About the story: I rarely share my stories, but when I was on a cleaning the inbox today, I came across this story that I had written years ago, titled Destiny’s Child. It was written in 2004, when I would write a lot of short stories because they gave me sense of happiness. And as life unfolded, these stories moved from one hard drive to the other, sitting quietly in folders that were untouched. I stumbled upon this story. It bought back loads of memories. This is one of my favorite stories that I am sharing on my blog today.
“I am not prepared for it and I just do not want to give birth to this child now”… “Why don’t you understand…we had not planned for it and its too early!” she said.
But…you can’t really think of it…can you?
“Mohit, I’m just at the peak of my career and that is more important to me! I cannot afford to take a break now.” said Mohana. “I just can’t.”
She broke into a volley of sobs.
Mohit put his arm around her. He knew what she was going through, but he was just unable to accept it. She was his life. He just could not see her so depressed and upset.
It was just a month ago that she discovered her pregnancy. It had been a shock to her. She was not prepared for it. He remembered the date…it was on the 17th of August. She was not very cheerful when she broke the news to
him. She did not want the child.
“Why don’t you just think about it?” he said. “I’m sure you might just change you mind. Please…let’s not take a decision in a hurry.”
He knew that that she was a career-oriented woman, but he had expected her to melt down a little bit… but she was firm.
“I’m just beginning to take off and the assignments that I have are really important,” she told him.
As a photographer, she had earned a lot of fame very early in life. She had won a lot accolades for her works. Her most admired work was on the orphans. She had captured those images so beautifully. The children looked so vulnerable in those photographs. Anyone seeing the photograph had an immediate feeling of holding those small children in a warm embrace.
“Mohana, It’s going to be Children’s Day, and I was wondering if you could do a special feature for our magazine on the same. I want something different,” said Ajit, her boss.
“You know something similar to the one that you had done on the orphans 5-years ago. Remember the kind of accolades you won for that?” he added.
“Of course, I’m looking for something more deep…something that would leave a mark on the person’s mind. And moreover, now that you have also been chosen to represent our Magazine at the International Photographer of the
Year Contest, I want this to be really impactful,” he continued.
Mohana looked at her boss and smiled. “Ajit, don’t worry!” “This will be something you will love,” she said with a smile. “Trust me…this will be one of the best creations of my career. I am looking forward to participating in the International Photographer of the Year contest too,” she went on
“Great” said Ajit. “I’ll give you the lead. Do you remember the story the media hyped about a couple of weeks ago?”
“The one on the abandoned children in the Shishu Kunj?” asked Mohana.
“Yes, precisely that one. I want you to photograph those children,” he said.
“Sure shot…I will! That should not be a problem.”
That night she thought about the fame she would receive with her work. After all not every photographer who is 26-years-old gets the chance to participate in the prestigious contest. She was elated when she got the news that she
The next day was a hectic one. She just could not seem to find children whom she wanted to capture in her work. They all seemed so cheerful to be together. They were engrossed in their games to notice her. She tried in vain, but she just could not get a photograph!
It was on the third day that she noticed her. A pretty girl aged about 5-years-old, sitting on the swing…all by herself. She watched the other children play about, but didn’t mingle with them.
This was the perfect child! She clicked a few pictures, stashed away the rolls in the bag to develop them when she went back home. She told the elderly matron that she would be back the next day.
As she drove home, the picture of the girl lingered on her mind. She could not have seen a sadder child in her whole life…and all through the photographs the child looked at her as though waiting for her to look at her, talk to her, accept her…and just hold her tight.
She looked at the blank roll in front of her and shook her head. There had to be a mistake. She could understand one role going bad, but all the three… they just showed blank films! How could this be possible! She was sure she had developed the same roles. This was disgusting! All her hard work, down the drain! Something was wrong somewhere…
She woke up early the next day. She drove down to Shishu Kunj It was almost 6 in the morning when she reached. There she was on the swing looking towards the gate expectantly as though expecting her there.
She walked towards her. “Hi what’s your name?” she asked the girl on the swing.
