Monday, July 20, 2009

Crashed dream

I was learning DTP in a private institute as I could not afford a college education. My mom was working in a private clinic... I visited daily the local government library to read the various dailies and magazines. There were many books and novels but a deposit was to be paid to take two books to home. I read the books in the library itself as I never liked to sit alone in the house when mom was away.
I was reading a supplement of a paper looking at the situations vacant column. When I turned I saw a young girl of may be sixteen or seventeen from the adjacent table looking at me. . She looked pretty with a small nose and well chiseled features. She was in a much worn out faded salwar suit that indicated her not so affluent circumstances. There was some apprehension in her eyes. There was no book before her. Some dailies were kept aside. I resumed reading the vacancy column for a moment and then turned again at her. She was still looking at me. When I looked at her she put her head down. This went on for a couple of times when I smiled at her and asked whether she wanted to say something.
“I am waiting to see the supplement you are having in your hand. When you have finished it, please give it to me before others take it “she said softly
“I am sorry I didn’t know. I was just browsing without any specific purpose. Please have it” I said as I handed over the paper
She smiled and said “Thanks. Someone told me of an ad that has come today.”
As she went back to her table I saw her long hair in plaits falling almost below her hip. She looked graceful in her walk. Though I had no inclination to read, I brought an astrological magazine and turned inside its pages. Now and then I looked at her side and noticed she was also glancing at me sideways. After about half an hour she stood up, lingered for a moment at my table with a faint smile in her face before she left.
That night as I was lying in my bed, I was dreaming of my future, of a steady job as a DTP operator and about the girl I met in the library. I cursed myself for not asking her name and whether she visited the library daily.
I was there the next day in my best T shirt and jeans. My heart sank when I found she was not there. I took a couple of papers with appointment supplements to the same desk and sat there hoping she would come. In twenty minutes she came hurriedly and I could see the expectancy in her face when she looked around and at my table. I smiled at her and showed the opposite vacant chair. When she sat down I said “I am Selva learning DTP and living near Ganesh temple in the next street. What is your name?”
“I am Akila” she replied after some time. When prompted what she did, she said “I stopped school after class10.I am learning typing “
“Why are you not studying further?” I asked
“I have no parents. I am living in my uncle’s house next to the flour mill.. He cannot afford though he is affectionate towards me. I am looking for a job.”
“I am sorry to hear that.” I said I felt pity for the girl. We have been ever since meeting at the library almost daily except Sundays. When her birthday came, I wanted to give her some small gift. She refused telling that her aunt is watchful and if she finds any new thing she will enquire and stop her from library and typing classes. We became very fond of each other and wished to spend as much time as possible together.
One week later when I met her one day in the library, she smiled at me but looked away quickly. I felt she was trying to hide her face. I moved to see her face with tears trickling down. I asked her what bothered her. She did not speak but looked tense. When prompted, she said, “Uncle has decided to shift to a village near Salem this Friday. I do not wish to go out of Chennai. I want to be here permanently. I feel like crying”
I was shocked and couldn’t gather words immediately.”I know Akila.Don’t worry. We will find a way out We have still three days” I replied without knowing what else to say.
“Selva, I am shy to tell you. Please find some way to keep me with you.”
. “I know. I am also in love with you,Akila.” I said
She was just seventeen and not a major and we cannot elope. I wanted to check with mom whether she can keep her with us. I told her “Give me time to think. I will come up with some solution before Thursday.
I discussed with my mom that night itself. She was supportive and assured me that she would discuss with the owner of the clinic to employ that girl as they were already in need of one assistant. She also said that Akila could stay with us till she found an alternative accommodation with the nurses. She asked me not to give hopes till the matter was finalized. I did not go to the library the next two days. On Wednesday night when she got the OK from the doctor, my mom said we could go to her house the next day morning and talk to her uncle. I was jubilant and could not sleep the whole night.
There was no difficulty in locating the house when we went to the flour mill. When I asked an elderly woman where Akila lived, she showed a locked door and asked who I was. When my mom explained the purpose of the visit, the woman said”How unlucky the girl is.She was crying for the last two days.She never wanted to leave this place.Her aunt kept her locked and did not allow her to go out fearing she may run away. They forcefully took her with them yesterday morning itself instead of Friday they had originally planned. Are you related to that nice girl?”
“My mom replied “, No. But we wanted to get related to her. Do you have any idea of the place they have gone to/”
“No, they did not leave any address behind them”
As my mom put her arms around me, I knew my dreams had crashed.

11 comments:

  1. That was touching. I somehow felt you could have elaborated at certain points.

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  2. :) Touching!Plannings fail when destiny plays!

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  3. sad end to what could have been a happy beginning. Never get attached to anything too much.

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  4. dear partha,
    romance prevails in most of your stories.giving hope and when the goal is almost attained,there is a twist in the story.interesting.
    i think,you have many lots to write on...........i thoroughly enjoyed the story,but wished for a happy ending......
    keep writing........
    sasneham,
    anu

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  5. Sad ending. Guess its a case where man proposes and God disposes.

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  6. plans fall through sometimes..sad, selva and akila didnt get to be together..something else was destined.

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  7. Young post and the narration was young too just like the youngsters involved in the story and the youngster who posted it :)
    Now i see a secret to stay young ;)

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  8. Though I expected a happy ending, many times in real life endings are not that happy
    Nice touching post

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  9. A touching story sir. I loved the characters and their surroundings much.

    Cheers!

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  10. I liked te story despite the sad ending... Many a times what we think as an ending is only a new begining.. Maybe the guy will chase her out and locate her... Maybe.....

    Nice to see a post which captures the essense of young love..

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  11. that is now a story.. liked it.. and i felt like it went a lil lengty here and there, but still one of the best stories that i read recently. :)

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