Fiction

War and Pieces – A Fight to Survive

For the war and pieces “An EYE for an EYE and the Whole WORLD goes BLIND” – Mahatma Gandhi

war pieces

This is my entry for the fourth day of #Barathon 2017, the fortnight-long blogging marathon for bloggers, organised by Blog-A-Rhythm! Today’s prompt is ‘War and Pieces’, featured in my fictional story.

At 65 she has the strength and agility of a teenager when I asked her about what she ate in her breakfast, she sheepishly replied – Milk and Paratha (with ghee)! I laughed and said, is umar mein zyada ghee na khaya karo (don’t have so much clarified butter at this age) she just smiled wide showing her beetle leaf stained teeth.

Zahira Bano we call her ‘Bi’, has lived all her life here in the vicinity working as a household help or picking up door to door tailoring jobs. She hasn’t changed even a bit with time, as far as I remember she still wears the same kind of clothes, lives in the same room, does the same work though the addition of spectacles cannot be missed out. I asked her if she remembers me? her reply was as antique as she is – I have held you when you came out from your mother’s womb – how can I forget you??

I always had this connection with Zahira Bi (probably due to her stories of pre-historic era for me) when mother used to give her evening tea and biscuits, I would close my books and sit next to her asking all about the partition stories, war stories, stories of mythology and much more. She would tell this all animatedly, to make me believe in each and every word of hers. But today her silence has overpowered the stories, her wrinkles look grisly and she looks very fragile. My heart pained seeing her like this, I asked mother what is wrong with her – “her son” all she replied back.

Later I coaxed more out of mother about Bi, she told me how Bi struggled all her life working tirelessly for hours together to save on money for her Son. She sent him to English medium school for better education, brought him good clothes when she herself wore tatters, kept him well fed while she slept only on leftover grains of rice, kept of stitching clothes whole night during festivals to get extra money for his Eid… and when he became of age to take care of Bi, to keep her hail and hearty – he threw her out of the house claiming she has lost her mental balance.

I lost my sanity here and cursed this man from the deepest bottom of my heart, how can he be such a fool. Who doesn’t love Bi.. she’s such a sweet lady. She was hardly 25 when her husband died and left this ‘stupid emotionless creature’ with her. Young, beautiful, charming lady, so many wished to marry her but she fought the entire ‘community’ to stay single for this fool of a son. Why no one interfered and helped her I asked mother? Why didn’t you help her?? Mother, smiled and said – ‘I know you will do something good for that poor soul‘.

I called some friends and got connected to an ‘Shelter Home for Elderly‘, they heard about Bi and asked me to get her to the centre. When I told her about the shelter home, she looked disoriented her eyes were filled with the clouds of uncertainty, but after meeting the consultant from centre she got little comfortable and narrated her entire life story. Such are the people we should made ‘biopics’ who fought WAR their entire life – fought with destiny, fought with society, fought with inner doubts and in the end all they are left with are some broken PIECES of life and hope.

Disclaimer- this entire story is a piece of fiction written only for #Bar-A-Thon.

Copyright © Dipika Singh ‘Gleefulblogger’
All rights reserved.This post or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher.

24 thoughts on “War and Pieces – A Fight to Survive

  1. It made me remind of a story from Interpreter of Maladies…beautifully written…one think “rice water” doesn’t sound correct…you can use phan (pronounce fan) or rice palp…hope you will not mind…

  2. Such stories of hardships are everywhere requiring them to be publicized. These are also pointers for us as parents that how much we do for our children but we mustn’t lose sight of ourselves as individuals too.

  3. A poignant story which is a sad reality for so many parents. In fact have seen this abandonment of parents by kids in old age despite they doing everything possible for them. Liked your interpretation of the prompt.

  4. This story melts my heart, how beautifully you have penned it with such thought provoking topic. I am loving this fiction writer in you. Kudos!

  5. This is only too true for so many people. I see my maid struggling to educate her son, just like Bi of your story, while he refuses to appreciate her efforts completely flunking in each class, ‘forgetting’ his date of exam and not turning up at home for days.

  6. Beautifully written. Your narration is very vivid. Zahira Bi might be a figment of your imagination, but there are countless such Zahiras and Zahirs left on the road by their children. Some time back, I wrote a story along the same lines as well. Cheers, Varad

  7. I am sure such stories are there everywhere. For parents, it’s only and only their kids. They stop thinking and caring about themselves and their entire focus is on their kids, when in the later years of your life you think things would be better, they shatter away.

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