Sunday 10 May 2020

Sakshi Bhatnagar, Prose 500 2020, Shortlist

The Quest

“Hey are you sure? You should think twice before taking this step!” Alisha questioned Naira.
“I have already thought of it. I am tired of waiting and right time will never come,” replied Naira.

Alisha and Naira met in an orphanage. While Alisha was being left in orphanage when she was just an infant, Naira's parents ditched her four years ago when she was twelve. Naira only found comfort in Alisha's company. She refrained every other child from coming near her. While other children at orphanage didn't accept her initially owing to her arrogant attitude Alisha offered her hand for friendship as she knew her predicament. Alisha was two years younger than Naira but both bonded well.

Every day Naira would wait in front of the orphanage gate for her parents to return but in vain. No child was allowed to go out of the orphanage unless being adopted and Naira even after four years of staying there couldn't adapt to the surroundings.

This time Naira was planning something really big.
Naira: Today is probably the last time we are having meal together.

Alisha: Naira don't say this! It is very risky. Your parents left you because obviously they didn't want you. Or may be they ‘re in some problem. Try to move on.

Naira: Unless I find the reason for what my parents did, I am not gonna be at peace.

(That very night Naira managed to elope from the orphanage)

Six years passed since then.

Alisha was still in the orphanage but she had graduated and now worked as a teacher and in her free time she used to teach orphanage children .

She could never forget Naira and in all these six years she never had a news of her.
One day she received a letter.
Who will send me a letter! Alisha wondered.

The letter read:

Dear Alisha,
I am writing this letter to you with a lot of courage. The day I ran away from the orphanage, my life didn't remain same. I did manage to find my parents only to know that they considered me their biggest mistake as they never wanted me. And as I grew I became the stepping stone whom they wanted to get rid of.

After that I had nowhere to go. I tried to gather the pieces of my life but failed. I tried to move on but there was no-one I could rely on. I won't be able to tell you where am I or what am I doing but just be informed that earlier I went on a quest to find my family and now again I am on a new quest to find that old Naira who've got lost in this big world.

However, you will always remain the most precious diamond I got by luck.

After Alisha read the letter, she let her emotions flow through tears and prayed for successful accomplishment of Naira's new quest.

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