Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The Lonely Woman

The sound of lathi on a dry skinny body cracked the silence of the night. With a whimper, the old man pulled himself up and tried to walk. Weak limbs gave away as he stumbled and fell sprawling on the station floor. This might have been some usual occurrence to the policeman who kept moving, landing blows on one urchin after the other. Some under the influence of alcohol, some under a cloud of cannabis and many under the haze of hunger and thirst, the railway station is an open dormitory of the poor and needy...

She stood watching the distant darkness and stars twinkling in the night sky. She glanced absently at her Rolex that read 2.30 am. Two days ago, she was revered an angel everywhere she went. The wife of a wealthy industrialist, she had been pampered throughout her thirty odd years of existence. The thought of her husband brought a dry coarseness to her throat. She shifted her legs on the hard iron bench and shivered in the cool December air. The sudden loneliness and vacuum she felt on her husband's death had brought her here. It was not his death, but his continuous betrayals that filled her thoughts every minute. Girl after girl after girl, she had been hoping that he would stop somewhere. But he never got tired...She remembered the vivid fear that gripped his face as he fell towards the thundering train. He had died a painful death, ravaged by a roaring train in the same platform.It was suicide due to business loss, the story went and she was thankful. Yet, she felt pangs of guilt that mowed at her conscience night and day. She felt at a loss, figuring out why she must live, if alone she had to live...


The old man pulled himself up and staggered to the nearest bench. The lady seated on the other side caught his attention immediately. He held his wrinkled palm over his forehead and peered at her in the darkness. She seemed lost in her own thoughts. He neared her and extended his folded arms, silently begging.  She was so engrossed in her own thoughts that she failed to notice the old man. The old man was so weak to raise a voice and he staggered away slowly. Resting his aged limbs on the bench's other corner, he curiously looked at the woman in stoic silence.

She looked up suddenly, woken from her thoughts by the sudden shrill of the approaching train. The lights catching up on the tracks looked so beautiful to her. Only then did she notice the shriveled up and weak old man on the bench. His eyes were deep hollows and his body a mere shadow of what he must have been in his thirties. Gauging her line of thoughts, the old man again extended his palms, begging for money. She looked up, the headlights of the train just seemed to rest on the old man's extended palm for a split second and she felt a lightning jolt her insides. She had found the very reason for her existence that second, that instant. The old beggar never knew how much he changed her life forever. He looked with awe at the fresh notes that were glistening between his nimble fingers. She was at peace with herself, at last...



27 comments:

  1. Lovely one !
    liked the narration style..
    Last line quite touchy than rest :)
    -Deepak

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  2. Awesome is an understatement.In a subtle and muted language you brought out the raging emotions, vengeful anger,guilt and remorse and finally compassion.She found a purpose at the end to her changed life.Beautifully written Niveditha.

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  3. @ Deepak- Thanks for the comment. Glad you like the narration:)

    @ KP- Thank you so much!

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  4. Great One. The emotions have been well potrayed. Keep Them coming

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  5. So what was the revelation? Or was that deliberate? You left it to the readers to interpret it?

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  6. You have a penchant for fiction...have you tried sending your short stories for Reliance Time Out, Katha and other such competitions?

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  7. Finally, at peace with herself. When we look around more carefully, we start to acknowledge the beauty of life...

    Beautiful post!

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  8. @ Krupaa- Thank u so much!

    @ Purba- I guess i left it to the readers to interpret it:) Thanks for the comment.

    @ Alka- Thanks a ton dear. Rel timeout is closed and trying to write something worthwhile for Katha. Thanks a lot for the useful suggestion:)

    @ Saru- Thank you!

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  9. Beautiful story, change can come at any moment and anyone or anything can trigger the change.

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  10. halo akka,
    1.was the lady so affectionate wit her husb inspite he moved on frm gal to gal to gal?
    2.what made her so sad such tat she feels like every thing has come to an end?
    3.Train showin light on the Begger's palm... resembling the climax scene of "LIFE Is Beautiful"(The light stops over the hero.. and tats it)
    4.if there s any underlying msg or subtle meaning standing behind the story( Begger?!).. pl explain..
    5.U mean the heroine of the story decideds to carry on her life thru SOCIAL SERVICE??

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  11. Beautiful story, but somewhere along the tale, I think she might have pushed him on the tracks?

    But past is gone, and that was for the greater good. At least, she found the direction.


    Cheers,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

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  12. touching and beautifully penned post sister and I would like to invite you to write for The Haiku Challenge 2012. The prompts are out, rules are set, and for more details visit here

    Someone is Special

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  13. A turning point keeps happening at the very simplest of moments.. nice story.. Pls collect your award from my blog.. http://tellastorymyway.blogspot.com/2012/01/magnolia-wednesdays-review-challenge.html

    hoping to see your tag

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  14. @ Rama- Thanks for the comment:) Yes, change is what we all are waiting for!

    @ Anonymous- Many thanks for the comment.
    1. If she were not kind enough, why would she stick with the man?:P
    2. Loss of her husband
    3. Ha! I thought something on those lines:)
    4. Charity is a noble virtue that can help us understand the meaning of our existence
    5. YES!

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  15. @ BA- DOT! You are right;)Thanks for the comment:)

    @ SiS- Thank you for the comment. Shall visit your site:)

    @ Hema- Thanks for the visit and comment. Visiting your site...

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  16. 1.why did nt u think of the re-marriage of the gal?
    2.What is abt their kids if any?
    3.So why no new Blog on MULLAI (thollai) periyar?

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  17. Brilliantly narrated. I could actually see the darkness and feel the chilly air. See.. That is how good the post was!

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  18. Thank you for the visit and comment dear Sahana!

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    1. Life is full of sudden changes and sometimes we go through it without understanding how or why something happens. Seemed to be the case with your protagonist until she realized what she wanted out of it. I must say that it is never too late for such a realization to change to our lives. Nice story and well narrated!

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  19. Soo good to read.Beautiful narration. Keep writing. Ajan

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    1. Thanks a ton, Ajan. Welcome to my blog:)

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  20. Brilliant story, very gripping! What I love about your stories is that they are just the right length, crisp narrative and never boring. Wow! is only what I can say right now. Loved this one like all the others. Noble message given out in the end subtly. Keep the stories coming :)

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Arti. Shall sure to write more fiction:)

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  21. a good read. thanks for sharing

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  22. You narrate well CN

    I loved this line very much - "the headlights of the train just seemed to rest on the old man's extended palm for a split second"

    What an imagination :)

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    1. Thank you so much for the comment, Zackandme:)

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