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The Stars We See

This is a short story I wrote which was inspired by this picture.

It was 6:00 in the morning. Priyamani had just awoken from a night of sound sleep. She could hear her mother bustling around the house finishing her usual morning work. Sita would wake up at 5:00, exactly an hour before her daughter, and get started on housework. She would first have a bath, wear new and fresh clothes. The sweeping and mopping of the house came next, she would do her work silently to not wake Priyamani too early. Sita would cook delicious food and store it in a tiffin which would eventually find a place in Priyamani’s school bag. Her mother had put her into the good habit of keeping her bag packed and her school clothes out for the next day in the night itself. Her husband had a job posting in a different city but he would write to his family every week without fail and he always sent a small item with it. And so, Priyamani got up with a smile on her face and jumped out of bed. She was delighted to see her mother in the living room. Sita got up from the couch and wished her a good morning. She took her daughter to the bathroom and helped her brush her teeth and have a refreshing bath. Priyamani was only 4 and she sometimes needed help. After Priyamani had worn her school clothes, she noticed that Sita was wearing a polka dot saree which amused her. She asked her mother, “ Ma, why are there dots scattered around your saree? It looks like the stars in the sky.”

To this, Sita replied, “Well Priyamani, you know, when I was your age, my mother gave me a dotted silk scarf, just like this one! She said I was the twinkling stars in her sky so she wanted me to have the scarf so that I was constantly reminded that I have her by my side. When I grew up, I decided that to not damage the slik scarf, I would keep it safely stored away until I had a daughter of my own. I started missing it a lot so I decided that I would buy a saree which resembled the design on the scarf.”

Her daughter was fascinated, “Where is the scarf now, Ma?”

“It’s somewhere in my cupboard, Mani. I’ll search for it while you’re at school and give it to you when you come back home.

Priyamani looked a little sad at this thought. Sita knew what she had to do, she went into Priyamani’s room and searched for a packet of small shiny gems which her husband had sent a while back. She ruffled the packet and took some out on her hand and dashed to the living room where Priyamani was waiting. She knelt down to the little girl and said, “Here, take this and keep it safely till you come back. Priyamani, you are the stars in my sky and I will always be by your side.”

Priyamani giggled. She ran out the door to catch her school bus while saying bye to her mother. Sita missed her already.


Mostly Crazy

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