The Blurry Face on a Gleam­ing Di­wali Night

Storizen Magazine - - What's Inside - - by Aparna Mukher­jee

The noise of crack­ers made me get up from my bed. With my half-closed eyes, I saw the alarm clock which showed 6:30 am. I grabbed a pil­low close to me and drifted off to sleep. The burst­ing crack­ers did not let me sleep. I had no op­tion but to sac­ri­fice my sleep. I jumped off from bed in ex­cite­ment on re­al­iz­ing that this was the day for which I have been wait­ing for so many months. The day was Di­wali when peo­ple were busy in cel­e­brat­ing the grand fest. Di­wali has al­ways been my fa­vorite fes­ti­val right from my child­hood. The fes­tive mood can be sensed all around. I could see smiles and joys ev­ery­where. The day of Di­wali was go­ing well with my neigh­bours and friends. As sun dipped below the hori­zon, the gleam­ing of earthen lamps glit­tered the earth. The col­or­ful ran­go­lis were en­hanc­ing the floors. I started dec­o­rat­ing my house with flower ran­go­lis. The en­trance door of my house was decked up in fresh flower gar­lands. Ev­ery cor­ner of my home was gleam­ing with the rows of clay lamps. From chil­dren to adults, ev­ery­one was let­ting off fire­works. With the on­set of Novem­ber month, the cold waves filled the at­mos­phere; giv­ing pleas­ant shiv­ers to ev­ery­one. The cold breeze

was touch­ing my skin, push­ing me to step out from my place. But, I chose to stay in­door and en­joy the glimpses of cheer­ful faces who were en­joy­ing in feast­ing on sweets and let­ting off crack­ers. I wrapped a shawl around me and sat on a cushy couch right next to the win­dow of my room. The happy faces out­side and the sparkling lights of clay lamps were fill­ing my heart with plea­sures and joys. The dark­ness in the sky and the glis­ten­ing lights of beau­ti­fully de­signed earthen lamps made the en­vi­ron­ment tran­quil and en­joy­able. I was en­joy­ing the out­door scene from my home when all of a sud­den my eyes caught some­thing. Out­side the main gate of our build­ing, I saw a blurry face amidst the cloud of smoke com­ing out of fire­works. When ev­ery per­son's face was shin­ing with smiles, there was a glum face that lost the smiles. A sense of cu­rios­ity rose in me and I de­cided to step out of my home to have a view of the blurry face. Wrap­ping around the shawl around me, as I ap­proached close to the gate, I saw an in­no­cent face of a lit­tle kid whose eyes were filled with tears. His teardrops which were rolling down from his cheeks ap­peared as di­a­monds in the shim­mer­ing lights of clay lamps which were set in the rows of the main gate. When all kids were wear­ing new clothes, he had worn shabby clothes and was stand­ing out­side the gate. When I asked him about his par­ents, he replied me that his fa­ther does not stay with him and his mother is work­ing as a maid. His mother as­sured

him to bring for him crack­ers, new clothes and sweets. But, she did not re­turn home which made the boy step out of his home, look­ing for his mother. The fire­works and Di­wali dec­o­ra­tions out­side our build­ing made the poor kid stop near our build­ing. He too wanted to play with other kids, he too wished to let off crack­ers and he too de­sired to wear new clothes. But, there was no one apart from his mother to give him Di­wali gifts. He was look­ing at other kids with ut­most de­sire. I could see his sor­rows from his face. His eyes welled with tears, but he did not cry be­cause he did not want to show his sor­rows to other kids. I told our watch­man that if a lady comes look­ing for her child, he should bring that lady to my place. I held the kid's hand and brought him at my place. He hes­i­tated at first. When I told him your mother is busy in her work and that is why she told me to give your gifts. Hear­ing this, his face glit­tered with smiles. The broad smile on his face made my day. I made him sit on my fa­vorite cushy couch. At first, he de­clined. Then, I lifted him in his arms and made him sit prop­erly. I asked his name to which he replied, Shau­nak. I of­fered him some plates filled with Di­wali snacks. I ex­pected him to grab a plate and gob­ble those crispy snacks. To my sur­prise, he started star­ing at me for a while. He just nod­ded his head, in­di­cat­ing that he does not want to have the whole of food in the plates. He took a fist of snacks and started eat­ing them. While he was eat­ing, I of­fered him many boxes of crack­ers to which he was elated. He grabbed hap­pily those boxes and got up from couch to go to his place. I un­der­stood more than the snacks, he was

pin­ing for crack­ers and clothes. I told him to visit my home the next day. He nod­ded his head again and left with a smil­ing face. Next morn­ing, some­one rang the door­bell of my home. As I opened the door, I was sur­prised to see Shau­nak and his mother. I wel­comed them inside my place. His mother folded her hands to thank me for yes­ter­day. I was glad to see although they were poor, but they have the sense of grat­i­tude. I placed some new clothes in Shau­nak's hands and wished him "Happy Chil­dren's Day". He hugged me and planted a kiss on my cheek. He asked me what is Chil­dren's Day? I replied, “to­day is your day.” I ex­plained to him later why Chil­dren's Day is cel­e­brated. He lis­tened in­tently. His mother was about to thank me again, but this time I held her hand and thanked her for bring­ing Shau­nak to my house. The smile on the lit­tle boy's face was ex­pen­sive than any other things in this world. Di­wali and Chil­dren's Day turned out to be very spe­cial oc­ca­sions to me. We spend count­less bucks on ma­te­ri­al­is­tic things to make us or our others happy.

“Doubt is like dark­ness and trust is like a light. There is no way one can de­stroy light by throw­ing dark­ness into it. So, let’s come to­gether and en­joy the fes­ti­val of lights.

Happy Di­wali!”

But, the joys of spend­ing money on needy peo­ple give the ut­most plea­sure in life. I was elated to con­vert tears into smiles of one child which made me wealthy from within. In a few words, Aparna de­fines a woman who be­holds high as­pi­ra­tions and firmly be­lieves in ex­pand­ing her hori­zon. She holds a Mas­ter de­gree in English from Mum­bai Univer­sity. By pro­fes­sion, she is an on­line con­tent writer and blog­ger who writes in­for­ma­tive ar­ti­cles for var­i­ous UK and US blogs and web­sites. Her po­ems got pub­lished in the dig­i­tal Re­flec­tion Magazine and in the In­dian lit­er­a­ture web­site named Faces­tory' She is a bud­ding au­thor too. Her first story on ro­man­tic theme got pub­lished in a book named "Me­moirs Of Love". As a per­son, she is open-minded, down-to-earth and ami­able in na­ture. Her world re­volves around cre­ativ­ity. She wishes to make her mark in the lit­er­ary world, hop­ing to leave an in­deli­ble im­print on her read­ers' minds.

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