Diwali is a festival in India which is celebrated with great enthusiasm. It has many stories associated with it and I would like to share a folk story which is popular in the southern part of India.
So, once upon a time, there lived a Brahmin family in a kingdom. The king of that kingdom was righteous and polite. He always wanted his people in the kingdom to be happy and prosperous. In this Brahmin family, the head of the family was blind and was named Satyakama and his wife’s name was Sumati.
Hearing her unusual request, the King was moved and ordered his citizens as Sumati asked. So on a marked day, no one in the kingdom lighted their lamps except for Sumati. That night when Goddess Lakshmi came down observing the one small light in the pitch dark country.
Meanwhile, Sumati requested her husband to stand outside the hut and welcome anyone who would like to visit them. As Sumati waited, one lady asked Satyakama if she could enter their home. As he gladly accepted, she walked in to be welcomed by Sumati.
Applying turmeric to the lady, Sumati requested her to never leave their house. Pleased by her humble request, Goddess Lakshmi assured her to stay at her place and because of this their poverty was gone and they gradually gained wealth. From that day onwards everyone in the kingdom lit oil lamps in their houses to welcome Goddess Laxmi, and ward off Jeshta Devi who is the Goddess of poverty.
Diwali is the festival of lights and prayers are offered to ward off the darkness in the minds of the people and show them the path of knowledge represented by light.
INGREDIENTS FOR DOUGH
Mix the flour, salt and ajwain and then add oil to make a dry crumbly dough. Then knead the dough together to make it stick together. Following this, add water – little by little to make the dough stiff. Try and use the minimum amount of water, till you make the dough stiff and then cover the dough ball to rest for at least thirty minutes.
INGREDIENTS FOR FILLINGS
In a wok, add two tablespoons of oil, grated ginger, chillies, turmeric powder and chilli powder. Sauté it for a few seconds and then add roughly mashed potatoes and peas. Sauté it again for a few seconds and then add salt & black salt. Now remove the wok from the stove and add lime juice and coriander leaves. Let it cool before filling.
Take the dough ball and divide it into about ten small portions of the size slightly larger than a lemon. Continue covering these ten small portions to prevent them from drying.
Now take one small ball at a time and roll them into a round or oval-ish shape. Cut the roll into two from the middle using a knife. Then form each half into an open cone, taking special care to seal sides with water.
Ensure that the top of the cone is pinched in order to ensure it is closed. Now fill the cone generously with the potato & peas filling. Make sure that all the edges are sealed tightly or else the samosa might open while frying.
Keep them covered throughout the rolling & filling process and place in an oiled plate to prevent them from sticking. Now it’s time to deep fry them! Slip the samosas, gently into the slightly hot oil. Please check that the oil is not too hot. Fry it on medium flame.
The samosas may sink to the bottom initially but continue to cook on medium heat and they will rise to the surface. Fry until both sides become lightly golden. It might take time but it is important not to fry them on the high flame in order to ensure that the dough is cooked all the way through. Generally, the frying process will take about ten minutes.
Remove samosa from hot oil and serve them warm.
Long ago in the ancient Vindhya kingdom, there lived a devout priest of Goddess Kaali. His wife died while giving birth to a boy. The priest named him Bhadra. He decided not to marry again and the boy grew up under his father’s care. When Bhadra was a young boy, he went to Kaali’s temple along with his father. But he was scared at seeing her imposing idol. He ran away in fear and did not return to the temple. His father tried to assure that Goddess Kaali is fearful but she is also gentle and protects her disciples. But Bhadra was not to be convinced. He asked his father many questions. Why is she so dark? Why are her eyes bloodshot? Why does she take out her tongue like that? Why does she wear a Garland of skulls? Thinking of her would give him the chills. His father hoped that his fear would pass but Bhadra grew up to be a timid young adult. The fear and the dislike of the Goddess only grew to be stronger. He was ridiculed and shunned by the people in his village.
One day, his father had enough and he dragged his son to the temple. He narrated the story of the Goddess to his son. He told him how Kaali was a destroyer of evil and her fearful form was to strike fear in the hearts of her enemies. “There was an evil demon in ancient times called Rakhtabheej. He had a boon that he will be resurrected for each drop of his blood which falls to the ground. He ravaged kingdoms for wealth, killed virtuous people and committed many atrocities as he became invincible with his boon. Mother took the form of Kaali to destroy him. She fought and slew him but his blood touched the ground giving rise to an army of the demon. Maa Kaali then killed each of them and drank their blood before it touched the ground. She thus became the destroyer of evil and protector of good”.
