The Rain Child

The house is heavy with grief.
Twisting an escaping strand of my straightened hair in my finger, I bite my lower lip to stop myself from getting emotional.
Outside, as I hear thunder, a sudden smile of secrecy escapes my pursed lips.

Abandoning my family in time of their need, I take one step back, listening to the sound of my bangles as they gently clink against one another.
I take another and then turning around, I run out of the main door.
My long, curly hair is brushing softly against my back as I break into a sprint, my lips slightly apart with the struggle of breathing. Hoisting my ankle length skirt up, I continue running till I reach the far end of my back yard.
Around me, mango trees are swaying with the wind, waving to the lightning in the sky.
I stand still, closing my eyes, my head turned towards the clouds.
My fingers have let my Tulip red skirt fall beautifully over my legs as my arms slowly start moving upwards, till they’re outstretched beside me.
A warning thunder resounds in the sky, nature’s call, and as if on cue, a drop of rain falls on my forehead. Within seconds, another plops on my nose till eventually, the drops cover my face.
I smile; loving every minute of the beauty with my eyes closed and then, I begin spinning. I don’t know how I look but if my dad were standing next to me right now, he would have said that I looked like a rose amidst the lushness of nature.

My father is my most favourite person in the entire world.
He always says that when I’m happy, he’s happy.
But I haven’t told him yet that I’m only happy when he’s around. Now, I think that it may be too late.
“Darling,” He’d say on a random day, as we both sat in our lawn, lazing around and taking in the beauty of the sunshine. “Have I ever told you the story about you and the rain?”
I’d giggle and say, “Yes! But I want to hear it again.”
He’d chuckle at my excitement and start off with the story I had heard over a hundred times in my life
“You were only nine months old!” He’d tell me, with stars in his eyes, every time he repeated that story. “A lucky baby. One day, we had left the main door ajar and you heard the rain pouring outside and crawled out.” His face would turn into dismay. “It was a good fifteen minutes before your mother and I found you. God, the horror in my heart! Would you believe, just when I was ready to call the cops, I saw you from out the window, sitting near the mango trees, giggling in the rain? I never left the door open again!”
At this memory, he fondly laughed. “My rain child.”

My father doesn’t know that he’s my rain.
I mean to tell him that if it still is possible.
Outside, where I’m standing, the rain gets heavier. I feel the cold rain drops fall on my skin and mix up with the hot tears that are scalding my cheeks.
That’s the best thing about this season.
No one needs to know how much your heart is breaking.
My father always tells me that tears are a sign of weakness
.
“Don’t ever let people catch you crying.”
“But dad,” I’d whine. “Everyone cries every once in a while!”
“Not you!” He’d smile then, fondly touching the tip of my nose. “You, my dearest rain child, will just run out to where you belong. By the mango trees in the rain. Your real home. There, you’ll find happiness. If you don’t, I’ll always be here for you.”
My childish mind did not think deep enough back then to realize that ‘always’ was not a word that meant ‘forever’. That immortality will always be our biggest weakness.

I look out at the mango trees. They’ve been there for longer than I can imagine.
My father once told me that he and my mother planted them together.
I love my mother a lot. But she doesn’t compare to the bond I share with my father.
I’m careful not to tell her that because I’ll hurt her feelings but she’s aware. Anyone would be.

