Author – Aparna Negi
The birds they sing so cheerfully. Oh! I love their voice. I am flattered by their mesmerizing voice. But now they do not sing. Where are they? Where have they been?
I love the smell of the rain. I love it when they touch my gentle skin. I love to watch the peacocks dance. But rain no more showers on me and neither do I see the peacocks dancing. Where are they?
I love it when all of my family sit together and have conversations over tea and snacks. But now we don’t. Why don’t we?
I love it when I get lolled in dust while playing and the day just flies away so quickly. But now I no more get dirty. Why don’t I?
I love it when mom puts me to bed and kisses my forehead while singing a lullaby to me. But now she doesn’t. I wonder why?
Where am I? What have I become?
The room is dark and everything is faded. A glittery image I did see!
I went closer and there was an ‘Image of Truth’ mirror there.
Aghast! I see my fully grown body. Hands all black from the hard work. No more are my hands soft. The tension over my forehead has created deep marks. I am no more a ‘child’. Wrinkles are ruling my body now. For the first time today I felt like an adult after seeing the truth of me.
Happy were those early days, when I shined in my angel infancy!
“Be a child again,” a voice cried. “Be sorry if you have done something wrong, cry for the things you love, be mad, be wild ,flirt, giggle, do all the insane things at once , take a nap, chase the animals, play hide and seek, get punished, cry and then forget it at once.”
It continued, “Where are you? You still do exist. It’s all the shame you’ve stored and the aggression. Don’t be so proud. You’re already dead. The day your curiosity died, you died at that very moment. Just flip through your mind and recall the wrong you’ve done. This wealth is not going to give you anything. Ask your soul what does it long for? Go back to the place where you belong and embrace your memories. Love yourself again and distribute it around. Apologize to those whom you’ve hurt. Apologize to yourself and live your life again. For to become a child you need not turn back time but only live that very moment again. Live it by spreading smiles across the faces of thousands of kids. Spread innocence.”
The voice faded away.
At once, all of my questions were answered. I longed to go back. Why did I ever wish to become an adult? A child is all I want to be today. Take all of my wealth. Take all of it but …
Please take me back.
This story submitted as part of our Short Story Contest