Manpreet Kaur, Longlist Short Story 2017

The Beginning… It’s Never Too Late

Manpreet Kaur Bamra

Late in the evening, Jaya was sitting in a park with the pain of remoteness which was bothering her since years. She sat alone on a bench with her head down, so deeply grieving and couldn’t figure out a way out of it. The day when her husband died was a curse of her life and it’s been almost eight years when her children left her alone, as they got settled with their families in Australia. Her subsistence was totally leaned on her husband’s pension, because her sons stopped providing financial support. Looking at the situations, her mind became so quiet and withdrawn from the surrounding. Depressed, lonely, financially strapped and wondering now what? Felt that she can’t carry on any longer. It was tumultuous time of financial and emotional strain for her. She always tries to divert her mind in doing other activities rather than household works.

Jaya got a habit of reading newspaper daily, which one fine morning awakened her mind. She saw her college mate’s photo on newspaper. The headlines narrated the success of becoming famous writer. Reading this news she recalled her old days with a nostalgic smile on her lips and said “I was also one of the good writers in my college days. Family’s responsibilities had shackled me, or else I would have made a bright career in writing.” All the memorable moments of her college days were revolving in her mind due to which she forgot her present difficulties.

Jaya got her family Photograph that was accidentally kept in same shelve. She was holding her sons in that photograph. Looking at the photo, her eyes were full of tears and she remembered those painful words told by her sons that “mom, stop hounding us. Don’t call us back home. We can’t send you money anymore, because it’s also the question of our survival.” Cursing herself, Jaya said “Why did I whisked my life in family’s needs and responsibilities? My children doesn’t care for me. Today, I am 60 years old and don’t know till how long I may live? I want to make my life happy in these remaining years. I can’t guarantee that my children will ever think of me in future. Now, I will start my new life. Today, there are no fetters of roles and responsibilities to block my way.” This provoked her to move on in life.

Jaya always believed that an empty mind is open and ready for anything. She started writing a book named ‘Writer’s Soul.’ Writing about her life’s emotional struggles helped her in reducing loneliness. She submitted her script to the publication house which was nearby her residence. The script got selected at once because it was uncommon topic for readers. One month later, her book was released in the market. Her first edition sold within one week and this created strong impression in reader’s minds. She received heavy amount of payments after every edition and finally, her book was acclaimed as a best seller in the market.

Jaya was called for the award ceremony by publishing house and after achieving such results, there was no locus of her happiness at that moment. At the day of ceremony, she was called on stage for receiving award and speak few words about her book. During the speech, she spoke about the dependency that parents expect from their children at their old age and stated that “Many times life offers the opportunity to rediscover old and new interests that we let go due to our responsibilities. Life tomorrow will be the result of choices and attitudes we made today. Time or age doesn’t matter, all that matters is self-recognition.” She completed her speech by saying the last sentence that “alone gage forced identified.” This confidence gave her new beginning of life. She opened up herself on that day and realized that it’s never too late in life.

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