Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Photograph - Short Story about Remembrances

The Photograph - Short Story about Remembrances


Hurrah! I was free! For two glorious months I wouldn't have to see school again or have nightmares about Miss Lal's notorious cane. Visions of cool glasses of lemonade, exciting books, endless games of cricket and dadi's long storytelling sessions began to fill my head with delight. I reached home with a huge smile and a terribly dusty uniform. Dadi was there waiting for me as she normally did in the drawing room, busy knitting. My dadi never really stops knitting. It doesn't bother her whether its summer or winter. Most of the time she just sits in a corner, muttering to her self with her knitting under her nose. It is best to avoid her when she's muttering with a small frown on her forehead, because she's usually reciting the hanuman chalisa. dadi prays a lot; especially since mumma papa died. As an unwritten rule in the house, mummapapa are not mentioned. At least not if she can help it. Anyway, when dadi saw my uniform, she gave an exasperated sigh and started off with a very different kind of muttering, "Like father, like son! Can't you ever stay clean? Your father used to be the same way....always off to some place, catching frogs in the rain, playing Chor-Police.." and she rambled away into her secret magic world of memories, that I only got tiny glimpses of.     

You see I never really knew my mumma papa, they died in a plane crash when I was two and I've been living with my dadi ever since. I wish I could ask her more about them but I know it makes her sad, so I don't. But no matter how hard I try to forget, the gnawing feeling in my heart keeps growing bigger and bigger. Today I went to Ravi's house and stared at his photographs again. His folks have photographs in their drawing room. All of them are laughing into the camera, their eyes shining and their arms around each other. A curious sense of longing filled my tummy.

And I found myself trying to fit myself in there somewhere in a little corner of the photograph. But no matter how hard I tried, there just wasn't enough space for me. But on my way back home, I suddenly remembered. With my heart hammering against my chest I ran the whole way and shut the door behind me. I knew it! I had my own family photograph too.

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