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Sunaina woke up with a jerk. Her groggy eyes couldn’t comprehend the happenings around. Thanks to the seat belt, she nestled back to comforts of the seat in a flash of seconds, unharmed. And then she heard laughter.

“What’s the matter, Grandma?”, she enquired, little confused.

“RTOs have shown up around the bend”, replied Shaukat Bhai, the erstwhile driver.

“RTO?”, she was all the more puzzled.

“Road Traffic Officer”, tittered grandma.

Sunaina turned her gaze outside and was surprised to see two cows staring at her from the car’s window pane. They appeared as poker faced as the traffic policeman handing out the tickets. It had so happened that the heard of the cows was making its way around the u-pin bend when their car was trudging up.

Sunaina had landed in India, a few hours back. It was her maiden solo journey. Till then she was accompanied by either of her parents. As per their year on year routine, almost a ritual by now, her grandma had come to receive her. They were being driven to her grandparent’s place which was about three hours from the airport. After initial chitter chatter, the jet lag crawled stealthily and casted its web on Sunaina, drifting her to dream land, only to be awakened by a sudden jolt.

It took five odd minutes for the shepherd to clear the road of the cows. The sight of the cows however fetched a long-lost memory for Sunaina. The white and brown faces of the cows reminded her of Samay Lal, for Samay Lal too had vitiligo.

As the car picked up the harmonious speed, Sunaina asked, “Granny, any news about Samay Lal?”

“Aha, you remember him?”

“Of course. How can I forget the rides to the market on the bicycle with him, his lessons and practical on milking the cows, making the cow dung cakes and taking the cows for grazing to the forest”, replied Sunaina, reminiscing the past.

“And his flute?”, asked the granny.

“Yes, his flute too! He played it so well. But only in the company of nature. He always remained disconnected from the rest of the world”, supplied Sunaina.

“World was cruel to him. The patchy skin that he had, was always a reason for him to hide in forests, away from the censorious eyes of the louts. If only he had courage and support to get over it…” sighed grandma. After a pause, grandma continued, “Epilepsy added to his miseries. He was disowned at an early age by his family. It was your grandpa who took him under his wings. Initial tryst with the formal education failed as he was butt of all jokes and pranks. Insensitive country bumpkins”.

Sunaina witnessed a rare site, one that of her granny turning red with anger!

“How did he play flute so well then?”, asked Sunaina growing curious.

“When formal education failed, your Grandpa enrolled him for flute classes. It was here that the teacher agreed to take his class, all alone. And then there was no turning back”, said granny with peace returning to her again.

“Did he ever perform in any gathering or on stage?”, Sunaina enquired.

“Do you really think it will have any positive answer Sunaina? He played flute, only when he would take the cows for daily grazing in the forest”

You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes”, opined Sunaina.

“I feel, he never felt the need for any one to come to him or other way round. He was happy with his solitude, his own company, cows and flute”, said grandma.

“But where is he now?”

“With God…giving Him musical company. Few months ago, one evening, the cows returned to the cowshed but Samay Lal was conspicuously absent. After waiting for some more time, Grandpa along with few other men went searching for him. He was found under the tree with his flute on his lap and a complete bliss on his face. The night was dark enough to hide his patchy skin but not the wounds of his heart”, sighed grandma, wiping a lone tear that had escaped her dark black eyes.

“And here comes my darling granddaughter”, shouted grandpa, as the car neared the gate of the bungalow.

Emerging out of the car, Sunaina casually glanced at the cow shed that stood lonely at the other corner. Faint forlorn notes of the flute floated in the air, from a distance, making the void in Sunaina’s heart stood out in silence.


I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter
A Wasted Life…May Be is another story from Sunaina’s diary.
Linking this post to #FridayReflection by Corinne Rodrigues and Shalini R


83 Comments

Sonia Chatterjee · September 1, 2018 at 9:18 am

This is so fresh and poignant. I wish it didn’t end today. I want to read more of Sunaina.

    Anagha Yatin · September 1, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Thanks Sonia. I do wish to share the stories from Sunaina’s diary, on my blog, in future as well. However not sure how frequently!
    Thanks for showing interest and thus encouraging me.

abhiray59 · September 1, 2018 at 10:08 am

Nice story. Real artists play for themselves. Lucky ones get to hear them. Music is for God, self and nature.

