The Quote -

"Nope, I don't really have anything new to say. but then, I always have something amazing to tell about things that you already know!!"

-Muthu

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Spring – A short story.




The Story -


“Every single soul in the fight knew that the battle was unevenly matched to a horrendous extent and they were going to need a miracle to win. After all it was going to be a battle between giants and midgets. A battle between titans and dwarfs. A battle between the winter and the spring.”

The old man stopped the story and leaned towards his grand daughter “A battle between winter and spring”

“Like in the seasons, grand pa” the girl asked.

“Yes, my child, just like in the seasons. That was a long long time ago, when all the seasons were sworn enemies then and fought against each other to gain control of the climate of the earth. The frost, The snow, the ice pellets, the blizzard, polar bears, sea lions – cold, brutal, merciless were the warriors of the winter. The warm gale, the swallows, the lilacs, the rabbit, dears, cats, the other birds and animals soft and warm to the core were the warriors of the spring.”

“The land, the skies, the water – no place was spared – the war both bloody and intense, raged on with heavy losses on both sides. But soon the tides started to turn, the winter having the stronger army started to gain advantage and the battalions of the spring were slowly starting to scatter. The warriors of spring started to lose their heart and things started to look cold and bleak for them. It was suddenly as if the fighters of the spring would rather end their misery by their deaths than to go on fighting. It was then at that crucial moment somewhere among that thousands and thousands of warriors, a single tiny swallow’s voice started to sing.”

“To feel the wind on my chest,
---I will fight; I will fight
To sing in the sun at my best,
---I will fight; I will fight
Tearing all the tears in me,
---I will fight; I will fight
All I want is love and joy,
---I will fight; I will fight.”


“Suddenly the fleeing animals stopped, the clear voice of the swallow seemed to clear their minds. With hot tears of fury and pain flying from their eyes, and they finally became brave enough to die for what they thought was their right. They started to sing, every one of them, the wounded and the healthy, the poor and the wealthy, every single one of them started to sing and they all marched forward like the warrior poets that they are. Their collective voices echoed through the vast blue skies, the thunder shattered and the puny clouds scattered. The sun came out moved by their raw spirit and shone hard, shone hard defeating the winter.” He paused and took a deep breath and with a flourish in his voice averred “The winter was then banished from the fairy land forever.”


“Grand pa, Grand pa….. Sing poem one more time” pleaded the child.

And just when he was about sing the song again, his daughter entered the room and said in a caring voice.

“Oh not that spring story again, father you are spoiling her too much. Come on you too need your rest. Now go to your bed.”

“Oh, I will sing to her one more time darling and then I will go to bed. I promise.”

She sighed “Ok, make it quick.”


She returned to the bed room, sat on her side of the bed and looked at her husband sleeping on the other side of it. She just sat there staring at him for a while. Then she got up and walked up to the window. The night’s sky was empty. Empty of the stars, the moon, the clouds and all that stared back at her was the dark and void. She took deep breaths. No, she was not a child, a grown up women with responsibilities, a child to look after, her mother to take care off, and her own career to think of, so whatever the pain she has to bear it. She leaned against the window sill and closed her eyes. The cold wind blew past her ignorant of the emotional tides and the pereniality of the aguish that it is crossing by.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

She woke up with a start. Shit…… She thought. She must have fallen asleep lost in her own thoughts. Her daughter was tugging at her pajamas crying “Mommy, Mommy……… Grand pa is shaking”. She didn’t hear the rest; she rushed towards her father’s room and found him having a convulsing fit. She immediately called the ambulance.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


What will people be thinking when they are waiting for the doctor’s verdict on the health of a loved one? What is that, that keeps them occupied with straight faces when the anxiety of the unknown is burning in their hearts? How do they hold on to their sanity until the doctors with their monotonous faces call them in to hit them with the results?

She shut her mind. Shut her mind to every single thought that came up. Blocked all her senses of time and emotion and concentrated on a lizard on the wall. Nothing but the lizard -

Which was now slowly, very slowly making its way towards a moth that was sitting nearby. One step at a time with a honed ease and skill that must have been gathered over a century of evolution, the lizard was getting closer to pounce on its kill. The moth blissfully unaware of the mortal danger it was in, remained there as if in wait to get caught by the awaiting jaws of death. The lizard tardily crouched its entire body, ready for the final act – the leap and the capture. The drama of the hunter and the prey was at its final show down.

Suddenly out of nowhere, she felt deeply sorry for the moth. A delicate creature unaware of what it’s getting into. Oh my god, she has to save it. It’s going to get killed. She has to save it. She quickly got up and raised her hand to shoo the moth away.