“I don’t know,” she replied.
She smiled…”You do not know your name. OK. What do everyone call you here?” she asked.
“No one knows me here,” the girl replied.
“You must be having a name,” said Mohana.
“You never gave me a name,” replied the girl.
“I never gave you a name? I don’t even know you,” replied Mohana.
This girl sounded a little too big for here age and something about her was making her feel uneasy.
“Yes, you chose not to know me or give me a name. But, you can call me whatever you want,” said the girl.
“Whatever you want…whatever,” Mohana watched a tear roll down her cheek.
She reached out to touch the child, but was shocked when her hand went through her body. It was just cool breeze that brushed her hands. She recoiled. Stunned and shocked.
She was like an apparition. So close and so real.
“Ma, you never gave me a name. I wanted to be with you, but you just left me…just abandoned me…I would have loved to be with you and papa, but you never gave me a chance. You know, I would have been the best daughter…I wanted to make you proud…you never gave me the chance…never… why did you do that?” she cried uncontrollably.
“But I don’t even know who you are! How do you know me? Who are you?”
She stared at the girl closely and something about her was familiar. A realization hit her. The young girl looked just like her when she was younger. It was as though she was looking at her childhood photograph. Those eyes, those lips…and the chin…the broad forehead. And when she smiled, she did just like Mohit, a half smile that would melt her heart.
“Ma you can look at me but never capture me in your photographs. You can imagine me as whatever you want…I am yours. I was destined to be yours. I was your destiny’s child…but you chose otherwise.”
Mohana watched in horror as she saw her disappear in front of her eyes. This was scary…what was she talking about?
She stood still. Trying to grapple what happened. She opened her phone to check the date. It was then that she remembered. It was September 17th. Five years earlier she had undergone an abortion to pursue her career.
‘This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’
Sandhya Bhattaram says
A heart touching story. Well written!
Thank you so much 🙂
That gave me goosebumps. A beautiful story.
Thanks Tulika! I am happy you liked the story.
Vasumathi_The Scarlett Dragonfly says
Beautiful story. Am sure it was not an easy choice to make either. Some things haunt us forever.
Thanks so much. I always hesitate to share my stories. This is encouraging. 🙂
Fabida Abdulla says
That was chilling!! Beautifully written and looking forward to more!
Haha! Hopefully will get some more ideas to explore fiction! I do love writing short stories, but never had the guts to share them! I am exhausted with beauty tips! *insert rolling eyes*
You have beautifully captured the emotions of the mother the aspiring wife and the child. Very well narrated
Manas Mukul says
Wow never knew you can weave such wonderful short stories too. We want more of this keep the amazing work going.
Now you know! 😛
Wow, this was a beautiful tale, really heart-touching. The title itself brought me here to read it further.
Thanks so much! I am happy that you liked it!
Loved it. Brilliantly written. Events and emotions woven beautiful
Keep writing. You have a great gift.
Beautiful story, I could feel the emotions, the pain of the child.
Thanks so much Leha!
Chinmayee Gayatree sahu says
What a wonderful narration! I got goosebumps, literally. Loved the story and the portrayal of emotions.
Sanjay Gadhalay says
Very well written and related. .
Somehow i got the hint at the roll development failure revelation itself. …
The twist was expected …and story left a lasting memory.
Pratibha, what a nice story which was emotional, insightful and with deeper ramifications of what Abortion means. Women who have had abortions are tormented in later years, like your story. We don’t consider the consequences of extinguishing a life in the womb because we justify with justifications. But it is murder in another form. In India lakhs of women go in for abortion, forced or willingly. But the psychological damage shows up later.
I’ve been a Woman’s activist since 1978, so have heard many stories from women who went through the experience.
Your story is poignant and very touching, very well expressed too. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you so much Chandra, your words mean a lot! Especially coming from someone who has been fighting for this cause.
A lovely story Pratibha! The irony of her life choices are apparent even before she lands up at the orphanage.
Thank you Sona!
I liked reading the story. You should write more often 🙂