Shadows of time

Posted by Kannan B On Thursday, November 01, 2012 1 comments
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Neha alighted from the school bus and ran toward her home. She didn't carry any excitement rather than a bitter smile on her face. Neha was stepping into home. Meanwhile, she eyed her mom, Arti, who was waiting for her daughter's arrival near porch of her house. Arti interrupted her way, Neha looked her with a solemn face. Without a word,  Neha marched into living room and kept the school bag dangled on her shoulder. Arti pursued her daughter and exclaimed, "Do you want milk or coffee?". Neha nodded, "no". Neha started to do her home work. She didn't go outside for playing like most children of her age. The whole house was overshadowed by pindrop silence until incessant ringing of doorbell.

Neha heard the clatter of footsteps, a man with a grave face and trimmed beard entered into her room. Neha pounced toward her father, Raju. After a deep struggle, she finally queried, "Where is chocolate?" with an excitation in her eyes. Raju replied, "I gave it to your mom, go and grab it". Neha tilted her head to and fro, tediously tried to answer her dad, but it lasted longer than normal, and gestured, "No, I dont want". Neha ripped off the smile from her dad's face. Raju diverted Neha's attention, by inquiring about her birthday dress and she started to strive again. Neha was affected by a speech disorder which often stammered her voice called stuttering. It caused a major split in relationship between mom and daughter. Arti swallowed, as she looked downward a little and her eyes were misting up with tears. Like every mom and daughter, Arti and Neha had a splendid relationship till she started to talk.

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It was one of the summer holidays, Neha was playing with the kids around her home. On that time all kids were singing, it wasn't a singing competition but they were squandering their time. Finally, it was Neha's turn, she came flauntingly to lend her voice but she wasn't able to sing like her rivals. In the intervening time, the neighbours and their kids were deriding Neha . The aggravated Arti came to rescue her daughter. Arti beat Neha  and yelled, "don't come here to play, see? everyone is laughing at us because of you". From that day onwards, Neha misinterpreted that her mom hated and ashamed of her. After that day, Arti had approached her daughter countless time but her words din't heal the broken heart of benevolent soul. Arti refreshed the memories while she was watching all the conversation between her husband and daughter. Sooner, they had supper and went to bed.

A week passed, two days before Neha's birthday. On that day, Neha saw a news about a girl who was burnt by her mom. That news alleged that young girl who was affected by speech disorder and that girl's mom was ashamed of it, so she tried to kill her daughter. Neha was dazed by the news aired on television and the fear about her mom became thrice as before. She went to school but her mind was revolving around the incident and often scared her mom would do like it. When she returned to home, she maintained quietness and was waiting for her dad, Raju. When the time Raju came home, he told Neha, "Tomorrow, I'll the buy your birthday dress with your mom". Neha uttered, "okay" but she didn't reveal about her fear. Everyone went to sleep

The day before her birthday, Neha went to school but her thoughts were always spinning about the incident. Raju took leave and came in noon, as he planned to go for shopping. Raju and Arti went shopping to buy dresses for her birthday. They purchased all the things for in order to celebrate Neha's birthday. After some hours, they returned to home but they didn't find her daughter in home. Meanwhile, Raju's landline phone was ringing and Arti attended the call, the one on the other side told her, "Neha fell down the stairs" and ended the call.

The next day, Neha opened her eyes in a hospital where she was accompanied by her father. She didn't notice her mom, Arti wasn't around nearby as like she expected. She sensed something in her lip. She let her tongue swipe over her lip and licked. She felt something salty. When she looked up, she realized she was lying on her mother's lap. Tears were rolling out from her mom's eyes. Neha finally envisioned her mother's love. She was weeping along with her mother. Neha still had some tears to shed between life flashed before her eyes. She was realizing her mom's affection,  Neha's eyelids were forced her to close permanently. Neha breathed her last minutes in her mom's lap. The time when Neha was with her mom she didn't realize her mom's affection. Whenever realized her mistake she wasn't with her mom. Shadows of time..


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