Thursday, October 21, 2010

Life comes in different shapes and sizes

A long time ago, not too far away, in the mountains there lived a girl. Life was difficult and luck didn't really care to be with her family. So, bread didn't come easily to them and butter was a thing they had never heard of. However, like those close knit families, they lived together and were happy. Well, the last word, the adjective that I used to describe their life has never been analogous to the reality, more so, it was untrue. Meager flow of money came from the small bead shop that Sulekha worked in. Yes, her name was Sulekha but people in that small village called her Dolly. The name, Sulekha, had been long forgotten. Dolly, it was now. She had no idea what that name meant but she knew where it had come from. 3 months before she was due to be born, abba had gone to buy beads from the city. Someone had told him that he would get cheaper bead there but he had been fooled. However, while he was returning, he heard the name Dolly, and decided that if he had a daughter he would call her by that name. Likewise, Dolly wished her kids to have English names too, though she was 15 years old and unmarried. Maybe, she will one day.

So, Dolly was her name. Totally opposite to her name's meaning, she was not good looking and nowhere resembled a doll. Those who live in the mountains are known to be somewhat fair. And so were the inhabitants of Gauchar, the small village where Dolly lived in. But her skin was pale and dark. People would laugh at her ugliness. Teasings continued from morning till night. They stopped only when everybody retired into their beds. That was the only time when she was at peace. The only time when she could see something else that was darker than her. And she felt relieved.

It was November. For the inhabitants for Gauchar, November would always bring a smile onto their otherwise sad faces. It was the time for the annual mela of Gauchar. Traders from northern India came to their small village. It was a time to rejoice for Dolly as money wouldn't be a problem. She knew she would manage to earn atleast that much which would last for the next 6 months. Every year she would eagerly wait for November to come. Though she bought inexpensive beads and sold them the year round, she would save the best ones for the mela. Infact, for this event, she crafted each bead with great detail. Her father started earning when he found some beads lying near bridge perhaps abandoned by thieves. He made an income out of those and hence got into this field. When he became too old to travel, his daughter took over. Dolly, at once, fell in love with the beads. Earlier she would travel down the hill to buy these tiny colourful round and square pieces. Now she made them on her own. Every single day.

And tomorrow was the first day of the mela, her chance to sell those beads to the wives of those wealthy traders and the travellers. This year she had spent all her savings in crafting new type of beads which she had come across on one of her visits to the city. Beads in different shapes and sizes were her speciality. But this time she had developed beads for adorning the hair. She had hoped that it would sell. And very soon she would have money to buy that green saree for amma and that stark white kurta for abba. Away from all the hustle bustle and from the ongoing sarcastic comments about her skin, she quietly lay on the bed. She glanced at the the table covered with beads. Though she was sleepy, she did not want to sleep. She joyfully imagined travellers buying her beads. Smiling, she imagined every single day of the mela and how happy it would make her. She imagined her mother in that saree and her father in that kurta. They looked amazing together. She made a mental note to call the camera wala bhaiya and ask him to take a picture of them together. She did not know how much it would cost but she would pay him. Dolly didn't know when she had fallen asleep and all that she had seen was just a dream. She never woke up. She never saw the tomorrow she had been eagerly waiting for. There were no travellers. There were no traders. There was no fun. But there were beads still lying on the table.

Really, luck didn't care to be with her family.

17 comments:

Garry said...

..very well written right from the beginning, but I think the end could have been better...
I would want you to come up with something happy happy now :)

Take Care
Garry

@ease said...

a long awaited post, nicely written with some finer details. Can we have a better ending..??

Chanz said...

@ Garry : Ummm... I'll try to that in my next story...

Chanz said...

@ease : I don't know but I have a thing for sad endings (while writing). I told u that I lost my flow when I went away. But that is no excuse. I will try to do it next time..

Shivani said...

A rather paradoxical ending. Does she die?

Sakshi said...

Sad ending yet again chanz!
But well written!

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

and I'd say it was a happy story. Despite of the poverty, at least, she had never left hope. What if the hope decided to part ways with her, she clinged on to it...
I wouldn't say it is a sad story. We all aren't born with silver spoons in our mouths, but its the way we fight that sets us apart.
Dolly(Sulekha) was a class apart.

Chanz said...

@ Shivani : Yeah she does.. was it confusing..??

Chanz said...

@ Sakshi : thanks girl..

Chanz said...

@ BP : Whooaaa.. You have impressed by what u have said..I am ur fan now..

Mehak said...

i agree with everyone who said the ending should have been better. however, it's so well written that even the melancholy, unclear ending fits fine... very touching story. :(

Chanz said...

@ Mehak : I am so glad you said that...

Wicked Witch of the West said...

Very well written, liked it a lot. And...I liked the sad ending - totally unexpected and gave me goosebumps for that reason, but I liked it (I always like the twist at the end :))

Chanz said...

@ Cathy : Whoaaa... Seeing you after a long time on my blog... AQnd your compliment brought a smile on ma face... Geez, I missed your comments...

Wicked Witch of the West said...

Yes, sooo long :) I was in the US in late Sept-mid Oct, then jetlagged...and can't believed I missed this one, a few people I follow posted loooottttts in a few days, was only when I went to my own blog that I went 'whoooooaaa :D how did i miss it'. And goood :) as I really thought it was amazing...will have to unfollow a few so none sneak by me again :D

Chanz said...

Oh yeah...I remember reading about your US trip on your blog. Hahaha... The same thing happened with me. I have followed so many blogs that its getting difficult to follow those which I really love reading. Plus, its a little hectic these days... work.. and my own sluggishness... Hopefully, I'll be on track in 2 weeks... So did you buy some exotic coconut fragrances..?? :D and did ya get one for me.. :D :P

Wicked Witch of the West said...

Ah yes..and of course it is the ones I never actually read that do multiple posts in a day :D Work and sluggishness I can relate to for suuuure :D I bought you everything that I bought myself aside from a $3 DC tshirt and a coffee mug (ie nothing lol) :D (Believe it or not, I bought no coconut fragrances - got the whole range before I left(and two friends wanted Lucky Charms cereal so I ran out of room) Did see a rather cool little gift pack of coconut though - might have to pick it up next time I am there (in January maybe!) And good girl for another new post :D Will read it when head stops hurting and my eyes stop burning (hayfever! blech)