Moving On With The Pain (Short Story)

Dr. Nalini: It has been a year that you are taking these counseling sessions and medicines. You have two options… either you continue doing this to you and drop your year or fight back and move on. Choice is yours!

With tears dried cheeks and swollen eyes, Adhira looked at Dr. Nalini. She nodded her head saying yes to college once again. It had been a year to her mother’s demise but her face bespoke the scars of her aching heart. She couldn’t run away from the sorrow. All she could do was keep the pain deep within her and move on.

Adhira was the youngest among 2 sisters and a brother. Being a pampered kid, getting into depression after her mother’s demise was quite natural. But very few kids are blessed with an understanding father like Adhira’s.

After his wife, Devyani’s death, Danish noticed anxiety, mood swings, frequent anger outbursts etc. in Adhira. She was never an aggressive child so noticing such a drastic behavioral change was natural. He talked to his friend who was a doctor himself and approached Dr. Nalini on a recommendation.

Adhira: Will you come along on the first day of my college?

Dr. Nalini: No!

Adhira: *silent with a sadness covering her face*

Dr. Nalini: When you went to your school for the first time, how did you react? Do you remember?

Adhira: Muma once told that I was too scared. I wanted her to come along.

Dr. Nalini: Did she accompany you?

Adhira: No!

Dr. Nalini: Why?

Adhira stayed silent as if she knew the answer but wanted Dr. Nalini to explain.

‘She wanted you to overcome your fear of facing the world. And today, your fear is loneliness. But trust me, the moment you will enter your college, it will be a whole new world with a lot of new beginnings.’ Dr. Nalini paused and held Adhira’s hand. One more drop on her cheek and she agreed to join her college back.

Dr. Nalini took a year to convince Adhira to give a second chance to her life. It was one of the most challenging and close-to-heart cases of her professional journey till date.

As promised to her favorite doctor, Adhira left for college next day. She was a second-year student but it was looking different to her. Nothing was same. Her life changed her ways to see the world. The students’ crowd, chit-chats, friends… she was disinterested in every single thing that she loved once. She got numb in front of her college gate. While she was lost in her own ‘black’ world of thoughts, she listened to a voice coming from her right. It was her friend, Neeti.

Neeti: Adhu!

She shouted cheerfully. Before Adhira could say anything she hugged her tight.

Adhira: Hey! What’s up?

Neeti: What? You alright? When did you become so formal?

Adhira replied with a smile.

Neeti: Anyways, what are you doing on road? Let’s go inside.

Neeti held Adhira’s hand and took her inside the college. While Neeti was busy sharing all her stories, Adhira had just one thought in her mind, ‘Damn! It’s simple. I entered the college.’

Neeti noticed Adhira’s lost face.

Neeti: I am talking to you, Ms. dreamer. Come back to the real world.

Adhira again replied with her usual gesture, a smile.

Neeti: C’mon!

Adhira: Where?

Neeti: Wake up Adhu. It’s the first day of our college. Introduction time for freshers… remember?

Adhira: Oh, yes! But I don’t want to be a part of all this. You know I am against ragging.

Neeti: Did I say a word about ragging? It’s introduction time… like we gave to our seniors. Stop thinking too much and come along.

Neeti once again dragged her to the auditorium. She was the only friend, Adhira could never deal with. After all, she doesn’t give a chance to do so.

Neeti: Damn! The auditorium is full. We are late. We need to go in the front. We are the seniors.

Like a yearly task, every fresher started coming in front and giving their introduction. Adhira was least interested in listening to which school they belong to, what they like, and why did they enroll themselves in this college. But then a girl grabbed her attention.

It was Naina, a girl with a stick in hand came on the floor wearing a smile.

‘I am Naina. I cannot tell you my full name as I don’t have it. I’m brought up in an orphanage. I completed my 12th standard privately from the CBSE board. I want to study technology because I don’t think I can ever get a field job with this polio. And above all, it’s a black terminal which filled my life with colors.’

While Naina was speaking everyone was silent but a voice broke it. It was Adhira’s voice.

Adhira: How many friends do you have?

