The journey I started some three months back is still what I call just the beginning. Not sure where it would lead me, if at all it would lead me anywhere. But this is the story I felt, saw and almost lived on a rainy afternoon, sitting at my office desk staring at a blank computer screen.
Yes, it is the story I wanted to share with you all, my first-ever short novel/novella, titled “The Fifth Palmtree”.
Life threw back some unforeseen surprises and I had to put my story in the back-burner, every now and then longing to get back at it. But the monsters of procrastination had their way. I learnt to make peace with them and decided to resume when the heart wins over its own battle. For each single word must come from the heart, each feeling felt as one’s own and each character should live in you, bursting to come out.
Not sure whether you would be interested, but while going through the rough half written draft, I just thought to share an excerpt from what would probably be the second chapter, not the whole chapter, just a part if it. In case you missed the prologue, you can read it here.
Needless to add, I need your honest feedback and hope you enjoy what you read.
Skye. Majestic, serene, almost other worldly. The plummeting cliffs kissing the vast blueness of the sea, a crystal clear sky reflected in its calm waters. It is said, on a dark night, one could spot stars in the seas with as much ease. The dramatic terrains, the enchanting slopes and the utter incredibility of it all, made Isle of Skye, Scotland, if not any less, a heavenly experience for a soul lost in wanderlust.
Tara drove through the solitary road snaking its way from the quaint Gaelic town of Harlosh. On her left was a rugged terrain of brown ochre pebbles and rocks interspersed with occasional bursts of wild Marram grass. On the right, a barricade of rusted iron continued along the serpentine path, kissed by the dancing daisies and creeping thistles that created a magical canopy of white, yellow and pink all the way down the slope. A range of Junipers surrounding a row of cottages far below marked the end of slope. Beyond the slope was the breathtakingly beautiful Loch Bracadale. This very place on the drive home has been her favorite since she was a little girl. She would weave stories of her own, overlooking at the scenery from the car window.
She pulled over to the left midway. There was no traffic to worry about. She came out of the car and smelled the air in. Pure, pristine and healing. Not the urban stench of London, away from the cacophony that she had learnt to call as life. She was very far from her childhood days of yore, yearning for that innocence in life, the joy in the little things life had to offer, even though she had accepted what life had in store for her. A well-paying job in the financial hub of the world, a house big enough and most importantly the man she loved with all her heart. Rest everything will fall in place one day, the anxieties will go away finally. The longing for a quiet life in the mountains can wait. She is just thirty-five.
Life will take its own course; we may make peace with that or fight a losing battle.
Her mother’s words. She longed to hear those words back again. She longed to hear the silence between her words. She longed for those strong hands that taught her tame the mountains, yet with age which had become fragile.
Anabla, her mother had raised her all by her own. When life had snatched away her love and left her all alone she had accepted the fact and made peace with life. Tara had become her life’s sole purpose. To give her a life that she deserved was all Anabla lived for.
Tara closed her eyes clutching the golden pendant with both her hands. The wind blew away the strands of her black wavy hair as she looked up at the sky. She took the round pendant tenderly in her palms, an intricately designed shape what looked like a mountain on whose bottom were written words in an unknown language. She gave it a gentle kiss and said a prayer to the skies. A drop of tear fell on her palms, on the pendant, trickling from the mountain shape and spreading over the ridges of the impression created by the three letters below it. Exquisite and exotic , it was the first gift from her mom. A testimony to the life she had lived, the love she had bestowed upon her.
A golden eagle soared in the vast blueness in a distance. The winds couldn’t perturb it, they never did. For the eagle has learnt how to use the adamant winds to her advantage, to keep her soaring. Just like her mother. Against all the hardships and adversities she had endured, she had held her ground. She had passed on the same spirit to her daughter.
The memories came rushing by while Tara stood still on the edge of the slope, hands folded to her chest and eyes closed. The May sun reflected in the calm waters deep down the slope.
. . . . .
© “And Life Unfolds” and Subhendu Mohanty, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Subhendu Mohanty and “And Life Unfolds” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.