Monday, September 21, 2009

WHAT DID I DO?

Dark. The night was as dark as the heart of a murderer. But I felt safe. Mother was beside. Her warmth protected me against just anything. All my anxieties wither away- just one touch of hers, does wonders to me. The quiet night, was only destined to be quiet for a while. But we were not supposed to know yet. I felt the eternal quiet- a night, so calm and peaceful- an assurance brought about due to the sense of another being present beside- one whom you could touch and trust.

I lay lost in thoughts. I couldn’t sleep. I was just too happy. Everybody had been so happy that day. The day I was born. Father said that he had not ever been happier- than the day I was born. I knew he had spoken the truth. His eyes had never lied to me. My mother had probably guessed that I was not sleeping. She had started to pat me… gently. How come mothers know that? I could never understand that.

It had been an unusually quiet night. So quiet, that I could almost hear my own thoughts. I turned in my bed. I could see father. I think that I had got the best father in the whole world. Mother had been complaining since a few days back about “difficult days ahead”. I never understood what she meant by that. But father! He had never complained- about anything. He had always made sure that we were happy. He said- “It’s a man’s shame that his women complain. I would never let my little princess cry”. And he was a man of his words.

There were noises. Distant noises- coming closer- slowly- then rapidly. And all of a sudden- it ceased to be a quiet night. There were cries everywhere. People ailing. Crying out in pain- agony. People angry. People, in rage. In panic, in despair. It was a moment in my life when I felt all the human emotions- simultaneously. What was the cause of this commotion? I wondered.

Suddenly, I felt myself being lifted up by such a force- that I was being pulled back onto the firm ground from the land in my dream. It was mother. I could see her crying. Why was she crying? Father was beside her. The look on his face… What was it? Could that be fear? No. But it was fear. A strange helplessness- despair, had crept into him. I had never seen him like that. He looked at me. I tried to smile. But I couldn’t. I felt that my doubtful, uncertain glance at him had only weakened him. We were running. Like fugitives. Like animals being hunted. But why?

I saw people on the road. Some were holding up torches. The flames from the torches were not as bright as their eyes that shone with mad pleasure. Some of them had swords. Some- knives, spears. They were beating and killing everyone. I could recognize some of the people who were running along with us. Those were the people, who were being killed- tortured. We ran faster and faster. The noise around was unbearable. May be, we were dead. And we were in hell… What else could it be?


Suddenly, I had fallen off my mother’s clutches. And before I could realize what was happening, my mother had ceased to run. In fact, she had ceased to move, talk or cry. She was not… was she? Where is father? I looked around. Some of the men with swords were holding him. I started running towards him. He looked at me, and when he fell down, he was still looking at me. The men with swords were coming closer, towards me. I was not running. I was not crying. They were standing, now, facing me. Judging me. The noise was dying down. I could now see, only their eyes staring into mine. I heard myself say, “What did I do”? And all I could hear was, the echo of silence…

51 comments:

Leo said...

oh lord.. what a sad ending.. :( :(

wat was it? a bomb blast? attack from terrorists? the force liftin the kid off... this is unlike a Matangi post.. very different...

nicely penned, yes.. but very different!

Matangi Mawley said...

hey leo.. thanks..

actually.. there is a lil story behind my writing this story.. see.. actually, this theme came to me around say.. some 9 yrs back.. i had jst startd to write back then.. this was based on godhra incident.. my dad loved the whole story.. bt i had lost the story tht i d originally written.. 9 yrs.. is sure a long time.. n bck then.. i didnt document things properly.. coz i was not writing regularly.. u see.. so.. for a long time, my dad had been asking me to find the original.. bt i dont think i could ever find it.. so.. i came up with this.. same story.. same concept.. same climax.. bt presented differently.. than how it was written 9 yrs ago! :)

hard to believe tht isnt it! ? bt guess thts hw ideas evolve!

thanks for the comments again!

shail said...

:)

nice...
end leaves u wondering..! i liked this..

V Mawley said...

Highly commendable, indeed...
Dr. Radhakrishnan says " Humanism is religion secularized "...Oh ! how I wish more and more people realized the spiritual beauty of this statement and evolve from Religion to Spirituality...

really good work...keep it up

Matangi Mawley said...

@ shail..

thanks!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ mawley..

thanks pa! :)

CRD said...

Wonder how any god can permit his people to kill his own creation...

Good story

Cheers
CRD

Matangi Mawley said...

@ crd..

thnaks.. n true!

AV said...

world is an unfair place!
nice one.

Matangi Mawley said...

@ av..

thnks!

Deeps!! said...

WOW!! first: wonderful story, loved the way emotions were portrayed! Second: you're an amazing writer.. kudos to you!!

Aditya said...

Very well written,

Sad endings depress me :((

manisha said...

matangi, there's sometimes so much pleasure in pain, i hope u understand what i mean by this...cause i read this stry with utter delight:)

beautful portrayal n construcution of emotions..from the eyes of a toddler..such innocence and such maturity in it...i felt i was there...

u were an awesome writer nine years back too!!! :) cheers.

preeti said...

you write into my heart. got nothing more to say :):) keep writing :)

I'll try 2 be truthful said...

the description was fear-causing in the thought that some people really have to face this .
a stupid smiley would'nt suffice here .

Matangi Mawley said...

