Angana was a motherless child. She was hardly six years old. Unlike her mother, she possessed no extra-ordinary beauty. Her skin was not fair, her cheeks did not turn pink under the hot sun, and she did not have curly locks. She never looked like a li’l princess. She was a simpleton, a plain-Jane in true sense. But what made her different from the rest of the crowd was her pair of eyes. Big-black eyes in the shape of lotus petal. It was where she resembled her mother.
Angana’s father never hated her but never loved her too. He always kept himself busy in his work. He used to leave home early in the morning and come back late at night. Angana was left in the care of
But what Angana craved was the love of her father. Many a time she used to be awake late at nights just because she wanted to have dinner with him. And used to wake up at dawn just to plant him a good-morning kiss. But all this had always resulted in
Angana’s dad was not bad at heart. It was not that he did not want to love her only daughter but he was helpless. Why??? … Because whenever he used to see Angana’s face, it reflected the face of his dead wife to him. He was deeply in love with his wife but what made him almost hate his only child was the death of his wife. Yes…Kangana (Angana’s mother) died while giving birth to Angana. Someway or the other the father blamed her only daughter to be the reason behind her wife’s death.
On one fine vacation, he sent Angana along with
At the sea-beach Angana loved to walk bare-foot on the sand. While the other children were busy making sand-castles and collecting shells and colorful stones, she kept herself busy in walking bare-foot on the wet sand. She was never interested in building sand-castles …may be because time and circumstances had turned her more mature than the kids of her age…or may be because what she wanted was a home and not a dream-castle. In fact she was more interested in watching the crabs, the turtles, and the insects busy making holes inside the sand. Colorful fishes …unaware of human-existence…playing inside the sea water attracted her more than the colorful shells. She took more interest in observing the birds feeding their small ones rather than throwing stones in the sea water. She loved the wetness and the saltiness of the sea. But her heart used to cry when the sea-waves used to break-down into pieces on colliding with the sea shore. While every body else heard the giggling of the sea wave, she heard the painful cry of it.
On one such fine morning after having her favorite meal- Maggie, Angana came to the sea beach along with Rupu (one of her maid-servant). As usual she was exploring the joy of walking bare foot on the wet-n-cold sea beach. Suddenly something hit her bare-legs. With curiosity she kneeled down to see what it was. Ah! It was a fish bone! … A bluish white colored…fragile fishbone …with two broken bones on the left side…and one red spot on the tail bone. She picked it up with utmost care. Anyone else in her place would have thrown it away or wouldn’t even have picked it up. But she did pick it up in her small gentle hands with great love and care.
“Angu! ...Angu! … Where are you? Come here. It’s already late.
Holding Rupu’s hand she went back to their small and beautiful resort. There she had her lunch and then slept for a while after listening to a story from
In the evening, she again went to the beach along with
On that night
At last when the darkness enveloped the earth and everybody fell asleep, Angana brought the fishbone out of her big…fluffy…red colored pocket. The fish bone was glowing in the dark. But she was not at all surprised to see the divine glow. The red spot on the tail was looking so mesmerizing, so beautiful on the glowing fish bone. But the glow in Angana’s eyes was a breath-taking beauty. Suddenly Angana closed her big-black eyes and made a wish (no one knows what) holding the fishbone close to her heart. Atlast sleep came to her and took her to a world of dreams holding her li’l hands.
As the vacations were almost over, they packed their bags and left for home the very next morning. The fish bone was still inside her pocket. After reaching home the first thing Angana did was to keep her treasure inside an old pencil box.
In the afternoon she sat to do painting which she loved to do a lot. With her li’l hands she made many untaught childlike strokes. That day she painted ants, crabs, fish, eagle. She painted a pair of yellow kangans. She painted a picture of the rain falling on the marigold flower pot kept on the small aangan. But she did not paint that fishbone and she never did that in her life. (May be because she was bit too possessive about that or may be because...no one knows why...? Throughout her life she safeguarded the fishbone with an eagle eye…with utmost love and care)
It was the dinner time. After giving a kiss dipped in love and innocence to the fishbone, Angana went straight to the dinning room. She was really very hungry and wanted something to eat immediately. Suddenly the door ball rang and father came inside surprising everybody in the house. After washing hands and feet, the father came straight away to the dinning room where Angana was waiting for her dinner. Every body was surprised but nobody said a word… after all no body had the courage to do so and moreover why should they..???
Father adjusted himself on the dinning chair and asked Angana to come and sit on his lap. Angana’s eyes were the mirror to her heart. It reflected the thoughts that were going inside her heart. Her feelings mingled with fear, happiness, shyness, astonishment were getting reflected in her big-black eyes.
Very slowly filled with mixed feelings, she went and sat on her father’s lap. And that night and from then every night her father made his daughter eat from his own hand.
On that night and from then every night Angana slept by keeping her head on her dad’s lap.
She never heard stories from
From then onwards every morning she used to get up early in the morning just to give her dad a good-morning kiss.
On that night and from then onwards every day and night Angana’s face never reflected the face of her dead mother anymore. The dead face was now replaced by a forever smiling happy face of her mother. The big-black eyes of Angana- the only child of her dad now immortalized her mother forever for her dad.
On that night…perhaps that was the only night when tears rolled down from Angana’s big-black eyes and her father caught them in his palm. That night her dad cried too. Nobody stopped each other from crying…because there was so much of solace in crying that night. That night they loved to cry together but that was the only night when they ever cried.
But the faith in Angana’s eyes kept on glowing forever in the same way the fish bone kept glowing forever inside the old pencil box. And the four words of
“FAITH CAN WORK WONDERS”
***Dear friends... "The Fishbone" is my first short story that I wrote on 20 Jul’07 at 11:53 pm .. yes I know it's quite a long time. It's my first small step towards the beautiful world of fictions and short stories and i am loving each and every moment of it.
Hope you will like it too.