    Anagha Yatin · September 1, 2018 at 11:41 am

    So aptly worded Abhijit. Thanks for visiting and sharing your thought.

Corinne Rodrigues · September 1, 2018 at 12:37 pm

I love how your imagination works, Anagha. I could picture all the scenes you described. Sadly, the world treats people like Samay Lal so badly!

    Anagha Yatin · September 1, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Awww… thank you Corinne.
    Sensitivity towards special people is missing in most of the cases, whether its urban or rural India. Much deserves to be done in this area.
    Thank you for visiting.

Varad · September 1, 2018 at 1:42 pm

Sigh! If only we can put away our prejudices. Very poingnantly written, Anagha.

    Anagha Yatin · September 1, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Yes, the prejudices. The very factor that stops us from seeing the human being beyond his/her disability.
    Thanks Varad for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

Damyanti Biswas · September 1, 2018 at 2:14 pm

Prejudices can be such a barrier. Well-written, Anagha.

    Anagha Yatin · September 1, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Thank you Damayanti for visiting, appreciating my efforts and sharing your thought.

Anshu Bhojnagarwala · September 1, 2018 at 3:38 pm

Well written Anagha! We humans have so many biases. Unfortunate for us that we never get to know the likes of Samay Lal and his beautiful music. Our biases, our loss. I do hope you will write more stories from Sunaina’s diary and more such characters.

    Anagha Yatin · September 1, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    The loss is more prominent in hindsight, specially when the prejudices no longer hold their grounds. Thanks Anshu for visiting and encouraging me to sneak peak into Sunaina’s Dairy.

ourlittleworld2016 · September 2, 2018 at 1:29 pm

Loved every bit of it.. looking forward to reading more..

    Anagha Yatin · September 2, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    Thanks for visiting Rashmi.

Jheelam · September 2, 2018 at 5:50 pm

A poignant tale. The society runs on prejudices,for Samay Lal- it was his skin-patches, for someone like me- its my introversion. Would love to hear more tales of Sunaina. 🙂

    Anagha Yatin · September 2, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    So agree you Jheelam. The need is to recognize the human being beyond the outward appearances. We must let every one live, lead their lives peacefully and normally and not as per the standards demand set by the society. World would be a better place then!
    Thank you for visiting and sharing a slice of your own world.

mummyingainteasy · September 2, 2018 at 7:02 pm

Loved reading the beautiful story…fiction is my weak point. I am glad I signed up for this,getting to read so many beautiful posts

    Anagha Yatin · September 2, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Thank you so much for visiting. Thanks to #MyFriendAlexa that I got to get in touch with you!

Tina Basu · September 2, 2018 at 8:34 pm

some great men don’t like to appease others and they play for their content. Wonderful start Anagha.

    Anagha Yatin · September 2, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    Thanks Tina for visiting and appreciation!

Sajid Akhter · September 3, 2018 at 1:44 pm

Hi Anagha,

Good post! Life can be so cruel at times. I wish Samay Lal was more positive towards life and people were more accepting towards him. We all have our own short-comings. We all should look at our positive sides rather than ponder over things which we don’t have. Because once we start thinking over things we don’t have, we tend to stop appreciating the ones we have.

Thanks for sharing this post. Have a great day. 🙂

    Anagha Yatin · September 3, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    As you said rightly, counting blessings is the solution for living life meaningfully. Likes of Samay Lal and the ones around him fail to understand, practice this simple trick.
    Thanks Sajid for visiting.

richa mina · September 3, 2018 at 2:38 pm

very emotional story and in India prejudice towards people who are different is a lot. Samay Lal did something positive with his life.

    Anagha Yatin · September 3, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks Richa. As you rightly mentioned, Samay Lal lived his life on his terms and must have been happy in his world.

Swagata Tarafdar · September 3, 2018 at 3:44 pm

Very poignant story… And I loved your lucid language.

    Anagha Yatin · September 3, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    Thank you Swagata.

Dr.Amrita Basu · September 3, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Samay Lal’s story is sad .Discrimination for physical ailments and mental can be heart wrenching.