@ deeps..

thanks!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ aditya..

thanks!
wht to do.. i get only sad endings in my mind every time i write a story..
sometimes.. i try very hard to make it good..
sometimes, i like the sad ones better! bt guess-- that is "most times"!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ manisha..

I perfectly understand the "beauty" of u'r statement.. absolute truth!

n thanks a ton! :)

Meghana Naidu said...

the atrocities in the name of 'beliefs' an 'righteousness' ...it sickens me to the core, and your piece makes sure it sinks in.

really like the tone you've used, takes the reader into the story...

viki said...

great post !!!! very very interstin...!! wen i read ur post i was visualizing the last scenes of the movie Bombay.....

Matangi Mawley said...

@ meghna..

It sure does...
Thanks!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ viki..

Thanks!

Parul said...

is this a mob scene?
some riots?
reminds me of 1984...
well written! :)

Matangi Mawley said...

@ parul..

Yes. this is based on the godhra riots..

Thanks!

Arnav said...

AMaZing , Hats off to u :)

The story reflects wishful thinking, in the name of religion so many angels are killed, so many futures lost.. all sadly in the name of religion ...

Gail said...

HI Matangi-

oh my how frightening and tragic. I am trembling here.

Thanks you for stopping by my blog. I will explore your space more fully. I easily feel the intensity and truth which are two themes I ally with.
Love Gail
peace.....

Matangi Mawley said...

@ arnav.. Thanks!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ gail.. Hey.. Welcome to lighter side. N thanks.. :-)

Tulika Verma said...

You have completely captured the futility and irony of murder on the name of religion...
'it was one moment of my life when i felt all human emotions at once...' I couldn't ask for a better description!
and...'what have I done'...and 'echoes of silence'....straight-forward, stark, clear...
loved it!

Indrajit said...

That was poignant and I could visualize the gory incident, so aptly and heartfeltly brought out by you.

Good job. Tc.

Matangi Mawley said...

@ tulika..

WOW! thanks! welcome to lighter side..
Ya.. those are my fav. lines too.. i enjoyed writing them!

Matangi Mawley said...

@indr..

thanks! :)

VickY said...

isshh
that was breathtaking.
nice piece .

tc n update

http://smellofearthafterrain.blogspot.com/

Science Bloggers Association said...

Nice Blog. Congrats.
-Zakir Ali ‘Rajnish’
{ Secretary-TSALIIM & SBAI }
[Editor- Children’s Poem & Adult’s Poem]

Matangi Mawley said...

@ vicky..

thanks...

Matangi Mawley said...

@science bloggers' association..

thanks!

nivi said...

Hey,I read your stories in ITheWriter and as a fellow contributor wanted to check out your space and am glad i did.

Its hard to leave the readers wondering what happened and why it happened. Nicely written. :)

I am looking for some good content contributions to a new online/print mag that me and a couple of my friends are working on. Let me know if you would be interested. It would be great to get some good contributions :)

Matangi Mawley said...

@ nivi...

Thanks!!
n ya.. i d sure be interested..
Bt pl. contact me only thru my blog for now.. coz i am not able to access my personal mails from office for now!

nivi said...

@mathangi

Great to know that you are interested. I would love to give you more context.

Here is the pitch!

"I am planning to start an online/(ondemand) print magazine. The vision behind it is to to be a premier online magazine that has top of the class content and has the capability to capture the reader's attention and make them come back for more. I also feel that there is no one great magzine for short stories/poetry/art etc. This magazine will hopefully fill

that void. The idea is to intially start online/on demand and soon hopefully be a print mag too. I especially hoping to reach out to urban folks in India .So thats it, very ambitious I

know! But then we need to dream big I guess :)

I am hoping to have a motley of sections ranging from short stories / poetry/ art / current affairs / lifestyle etc. I also want to reach out to the best of the best content writers so that the magazine has a great quality. You are one of the good writers in the web space and I would love for you to be a content provider. We are going to be monthly initially. So hopefully its not too much of a pressure :) I am shooting for a Nov 1st launch.

Like i said its going to be of motley content. So if you want a particular column that is cool/new/exciting. Go for it!"

Let me know your thoughts. You can email me at nivik@live.com

feardbond said...

You took me to the scene with that brilliant writing style you possess:) Hats off!! We can not have a good ending all the time,that's the 'Ugly Truth'!

Matangi Mawley said...

@nivi..

that sounds really gr8... !

Matangi Mawley said...

@fearbond..

Thanks!!!

nivi said...

Hey Mathangi,

Do you think we can move this to an email conversation? i would love to hear your thoughts.

And since i am shooting for a nov release, the sooner we chat the better :)

Matangi Mawley said...

@ nivi..

Why not!

lena said...

that was some powerful writing. Really a tragic and unexpected end though.

Matangi Mawley said...

@lena..

Thanks!

Mann said...

A real BIG very BIG BEAR hug for the kid--- for you

Mann

Matangi Mawley said...

@Mann..

thanks! :)

Matangi Mawley said...

@Mann..

thanks! :)

SHWETHA said...

wOA .... *aPPLAUSE TO YOU* Long time..., Hope u rmbr me. Very well expressed post. liked it very much. :) Bt what was that riot? I keep wondering.

Matangi Mawley said...

@ shwetha..

Hey.. thanks!! it's based on the godhra riots..

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