THE LIGHT

Storizen Magazine - - Cover Story -

Roosha lived in a nice house. She had nice par­ents and a lov­ing grandma. She went to a good school, was tal­ented and had friends. Roosha was lucky! Every­one ex­cept Roosha thought so.

Her nice house housed un­hap­pi­ness, her school was her es­cape. Her friends wanted more from her and so did she, but she had no one to share her thoughts with. Her grandma was her well of love but she was old and Roosha al­ways wor­ried about her health. Roosha's par­ents were nice peo­ple but they lived wrapped up in their per­sonal space and some­times even with them around Roosha felt lonely. She couldn't en­tirely blame them. They had lost their only son to can­cer, Roosha's el­der brother. Avi was 8 and Roosha was 5, when Avi died. It was 5 years now.

These 5 years, the house only saw grief. A tragedy, which left her par­ents fi­nan­cially crip­pled and emo­tion­ally washed. Mr. Das­gupta only worked and Mrs.Das­gupta only tended to go with rou­tine, mun­dane chores. Empty eyes, grim faces, Roosha never re­mem­bered them to smile.

The school holidays were on and it was Di­wali round the cor­ner. Roosha felt trapped when­ever the holidays were on, no one much vis­ited them and they did not re­turn in­vites. Apart from the daily trip to the lo­cal mar­ket and some­times the tem­ple, Roosha did not go out much. She read books, lis­tened to songs and sat and heard sto­ries from her grandma. There was never enough money to make a trip to a restau­rant or have a hol­i­day. Di­wali was just an­other day in the Das­gupta house­hold. Mrs. Das­gupta made some kheer (sweet­ened milk) and gave Roosha a new dress, which was the only ex­cep­tion. No­body else wore any­thing new. But this year some­thing else had hap­pened. Roosha's school friend Pari shifted to a house which was 2 houses from her and she urged her mother to in­vite Roosha over to cel­e­brate Di­wali with her. Mrs. Das­gupta had agreed when the phone call invit­ing Roosha had come, mostly she was glad to have her off her hands for some time. She knew how hard all this might seem to Roosha, but she could not seem to do any­thing. Her life seemed like one long wait. It won’t be much longer though, she hoped.

So Roosha skipped over gladly to cel­e­brate Di­wali at Pari's House, she car­ried a box of sweets as a gift and wore her new dress. Her hair tied in bunches she looked like a fairy. Pari's house was burst­ing with guests, lights, mu­sic and food. It was brim­ming with laugh­ter, with hap­pi­ness, it was pal­pa­ble to Roosha. Her heart im­me­di­ately light­ened and she joined her friend in the cel­e­bra­tion. Af­ter the prayers and the Bha­jans, the chil­dren were treated to yummy food, while the grown-ups played dumb cha­rades. Then it was time for some fire­works as Pari's dad guided the chil­dren

and every­one took part hap­pily and safely.

Fi­nally it was all over and Roosha had to re­turn home, one by one the guests left but no one came for Roosha. Had her dad for­got­ten about her? Her eyes welled up with tears as Pari's mom con­soled her and agreed to drop her back home af­ter the last guest had left. Roosha was cer­tain now that her par­ents did not want her and ob­vi­ously did not love her. Unusu­ally her dad had gone to of­fice on Di­wali day. Re­cently they were al­ways very pre­oc­cu­pied and saw her less and less. She felt fright­ened, ner­vous and very sad. She felt like go­ing away some­where and with these thoughts she left Pari's house un­no­ticed. The street was lit up as it was Di­wali night and she could hear voices from ev­ery house. Roosha felt iso­lated in her grief. With a heavy heart she turned to­wards the swim­ming pool in the neigh­bor­hood. Roosha loved the wa­ter. She went and sat down and wept her heart out, feel­ing ut­terly unloved. Min­utes ticked by and sud­denly she heard foot­steps be­hind her, she turned around to find her mom and dad stand­ing there.

‘Mummy, daddy!’ cried Roosha. Her par­ents just hugged her tight, they kept on cry­ing. Af­ter a while Roosha heard how wor­ried they were, when Pari's mom dis­cov­ered she was not in the house. They told her that they had not for­got­ten her they were late be­cause they were ar­rang­ing a sur­prise for her. Tears streamed down Roosha’s eyes as she lis­tened to her mom ex­plain.

With these words, all three of them hur­ried home. Home looked dif­fer­ent. Home was all lit up with diyas and full of light and as Roosha en­tered her grandma beck­oned her with open arms and be­side her sat

a lit­tle boy, with an un­ruly mop of hair and the big­gest, soul­ful eyes one has ever seen. Roosha turned to her par­ents with a ques­tion­ing glance, who were now smil­ing slowly, as they re­vealed that Roosha now had a baby brother. He was called Di­pak, he was 3 years old and they had waited all this while be­fore be­ing able to legally bring him in as their son. They knew how lonely Roosha felt and they felt it was time to give Roosha her brother back. Her dad also ex­plained that he had not gone to of­fice, leav­ing her alone on Di­wali, but had gone to get her brother home.

The light had fi­nally reached her house as she saw joy in her par­ents' eyes, she saw love in their midst and most im­por­tantly she re­al­ized that all this while, her par­ents were acutely aware of Roosha and her un­hap­pi­ness. It was Di­wali af­ter all, a per­fect night for Di­pak, to unite them as a fam­ily. Di­pak, the source of light, had fi­nally reached the Das­gupta house­hold. Su­parna Ri­jh­wani is an avid reader. Read­ing and writ­ing gives her a true sense of self. Blog­ging gives her an out­let to ex­press her­self and pen her ex­pe­ri­ences. Links: FACEBOOK BLOG

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