The Unanswered Prayers

The current pandemic has hit all of us in some way or the other. It’s like a dreadful dream which doesn’t cease to end. Initially, we never thought that it’s going to continue for so long. All the scientists and doctors are putting their best, yet the cure is still far away.

We have adjusted ourselves to the new normal- not stepping out until essential, wearing masks and social distancing. However, it’s getting very difficult for young children to get accustomed to this situation.

When the online classes were started, there was a little excitement, but now the children are wearing out. Especially my son, who just celebrated his 9th birthday, his first without his friends, really longs to go back to school. Every day he prays to God that COVID vanishes, everyone recovers and the normal life comes back. Almost every fortnight, he cries once and vents out his feelings. But this time, he felt so miserable that he said he was not going to ask anything from God as He wasn’t listening to his prayers. He said he was angry with God because he has been praying every day since February. I agreed with him, saying that COVID hasn’t gone, in fact cases have been increasing only, but this doesn’t mean that we stop praying. I also told him about the good things that it’s God only who has  kept us safe and together, besides he could also get so many gifts on his birthday, but my son failed to pay any heed to me and cried.

The start of the year witnessed an unimaginable arrival of a peculiar virus. As the year progressed, everyone waited for the weather change, thinking if that may help restrict the spread. The year is proceeding towards the end, but the end of the virus is still iffy. All these months we have been inside our homes, frustrated and complaining, yet safe and together with our nearest ones. I keep telling my son that God listens to the prayers, its only that sometimes He takes a lot of time. He has His own time and own ways and we can only wait and pray. It’s just sometimes that our patience is tested to the core!

THE DESIRE OF HAVING A DRESSING TABLE

Life is quite unpredictable and one has no idea what’s next. The only thing that is certain about life is its uncertainty. Still, life brings so many beautiful and sweet memories to us. Today I am going to share one such sweet memory with you.

This picture reminds me of an incident when I was still in school. I was studying in the 9th standard. During that time my Dadi (grandmother) was alive and I remember she was quite old. Her face had numerous wrinkles and freckles. She was told that she faced quite difficulties while walking. She had a wooden trunk and also a shabby looking box made up of tin. She used to keep them locked and kept her things into it. Upon being asked what’s inside them, she used to say that she keeps her lovable possessions. At times, when she opened her trunk and box I had a few opportunities to see what’s inside them.

One day when I was done with my lunch and was heading towards our drawing-room, my eyes caught her attention. I peeped inside her room. She was sitting on her bed and her trunk was wide open. She was holding a mirror in her hand and was looking into it. Since her bed was near the window of her room that opened in the passage leading to the living room, I could clearly see how she was looking into the mirror. The mirror was quite old-fashioned and had several dark spots on it. It seemed that somebody deliberately sprinkled some dark colors in the mirror. Still, my Dadi was looking into it. She tucked her loose strands behind her left ear and was observing her wrinkles and freckles. She adjusted her large specs and touched her cheeks. I wanted to ask her why she was looking into such an old mirror in which her face isn’t clearly visible. But then I saw a small teardrop rolling down her cheek and I stopped myself from interrupting her. After some 15 minutes, she carefully covered the mirror in a cloth and tucked it inside the trunk.

I couldn’t stop myself and therefore, one day I asked her about that mirror. She said, “I was seeing how old I have grown. When your grandfather was alive, I used to put kohl into my eyes, tie my hair, put bindi, and look myself into the mirror. I used to ensure if I am looking well. But when your grandfather passed away, I never felt like doing any such thing. After all, he wasn’t there to admire that kohl, a nice bun, bindi, and jhumka.”

“That mirror was a gift from your grandfather. I never had a dressing table and I always wished to have one. I often asked your grandfather to bring one for me,” she said further while taking a deep breath.

“One day he came home and handed me a packet. I opened it and saw a mirror in it. He said, ‘I can’t afford a dressing table for you but you can consider this as your dressing mirror. Place it on your wooden trunk and then you can sit down and get ready.’ This is why I have been keeping this mirror for all these years. I used to keep it on my wooden trunk along with my comb, sindoor, bindi, hairpins, and oils. Though I never had a conventional dressing table, your grandfather somehow fulfilled my dream of getting ready in front of a dressing table by giving this mirror and suggesting to put it on the trunk.”

I don’t know what happened to that mirror after she passed away. But that trunk still stays in her room. The trunk now has her comb, two old sarees and a part of the wooden frame of that old mirror. It stays there unused but full of memories that my grandmother cherished till her death.

MY RANSACKED HOUSE

Couldn’t have a better weekend”, I said to myself, as I was on my way back from a weekend stay in a resort. I was accompanied by me and myself. Yeah! It was a solo trip and I had the greatest break of my life after the pandemic got over. It was such a calm and relaxing experience that I felt rejuvenated and pampered. The lazy mornings, nature walks, and the peppy evenings added to the bliss. 

