised at this, as she herself had suggested this pattern to be engraved on the walls last year. Now, it repelled her so badly. She wanted to run away from it. She wanted to run away from everything. Each known face scared her to death. She wanted to shift to some distant land where no one would recognise her, where her name will be just some ordinary name. There she would colour her skin green and lie undiscovered on fresh grass or would paint her lips blue and plant innumerable kisses on the vast sky, unseen from the worldy eyes. She would paint herself brown and would drown herself in the mud. Perhaps some day, some potter would collect her to make toys for little kids and she would get dispersed in thousand different villages. She would paint herself yellow and would dance amid the daffodils. Perhaps the bees and butterflies will also dance with her. Perhaps those little creature would detect some trace of sweetness in her which was long lost. Lost. How much she has lost. How many she has lost. Were they never meant to be hers or she has simply lost them? Or is it she who is lost? She will run away, she will run away from everything, to a world where the sun never sets, where the nightingale sings eternally; to a world where she would sing with the thrush, flow with the rivers, cry with the moon, and smile with the stars. Will they accept her as their companion? Or will they too repel her? Will they too leave her? Will she ever find a world where she would live peacefully, where she would be loved eternally. Love. How beautiful this emotion is. How pure, how serene. She has always felt like the child who tries to catch the flash of light falling on the wall. The moment he thinks he has caught hold of it, the flash moves away and he keeps on running behind it. She too is running, running since ages. Where? She knows not. But she knows that one day she will be able to get hold of that flash, one day she would reach its source itself.

© Muntazir
Picture Credit