Saturday, 11 June 2016

A fallen, broken doll.

I'm sitting in my room, playing with my dolls. Today, one of my dolls was getting married and all my other dolls have gathered to congratulate her. This is such a happy occasion, I have a bright smile on my face.
"Sagrika?", a call from my father; his voice, very loud. I was frightened by his voice and accidentally dropped my doll, and now, it lays down broken. If I had to look at my broken doll any longer, I would end up crying, but right now, I must rush to where my father is.
I see him seated in his room, who is accompanied by my mother, my little brother who is playing with some wooden sticks, my mother's sister (my aunt) and, oh, my uncle, who is wounded.
My father walks towards me, kneels down and says, "Sagi, do me a favour, will you? Go to your room and pack a few clothes of yours, we must leave this place..", I can see tears in my father's eyes. He shuts his eyes immediately, and after a while, he opens his eyes, looks at me, and says, "- this place, our little paradise... we must leave and never return. pack only a couple of clothes, I'll buy other things for you elsewhere." He looks confused, unsure of things; I look at him with several questions, but I dare not ask him any. I do not want to leave this place. My school, my friends, my dance classes.. How can I leave them all behind? I turn around and walk towards my room. I shut the door behind me, my back against the door. What's happening? I think to myself. I cannot figure out anything; but now I have to do what I was told to do, 'to pack my bags'. I pull out my favorite bag, that has a design of a beautiful peacock, and colorful beads. I pick out a few clothes of mine, randomly, lost in my memories with this place. As I tie my bag, and to check for it's weight, I stand up, and underneath my feet is the fallen, broken doll. I look at it, as if I were that doll. I leave the doll there, and walk out of my room, where I find my entire family, with a few bags, ready to leave.
There is a ruckus outside, and my father looks petrified. When I look outside, I see Meena's house in flames. I've screamed the loudest within myself, but I couldn't manage to utter a word. I see my fights, my friendship and my time spent with Meena in a flash. My mother lifts me up and embraces me, like she is trying to hide me in her arms.
We dunk and move cautiously, trying not to be noticed by anybody. Suddenly, Samreen aunty, my mother's friend, comes before us along with her husband. She looks concerned, but my mother tells her to back off. My mother feels threatened; but why, I wonder. Samreen aunty looks shocked, and says, "Chandini, how could you ever think that I'll bring harm to you and your family? I'm here to help you. Attackers are just around the corner; come to my house, I'll keep you all sheltered there until it is safe to leave." My mother puts me down, and hugs Samreen aunty.
We're, now, hiding in the house of Samreen aunty, in a dark room. I do not understand why do we have to leave our own house and hide just the next door. My younger brother starts to cry, and my mother hushes him to sleep. I'm so confused, my father said that we must leave this place forever and never return; but why? Who wants us out? Who harmed Meena and her family and why?
Silence has sealed our lips and fear ruled our minds and hearts.
I'm tired, I feel so sleepy, but I'm also hungry. I nudge my mother and say, "Ma, I'm want something to eat, I'm hungry; and also sleepy. Give me some food and then I can go home and sleep, please?". My mother hushes me quickly, placing her hand over my lips, like she doesn't want me to talk. Then, she slowly whispers, " Honey, I'm taking you to a better place, where rooms are bright unlike how it is here; and there, I shall cook all that you like, and you can eat all of that as much as you want to. But, for now, darling, please go to sleep." She hugs me and places my head on her lap, slowing patting me so that I fall asleep.
I wake up with a bang on the door, 'This is Samreen, open the door, it's safe outside. I think, it's the best time you leave." We collect our things and open the door. My mother hugs her friend like she's never going to see her again. They look at each other with tears in their eyes, and they hold each other's hands, firm. They don't say a word, but it seems like they didn't have the need to say anything. We say our goodbyes to Samreen aunty and her husband, and leave. Outside again, we make our way to some place safe, carefully, cautiously. My parents, aunt and uncle, look like they haven't slept at all, like they were too afraid to blink, even. But what's scaring them so much? I wish I knew. My brother is fast asleep and my father is carrying him. My uncle is trying to walk with the support of my aunt, seems like he is suffering terribly in pain.
We've reached to a railway station now, where there are several people waiting to leave the place for good. So many people, I see, as if the entire city is wanting to go elsewhere, all together, at the same time. The railway station is so crowded that it's hard to even enter the main gate. After, what seemed to be like an eternity, we finally managed to reach the platform. My parents, my brother and I boarded the train, hardly finding a place to stand initially, but we somehow managed to make some place inside. My uncle and aunt were the last ones to get to the train and suddenly, I hear something loud, like a thunder, and I hear it again. I try to look outside, unable to get a complete view. I can only see my uncle and aunt collapsing on the ground, and the train started moving forward. My father screams in anger and my mother is holding him back, she is crying her heart out.
The train is moving away, from a place where I was born, where I played with Meena and other girls, where I learnt how to dance, a place that I call my home. We are also moving away from bloodshed, from hatred and from death. But, should we be running away from death? We have lost everything, is it worth living anymore?
The train stopped, all people leave the train. We have now come to a place that seems like a land of aliens. I have never seen this place before. Where am I? In silence, we stand together, looking at a new place, like we're suddenly given another life without being warned or even asked. In silence, we try to drink this change of reality, that struck us hard.
Today, I complete my sixty fifth year towards the other side of the border, the other side of separation. So much has happened in these sixty five years - I was married at the age of 17, I lost my parents at the age of 23, mg brother got married and chose a different life for himself. I had given birth to 5 children, I lost 4 in different accidents while they were still young.
All of this is painful, but, one such incident that still breaks my heart into tiny pieces, is the separation, the partition. All of these sixty five years, I have just been breathing and not actually living. I have seen my life being turned upside down, and I could do nothing about it.
Today, I live in a rented house, trying to make a living with a job like stitching. But, what I really am doing is that I'm waiting; waiting for death. My soul has always been on the other side of the rope, and my body is here, just breathing, existing.
Even today, I see myself as that fallen, broken doll. Fallen hopes, broken heart, that's how I define myself, that's how I have been existing, and that is how I will continue to exist.


  1. Broken doll, or broken hearts, for none can measure how much the little heart can hold. Parting is a curse, yet we must, inevitably. But the control is on the physical, the conscious self remains rooted.

    Nice writing junior, and liked the way how you took the suspense almost till the end.

    Some more reading and writing, and you can write a book!

    1. Thank you so much, ma'am. I'm glad you liked it. :) :)