Her eyes welled up as her name was called on stage. The packed auditorium had who’s who from the world of fine arts in attendance. The annual award function had brought the fraternity together to celebrate their passion and reward the best and the budding.
As the auditorium erupted in thunderous clapping, she felt many a hand patting her back, tapping her shoulder and fondling her head. The spot light was focused now on her. She rose slowly and started walking towards the stage. With every step ahead in the moving spot light, her heart hurtled back to the days of darkness…
There she stood, at the back of her shanty, with a charcoal and a limestone in her hand. Looking at the barren expanse and the cracked ground, on a sun light bright day, she was busy making a painting on the mud clad wall. One would have been surprised to see the picture of a field with rich harvest that she was busy creating. What one would have failed to see was the undying hope for the better tomorrow.
She was bolted out of green dream when her mother shouted, “Urmi, stop disfiguring wall, else I will box your ears. Go, seek Baba from the fields”
Sliding the charcoal and limestone, her vehicle to the dream land, in her ripped frock’s pocket, she made sure that her pride possession was safe. Off she went sprinting towards the field. It was the late morning of a summer day and the arid, caked ground was turning hotter. Running was the best option to avoid the blistering of the bare feet.
“Baba, baba”, she called out as she neared the field and slowed down her pace. A dangling, silhouetted figure from distant mango tree caught her attention. Not sure what the young, naïve eyes caught sight of, she dashed towards it. She stopped midway and a loud wail escaped her fragile figure that went ripping across far and wide. Her mother rushed out of the hut and ran towards Urmi. Aghast at the sight, she collapsed at Urmi’s feet, never ever to get up again.
The hope of the better tomorrow was orphaned by the harsh reality of the marginal farm land, of treacherous debt trap, sending the charcoal and limestone to the darkness of the shelter home.
Only good thing was that Urmi was now in a big city and attended regular school. Spotting her talent at the nascent stage, Urmi’s drawing teacher encouraged her to participate in various drawing exams and competitions, paving way for many a medal for which her orphanage had no mantle. Love for the art, however, made wonders to her grieving self. As the time passed, growing up, she forgave her parents for deserting her and the heavy hand of destiny as well that left her to be destitute.
“How true that love makes your soul crawl out from the hiding place”, said Urmi, as she spoke in the mike. She gently kissed her trophy while holding the charcoal and limestone in the tight grip of other hand.
I’m Writing Bravely for the Write Tribe Festival of Words – March 2019 hosted by Write Tribe
I have used word prompt “Forgive” and the quote prompt “Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.” – Zora Neale Hurston