This story of mine is written as part of the A2Z Challenge 2016 , today’s letter being “Z”. This brings us to the end of the April 2016 A 2 Z Challenge, a life-changing experience that was. Nearly, almost, oh yes, certainly it was. Thanks to Damayanti Biswas, through whom I enrolled in this beautiful journey and met so many wonderful bloggers and readers and discovered a common truth … we can be what we want to be !
Thank you each and everyone of you who are reading this or have read my blog in the past, thanks to you all who stood by me through the thickest of plots and the thinnest of torn paper which appeared with equal frequency on my blog, and all of you who have participated in this challenge.
My immediate plan is to collect the short stories I have written in this challenge , plus write a few more and then if all goes well, publish them as an eBook , which I sincerely hope will find a tiny little place on your hard drives and hearts ! Wish me luck ! Thank you Universe ! Keep sending me positive energies !
What a journey ! As it goes, its the journey that matters, and I sincerely hope, this journey we all embarked upon a month ago, never ends.
For, not everything that starts has to end.
Keep writing fellow writers and lets help each other grow !
Thank you !!!
It all seems like yesterday.
I must have been eleven then, that magical age when not so long ago, a certain Mr Potter was escorted by a friendly half giant to a whole new world of wizards, witches and insurmountable popularity which was hitherto unknown, unheard of in his humble existence under the stairs. To say that my own journey has been any less magical would be like someone putting a obliviate charm on my own grey cells. Well there have been many a brilliant minds bordering on Godliness with whom I had the sheer pleasure to just spend my time with and some amazingly wonderful bordering on incredible friends that I have had the opportunity to grow up with. No I am not going to write about my journey into adolescence nor am I going to give a bragging account of what a blessed childhood I have had. Instead I would like to just recollect a strange string of thought that keeps on popping on my mind every now and then, and that is about, all or to be precise most of my memories of childhood, somehow appear to have been indexed from A to Z, but each with a beast, a bird, an insect, you get the drift. Yes, I know, strange, but it is true. No, no, by no means I am not going to use this as an ode to the up and coming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them! But then yes, it’s all about the fantastic beasts and where to find them in my memories.
If that thought is something you can relate to, or even better, if you happen to have similar strange unexplained behavioural traits, or in general if you are no longer a someone bound tightly by the shackles of muggle acceptable and non-acceptable guidelines, please carry on reading. Else, I am sad to say, you may find it excruciatingly boring and common place and particularly feel dizzy and confused, as if hit by a confundus charm. There, I said it loud and clear. Oh yes, this is going to be a trip down my memory lane, hence excuse me in advance for going on about I, me and myself.
Yes, so it all as if starts all of a sudden as I turned eleven and someone up in the universe decided let’s spill some magic in this young man’s life. Not really, as you may have already guessed by now, I just used that age of eleven for dramatic effect, I am as muggle as you and you are, yet just like you and you would have your magical moments in your prized childhood, I had mine. And the age, well let’s just assume, when we were young.
So when I was young (and this strictly has no hilarious implications about my true age, I, in fact feel my case can be a tad more curious than a certain Mr Button), meaning I was a “child” few things happened. Very normal, mundane things as you would see but each of those events taught me some serious life lessons at a very young age. Okay, you get it by now, I am just saying that for dramatic effect.
Lesson I : Centipedes and millipedes
Yikes! I am not going to remind you how they look like, they are/may be beautiful with their hundreds and thousands legs, but at their sight, I just have my two legs to thank for. Run or Stomp !
They remind me of our next door neighbour, and their “different” and “unfortunate” elder daughter (never for her parents, but sadly for the general populace of the small town I grew up in), who was in fact autistic and deaf and mute. I had no idea what that meant then, now I know she could be one of these or a combination of all of these, for she was definitely one of the most expressive and brilliant minds I could remember to have spent time with. She must have been at least ten or may be fifteen years elder to me, but I just addressed her as Kuni, her nickname. I don’t even remember she had any other name. She used to love me so much from the time I was born that my parents decided to nick name me as per the broken words she used to address me as (Tit/Tin gave rise to Titin, my nickname) and play with when I was an overweight baby.