“M’am, the doctor will see you now.”

Distracted by those nonchalant words of the nurse for a second, she stood there and watched the lizard catch the moth in one swift athletic leap. The moth wriggled in pain, trying desperately to escape from the cold jaws of the reptile but the lizard bite by bite gulped down the moth with a relished satisfaction n its face. She closed her eyes, not having the heart to see the helpless moth die.

“I am coming” she replied in hushed tones and followed the nurse inside the cubicle of the doctor.

The doctor nodded to her to sit down and leaned forward with his hands folded and resting on the impeccably neat table. She started to get the feeling that she was not going to like what she was going to hear. She ignored the mild pleasantries and consolations from the doctor and numbing herself to the extreme, she asked.

“The facts, Doctor – just the facts as they are…. Please”

The doctor allowed a silent second to pass before answering.

“His problem has gotten worse. We will have to keep him under 24 hour hospitalized care from now on. I am sorry. You cannot keep him at home. It’s too risky.”

She simply nodded staring past the doctor.

“Can I see him?”

“Yes, but can you try not to strain him.”

She nodded.



His once ebullience that always took stock of the situation without losing his unique stride seemed to have left him. Seeing him lying there in the white hospital gown, frail and flimsy, her heart went out to him. His face was slowly returning to its original color – a pale hearty red. The IV line looked as if brutally stuck into his delicate hands that once held her as a child, protecting her from the nightmares and the realities of the world, rocking her to sleep with his fantastical stories. His dull eyes seemed to have lost in some distant memory until she noticed his daughter standing by the door.

He beckoned her to come and lean over him.

And once she did that, he in his diseased small voice mumbled into her daughter’s ears.

“I am so sorry, my dear. I should have never forced you to” he stopped and took a deep breath “marry him”

“Father, Please stop” her voice wavered.

“Please forgive me. Please”

“Father, don’t do this” She said and turned her heads side wards trying not to look at him. Fresh warm tears were streaming over her face wetting her dry parched lips.

“I am sorry I did not listen to you” her father continued in his feeble voice. “I will never forgive myself for the pain I put you in.”

He paused and took a deep breath. “Promise me to get out of there. Relive your life. Promise me, I will die in peace.”

“Father, you are hurting me. Why are you doing this? I don’t need this now.” She bit her lip hard trying not to cry out loud.

“At least, cry darling… Please… for me.”

It was then that something broke inside her and she gave herself into hysterical sobs bending over him. She cried, cried, cried and cried some more. The pain, the failings, the harsh disappointments, the fighting’s, abuses, the rebukes, the wounds, the humiliation, the emptiness, her life – she cried even more. Her tears dropped from her face on her father’s forehead who said in a broken voice.

“That’s Ok darling. It’s over. It’s all over.”

Hearing the sound of the weeping, the nurses rushed in taking hold of the situation.

She slowly came outside and cried, cried every single stored up tear in her tear ducts. Every one of the tears that she had managed to swallow and smile to bear her marriage. She silently got, settled the bill and requested the doctor to proceed with the necessary formalities to get her father the care he needed and then left the hospital.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The sun was at its zenith when she reached home. She called and checked on her daughter at her baby sitter’s house and assured the baby sitter that she will be there in 2 hours to pick her daughter. Then she started to pack her things.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


“What are you doing” He asked as he entered into the home and saw all the packed materials.

She did not reply.

“You are leaving. Aren’t you?”

She still remained silent. Her daughter was playfully reciting something in a low voice unaware of the drama happening.

“Where are you going to go now? You are fucking clueless. Ain’t you” He chucked maliciously and added “Go on. Let’s see how you are going to survive without me.”

She suddenly felt her knees trembling and her throat felt like being chocked. Her legs felt terribly weak, wobbled with her weight. Her stomach churned and jellied inside her and she felt like vomiting. So long caged she had been that her subconscious mind still longed for the safety and refuge of that cage. Her mind ran a thousand directions at the same time, gagging herself taking her nowhere.

She was breaking down again in front of her husband. She knew it. She knew it. She must have been doomed to be shackled forever and forever. Wait, May be she can still fight on. May be she still had a chance. May be…. May be she knew it all along that she will never make it. At least she tried. But she has failed. No, she is failing now and she is not able to do anything about it.

“You ain’t worth shit. You know that.. don’t you?” He folded his hands and stood there looking at down at her with contempt.