Bhadra was aghast with this story and his fear only grew stronger. He had nightmares with the images of Raktabheej and Maa Kaali etched in his mind. Why should the Gods be so violent, he thought. If the Goddess is the protector of the good, why did she let his mother die during his birth? His father helplessly watched his infidel son and was repenting for him. As time passed, Bhadra grew up to be a fair, strong and handsome man. He believed and worshipped the Gods of nature, fire, water, wind, sky and earth but he did not enter the temple of Goddess Kaali.
Soon there was news of an unprecedented threat to the kingdom. A foreign invader has attacked the homeland with a large army. War was coming and the king of Vindhya mobilized an army but was outnumbered by the enemy three to one. As was customary, the king came to Kaali temple and worshipped her with rituals and sacrifices before heading to the battle. The King then left to face the dangerous and powerful enemy.
Soon there was dreadful news in the kingdom that the king was defeated and killed in the battle. Every village was to fend for themselves from the invaders. Then the worst fears came true as the bloodshed reached Bhadra’s village. The people were powerless and were shredded apart by the invaders. They ransacked and burned the village and killed every person in sight. His father told Bhadra that they have to take shelter in the temple. Bhadra resisted but he was so shaken by the violence around him that he followed him meekly. When they were about to reach the temple, some of the ruffians caught hold of the priest and dragged him away. Bhadra heard his father’s last words to go take refuge in the temple and to believe in Maa Kaali. In a state of shock, Bhadra ran towards the temple and locked himself inside. Soon the sun had set on the horrors of the day and the night had fallen. Bhadra sat on the cold stone floor of the temple shivering and weeping uncontrollably. He has never felt so lonely and powerless. He remembered the last look on his father’s face before he was killed. He was pondering whether death was waiting for him outside the temple door. Just then he was startled by a voice behind him.
Bhadra heard someone calling his name. He turned back towards the idol and saw nothing. Then from the dark corner, a woman emerged. Her face was like the moon and lit up the dark temple. She walked with an ethereal grace and came forward to meet him.
She called his name again, “How are you, my child?”
Bhadra couldn’t recognise her, “Who are you? Do I know you?”
She smiled and said, “You might not know me. But I know you since you were a little boy”
“Did you also escape from the invaders and hid here?” Bhadra asked, “What is your name?”
“You can call me Shakti”, the woman smiled and answered, “it feels reassuring that you are here along with me”
Bhadra smiled weakly but he felt bolder with this company. He asked her to sit and gave her some water to drink. He asked her whereabouts and listened to her keenly. Every word which Shakti spoke seemed to instil hope and life into him. Her words were soothing and comforting to his scarred mind and body. She caressed his hair and touched his face. For the first time, Bhadra felt motherly love. He asked her whether he could sleep in her lap. She smiled and nodded. He lay gently on her lap and saw her face. Tears came out of his eyes.
Shakti rubbed his tears and said, “What do you fear the most about, Bhadra?”
Bhadra whispered, “To die a lonely death here.”
“Aren’t you born lonely?, Shakti said and asked, “What makes you feel alive?”
Bhadra thought deeply but he didn’t reply.
Shakti continued “You will only feel alive when you know death is a certainty.”
Bhadra closed his eyes and mused on her words. “I am trapped in my mind. How do I escape my fear?” He asked.
Shakti smiled, put her hand on his head and said “Courage comes to those who seek for it inside. You will be the bravest person this land will see.”
With these words, Bhadra slipped into a deep sleep. The morning rays penetrated the gloom of the village. They entered the temple through the small openings in the walls and lit up the face of the Goddess. A loud sound startled Bhadra from his sleep. He saw that the temple’s doors were open. There was a sword in his hand, the deity’s sword. There was no sign of Shakti around him. Then he heard the sound of loud horns outside. He went outside and saw a dozen invaders waiting to enter the temple. They were shouting in an alien language. But Bhadra understood that they wanted to desecrate and destroy the temple. Bhadra looked around for Sakthi but couldn’t see her. He felt reunited with his mother for a short while, and he lost her again. However, there was no time to despair. Convinced that she is still inside the temple, he raised his sword to fight. He found his calling. He has to protect his mother and was ready to die for her.