Falling to my knees, ignoring the pain surging up my legs, I clutch the grass with both my fists to compose myself. My head is bent low and my tears are falling with a speed that matches the rain.
Death is the most terrible gift of life.
It takes away from you, precious moments that you no longer have time to share. You see your future right in front of your eyes but it’s a future you can’t have because your time is up.
My sobbing gets loud and I’m scared that someone in my family inside, weeping, will hear me.
Behind me I hear footsteps but I don’t turn.
Then, a voice.
“My dearest Rain Child,” it says, a deep male voice choked with emotion and regret.
I know it’s my father.
He wipes his tears and crouches beside me.
I look at him, one last time, my eyes brimming with tears, matching his.
Like father, like daughter.
Then, he speaks.
“You’ve decided to go to the rain!” He says, breaking down. “But why didn’t you take me with you?”
I’m sitting right next to him but he can’t see me. He can’t see me sobbing hysterically now, shouting ‘I love you’ to him over and over again. I want him to know that I’m glad that car accident took me and not him. That I’m glad that I am not the one alive right now, crying for him. That it may sound selfish but I may not be able to survive without him. That mom now has him to lean on but if he had been the one to go away, then our family would collapse. But then, I want him to understand that this is what fate has written in our lives and that’s alright.
But it’s too late for all these things.
So, I just take in the sight of him.
We have one private moment together, joined in our tears and agony.
Then, getting up, I pat his head, though he can’t see me.
For one miraculous moment, he looks up, directly into my eyes.
He may not be able to see me but he has felt my touch.
Knowing that this is the most that I can have, I run towards the pouring rain till I’m finally one with it.
Then I’m gone and so is the rain.
The sun comes up, shining brightly, as if I’ve never existed.
But far away, in my house, the wails continue.

Memories

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My most favourite memory,

Is that of your beautiful face,

But now that the days have passed,

My life has lost its grace

I remember our shy smiles,

Our reluctance at the beginning,

But that was so long ago,

Now life has lost its meaning

You used to tell me that,

I made your sorrows heal,

But the magic has vanished,

My life has lost its zeal

You made my heart flutter,

And only you had the ability,

But now it’s all over,

My life has lost its reality

I remember your pleasant laughter,

As we sat under the trees,

That seems like years ago,

My life has lost its peace

Ever since you jumped,

Ever since that fatal fall,

I have been consumed by guilt,

My life has lost it all

The Wedding

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Her ring is sparkling under the sun.
Looking at her, beautifully decked up, I know that I am doing the right thing.
Her white, flowing dress falls around her neatly as she walks down the aisle, her eyes fixed on the man she is going to marry.
I wipe a silent tear, remembering my own wedding, 26 years ago.
Ours was an arranged marriage.
I had wanted to be independent.
My parents had wanted dowry.
In our struggle to decide my future, they won.
Before I turned eighteen, my marriage had been fixed.
I look at my daughter now, vibrant, an air of independence around her.
At 25, she radiates brilliance.
The man down the aisle is her boyfriend of eight years.
She made the choice that I had been too afraid to make almost three decades ago.
I remember our discussion, about five years back, when I had brushed upon the topic of marriage.
Had I been as firm as she was back then, and my parents as understanding as I am, things would be a lot different now.
Wiping away another tear, I watch as they seal their love with a kiss.
Her happiness makes me happy.

This is an entry for the FEMFLASH 2013 writing competition from Mookychick Online. Enter now.

The Ten Year Old

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At the awful sound of the crash,
My feet bounce off the bed,
I hurry down the stairs,
In fear that my mom is dead

But she lies crouched in a corner,
Our ancestral vase shattered on the floor,
My father pulls out his belt,
As he firmly bolts the main door.

As I tip-toe into the living room,
My heart pounding in my chest,
I see my mother, now being kicked,
By the father I utterly detest

I reach out for the phone,
Tell the cops my mother may be dead,
By the time I’m done with the call,
Uncountable tears have been shed

My mother’s face is red,
My father’s face, vile,
At the sound of the sirens,
On my face, a wide smile

The cops barge into the house,
See my mother on the floor in pain,
I quietly get back into my room,
And pretend to be asleep again.

This is an entry for the FEMFLASH 2013 writing competition from Mookychick Online. Enter now.

Enough

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Soft, gold, velvet strands,
Sunglasses concealing blood,
Heart’s bruises hidden.

Shaky hands reach for
Metal; hardened heart, sure,
Abuse enough taken.