Naina: I have many in my orphanage.

Adhira: Don’t you miss a family?

Naina: No! (she replied with a smile)

Adhira: *silent and confused

‘I don’t have a family and I know it. But I have friends, my working hands, and a brain. I can either use my hands and brain to give a good life to me and hang out with friends or I can nag about my destiny and keep taking sympathies and money from my friends. I choose the former.’ Naina replied in calm and confident tone.

Adhira: Mothers are special. Don’t you miss her?

Naina: Who said I don’t have a mother?

Naina confused Adhira and everyone sitting in the auditorium. It got filled with murmurs of the students till Naina decided to break it.

‘This pretty girl standing next to me helped me in climbing these stairs… I see my mother in her. The gatekeeper who helped me holding my books tight in hands while I was paying to the autowala is my mother. Neha, that girl standing on the right corner of this auditorium… she’s my batchmate. She welcomed me in the college with a smile… she is my mother. Everyone sitting in this auditorium and listening to my uninteresting life is my mother. In fact, I see my mother in you too.’

Adhira: Me?

Naina: Yes! I can see the concern in your eyes. Don’t we see all these things in our mother?

Naina gave a period to her introduction with a question and smile. But this was not the end. It was the new beginning for Adhira. Now, she knew how to deal with the loss.

2 Comments


  1. Hi Vaidehi. I hope my comments won’t hurt your feelings. If you read English or American Literature there is this genre of fiction short story which was made popular in 1800’s. In your story you made a deviation of combining story telling and script for a play. There are established and mainstream rules to this genre. Your dialogues although surprising but doesn’t entertain. Anyone who reads fiction want to be entertained. What is your target audience/readers? If you are trying to give wisdom or teach a lesson in your story, let your characters and creative descriptions do the ‘talking’. People don’t want lessons but to digest the significance of what you are trying to tell. Be engaging. Try reading Pearl S. Buck, Guy du Maupassant and Jeffrey Archer. They have lots of published and popular short stories. Read it once to enjoy the stories and then read them again to learn from their techniques. You will find it wonderful.

    Reply

    1. Hi Kadir,

      Thanks a ton for the comment and suggestions. I appreciate it. 🙂

      Well, as per my understanding short stories started getting popular after the birth of oral storytelling which emerged in the 17th century. A short story is simply a story with no definite length as such and which can use a plot, some limited characters, move around a concept/mood, and can also be written in a narrative style. It basically uses these components but the focus remains with the concept. On the other hand, script or screenplay writing are more focussed over the narrative style of writing.

      Yes, in this story, I have definitely used a narrative style of writing but I tried explaining the mood of the story as well. I might not be excellent in that but I personally love reading this kind of a writing style, especially when I read a blog. So, naturally, my own blogs have a reflection of my taste. I might not prefer this style if I go for offline publication. I will surely try my best to entertain you next time with the entertaining surprises. 🙂

      To answer your question on my target audience, my readers are usually Indian bloggers who like reading Hindi poems/stories and a few English stories/blogs that reflect my country’s culture. If you have noticed in this story as well, the characters are having Indian names and each name has a meaning. For example, the lead character is Adhira which means strong, her friend’s name is Neeti that means good behavior, and the fresher who grabbed Adhira’s attentions during introduction is Naina which means eyes. So, ideally, I used common Indian names which have certain meanings and also kind of reflected the character. We, Indians, are very close to such small things and inherit a culture that defines love with relationships. These small things in a story often grab our attention. 🙂

      I had no intention to teach any lesson to my audience. It was a simple emotion floating in the story. As it was a story of an Indian girl who was close to her mother and was visiting a psychiatrist so I decided to emphasis on her emotions. Actually, in our country, people are not comfortable discussing depression and usually judge patients visiting a psychiatrist. I only wanted to portray her emotional struggle in a usual narrative style of Indians.

      I have read Jeffrey Archer and loved the work but currently, I wish to keep my work limited to simple stories in a narrative style. Though, I really appreciate your straight forwardness. Your comment will definitely help me improve. Thank you once again. 🙂

      Reply

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