Walking down the busy market street with a tote bag held tightly in her hand, she noticed all the signs that were familiar, the shops, the hawkers, the kiosks, et al. There was something strange about the crowd though. All were busy in their business of being busy. None of them noticed her or that’s what she felt. ‘Am a ghost already? Dead long back?’, she wondered and pinched herself. It did hurt her but was self-assuring.

A strong gust of wind took her by surprise. The impish blow tried to flirt with her skirt. Joining hands with the strong current, the skirt tried to defy her dignity. As she bent to rein it in, she realized her bandana coming out loose. That was the last thing she wished to have happened to her on a busy street. She had taken great efforts to tie it before stepping out.

The wind was gathering speed, faster than her thoughts and reflex action of holding the bandana in place. Alas, in the battle of managing her skirt and the bandana against the rowdy whiff, she lost the hold of the bandana. It simply flew away. Her attempts to catch hold of it were in vain, though she ran frantically behind it.

Before she could realize, the wind vanished from the scene. As if something has sucked it. As if it never had a footfall just a few moments before.  A loud honking sound was rude enough to make her aware that she was standing in the middle of the road. There was traffic right behind her as she stood motionless. All the pairs of eyes were on her. Amusement, pity, sympathy mirrored in them all. Her heart skipped a bit. With her shaking hand, she reached for her forehad, that was dotted with pearls of sweat, when…

…she sat upright in her bed.

“Oh gosh! It was a dream, a bad one”, she reflected to herself, wiping the droplets of the sweat from her forehead. She reached out for the bottle of water and had two sips. For a few minutes she stayed put in the same place with her head held low and shoulders dropped.

“Enough of life dictated by looks”, she confided in herself and got up from the bed. With determined steps she approached the dressing table and closely observed herself as if it was not she but someone else. Moving her hand over her bald head, she said, “I am not what my looks make me. I am what my thoughts are. Alopecia* can’t dictate my life. Time now to define my life, on my own terms and face the world without hiding behind the piece of cloth. Let the fear, fear for self”

She turned around, opened the cupboard and pulled out all the colorful stoles.

Goodbye”, she said as she packed them all in a bag for donation.

*Alopecia – Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that leads to baldness.

Picture courtesy Pixabay

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Categories: FictionShort Story


matheikal · April 8, 2020 at 7:57 am

When we realise that appearances don’t matter much our world changes.

Simon · April 8, 2020 at 9:17 am

That was motivating and inspiring✨👌 Love the concept chosen. Very beautifully narrated. It’s right, appearances, beauty all of these are created by ourselves, humans have created lust in all the best looks and it’s been shoved generations after generations. Beauty is not something we see outside. It’s something inside, that most of us fail to consider that first. Thanks for this beautiful post. Have a beautiful day ✨💐🤗

Kikibee · April 8, 2020 at 10:30 am

Beauty comes when you feel the beauty within yourself. That is a tough journey. You are the reflection of your thoughts..
Good read!

jazzfeathers · April 8, 2020 at 10:59 am

Love how your characters always find a way to their true selves.

The Old Shelter – Living the Twenties

Jyoti Jha · April 8, 2020 at 11:50 am

Very beautiful story and with a strong message and inspiration! Not only for people with such health conditions but also for everyone else, to realize that ‘looks don’t matter’, just carry your confidence in you.

jaya1966 · April 8, 2020 at 11:53 am

Looks are just skin deep. It is better to be upfront and accept ourselves as we are. A heart warming story.

Durga Prasad Dash · April 8, 2020 at 1:37 pm

A strong message there. To accept our real self.

Ravish Mani · April 8, 2020 at 2:55 pm

It’s indeed important to define one’s life on own terms. Powerful story, Anagha 🙂

Natasha Duncan-Drake (call me Tasha) (@beren_writes) · April 8, 2020 at 3:42 pm

What a lovely story of courage and resolution.
Tasha 💖
Virginia’s Parlour – The Manor (Adult concepts – nothing explicit in posts)
Tasha’s Thinkings – Vampire Drabbles

Swarnali Nath · April 8, 2020 at 6:20 pm

I don’t know why I have a deep feeling with the world Goodbye. I was reading your story and absorbing it in me. I always love your weaving style. Loved the story, touched my heart.

Keith's Ramblings · April 8, 2020 at 6:43 pm

It took a dream to persuade her to shed her facade and be her real self. What a great story.

    Anagha Yatin · April 8, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    I feel its the strength of the subconscious mind that compels one to see the reality which otherwise lies buried in expectations from the world.
    Thanks for visiting Keith

Unishta · April 8, 2020 at 8:57 pm

I thought your narrator had lost hair due to Cancer. Alopecia came as quite a surprise. I once had lost my hair through stress and was quite embarrassed to go out. It requires guts to go out with patches especially answering people’s questions ” What you’ve lost your hair?”

Anita · April 8, 2020 at 9:15 pm

It was a dream! Phew!
The key is acceptance. 2 recent Hindi movies have shown Alopecia.

soniadogra · April 8, 2020 at 11:04 pm

I was diagnosed with Alopecia in 2015. Since then it has come and gone and come and gone and…. I just knew what was coming when the bandana flew off.

    Anagha Yatin · April 9, 2020 at 7:01 am

    Salute to you Sonia for facing it bravely. More power to you.

Shilpa Garg · April 8, 2020 at 11:19 pm

Accept who are you and your uniqueness. Glad that she did just that! Loved this empowering story, Anagha!!

Ranjini · April 9, 2020 at 12:43 am

I’ve always admired people who turn their predicaments and problems into something positive. Beautifully written 🙂

TheDreamGirlWrites · April 9, 2020 at 1:19 am

This was beautiful!

G is for Guilty?

Pr@Gun · April 9, 2020 at 1:23 am

Beautiful post, Strong message I wish more strength to those who are suffering form this and wish them hope. Appearances are illusion, souls peaks for itself. GoodBye to fear and Welcome acceptance.

Ira Mishra · April 9, 2020 at 5:00 am

I salute the strength and courage! I guess at some stage acceptance of your self the way you are takes over in life and the beauty of courage and strength kick in. Another beautiful narration this one too 🙂

msjadeli · April 9, 2020 at 10:03 am

What a wonderful story of courage and empowerment. I believe in the power of dreams. Your story is a great example of how dreams give us messages.

Shweta Suresh · April 9, 2020 at 1:56 pm

It takes a brave person to take such a decision. Kudos to her! Loved you story. 🙂

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