She crouched down, breathing hard trying to collect herself. Then she heard her daughter’s clear voice reciting…

"To feel the wind on my chest
---I will fight: I will fight.
To sing in the sun at my best
---I will fight: I will fight."


Hot tears of fury, pain and shame started to flow from her heart wetting her face. The calm innocent voice of her daughter shook her soul until her teeth rattled and her vigor returned. She is no innocent moth to be crushed and killed. She can fight. She can fight for herself, her daughter, her life, for her father. She has to fight. The clouds of reluctance and fear scampered away like the rats they are feeding on the rotten, the broken and the unused. She will fight.


"Tearing all the tears in me
---I will fight: I will fight.
All I want is love and joy
---I will fight: I will fight."



She took a deep breath and ran about in her mind’s space trying to gather all the broken pieces of herself. Her father always took a deep breath when he was to say something important. Her father….. She closed her eyes….. Please father, give me strength and courage for what I am going to do. No more conflicts, no more bitterness, no more suffocation, no more ignored ignominies, no more lies, no more surrendering and no more an hollowed existence. She had neither any tears nor any more fears left in her.


She got up with a resolved mind, clear and crystal like the carbon in the diamond. She will never ever waver anymore. She walked out on her husband holding her daughter’s hand.


Outside the evening sun was splashing around buckets of its mild orange melody of light. There were fresh lilacs blooming everywhere and the earth smelled of a new born baby with new shoots and green heads peaking about every where. The breeze dallied around kissing and flirting with every touch on everyone. A few street dogs chased the some cats up the trees and the swallows that were already resting on the crowns of their wooden abodes rushed about disturbed by the feline intrusion and added to the bliss of the cacophony.

“Mommy, Mommy the spring has arrived” jumped the girl with joy…..

Her mother nodded. Yes... The spring has finally arrived.

The end.


Author’s note:

This is my first story that has spanned more than 2200 words. I feel glad to have written this and I am obliged to thank 2 people in specific for helping me out....

-----Introspection, for giving me such a chance to write something 4 her. Smile today and forever, for from now on its spring my dear.


-----My regular readers and people who follow me – Guys you are more than an inspiration. Every time I see your comments and opinions on my posts, I feel exhilarated. Vinnie, puneet, rajlaxmi, raaji, anu, saxena, amal bose, introspection, nimisha, sujata, nandhini, Dogwood, DQ and every single one of you………. Thank you guys…. You are the best of the best. No questions asked. I love you guys….. :)



For now signing off…….


Take care…… muthu


22 comments:

Jagadha said...

Hi Muthu
I have been reading ur blog for the past 2 days..very interesting.
Keep up the good work.

Your narration has great clarity and descriptions are very vivid..Once again Good job!!

introspection said...

Hey Muthu,

Your story blew me completely. You have a way with words of intense writings. When you become a famous writer (of which I have no doubts), pls remember to send an autographed copy of your book my way. You have captured the feelings of the father, daughter, grand daughter so beautifully, and linked it to mother nature even more beautifully. Great imagination, and the picture is well chosen too.
I feel that my spring is not too far, but i am still in the midst of negotiations with my emotions, though my resolve has been made. This gives me courage to give shape to my future - the spring.

Great inpiration for 'introspection'.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I feel humbled and honoured.

muthu said...

@ jagatha - thanks 4 your compliments jagatha...... Do keep reading...

@ introspection - you are too kind introspection on your comments.. I am happy to know that the story helped you to relate to it in some way..... More than getting noticed, when people read what i write and get inspired, learn something about themselves or change themselves for something good, I am in bliss.

And trust me honored is too big an alienating word to use with a blogging friend....

Smile :) muthu

Vinnie said...

Muthu,
i'm delighted to know u r so very near to writing ur novel..add in a few more words..n there u go!

i started reading it..then realised i dont have the time to read it fully...so i read the Author's note:)

my reply to ur note - trust me, i love to stop by ur blog..its always fresh n the imagery u weave takes me away from my seat! i have vividly imagined the characters all the time...all makings of a 'true' writer..so keep going, man!

n congratulations on getting ur much awaited reply...thanks to her or we wouldnt have been treated to this wonderful short story :)can i guess this 'magic girl'??

P.S: i know i havent read it but still its wonderful because u have written it while on Cloud no 9!
will read it fully n post my comments on the story soon...keep waiting..take care!

Rahul Viswanath said...

Finally got time to hop in here .... Loved your post !!

This made my day Bud :) .... Way to go Muthu :)

Adios ........

Chronicwriter said...

nanba.. oru book publish pannalaamey


www.chronicwriter.com

muthu said...