Bhadra walked down the steps to confront his enemies. His heart was pumping blood into every vein in his body willing him to fight. He ran forward ferociously and slayed the first man to the ground. The warm blood of his enemy spurted across his face. He then charged towards the others who stood there motionless. With clean and powerful swings of his sword, he started beheading the invaders. With each killing, his enemies were looking at him in shock and fear. He fought like a man possessed, braced his enemies’ strikes with superhuman strength and then cut them ferociously when they were within his reach. Blood was flowing like a stream as if in sacrifice to the Goddess. Only one man remained at the end as Bhadra breathed fire. The man dropped his sword and fell down on his knees. He was pointing at something on Bhadra’s face and was panicking in horror. Bhadra saw the opportunity and decapitated him.
Bhadra looked around his lifeless enemies and gave out a savage battle cry. He was consumed by a strange blood lust. He remembered Sakthi and wanted to search for her. He then walked to the sacred temple pond to wash first. He was shocked to see his reflection in the water. His face transformed into dark complexion and his eyes were bloodshot. Then the realisation dawned on him. He ran towards the temple and saw Maa Kaali inside. He fell down on her knees and cried bitterly. Shakti was Kaali. She was his mother. She was his calling. He could never see the divine beauty behind the facade and witnessing her in person made Bhadra realize the truth. He stood to face his mother in all her glory. His eyes welled up with affection and devotion. He put the sword back in her hand. He swore an oath to protect her temple till his death.
As time passed Bhadra became a temple warrior. He swore no allegiance to any kingdom. He started a sect of warriors who were known to be ruthless and ferocious fighters and struck fear in the hearts of their enemies. They were the sworn protectors of the temple. With each killing and bloodshed, Bhadra grew ever darker and closer to his mother Kaali, till his death and the Goddess in the temple was known as Bhadrakaali by generations ever since.
This is a fictional story with folklore and mythological themes embedded into it. The story of Kaali and Rakhtabheej is mythological and Bhadra’s war is folklore while his relation with his father is fictional.
Vijayadashami or Dussehra is a festival where we celebrate the destruction of evil. It is a festival which teaches us to be just and follow the path of Dharma. It is the festival where we offer prayers to Maa Durga and worship her nine different forms.
Except for these, those who worship Goddess Durga offer prayers to her nine forms namely Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandha Matha, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Maha Gouri and Siddhi Mata. This custom is followed in Srisailam a town in Andhra Pradesh where the Goddess Durga resides as Bhramarambika Devi alongside Mallikarjuna Swami.
THE LEGEND OF SRISAILAM
It is believed that there lived a demon once with the name Arunasura. He was awarded a boon by Lord Brahma the Creator in the Hindu Trinity, for his fervid devotion and worship. The boon was that he can neither be killed by a two-legged or a four-legged living being nor be killed by any kind of weapon.
As soon as he was gifted with this boon, he started causing vexation to all the devas and saints. Being petrified with his terror the devas pleaded Lord Shiva who is the Destroyer in the Hindu Trinity to help them.
However, Lord Shiva hesitated because Arunasura was one of his great devotees. Helpless, all the devas then turned towards Goddess Parvathi to seek help.
She took the form of bhramara, a Sanskrit word for bee and entered Arunasura’s ear. She created humming sounds which eventually led to the death of the demon and then stayed in Srisailam as Bhramarambika.
Visit Srisailam Bhramaramba Devi Temple for more information.
After nearly six months of isolation and remote execution of academic tasks, I decided to visit Mr & Mrs Sahi at Karlsruhe. This visit was a crucial break as with every passing day my belief grew certain that I was pacing towards a burnout on a personal, professional, and artistic level.
Though corona spread like wildfire for a few months in the starting of the year, things started to work either out of need or force. Even when many knew the trouble was still hanging around and more of it was yet to come. Bitter reality was that except for covering faces with masks that were not just unsettling but mostly non-helpful due to the intellectuals who used them without covering their nose, there was nothing anyone could do.
So, with varying climates, unsettling streets, panicking public, I finally met them. Though the absence of the little prince was evident, the cosy chambers, spicy food, positive ambience, & healthy atmosphere were the most needed comforts for a time. Not to mention the unlimited screen time, evening walks, winter shopping, & short trips.
Though most of the trip was as expected, there was one uninformed event planned at the Botanical Garden of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology organised by the Friends of the Graden (Freigelände des Botanischen Garten des KIT). Not that I have not seen the garden before. Dr Sahi ensured that I visited it every time I visited them with detailed explanations of every fancy plant we could find.