Ma’am, we have arrived”, said the cab driver, as I was lost in my daydreams about the trip. 

I got down and headed for my home. I rang the doorbell. 

No answer. 

Are they still sleeping?” I wondered about my husband and kids. 

I took out my mobile phone and called my hubby. 

No answer. 

Tired, I took out my house keys and opened the lock. 

Oh, My My!” I shouted as I couldn’t believe what I saw. 

My house was all topsy-turvy. The drawers and cupboards were open, the furniture was haywire, and everything was lying on the floor. 

Was it an earthquake? How come I didn’t know? Robbery? Where’s everyone? 

Millions of questions were erupting in my mind and my heart was racing hard. 

I wanted to shout and call out my husband and kids, but it seemed I lost my voice. 

Crash! I heard glass breaking into pieces. 

Mummaaa… ”, cried my younger son. 

Whaaaattttt”, I got up with a jolt. 

Get up mumma, I spilled the cereals as the jar broke. Sorry, please don’t be angry.” He pleaded. 

Mumma, it’s all his fault, I didn’t do anything”, my elder son clarified. 

What have you boys been up to?” I shouted at them as I saw the house in a mess. 

We were playing and wanted to eat some snacks and so we started searching and… ”, the boys tried to explain. 

So YOU ransacked the house!” I said. 

Ransacked? What?” My elder one asked. 

Never mind, I had a terrible dream. It’s ok. You go to your room carefully and I will clean this up.” I replied. 

Welcome back to reality!” I smiled as told myself.

A LOVE WOUNDED RIN ALONGSIDE THE LOVE COMFORTED RIN

PROMPT: Standing in front of the mirror, she didn’t like what she saw…

Standing in front of the mirror, she didn’t like what she saw, while cleaning her face Rin’s eyes caught her age-old wounds. The red cut mark on her beautiful pink lips reminded her of those 5 years of ill-advised marriage life and the pain of physical abuse. Her beautiful day started falling like a pack of cards, divorced Rin fell back on the bed with teary eyes and questioned “IS THIS MY REWARD FOR LOVING HIM?”

The outside wounds were healed yet the inner wounds were bleeding!

Meanwhile, the voice of God reminded from her morning Bible reading,

“God’s steadfast love endures forever for everyone.” 

Rin bloomed and her teary Sunday evening turned into a blissful rainy evening enjoying the pitter-patter raindrops outside, producing the petrichor. Her heart started humming the old English hymn “HE DIDN’T THROW THE CLAY AWAY” in-recognition of the Agape Love that comforted her.

 

 

 

 

THE STALKER

PROMPT: She opened the library book and found a photo in it…

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(Image Credit – Google Inc.)

She opened the library book and found a photo in it. It was her and her ex-boyfriend. Scared, she held the photo and looked around. Her ex was standing behind the iron shelf. She wanted to run out of the library. Just then, her husband came in with tiffin. They were working in the same college and recently got married. He was an English Lecturer, while she was a librarian. Her husband sensed something and saw the photo she tried to hide. “Thank God you didn’t marry this dude!” He laughed and rushed across to where her ex was standing. “Stop stalking my wife. I know everything about you two and your past. Don’t come in our way now, she’s my present and my future. Now go back to your IT lab, students are waiting.

Happily, she held her husband’s arm and said, “Come, darling, let’s have lunch.”

 

 

 

BLASTING WEDDING CELEBRATION

She looked into the mirror and didn’t like what she saw. The eyeliner wasn’t proper. It’s her wedding day and she wanted to look perfect. The groom’s party would be on the way. There’s festive atmosphere all around and she’s yet to be ready.
 
Her father was teary-eyed when he saw her coming out finally. She was looking like a beautiful princess. Everything was so perfect till her mother rushed into the room sobbing… “There’s a bomb blast on the road where the baraat had to pass. They’re uncontactable.”
 
The world around her came crashing down as she fainted and was taken to the hospital. 
 
When she woke up, she found, on the bed next to her was lying her fiance smiling at her, “I’m just little injured but still in one piece… God saves my sweetheart… And trust me, we’ll have a blasting wedding celebration.” They’d a hearty laugh.

IT SPELLED HOPE!

Prompt: He opened the library book and found a photo in it…

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(Image Credit: Google Inc.)

He opened the library book and found a photo in it. Koshi smiled with a light sigh as he realised how the photograph spoke to his present situation.

The letter that had greeted him that morning read thus –

“The management deeply regrets having to inform you that your services stand terminated with effect from the first day of the next month. You will be adequately compensated as per the conditions of service.”

It left him speechless. He felt his hands and feet go numb. As a lump formed in his throat, he mustered enough strength to walk out of the office building into the library across the road.

He didn’t intend to read anything that day. He couldn’t.

With thoughts ricocheting within his head, he grabbed a book from the topmost shelf and opened it to find a fascinating photograph of a rainbow in a cloudless sky.

It spelled HOPE!