@ rahul viswanath - thanks 4 your comp bud... and am happy to have made your day....

:).....


@ chronic writer - Finally someone in tamil - Kandippa nanba.... am thinking along the same lines... the thing is

am going through a lean period now, (have no job at present), and am thinking of going into teaching in col... So once i settle down in a profession somewhere... i will publish a lot...

thank you.....

Rajlakshmi said...

this one really blew me...
I love how you start the story and then introduce the readers slowly to the actual story... loved how you have blended spring with hope and courage ... delicately handling the emotions of a women...

superb story beautifully narrated :)

Divesh said...

nice story man...
I loved the fight she puts up.

Mad Blogger said...

Oh... really good one..
Keep up the good work :-)

muthu said...

@ rajlakshmi - thanks rajlakshmi... haha.... am happy that my story blew you away..... :)

In a way, I should thank women esp my sister, mom, frd madhu, kavi, priya and flock for always being candid with me on what they always felt.... They gave me a slice of what it is to be a gal (MY SIS esp)..

Without them, i would have never ever known, "whats it about a gal that makes her so interesting"


@ divesh - hmhm trust me.. girls can really fight when think they are cornered.....

@Mad blogger - thanks 4 the compliments man... do keep visiting.....

muthu said...

shit..... Just noticed i neva wrote a reply 4 vinnie....

Vinnie- my novel subject really needs a lot of ground work for authenticity.... So really i jus have this idea (it's a short story i wrote) and my sis tells me, of all i have written, she would love to read more of this particular female protagonist. Hence I thought of writing it into a novel.

But the subject the story is about includes one hell a lot of shady things, and if am gonna write about it, I want it to be something .... hmhm... really good and powerful....

And your comments are always hearty to read... and am happy you love my stories.....


on this magic gal.... yeah, I have described one thing about her looks in my story tat would easily give her out (at least i think so), and she replied to me along with other guys who commented on her blog. So realistically thinking i have at present 0 % chance of getting her attention.

Shit .... why does my love story always this pathetic... she wouldnt even remember me... damn.... sorry 4 that..I mean. i get into such a depression when i think i have such a small chance with her (atleast i want her know how i feel but i dont want to freak her out so i cant blurt anything out in the comment section) - a vicious circle if you ask me.... :(



and k... am waiting 4 your comments ....... :)

smile.

Sekhar said...

Nice writing man. Seems like a budding writer. I say you write more and publish a book of short stories.
Btw thanks for visiting my blog :)

Vinnie said...

Muthu

i am speechless!! this is brilliant stuff here...absolutely brilliant...the whole plot has been weaved with care n wit...i'm sure u must have been in heaven when u finished the last line
the symbolic song, the metaphors for spring, courage and inner battles - everything is perfect...any more of my stupid comments here would be a sacrilege..its like Mungerilal commenting on the Godfather:)

so, its high time, u write short stories for now till u do ur research work for the big novel..pls try n get in touch with publishers asap..i'm not kidding, friend

word verif word: revert !!

Vinnie said...

u have so many in ur blogroll...guessing ur magic gal is quite a tedious task..so i let it be...

dont lose heart..one day she would know :) my best wishes for that n i'm also glad that ur sister is ur best support..u will surely 'understand' women much better now :)

muthu said...

@ sekhar - Thanks 4 your compliments man...



@ vinnie - Thanks on your comments vinnie....

and plz.. you are too too kind with your words...

and yeah.... I am trying to get my stories to the publishers......


and abt that gal, yup thats what am afraid of, one day she will know and on that day if she says that may be you should have said something without being so decent and slow and then i would have known and then you may even had a chance of wooing me.......

See ... what i mean....

Deepika Gupta said...

hey you write really well....
keep up the good work.... :)

muthu said...

Thanks 4 ur compliments...

deepika.... and do keep visiting...

Vinnie said...

:) try being more than a commentator ...try to chat, etc??

see what i mean ? leave subtle suggestions - dont blow it up

hasnt she replied at ur space ever?? get her to see ur stories n 'undertsanding of women' :):)

surely she will be clean bowled !!

word verification: colagro (i guess it means u should write in collaboration with her!!!)

muthu said...

@ vinnie - the word verification things must be some luck and some positive thinking on your side... I think.... :)

anyways... have mailed you the story and the identity of the gal.

awaiting your reply.... :)

ciao.

Anonymous said...

I have fallen in love with your blog!

muthu said...

@ Anonymous --

:) you have just put a smile on my face.. :)