This time, however, plants only from India were being explored from a Socio-cultural, therapeutic and political point of view. Something I have never heard of before, especially regarding plants. Knowing Dr Sahi personally for a few years, I knew he would not hinder in expressing his views about any political personality, historical reference, & cultural differences. I knew he would not shy away from expressing his opinions indiscreetly.
So, being offered an entry pass, I set forward to rejoice statements relating superfood, Jesus, palm tree, Hindu rituals, bamboo, drumstick, & colonization. Believe me, they are not disjointed but work wonderfully together in this context.
We visited the afternoon session starting from thirteen hours and were nine companions including Mrs Sahi, myself and Dr Sahi as the speaker. The goal was to explore three main chambers namely Garden of Harmony, Garden of Taste and Garden of Politics. These greenhouse rooms with varying temperatures help the institute grow mango, tulsi, sugarcane, cotton amongst many other tropical plants in Germany where shrubs resting beside the heater would not last the winter.
GARDEN OF HARMONY
The third in the list was Bamboo which surprisingly represented fertility and prosperity. Aspects I have never heard in-reference to bamboo. Though regular uses were mentioned like usage in building & cooking, the cultural representation was interesting and unique.
The last in the list was black pepper which was also referred to as black gold. This spice as Dr Sahi says is not only one of the major contributing factors for the search of India opening the doors for trade and later even colonization. It was even so influential that a guild in Europe was formed to control and monitor the trade of the black pepper.
With this, the discussion in the first chamber concluded with a mention as to why the chamber was named Garden of Harmony. Curated by Mrs Sahi, the garden in her opinion was a spot of harmony since plants being extremely competitive for resources under the soil somehow managed to co-exist in that selected habitat. Being humans with the same capacities or partly even more capacities we are binding ourselves in an ever-ending conflict rather than a preferential co-existence.
GARDEN OF TASTE
In the second garden, Dr Sahi introduced coconut, tamarind, chocolate, betel & mango. As the name of the garden suggests, all of them are related to taste. This chamber was not as much informative as the last one but was rather appreciative as to what the plants offered.
One unique aspect that I could notice was the way we Indians depended on mango leaves. Talking about the hundreds of varieties of mangoes, Dr Sahi mentions, “In the Hindu system, there are sixteen rituals in a lifetime. Most of these rituals in some or the other way make use of the mango tree, either using the leaves, the fruits or the wood. So much so that mango wood is one of the preferred woods for cremation, the last ritual for a Hindu”.
Except for this remarkable statement, discussion on tamarind’s help in digestion, coconut’s fibre being used in bed mattresses and cooking, an introduction to the cousin of black pepper and the betel plant was discussed.
GARDEN OF POLITICS
The last of the chambers was the garden of politics. Aptly named due to the presence of sugarcane and cotton although it also has other important plants like the tulsi, banana, ginger and turmeric.
This is where the British entered the discussion again while mentioning about the way opium, & indigo led to the exploitation of the farmers. An introduction to the tea and opium trade was also mentioned.
The best piece of information that I would like to mention here was the way British introduced tea to the Indians. Turns out, to make tea into a lucrative business, the English had to spread the habit of tea drinking among the Indian populace. Since it was not common and many were averse to the idea of drinking tea, the English tea companies used beautiful porcelain and tea sets to allure people.
Even the tea consumed never had sugar in it initially. It has become integral over time due to various reasons mostly concerning economic benefit.
With the discussion of the sugar, Dr Sahi clarifies, “The crystals of the brown sugar and the normal sugar are not so different. Brown sugar is just one step less processed than the normal white sugar. It is the raw sugar that is quite healthy and preferably consumed when compared to the processed sugars.”
Lastly, the discussion came to indigo the cultivation of which was reduced in India after the Germans found an artificial way of producing the blue colour, thereby making the Indigo trading less exploitative, Dr Sahi concludes by mentioning that plants go unnoticed in history and general conversations but were one of the major reasons for many wars, & crimes while also being the reason for prosperity, wealth, & health.
I have personally enjoyed the trip to the botanical garden of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology this time. It turns out that the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology would offer these sessions once every month. If any of you are interested in learning deeper, as I have not even scratched the surface, you can contact them at http://www.botanik.kit.edu/garten/
I must admit that this was the only productive task I have done during this whole trip but mentally, I am in better spirits visiting Mr & Mrs Sahi. Hopefully, everyone is trying their best too. Take care & stay safe.
Did you ever feel like you have been ignored?