Door creaks wide open,
Loud crash, freedom restored.
Wide smile, happy tears.

This is an entry for the FEMFLASH 2013 writing competition from Mookychick Online. Enter now.

Life Lessons

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Remember how you told me,

That life is just a game,

People are very insensitive,

Always trying to push the blame

Recall how you taught me,

That love was like a rose,

Beautiful, yet having thorns,

Keeping you on your toes

Don’t forget how you said.

A mother loves you the best,

Just asking you to be yourself,

And taking care of the rest

See how you showed me,

That humanity conquers all,

A bunch of lies will ruin your life,

But the truth won’t let you fall

Now I am completely lost,

Despite all you have taught me,

Because there’s something you forgot,

Something, I now shudder to see

So I stand at your grave,

Staring blankly into the sky,

You didn’t tell me that it was,

So hard to say goodbye

One Last Touch

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It’s All So Scary,
How I love You So Much
I Try To come Closer,
I Long For your Touch

I Hold out my hand
But You Back Away
I Always Feel Unwanted,
But Mostly, Today

You Look Longingly
At My Hand Still Out
But You Chew Your Lip
I know You’re In Doubt

We Both Know You Love Me
We Know I do too
Though It’s Over Now
For Me it’ll Always Be You

We Are So Close, So Near,
Yet So Far Apart
My Hand Is Still Empty
And You’re Breaking My Heart

I Lose All Hope
And My Arm Begins To Drop
I Only Wanted One Touch
To Help The Tears Stop

Just As I Close My Eyes
Ready To Travel The Path I Chose
You Pull Me Back Gently
And Tightly, Hold Me Close

I am In Your Embrace Now
And Nothing Matters Anymore
Even As You Say You Love Me
And Walk Out The Door

A Poke at the Pedestrians

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Dear Pedestrians,

This one is for you. Yes, you. If you’re one of those sensitive two footers, I suggest you stop reading. For those of you still here, think of this as a ‘Tribute’ from us, The Wheelers.
To start off, as politely as possible, LEAVE THE ROAD TO US!
You don’t see us wheel our way through foot paths, do you? That’s because we understand that footpaths are meant for ‘feet’ and roads are meant for ‘wheels’. Stop pretending like you don’t know that!
I don’t understand what makes you so confident that we will stop and wait while you gracefully catwalk across the roads. Just because our wheels are quick, it doesn’t mean our reflexes are!
So, don’t throw your lives in our hands. We may not be all that great at catching!
As difficult as this may be for you to take in, you do NOT have magical powers. Just because you hold your hand out while you cross the road, I will not stop my car and salute you! In fact, I will do the exact opposite!
My dearest pedestrians, I know you have common sense. But it is getting a bit rusty from lack of usage.
So, next time, look left, look right and run for your lives. Because, we’re coming for you!

