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My First Short Story

Pointing at the bird, my mother told me and my little brother that this bird that never rests has better work ethic than us.

I was nine years old when I noticed that a bird was building a nest inside my “home”. For weeks, I would lie on my bed and watch the bird carefully build its nest. The bird made countless trips to and from the nest to collect materials to build its home. Pointing at the bird, my mother told me and my little brother that this bird that never rests has better work ethic than us. And that it is time for us to shape up. I think she should observe some Magazine editors here, but I suppose it is a bad thing to find flaws in other people.

I and my brother soon started hatching plans to trap the bird and its baby in the night. We even bought a cage. “But, we should wait for the right moment”, we told each other. We waited and waited and waited. In those days, I read as much as I can, about birds.

One night, we both decided that the time has come. We woke up in the night after our parents had slept, and started walking towards the nest, holding each other’s hands with a torch and a cage. When we were about to trap the birds, we noticed that the birds had left that day evening. We stared at each other, with an expression of astonishment on our faces. And then we went back to our beds feeling betrayed, with incommunicable discomfort.

The next day, I took a pencil and paper and started writing about our ingenious plans to trap the bird, and why we could not translate those abstract plans into concrete reality. And how sad I was. My first short story was born.

Great men learn from their mistakes.

Everyone told me that my short story was pretty damn good. I am sure that it was. I kept it inside my text book. One day, the boy near me read it, and kept on passing it to everyone in my classroom. I never saw it again. When evil people touch my property, it loses its purity. That was the end of the concrete existence of my first short story—At least as far as I am concerned.

But I kept writing, often in my diary, though there were long gaps because of various complicated reasons.One reason was that  when my class teacher said that I do not study at all, I noticed that my mother was silent. When we got back home, she said: “I know that you were not studying, but reading novels all the time. But, I did not tell that to your class teacher.” I stood there , numb. That was how I gathered that she regularly reads my diary.

My diary had entries along these lines:

“When I and a boy were walking through the corridor, our Math teacher came out from his room, and said that I scored 3/50 in your Math paper. Now, I did not want the cricket ball back. I did not want to play anymore. I wanted everything to end. When I reached home, I threw my school bag over my bed, and went out to play. I came back around 7 O’ Clock or so, and lied on the bed. Hiding a book inside my Math text book, I started reading. After a while, my mother came inside and said. “Study well.” I did not know whether to cry or smile. Around 9 O Clock, I slept hoping that I wouldn’t be alive to see the next morning.”

And many other embarrassing things about me, which I do not want to write here. 

My mother must have read everything. Once my mother scolded me harshly, alluding to some erotic stories I had written. This was how things were before I started blogging. I did not write enough because there was not enough privacy in those days—For the same reason people do not produce anything much in a communist state.

I am writing this for the benefit of future historians. I will soon write in detail about my satire on our Math teacher. I wrote it when I was in High School.

4 Comments

  1. Again, a very interesting story and I can so connect to what you are saying here esp this – “When evil people touch my property, it loses its purity. That was the end of the concrete existence of my first short story—At least as far as I am concerned.” It’s how I feel too but not necessarily as evil people…anyone who sees or reads without my consent….and I love the part about your mom keeping quiet about you when the teacher talks about you not studying enough…..many of us can SO connect to that moment…frozen in time. Your post brought back a lot of memories. Thank you!

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