Did you ever wish you were someone else?
Did you ever think you were a nobody?
Did you ever feel like you don’t deserve to live?
Did you ever feel self-hatred?
If yes, then I’m one among you! If you are thinking if this is self-venting, no it’s not! If you are thinking this is ‘motivational’, maybe slightly. You could be correct.
Let me begin by telling you a story of an unpopular girl who was always with her best friends. She loved them more than anything else and for eleven years, they all studied together. Unfortunately, she had to move to a different school in her 10th grade.
She missed her friends so much that she wrote letters to them and asked a neighbourhood friend who was from the same school as her friends to deliver them. A day later she got confirmation that her letters were received and she felt so happy imagining how her dear friends would feel after reading her letter.
However, months passed by and she got no response. So she wrote letters again but got no response again. This continued for a while before the neighbouring aunty asked, “Don’t you think you are acting foolishly? You always send letters and they never respond. Why do you even write when they don’t even care?”
Listening to her, the girl felt bad. The happy faces that she imagined all those days, suddenly started looking blank. She didn’t know how they felt anymore. However, she wrote again one last time. She wished that the woman was wrong, and desperately wanted to prove her wrong by showing her at least one response.
But she was left disappointed. Years passed and she graduated and started working in a job. However, the fact that she was ignored and the fear of the possibility that her letters were not even read used to make her heart heavy. Once in a while, she cried too.
Yes! That girl is me and I recently found two of those letters that were unposted in my old belongings. I remembered that those were my last letters and I kept a carbon paper while writing the other letters too.
Just as most would, I felt nostalgic. So I took a picture and posted it in my school girls group. Any guesses what happened?
I was ignored again!
I couldn’t help but feel bad as nothing changed and none of them cared even now. I didn’t open my WhatsApp for the rest of the day, the next day, one of my friends wrote that she collected all my letters addressed to her and saved them at her home. The other girls too recalled that I wrote to them.
I was relieved that at least a few recalled and at least one person still treasures them. For me, that was the most beautiful moment I had in these dark and depressing pandemic times.
Always remember, there’s a second side to every story and don’t always assume things negatively. If you are going to assume anyway then try assuming positively. If I could have assumed at least once that my friends have enjoyed reading my letters, I wouldn’t have suffered all these years thinking I’m unwanted. I wouldn’t have this insecurity that I would be a bad friend and eventually, everyone would leave me. Although it looks like a small issue, it can trigger something big inside you. So always think positively.
Pick a side! Pick a side!
Choose who’s right and wrong.
Only cowards stay neutral.
Decide where you belong.
Pick a side! Pick a side!
Don’t you have any opinions?
With me stand the majority.
Come be one of my minions.
Pick a side! Pick a side!
You’re not making any sense.
If not with, then you’re against us.
Pointless sitting on the fence.
Pick a side! Pick a side!
The smart will make the right decision.
Their stories are full of lies,
made up to fool you with precision.
Pick a side! Pick a side!
Doesn’t matter who is right or wrong.
It’s a quid pro quo world today.
Together, we stand strong.
Pick a side! Pick a side!
Remember, you will need me someday.
If the opposition is your ally,
I’ll make your life harder in every way.
Pick a side! Pick a side!
Unless you wish to stand alone.
To us, you’re the common enemy.
We shall unite to make you mourn.
This poem has been published in an anthology of twenty-eight poems titled “Immortal Verses”. Our artists would benefit if you could order a paperback to show your support. Order your copy now!
While I observed the black clouds settling down, Anupama sat beside me on the bench. She was observing her kid bowling. Folding Gita Darshan, I greeted her before enquiring, “Haven’t seen you in a while, Anu. Is everything okay child?”
Turning to me, the woman in her thirties replied, “I’m waiting for Anirudh. How have you been uncle?”
Observing her, I remained silent, before she mentioned, “Anirudh is celebrating his third birthday tomorrow. You must certainly join us at 6 pm.”
Throughout her invitation, she kept looking at Anirudh who was busy finishing his bowling over. Unable to comprehend as to what is bothering her, I enquired, “I certainly will but tell me why are you tensed?”
As if she mustn’t mention it, she leaned forward to whisper, “I’ve just heard the news mentioning about an impending cyclone.”
Taking another glance at the black clouds above me, I replied, “Seems like it has already arrived.”
For a moment, my words made her furious. After a moment of silence, she said, “Anirudh has been asking about organizing a birthday party for months now. He would be most disappointed.”
