A Leaf in the Storm Part 2

This is the continuation of the short story “A Leaf in the Storm” by Lalithambika Antharajanam.



  • Fifteen were wearing the veil and was kept inside the lady’s wing in her(Jyoti) neighborhood
  • Qasim was the master of the house and a good friend of Jyoti’s father
  • Ayesha was Jyoti’s good friend and she gave them refugee.
  • Only Ayesha’s brother Ali thought otherwise and called Hindus the Kafirs and hated them.
  • Ayesha planned to keep the secret of the 15 women that are kept in the house from her brother Ali.
  • She also planned to send that 15 women to the refugee camp safely in her father’s bullock cart safely
  • As Qasim Sahib’s cart had been running for around fifty years on the same road and no one will doubt him
  • That night, a miserable journey inside the iron cage took place- one felt choked among the violent bumps and jerks
  • Loud slogans rent in the air… and were full of burning flesh smell
  • Ignoring all the things happening all-around Qasim Sahib was shouting, “Pakistan Zindabad… Allah-ho-Akbar” out of tension and fear. Also, so that no one doubts him.
  • The travelers thought that they were now out of danger. But, suddenly the cart was stopped.
  • Someone pulled out the bundles of hay from the cart, ignoring Qasim’s sahib’s protests and swearing.
  • And the fifteen women were dragged out from inside the cart. And one by one, those flowers fell.
  • Then Jyoti returns to reality from her memory of past
  • She thought how cruel life is. Overwhelming pain! What it could be- the agony of pain or dead?
  • She thought her mother had returned from the dead and said – “Jyoti, I too went through this. My mother and mother’s mother… In fact, all mothers”
  • Again she went back to the moment when she lay unconscious. An awful lot of men came into the cell with devilish faces… reddened fanatic hate and madness.
  • And was thinking about which of the faces will resemble (match), the face of her unborn baby
  • Jyoti felt a deep convulsion from within. She felt hot and thirsty. She breathed hard and her body shook in agony…
  • “HO! and so it ends”. – here Jyoti’s baby was born.
  • And her pain ends. But does the pain really ends here?
  • No one had notice Jyoti giving birth to a child as a lots of things were going on there, around the camp. As there were huge noises all around.
  • She was laying like a triumphant(happy) soldier, exhausted on the battlefied.
  • Her first instinct was to close the child’s eyes and choke it to dead
  • By doing that, she may coverup the misery and shame that she felt throughout this months of unwanted pregnancy
  • And bury it under the tree, as she didn’t wanted the scavenger to drag it to the garbage.
  • Jyoti got up and stretched her hands. She felt the mass of flesh, i.e., the child. It was warm and she can’t believe that she gave it the warm.
  • She hope the child looked like her. She wanted to see the child, its small eyes… just for once.
  • Jyoti felt the child’s feet and thought it wanted the refuge and the voice of the child appealed her to let it live.
  • The voice of the child was so tender and compelling that, it might woke up the camp, the whole universe and its creatures
  • She tried to covers its parted lips to shut its voice. But it was ticklishly smooth like the tender leaves
  • More then compassion, fear overcame her. As though somebody had forbidden her and said, “No don’t stifle(stop) that voice! It is not the voice of the individual, but that of the whole world”
  • As if everything was preventing her to not kill the child
  • Jyoti wanted to run away from this situation as she was confused with the emotions
  • At last, she wanted to keep the child around the green grass under the moon. As she had heard that the babies deserted (left out) by their mothers, were taken care by the goddesses.
  • Someone will spot the child in the morning and keep the child.
  • Maybe a mother who don’t have a child.
  • And again a doubt crossed her mind, that, if that woman had her own babies?
  • She got confused again.
  • It was difficult to cut off a bond so easily. The scar will remain.
  • The world will judge, give pain and trouble one’s life anyway.
  • Jyoti returned slowly. The child was still crying
  • The voice grow hoarse (heavier) and limbs began to limp. And there was no time to wait.
  • Jyoti took her child into her arms and warmed its forehead with caring it gently.
  • Her life- blood flowed like fresh milk – that is, Jyoti was overwhelmed by the feeling of motherhood
  • She walked towards the camp with her child. And the stars were beaming from the heaven.
  • Maybe they have resolved a complicated puzzle of emotions.




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