How she became brave! (Short Story)


*This short story got featured in The Oak Summit: The Soothsayer’s Ink Edition-I (Heart it out)*

Sharing it with this community of wonderful writers and readers.

June 1980

Those eyes played with her innocence. She constantly remembered her grandmother with a tear. 

Listening to her stories about her childhood caused me to identify with her greatly. 

She devoted her significant chunk of childhood through adolescents with her grandmother. A 10-year-old was left behind without her pillar of support. 

It was one such day, which she wants to forget. 

She came back from school. As always, her grandmother prepared some delicious snacks for her. She went to the well, collected some water and cleaned herself. She went running to her grandmother, who was arranging her snack and hugged her tightly. 

Caressing her cheek, she arranged her the food with love. 

Her grandmother constantly enlightened her on how to experience her life and her teachings always remain with her. 

Late in the evening, while doing her schoolwork. She discovered her father calling…

She appeared instantly and stood with those innocent eyes.

Her father was in the Army and got placed in different regions. But this time, he also got the chance to get his family with him to Cairo, Egypt.

Looking into those innocent eyes, with a calm voice, he said, “We are moving from here for a few years.”

You and your brother will study in a new place. After completing the paperwork, I will get you admitted to a new school, but you need to repeat a year.

The little heart of hers didn’t accept the news. It was as if she heard her heart broke into a million pieces. 

She immediately asked.

“What about grandmother”? Will she come with us? And my friends?

He observes her eyes get filled with tears. It did wound him but he soothed her down. 

Her anger was so filled with her innocence that she announced her disagreement about going to a new place. 

She said, “I don’t want to come, leaving her home and definitely won’t repeat years in a new school.” I like it here with my grandmother. 

As a 10-year-old, she didn’t think of anything further. 

Did she make the right decision? Or Was she impulsive?

She stood by her decision and the day arrived when her family was leaving. Standing by her grandmother and saw them leaving.

She remembers, standing there with such a heavy heart. She saw her little brother leaving with them. She felt her tears coming down her innocent eyes, desiring them to stop.

Her house was situated such that, she could see trains passing by from her backyard. Even though it was far by distance, still she could see if someone waived from the train.

She ran into her backyard to sight them leave again. Just to wave the feelings. They were supposed to leave from Delhi and then to Cairo.

She waited patiently at her backyard and then she sighted her little brother. Waving at her from the train. 

She knew inside that it’s merely after a few years that she will see them. Time stood still before her. Tears couldn’t stop.

They departed from her…

She kept staring at the similar place for some time.

Suddenly, she was caressed with a hand on her shoulders. Her grandmother clutched her and took her inside the house. 

It was challenging for her in those days. It took time to heal those despair. 

She thought, how will she survive without her mother. A girl requires her mother during the most significant days of her growing. But then, she had her grandmother to take care of her and that love was beyond anything. 

Time drifts without our realisation…

Through those years, she discovered life and how sensitive and harsh it can be at the same time.

The time, when she became a woman. Her grandmother directed her to how things will change.

The time, when she heard from her teacher saying, “Your parents abandoned you because they don’t care about you.” Those words pierced through her heart with such agony.

People will not quite perceive what you endure.

The time, when she perceived those unpleasant comments. Taught her to fight back any situation.

The time, when she distinguished differences, she understood life isn’t a bed of roses.

Through many experiences, life taught her how to stand on her own. It’s difficult to even think, a small girl took such pain. Her childhood spent with her grandmother taught her what she would become.

A brave lady.

She always credits her grandmother who brought her up with such dignity. I saw those eyes filled with tears but those tears were not of pain instead it was of contentment. 

Sometimes fighting with our life itself is a war. The difference is, we fight with our older self to become better the next day.

She remained silent for some time, and I saw that brave lady through her eyes. 

Time flies…

After 5 years, when her parents and brother came back. Her mother hugged her tightly. The storm inside her finally calms down.

Things were remarkable. They recognized, their daughter all grown up to a lady. A confident lady who braved many odds.

But those eyes, nevertheless, maintain that innocence in them. 

To the incredible women in my life, Amma.


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