Relieved, I’ve suggested; “If not tomorrow, he could have his party on Sunday. A natural calamity isn’t your fault.”
I didn’t realize until she mentioned, “Tomorrow is the extra day in a leap year uncle. He only had two birthdays until this point and at the age of twelve, he is celebrating his third.”
Though, I understood the issue, there is nothing any of us could do. A twelve-year-old might not understand. Before I spoke another word, Anirudh arrived.
Greeting me, he invited, “I’m celebrating my birthday tomorrow uncle. You should join us.”
For a moment, both of us looked at each other before I agreed and they left. There was a part of me that wished Varunadeva would wait for another day. However, the moment they left, I could feel droplets touching me.
Returning home, I could see my wife watching television. Approaching her, I sat beside her on the sofa. Before I retired as a manager in a cooperative bank, I often criticized serials on television. However, over time, I have become an admirer myself. They often gave me something to look forward to on a boring day.
Getting me a glass of water, she sat beside me in silence. When advertisements played, I asked, “Anirudh is three years old tomorrow. What shall we give him?”
Without a second thought, she suggested, “The same remote car we gave Chinni. I never imagined she would love it so much.”
I just nodded but couldn’t accept the suggestion. I disliked that toy when it was for my granddaughter but silence is often the only choice.
Tomorrow, however, I will give him what I prefer. After a lot of thought, I’ve decided to give him a wooden handmade toy from an artisan I knew.
Planning to visit the store after my breakfast the next morning, I rested for a couple of hours and opened my eyes to listen to rainfall.
Observing the drops showering all plants, I could notice water stagnating on the roads. Everything was closed and when I read the Gita Darshan as the daily was cancelled, I could see Anirudh from my balcony before his home looking at the clouds.
He wore a white dress, a new pair of shoes, a belt and a watch. I felt bad for him. His school is closed, his friends cannot make it due to the weather. I was certain the celebration was within the three members unlike expected. Hoping to cheer him up, I shouted, “Happy birthday Anirudh!”
With a smile on his face, he cheerfully shouted, “Thank you, uncle!”
That afternoon, even the power was cut and roads were flooded with water. The rain however continued until light gave up on us too.
During the sunset, I could hear the child crying when he hadn’t gotten anything. Unable to listen to him, I picked up the torch and rushed to our room to open the beeruva.
Picking one of the three parker pens, I tied my lungi before mentioning to my wife about my visit. Defying her resistance, I rushed through the water that reached until my torso and reached Deepak’s home.
Located opposite to my home on the north-western side, the individual home was closed but I could hear Anirudh weeping.
Knocking on the door, I was greeted by Anirudh’s father Deepak. A tall man in his forties apologized the moment he answered the door. With a smile, I said, “Anirudh, happy birthday son!”
As I extended my hand, he stopped crying and approached me. We shook hands before I passed him the parker pen.
He thanked me but hesitated to take the pen. When he got his father’s approval, he took it before I was welcomed by Anupama.
Insisting me to sit down, she made Kesari and filled it in a cup to reverse it like jelly. Meanwhile, I rested in a chair and Deepak took away the lantern to return with a diya.
Placing the cake made of Kesari and diya before it, both the parents sat beside Anirudh before mentioning, “Cut the cake Anirudh.”
Forgetting everything that was before him, Anirudh couldn’t help but cry the moment he realized it was nothing close to what he was expecting. As the couple sat on the floor pleading the child, I sat before them with tears filled in my eyes.
What wouldn’t I do to be in his position? Anupama reminded me of my mother as she lit up every situation and Deepak reminded me of my father. He always brought us a new ray of hope.
God gave Anirudh a party. It just happens that Anirudh is too young to witness or realize its beauty. A day shall come when he would realize how much more he has gotten today than that was ruined I thought.
Blowing off the diya in anger, Anirudh rushed to his room following the light from the lantern placed in his room. Taking a deep breath, Deepak relit the diya and Anupama smiled before she passed me a cup of Kesari.
Deepak then left to carry Anirudh back and laid him in his lap while promising him, “We will certainly celebrate your birthday as soon as the rain stops!”
Unable to redirect his anger, Anirudh stated, “I rather wait four more years!”
This short story is based on an kids story by P. C. Ravuri titled “An Extra Special Day”. Read the original online and support the community by ordering a paperback.
This short story has been published in an anthology of eight stories titled “Eccentric Endings”. Our artists would benefit if you could order a paperback to show your support. Order your copy now!