Coming to the titular creepy crawly, it was Kuni, who introduced me to these amazing little horrible creatures. My hometown in the eastern part of India is just a stone’s throw away from the adjoining forests and all sorts of amazing wildlife were found coexisting with us, inside our homes, in our gardens, in the backyards, on the trees, by the ponds and where else not. So the centipedes and millipedes would magically appear by the middle of the monsoons and I was particularly scared of the Shinkansen beating speed of the centipedes to start with. The millipedes in comparison appeared more laid back.
One fine afternoon after school, while playing with her in their beautiful garden, Kuni suddenly got up from where we sat, abandoning the marbles we were playing with on the grass.
“Pa Pa…” She stammered.
“Okay you want to get some water?” I had a thing for her language, so simple, so succinct.
“Kha Kha ??”
“Yes, I am hungry too.” I grinned shamelessly.
Off she went inside her house as I sat there counting my glass marbles. Bored, I started holding three at a time on my left palm and throwing one by one up in succession and trying to catch with my right hand, there by practicing my first ever juggling lesson, a skill that now I am particularly ashamed of. While I was busy doing that, one multi-coloured marble shot off a tad bit higher and I tilted my head to look up. In that flash of a second, I also saw Kuni standing behind me, holding in her hands a plate, possibly full of biscuits and in her other hand a long dry twig.
I could hardly finish my question as to why was she standing behind me and not sitting beside me, when I discovered her sinister plan. Rather I felt.
Tickling down my pituitary gland and rapidly sending shivers down my spine, a million tiny legs were advancing..err marching on my nape to hide under the loose shirt I was wearing, to find a crevice, a hole to hide on the back side of my body.
The locks were as if broken, her evil laughter filled their garden and my shrieks and wails, coupled with random throwing around my hands and legs cut a really funny and sorry picture. My throat dried, eyes watered and teeth clenched and for a moment I thought, I was going to die.
All that sudden jerk and jumps must have startled the poor creature, who might have realised her/his choice of shelter was not a very warm and stable one, hence she/he appeared, to my great relief, fallen, by my feet, still trying to scuttle away with possible half a dozen broken legs, thanks to my mad scrambling.
There was only one thing that came to my mind at that crucial moment.
I lifted my right leg and with a stern conviction, I decided to choose the path of vengeance, of crushing my powerful enemy under my weight, after all I was so big and it was so tiny! For a moment I forgot that tiny creature had actually managed to scare the daylights of me a fraction of second ago.
As I thrust my feet with alarming speed towards the now almost stationary creature, who probably was trying to pat and comb its own head with its antennae, Kuni did the unthinkable.
As if driven by reflex, her both palms shot below my feet, before they could crush the poor creature, making a tiny tent of sorts with her fingers, under which the creature could breathe and live, while my feet crushed her both hands with all my might.
She shot me an angry look, showing her asymmetrically arranged teeth and her eyes turning round.
I gently took my feet off her hands, and watched her pick up the centipede with great care with her fingers, and taking it far from me, far from harm and death to a wet and supple bed of grass.
I didn’t know what to say or do. I could see Kuni at a distance, her knees bent and she crouched on the grass, carefully examining the wronged creature, wishing and praying for its healing.
Remorse gripped me and I looked at the plate of biscuits which now lay scattered on the grass, contemplating whether I should pick a few up before Kuni looks my way.
If you enjoyed this, please let me know, I will try and pick up another vial from the pensieve, about another magical creature and its story.
And for those of you curious ones, I didn’t want to put you off by posting a picture of a creepy crawly, hence I put this beautiful picture of the bird, a bull finch, which if the internet is to be believed, could occasionally take a centipede as its supper. Ha!
If you liked what you read, may I request you to kindly share your feelings, what you liked about this story and what you didn’t quite, please do let me know it all. It’s great to hear your thoughts on this, so please do take a moment. If you enjoyed reading it, please don’t forget to spread the good word.
Thank you !
© “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.