Story of a lost journalist

May 24, 2012

Short Story: 10-year-old Thoughts

Filed under: Fiction — Cris @ 15:58

I want to stop the pages of my notebook from fluttering wildly in the wind. I want to move my hands away from the burning rays of the afternoon sun. I don’t. I watch the moving pages with the same inaction I look at the light on my hands. Light had to be a good thing, I think carelessly. Why does it have to burn?

The little girl and her mother sitting next to me are quiet. The child rests her head on her mother’s shoulders, indifferent to the same scorching sun and its tan on all of her little body. She had the window seat. But like all children she got tired of whatever excited her five minutes ago to peep out and is back to rest on her mom’s lap. The mom looks blankly ahead, the kind of look that said she is not thinking of anything at all. I wonder how she managed to keep her white Sari from wrinkling everywhere.

She gets a phone call and the blankness disappears from her common face. She speaks to someone in an everyday language. Another day of her life, that’s all this is. Yet she treated it importantly I am sure, planning the minute everyday details well in advance. Maybe she laid out the Sari and blouse on the previous night. Her child’s clothes too she must have chosen and ironed with care. A planned mother, mothering. Her munthani is now touching my fluttering pages, the way Sam’s sleeves would sometimes tangle with my stuff. Sam had always worn clothes much too big for his slender body. He hoped to hide his littleness in large blue shirts.

I haven’t seen Sam for ten years. Since the day he ran away from home. The day he yelled at dad and eloped with his classmate. He was 21 and without a care for tomorrow. Someone told us he got married. I was 11 then. But I was still sour at him. Not because he ran away. But for not calling me to run with him.

He never spoke of girls to me. I would keep snooping around for clues. I was sure he had a girlfriend. Suddenly his extra large shirts had disappeared and in place of them came well-chosen T Shirts with funky writings on them. Mom gave him hell when he appeared one day with an F-word line from a new movie. He smelled of different perfumes. The walking bus-taking brother of mine suddenly wanted a bike and jacket and sunglasses. I was right about the girl, just boys were better at not leaving clues behind. He had no diary I could find from under a bed. No letters stacked deep inside a desk. He never talked in whispers on the phone or write text messages. But he went missing for long hours after college I knew were not spent in the company of his boy-gang. Finally without a warning he announced he was marrying his classmate Veena. Dad and mom thought he was joking. Soon there were yells and protests and door slams and concerned relatives coming to bring peace. Nothing worked. He disappeared the same night into the darkness outside leaving a note with one word ‘Gone’. I felt betrayed. He left me out of everything. Why?

The bus brake woke me up from 10-year-old thoughts. The woman stood up, and took the sleeping child in her arms. She whisked past me, her Sari gently brushing my face and I smelled different perfumes. When the bus left, I wondered.

I missed however in the rear view mirror, the image of an impatient man, now fitting into the size 44 blue shirts that were too big for him once. A man who frowned at the woman, establishing a 10-year-old marriage on the curves of his face. The woman acknowledged their relation by ignoring him and climbing on to his bike without a word. The child clung on, slightly disturbed by the movement. Sam still had no diary. But if he had one, he would definitely have written a name in every few pages. Mine.

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15 Comments »

  1. Oh wow. So beautifully written! Are you from India? 😀

    Comment by Pristine Padua — May 24, 2012 @ 17:45 | Reply

    • Yes I am. Thanks a lot Pristine 🙂
      I have been to your blog. You write awfully well for a 15-year-old and somehow your writing seems very Indian 🙂

      Comment by Cris — May 26, 2012 @ 00:30 | Reply

      • Gee thanks. 😀 I’ve always been amazed by India; the colors and cuisine. I have an Indian schoolmate (though born in the Philippines) who’s part of the Philippine team that broke fourth in the recent World Schools Debate Championship. Hmm… I wonder how my writing seems Indian. Haha! 😀

        Comment by Pristine Padua — May 26, 2012 @ 16:06

  2. kidu story 😛

    Comment by Blungi — May 25, 2012 @ 10:35 | Reply

    • Written by kidu Cris B-)

      Comment by Cris — May 26, 2012 @ 00:32 | Reply

  3. Story?? Or from your life?

    Comment by Biju Kadeekkal — May 25, 2012 @ 14:41 | Reply

    • Story :-). Bits of inspiration from life, like there indeed was a bus journey and sitting next to a woman and child I wondered if strangers sitting close by might really have some kind of connection they never knew about.

      Comment by Cris — May 26, 2012 @ 00:35 | Reply

  4. Good One 🙂

    Comment by Indu Lekshmi — May 27, 2012 @ 23:45 | Reply

    • Thanks dear, waiting to see one from you 🙂

      Comment by Cris — May 30, 2012 @ 11:53 | Reply

  5. wow …

    Comment by Duffer — May 28, 2012 @ 01:22 | Reply

    • Thank ya Duffer 🙂

      Comment by Cris — May 30, 2012 @ 11:52 | Reply

  6. brilliant one Cris !!

    Comment by ammusree — May 28, 2012 @ 11:46 | Reply

    • Gee thanks ammu 🙂

      Comment by Cris — May 30, 2012 @ 11:51 | Reply

  7. the s-word. 😉 .somehow I’m reminded of ruskin bond n tennesee williams. brilliant stuff!

    Comment by gautaman — June 23, 2012 @ 15:15 | Reply

    • Thank you Gautaman 🙂

      Comment by Cris — July 1, 2012 @ 14:25 | Reply


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