Yours Sincerely,
A Frustrated Driver

The Sun Effect

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My mother always told me that summer was her favourite time of the year. She said it was so powerful, that the trees swayed to escape its heat. She said it was so holy that rivers willingly sacrificed themselves to be taken up as an offering to the sun. She said it was so amazing that people rushed to beaches to be bathed in the sun’s rays.
Frankly, I never understood it.
I only saw it as an excuse to eat a lot of ice cream.
But now, as I stand in this room, my head leaned against the window pane, my eyes closed, I realize with reluctance that she was right. Summer really is magnificent.
One cold winter, when I was ten, my brother passed away. Ever since, I’ve seen my mother detest winters. She’s always sat at home and blamed the frosty air. She called it fatal.
But every time summer was around the corner, some hidden happiness seemed to take over her mind. A lasting smile crept up on her face, her skin began to glow and her eyes would sparkle. She fondly called it ‘The Sun Effect’.
Recalling that now, I look at the photo of my brother hanging up on the wall. He was 21.
That was when horrible things started to happen to us. His passing devastated my father, till eventually, it took a toll on the marriage. But one day, he and my mother came to a mutual solution that seemed to be the only one that would work. He left.
That sent my mother further into depression and I would wish that he had taken me with him, just so I could escape her moping. But now, looking back, I realize that had he done that, I’d have missed knowing my sunny mother and that would have forever been my life’s biggest mistake.
So, I’m glad he was selfish enough to not care.
The sun hits my face and I squint, moving away from the window.
The room around me is dull. Bare.
There is an aura of sadness around it that engulfs me.
It reminds me of the time when I was a little older and started going to high school. That was when I worried a lot about my mother. She would hardly leave the house and I sat in school picturing her cutting herself or hanging from the fan in our smelly bedroom.
So, I would run home and upon finding her to be fine, hug her tight.
Looking back now, I realize that a lot of my teenage was filled with such constant panic.
But then, I’d have my good moments too.
Eventually, after the dark, cold days, the sun would rise, bright and high, and so would my mom.
She’d dress up in her best summer skirt and hold my hand. We’d run into the fields and lay on the grass for hours, enjoying the sweat and the feeling of the occasional hot breeze against our moist skins.
I am old enough now to admit that perhaps my opinions were misguided. You see, I’ve always hated this particular season. But I loved what it did to my mother. And that indirectly forced me into loving everything about those two sweaty months.
I feel a groan calling me from across the room.
Pulling myself away from my thoughts, I run to the other side to where my mother is.
I look at her frail figure, unmoving, on the nasty old bed in our house.
Holding her hand, I sit on the edge of the spread, looking into her eyes.
“The sun is out, mom!” I smile, my eyes filled with tears. “Please, please get up.”
She groans again.
I notice the harsh contrast of how bubbly she used to look and what age has done to her now.
Outside, the sun is still round. It still shines brightly.
But inside, my mom doesn’t. Years have gone by and now she’s become dull.
I miss that smile of hers, the bounciness of her hair, the twinkle in her eyes. These were the things that I have failed to cherish back then. Things I can’t get back now.
“Window” She whispers, her voice raspy.
Shaking my head in amusement, I smile and get up to open them for her.
Even in her last few moments, she can’t help but think about how wonderfully hot it is.
I see a small smile on her face as she takes a deep breath and squeezes my hand as tightly as she possibly can.
Her eyes make contact with mine briefly.
In that one look, she has managed to tell me a lot of intimate things that she hasn’t shared with me over our decades together. I reciprocate, hoping that she understands how much I love her.
The rays hit her face with delicate brutality, as if reaching out to her.
That’s how she breathes her last.
My mom was right. Summer is magnificent.
It gave her life.
But, it also took that life away.
I see my mother, completely still and I let a few silent tears fall.
She’s gone to her son. She’s also gone to the sun.
Minutes later, I step outside.
Looking up at the sky, I know with absolute certainty that I will always love summer.
Not because of the unknown reasons that made her happy, but because to me, summer is my mother.
Because I know that as long as the sun is up there, my mother is with me, laughing.
As I begin to walk, the rays touch my skin and I smile, knowing that it’s her.
Knowing, that it will always be her.

An Unveiled Threat

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The brook flows endlessly, bubbling with foam, following the cheerful chirping of bluebirds high above.
Showers of rain create tiny streams among the sharp blades of grass, eagerly running to join the brook, adding to its pleasant song, drop by drop.
The luscious leaves of the towering trees dance to the merry melody, their branches swinging in delight.

approaching closer
trespassing footsteps
unwelcome, unwanted

Nature’s tune stalls, a second unsure, at the uninvited guests stepping on their souls.
After a moment’s pause, it starts again, this time, hauntingly melancholic.
The birds screech, flapping around as the trees start to sway, inviting storm and thunder.
Taking part, the brook calls out to the wind as they together, ferociously protest the entrance of the two legged creatures.

their threatening presence,
stripping Nature
endangered existence