    Anagha Yatin · September 3, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    True that Amrita. Thanks for visiting.

Mayuri6 · September 3, 2018 at 4:10 pm

This cruel world has managed to smother another gentle soul. Beautiful writing Anagha. My heart went out to Samay Lal.

    Anagha Yatin · September 3, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    Thanks Mayuri. Insensitivity is the real murderer of the humanity, I suppose.

Varsha Baikar · September 3, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Nice and touching story 👍 Anagha. Thanks for sharing.

    Anagha Yatin · September 3, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Thanks Varsha.

Rrohan Kachalia (@rohank01) · September 3, 2018 at 6:27 pm

Wow! What a wonderful tale, Anagha. Poignant, hard-hitting and true in today’s times. I liked the way your words flow making me imagine the scenes one after another.

https://www.rohankachalia.com/2018/09/payback-part-1/

    Anagha Yatin · September 3, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Thank you Rohan.

Rupali · September 3, 2018 at 6:52 pm

A good one Anagha though it’s all about sad reality of our society.

    Anagha Yatin · September 3, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    Thanks Rupali.

heartinprintbyjaya · September 3, 2018 at 11:26 pm

A beautifully written yet a sad story. Touches on a few ironic points how society and the system we build around it works.

    Anagha Yatin · September 4, 2018 at 7:18 am

    Thanks Jaya.

Varsh · September 4, 2018 at 7:29 am

Vitiligo is treated as a dreadful disease even today, sadly. However sad his life may have been, he went away happily and in the company of his dear flute. Lovely tale, Anagha!

    Anagha Yatin · September 4, 2018 at 7:34 am

    Vitiligo as a pigmentation disease is more of stigma on soul than on skin, courtesy screwed thinking of society. We then end up with many of Samay Lal living their life in oblivion. Sad indeed.
    Thanks Varsh for sharing your thoughts.

Holly J · September 4, 2018 at 7:45 am

Sunaina has a good heart, takes after her Grandpa. It’s too bad so many people are so superficial. They miss out on a lot of beautiful music…

    Anagha Yatin · September 4, 2018 at 8:29 am

    You said it Holly. The superficiality is keeping many good things away from life.
    Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

Sachin Baikar · September 4, 2018 at 8:55 am

Very well written story 👍 Anagha.
Sad and touching one. Thanks for sharing.

    Anagha Yatin · September 4, 2018 at 11:13 am

    Thanks Sachin.

sukrisblog · September 4, 2018 at 9:57 am

A beautiful and poignant story. Such is the way of life that is harsh reality.

    Anagha Yatin · September 4, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Sadly yes…such is the way of life for many. Thanks Sudha.

Dipali Bhasin · September 4, 2018 at 10:35 am

If there is one blogger whose posts I love reading and look forward to, it is you. Love your writing style and just like Samay Lal’s flute your words too carry the reader to a wondrous literary journey and scribble of words. Bravo Anagha! Bravo!

    Anagha Yatin · September 4, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Awww man…Thanks Dibbi! You made my day! Indebted.

Deepti Menon · September 4, 2018 at 10:44 am

What a poignant story, Anagha. You have blended so many societal aspects in it – the loneliness of a person with vitiligo, the ostracism by society, the added burden of epilepsy. The notes of the flute resonate across the story. Kudos! #DeepTiesReads #MyFriendAlexa

    Anagha Yatin · September 4, 2018 at 11:22 am

    I am so happy Deepti that you could resonate with the notes of the flute from the story. Thanks for the kind words and for visiting!

      Deepti Menon · September 7, 2018 at 11:12 pm

      Anagha, some stories have that magical effect on the reader. This is one of them. Kudos!

        Anagha Yatin · September 8, 2018 at 7:58 am

        Thank you Deepti for visiting and uplifting remarks.

Priyanka Naik · September 4, 2018 at 11:51 am

Lovely story! No matter what the world thinks of them, a real artist is never alone…for he has his art for company!

    Anagha Yatin · September 4, 2018 at 11:58 am

    So true… a real artist is never alone. Even in death he has company. Thanks for visiting and adding to the discussion Priyanka.

