[Tried something different,quite a long post though. You may throw any kind of criticism into the comment box]
Wet clothes hanging on the balcony, I watch them proudly swinging their way in the wind like a careless child that doesn’t care about what lies tomorrow. I felt a tinge of pain on my eyes, wasn’t sure what causes it. Was it the summer haze or the memory of a child running veraciously chasing after the blue kite in the middle of a paddy field? I could hear her laughter, its contagious to the world. It’s been so long, the laughter still rings in my ear. Perhaps it was the latter; that child makes me feel so nostalgic on a Monday morning. It wasn’t a usual Monday morning though. The clock struck 8 am, Soumya was soundly asleep, I could hear her audible snoring. Ah, I bet the world she wouldn’t believe it when I told about her snoring when she wakes up! Tried that before and I failed. Soumya’s alarm buzzed frantically bringing me back to what she told me the day before.
‘Jansi,don’t ever forget to wake me up before you leave tomorrow’ said Soumya while craning her neck under the bed looking for her lost pencil. I chuckled at the thought that it could be near to impossible for her to get back the pencil as it might already swallowed by the ocean of junks that she carefully guarded under her bed all this while.
‘Ahuh..yeah I will but before that, don’t you think all these junks had already been two years old’ I said provided the fact that I’ve been her roommate for more than three years.
‘I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that ’she said.
I knew she will give up on the quest of finding the pencil as soon as she grabbed her blanket to catch a good night sleep. Soumya is always like that, a carefree soul, an antique collector, someone whom I will never trade for anything in the world.
I glanced towards the clock, bringing myself to this moment. I felt as though time is begging me not to be late especially on this auspicious day. I stood and head towards my wardrobe. It’s a peacock blue saree, a graduation gift from Soumya. I watch myself tying it in front of the mirror. I still remember how my mother tied it for me the last time. A red with golden border silk saree, she proudly exclaimed how much it cost and at the same time adoring the resemblance of her in me despite the tears that welled up my eyes.
‘I don’t want all this Ma, I don’t want to get marry.this is what I want Ma’I told her pointing to the offer letter from University of Madras which had been lying on my bed,stained with my tears all over it.
‘You are a woman and you must get married’ she said while handing me a tray of coffee
‘Now go and make yourself worthy’
Worthy! Was that all she wanted from me? Till today I could never forget nor forgive. The day I bowed in front of some strangers, showcasing myself while obeying the rules set by the world.
‘My God,you look gracious Jansi’ Soumya’s voice startled me. She gave me a hug from behind and I quickly stop the tears that’s trickling down my eyes.I forced a wide grin on my face as I watch the excitement drawn on Soumya’s face .She will make up for all,she’ll be my family today. I assured myself.
‘Just give me a second,I’ll drive you to the campus’ Soumya said while heading towards bathroom with a towel on her shoulder.
Back inside the car, I was totally lost in my own thoughts. The ride that I took four years ago had brought me here. That night I decided to run away from home with a luggage of dreams and hope. It was midnight and everyone was soundly asleep after saying a toast to the alliance of me and Rajesh.
The beautiful view outside from the car window couldn’t pull back my wandering thoughts. I’d decided to leave the scenery behind this day. Memories of that moment kept on kicking my mind, stealing me away from the honking sounds and the couple that were fighting in the middle of the road. They had blocked away all the cars. In the meantime, I’m aware of Soumya swearing and throwing fist in the air but all I could hear was dead silence that accompanied me when I walked towards Amma’s bed that awful day. I kissed her forehead while whispering a silent farewell. She doesn’t know when a daughter goes to school; the whole family gets the scroll. Appa was sleeping on the other side, he had been so proud of me for bringing such a fortune to the family. Rajesh is a jackpot to us, I heard him saying to Amma. He raised me up just to bring me so much of disappointment.
Amidst the heavy traffic that overwhelmed the morning road, we reached on time. I saw a father adjusting his son’s tie and I saw a mother in a wheelchair kissing her daughter on the cheek. I saw a life presented in front of me, people from all over the world gathering to witness dreams coming true this day. Soumya wrapped her arms around mine assuring her presence beside me. Even though, she couldn’t make it through this semester but I could see pure happiness on her face as her best friend is the Gold Medal recipient of the year.
A huge applause came toiling behind me while I receive the honourable degree on the stage. I half smiled at Soumya whom had been beaming with pride as she said something to the lady beside her. I could slightly imagine that the conversation must be about me. I walked towards her and park myself on the empty seat to her left.
‘I think it’s time for me to go home,and this time I’m bringing along a piece of dream with me’I whispered to Soumya.
And for that I received the biggest hugs ever from her.
‘Yes,it’s time to go home’she nodded with a smile.
The ceremony took another two hours but all I could see was that child again. She was panting hard while resting her hands on her knees. She had stopped chasing for the kite as for now it had landed directly on her feet. I hear her laughter again,louder and now it brings me a radiant smile.
Dreams do come true with a little bit of running and chasing.
For today, I felt how it really feels to be worthy.
[P.S: In some parts of the world,women are still denied access to a proper education. Hope the world will be more friendlier to all the women out there.]