Write a short story with the following beginnings. [Don’t spend more than 20 minutes on each.]
a. A few miles down a rutted dirt road, and many more miles from the nearest town, a small farmhouse stands surrounded by dense green bush. … Continue
b. There was a boom, and suddenly, all hell broke loose. … Continue
————————————————————————————————–.——————Answer of the first question …
A few miles down a rutted dirt road, and many more miles from the nearest town, a small farmhouse stands surrounded by dense green bush.
Gomti sits there all alone within the green hedge of the cottage. The shades of the tall papal tree caused by the setting Sun are extending longer and longer. It is getting late. Her father, Radheshyam, a wood cutter, has not returned from the forest. Her mother Gurubari, has not returned too. She has gone to the village landlord’s paddy fields to sow paddy saplings. It has rained the whole day. Poor Gurubari has to stand bent 90 degrees to the front in the mud and the rain for 10 hours to earn her daily wage – a paltry Rs.50.
She will buy some rice and a few potatoes on her way back for the night’s dinner, but Radheshyam must return by then with the firewood, so that the frugal meal can be cooked.
Gomti is 16 – old enough to have been married, but paucity of money has stood on the way. Radheshyam has to face a lot of derision from his clan for having kept a ‘grown-up’ daughter at home.
Gomti sits with her head wedged between her knees. How long will she be here to face the taunts?
Gurbari returns, virtually running and panting for breath! The Zamindar wants to see Gomti the next day. He is adamant. ‘Why’, worries Gurubari. Lust! A chill runs through her spine. But, she is powerless. Her husband owes the Zanindar Rs.500 still.
Radheshyam returns with his load of firewood. Gomti pulls him to a corner for consultation. Within earshot, Gomti overhears it, and concludes she must prepare for a life of a concubine. Tears roll down her eyes.
Next morning, the trio sets out to meet the Zanmindar. Radheshyam has made up his mind. Gurbari has no inkling of what her husband thinks. He carries his billhook. Gomti and Gurbari wonder what can be its need, but dare not ask him. All three speak not a word.
They reach the Zamindar’s haveli. The Zamindar’s wife comes in and whispers something to Gurbari’s ears. Radheshyam can’t understand what transpired between the two. His nerves are taut. He gently moves his hand over his tool, and grips its handle hard. He is ready. He is his daughter’s saviour.
He is flummoxed to see Gurbari wilfully touching the Zamindar’s wife’s feet. Quite surprisingly, Gyrbari appears very happy. Has she capitulated, he wonders.
A young man dressed as a groom emerges. Radheshyam identifies him to be one of his very distant relation. The Zamindar comes out and makes an announcement. He is doing kanyadan by arranging Gomti’s marriage. An astrologer had told him that his own unmarried daughter would get a groom if he does a kanyadan. With grace and gratitude, he announces the waiver of the Rs.500 loan of Radheshyam.
Gomti does not return home. She leaves for her new home.
[Answers to the second will be posted after a week.]