Rashmi · September 4, 2018 at 2:01 pm

Let yourself make peace with your talent. Be content with what you have.Leave the outside world.Those who have an eye for it, they will definitely appreciate. Those who don’t, will never understand the value of an art and will always find a way to demean others. So, be away from such biased people and find solace with your precious gift.
Loved the story Anagha. Would be looking forward to read more from Sunaina’s diary.

    Anagha Yatin · September 4, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Thanks Rashmi for sharing such a beautiful thought. Thanks to #MyFriendAlexa by Blogchatter that I got in touch with you.
    Thanks for visiting.

      Rashmi · September 4, 2018 at 11:29 pm

      Your feelings resonates with mine Anagha! Thanks Blogchatter for opening up this connection.

Anita · September 4, 2018 at 2:13 pm

Great story, Anagha. Moving.
The timing of the story near Janmashtami lends it extra meaning. Guess it was the samay of Samay Lal to meet the greatest flautist of all time- Lord Krishna.

    Anagha Yatin · September 4, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Aha… the divine connection! So superbly analysed Anita. Thanks for this thought.

Kalpana Manivannan · September 4, 2018 at 3:23 pm

Wonderful narrative… Memories of going to my ancestral village came alive. The tale of samay Lal was so poignant.. was wishing for a positive ending…

    Anagha Yatin · September 4, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Thanks Kalpana for appreciation.
    Samay Lal’s story could have ended on a positive note too, but then I wonder if it would have remained closer to real imperfect world, in that case. Good food for thought. Thanks for sharing.

      Kalpana Manivannan · September 4, 2018 at 4:51 pm

      I know…I somehow felt the story was proceeding towards a “conquering our disability” kind but yes that wouldn’t have been closer to reality. The ending was poignant but realistic

        Anagha Yatin · September 4, 2018 at 4:53 pm

        Thanks Kalpana.

Neha Sharma · September 4, 2018 at 3:57 pm

Loved the story. It goes deep into the heart 🙂

    Anagha Yatin · September 4, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    Thanks Neha for praising my efforts.

Meenakshi · September 4, 2018 at 10:38 pm

I love the way you weave words together to bring out the imagery,Ana. And , yes, looking forward to read another page from the diary!

talesofsuchita · September 5, 2018 at 9:10 am

So beautiful Anagha. I love how every story you write has so much humour in it! RTOs 😂

Dipika Singh · September 5, 2018 at 10:27 am

Ana, you are an edge in weaving stories which leave behind a message to introspect. Your words came alive while I was reading. It’s the society that’s so cruel, but who is this society? People like you and me, we define the course of life for many Samay Lals.
Introspective post Anagha.

Bikramjit · September 5, 2018 at 2:01 pm

Very nice story, keep writing

Paresh Godhwani · September 5, 2018 at 11:32 pm

Haha! I loved the introductory part. Then as the story progressed, it moved towards the sad end. Samay Lal seemed to be a great man. And described his death really well. Overall a great story.

    Anagha Yatin · September 6, 2018 at 6:17 am

    Thank you Patesh. Glad you liked it.

Rapti B · September 7, 2018 at 1:02 pm

Heart wrenching and so beautiful…

    Anagha Yatin · September 7, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Thank you Rapti. I am glad that it resonated well with you. Thanks for visiting.

BellyBytes · September 7, 2018 at 2:49 pm

Fantastic! Not only the story but the ingenuity in using all THREE prompts. Your thinking cap is really working. I should borrow it.

    Anagha Yatin · September 7, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    Awww….you got me blushing! Thank you so much Sunita.

Preeti's Panorama · September 7, 2018 at 3:33 pm

Beautifully written. Loved it.

    Anagha Yatin · September 7, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Thanks Preeti

Poonam B (@beyondhorizon87) · September 7, 2018 at 9:39 pm

There should be more people like ‘grandpa’. Heartwarming unfolding of the story.

    Anagha Yatin · September 7, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Thanks Poonam. I wish too.

Roopali kadam · September 9, 2018 at 6:58 am

Absolutely enjoyed reading it..

    Anagha Yatin · September 9, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Thanks Roopali

Monika · September 10, 2018 at 2:10 pm

A beautiful piece written . You are a great writer Anagha . Would love to read more about Sunaina .

Wish to hear from you on this article...

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