Volume 1, Issue 2, pp. 07-08
On realising that my phone had no network, I kicked my car for the fourth time.
It was 5:30 p.m. and here I was in a dusty countryside, without any idea what to do. My car had broken down and I could not figure out what was wrong with it. On realising that my phone had no network, I kicked my car for the fourth time. That had absolutely no effect except extracting a cry of pain from me. Feeling cross, I took out my purse and started walking in the hope of finding someone who could help me.
As I walked, I couldn't help but cast my mind on the past few hours. I had received an ultimatum from my publisher. My first book had sold well; but that had been a year and a half ago. As he said, it was high time for me to publish a second one. But my mind was a total blank. I had no ideas at all, and unless I came up with one in the next two weeks, I would be dropped by my publishing house.
I brooded over a future without writing. I asked myself what I would do if I couldn't write. “Well, I can't see a future. It’s a dead end,” I said to myself. I shook my head and walked on, feeling dejected.
I kept on walking and soon came upon a construction site. I felt relieved. Finally, I could get out of the wretched countryside!
His face was almost expressionless, but his eyes had an intensity that I had never seen before.
I entered the gates and found people bustling around. Just when I was about to call out to a worker, who didn't look too busy, something, or rather, someone caught my eye. It was a man, tall and lanky with his hands in his pockets. He had jet black hair. His clothes were dusty. But I didn't notice any of this. My attention was captured by the look on his face. He wasn't looking at me but at the building under construction. His face was almost expressionless, but his eyes had an intensity that I had never seen before. I felt a shiver of excitement go up my spine.
“Who is that?” I asked a worker passing me.
“Why does he look so...so...?” I asked, struggling to find the right word.
The worker said something, but I didn't hear him. Getting no response from me, he shrugged and walked away. But a few moments later, it dawned on me that the man seemed to have a look of pure happiness, of unparalleled joy. His whole body spelled exultation. The angle of his head as he looked up; his eyes which looked at the building, as if he had already constructed it with his own hands; his shoulders hanging low, all of them betrayed an almost unearthly happiness. He looked as if his work was a celebration of every achievement he had ever made. And though I don’t believe in God, I realized that if He existed, this was the face He had intended man to have. I smiled.
Suddenly, he turned and gave a few quick instructions to a worker. Then, he saw me. He came up to me and agreed to give me a lift after hearing my story. I reached the next town, had a mechanic sent over, and got my car back, repaired and serviced.
It was 3:00 a.m. when I reached home and switched on the lights in my room. A blank page greeted me from my table. I sat on my chair and took up my pen. Looking down at the paper, I smiled. The next thing I knew, it was 7:00 a.m. There were two pages of notes scribbled in front of me and a huge pile of crumpled paper in the dustbin. I smiled and called my publisher. “I have an idea,” I told him.
Amruta Gaiki is an eighteen year old student at BITS Pilani, Hyderabad Campus. She writes poems and short stories.