Friday, 15 June 2012

Flash Fiction 2012 Longlist, Neelam Chandra Saxena

Where Is She?

"Where is she?" I asked my mom.
Mom quietly wiped her tears and said, "She has gone to Granny's house."
"But, I never fought with her. Why did she go?"
"Dear, she went to give granny some company."
I was extremely annoyed at my mom for letting my sister go.

Initially, I thought that she would come back soon. But when days got transformed into weeks and weeks metamorphosed into months, I felt shaky. 
I craved for the summers. During summer holidays, we always went to Granny's house.  I will meet her there, I thought. 
One day, I asked mom, "Mom, why can't I join her?"
Mom looked towards me for some time before she patted me and said, "Darling, someone has to look after me too, don't you think?"

Yeah, I knew my mom needed me for carrying things around. She would often ask me to fetch things for her. I would see her toiling all through the day and night. I felt happy that she needed me.
When the summer holidays came, I was excited. But, there were no eagerness on the part of my mom to visit Granny. I kept wondering about it for quite some time before I had the guts to go and ask her, "Mom, we are going to Granny's place, aren't we?"
Mom contemplated for some time before replying, "Darling, we don't have money for the tickets. Travel has become rather expensive."
I retorted, "But mom, we could sell my gold ear rings and go."
Mom replied, "Let us keep that for some other time. Go and play with your dolls for now."
I hated the dolls. They were all useless without Mini, my dear sister. Why could nobody understand that?

It was almost a year before I was informed that we shall be visiting Granny. I was jubilant. I packed almost all my toys. Mini must have missed them. However, my ecstasy was soon brought to a crushing halt. I could not see Mini at my Granny's house! I screamed, "Where is she?"

Mom took me in her lap and we went outside. It was dark. The stars were twinkling in the sky. Pointing towards them, she said, "Mini is shimmering there. She was a fairy. She glowed with joy and brought cheer and happiness till she was with us. God wanted her exuberance to sparkle all over the Earth. He, therefore, took her away from us. She knows how much you loved her. She is shining there for you to dazzle in her luminosity. Can you see her?"

I could see a million stars. All of them twinkled and shimmered. I really could not make out who was my Mini. But I knew that she would always be there with me watching me and smiling.  

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