AWE INSPIRING STORIES
Simply put, the book Awe Inspiring Stories is a collection of short stories, which would undoubtedly leave you awestruck. The stories presented in this book are sure to create myriad emotions in the minds of the readers. It is about the common folk that you chance to meet in your day-to-day life. While the virtuous characters are sure to touch your heart and leave an everlasting impression in your minds; the nefarious characters would affect you with a moral aversion. Their debase mannerisms would invoke feelings of anger and hatred. You would in fact be appalled at how low a person could descend at times in order to achieve his goals. And yet others would let you have a hearty laugh over their queer nature.
The book exposes the folly and vice of the people. By depicting the wicked traits and deriding the lack of good sense and understanding among the contemporary men and women, the author has indirectly tried to impart lessons to the readers as to how not to be. By reading this book, you will find comfort and reassurance in lessons learnt from the mistakes of others.
Contents and Foreward
- Take it Easy
- Patching up the Wound
- The Timely Succor
- The Unknown Visitor
- The Futile Help
- Mother’s Love
- The Dues Settled
- The Guilt
- The Rescuer
- The Best Job
- The Dutiful Nurse
- In a Love Trance
- The Street Performers
- The Reunion
- The Revenge
- Unmatched Service
- The Resolution
- The Saving
- The Best Friends
- Father and Son
- The Saviour
- The Great Expectation
- The Fate
- The Disgrace
- The Internet Baby
- The Philanthropist
- The Trauma
- A Confession
- For a Cup of Tea
- An Outing
- The Trickster
- Honesty Fails
- Living in Hope
- The Doctor at Work
I wanted to read almost every story of yours. I liked your overall attitude towards life, which is morally very high and very positive.
Each of the stories give a certain very prime lesson of life which we all have been missing due to the commercialized life we have engulfed around us deliberately and thus ignoring the basic essentials which should be present in every human so that we can distinguish ourselves from animals.
I really liked the overall positive aura to transform and moralize without hurting anybody’s sentiments in almost all stories. Keep it up.
Deepinder Singh Bahri Bahri Publications
Take It Easy
Take it Easy
Priyanka peeked into each of the rooms, for one last time, to confirm if her mother had already left to the temple. Not finding her around, she was happy and went about looking for the bureau keys. Though her father was at home, she was not bothered about his presence, for he was engrossed in a cricket match in the television, during which time, he would be forgetful of the world around him. She opened the bureau and took all her jewels and a few silk sarees and put them into a carry bag and covertly walked out through the back door towards the auto stand. After getting into an auto, she asked the driver to take her to the Central Station. She requested him to hurry up, for there was hardly another half an hour for the departure of the train to Madurai. Wiping out the beads of perspiration that was dripping from her forehead, Priyanka was suddenly struck with the worst kind of fear and doubts as to what would happen if Vinod was not waiting for her at the Station. Was is worth taking such a risk for a man, with whom, she was in contact for a short period of only five months; on whose advice, she was running away from home? Then she pondered over the reason behind her decamping. And the fact that she was endangering her life for the sake of pleasing a dying woman gave her some solace and she began to relax a little!
Priyanka remembered the day. The scene was floating in front of her eyes and it seemed as if the incident had taken place only yesterday. She was sitting in the bus reading the notes for her examination. Just then, the conductor came up to her and she started fumbling inside her bag for the purse. To her dismay, the purse was missing and the rude conductor was in no mood to listen to her excuses. He whistled for the bus to stop and as Priyanka got up to leave, Vinod, who was standing close by and watching the whole thing, intervened. He asked Priyanka to get back to her seat and bought a ticket for her. The next day, Priyanka spotted him in the bus and returned the coins to him. But Vinod refused to accept it, with a casual remark, “these days, courtesy and generosity are out of people’s mind and I just wanted to remind the impolite conductor about it!” Though Priyanka had seen him in the bus several times, it was after that brief encounter that she learnt about his helping tendency. In fact, she was so much carried away by his kind gesture that she immediately got infatuated to his appealing looks. Thus began their constant rendezvous, so much so that, Priyanka could not remain even for a day, without seeing him.
But a few days before the final year examination, Vinod tried to put an end to their meeting. He advised her, “look, now is the time to work hard and clear all the papers at the first attempt itself! I would like you to concentrate on your studies and stop dallying around till your exams are over. However, I shall come to your college on the last day of the examination and we shall then have a gala time!” Priyanka had obeyed him. Day and night, she crammed up her lessons and performed exceedingly well in all the subjects and on the last day of the examination, she was dying to meet him. Vinod was waiting for her outside the college gate and she ran up to him, with a broad smile on her face. And the smile faded as she neared him, for Vinod was not his usual self and he was looking downcast. When Prinyanka questioned him, as to why he was in low spirits, he came out with his pathetic tale. “Three days back, I received a phone call from my neighbor. She had informed me that my mother had suffered a massive heart attack and was immediately rushed to the hospital. The doctors have given up hope and her days are numbered. My mother had always been worried about my marriage and wished to see the girl I was going to wed, before leaving this world. I was much perturbed about my mother’s illness. In order to please my mother, last night, I rang my neighbor and informed her that I was coming to see her tomorrow with the girl I was going to marry. Further, I have also booked two tickets to Madurai for tomorrow night.” Seeing the daunt look on her face, he continued, “it is only now I realize that, I should have not done so, without consulting you!”
As he was narrating his story, Priyanka’s whole body trembled and suddenly she became speechless. Though she very much longed to accompany him to see his dying mother, she wondered whether her parents would agree to this. In fact, Vinod was giving her such a short notice and Priyanka was not sure what to do! When she finally revealed her confusion to him, he said, “well, I apologize that I am putting you into a lot of trouble! If only you could cooperate a little with me and secretly runaway from home tonight, without your parents’ knowledge, I shall be highly grateful to you all my life! I am sure, later on things would definitely fall in line! After all, you do have hell of a time in life to convince your parents about our love affair and explain to them about the necessity of leaving the house without seeking their permission. But you will perhaps appreciate that my mother hardly has a few days to live. You can return from Madurai immediately after seeing my mother and explain everything to your parents! They will definitely forgive you! For nowadays, parents are too understanding and give in to their children’s demands. And by any chance, you don’t accede to my request, I have no other go, but to let my mother die unhappily without fulfilling her last and only wish!”
Priyanka was swept away by a wave of pity. Since she was deeply in love with him; intending to marry him in the near future, she did not wish to hurt his feelings. For a moment, her life partner in distress was of greater concern to her more than her own parents. Without giving any thought to the repercussions of her action, she deftly carried out her plan as advised by Vinod. As she was approaching the Railway Station, her heart began to beat faster and she clenched her bag that held the jewels and silk sarees, close to her; remembering how Vinod had warned her to come lightly attired, without any make-up or jewels, to avoid suspicion from people. However, he had advised her to carry the same along with her so that she could dress herself and present herself brightly in front of his mother.
After paying the auto fare, Priyanka walked straight towards the reservation counter, where Vinod had promised to be waiting for her. She was only half way through, when he appeared before her and holding her hand, they scurried across the platform, as there was hardly a few minutes for the train to leave. Once inside the compartment, Priyanka sat down beside him and heaved a sigh of relief. She was looking pale and frightened and Vinod tried his best to allay her fears, by assuring her that things will work out smoothly in their favour. It was after a long while that Priyanka came to a normal mood and her heart stopped thumping. From time to time, Vinod kept treating her to the hot refreshments that were available inside the compartment. Though she kept refusing them, Vinod forced her to eat. Soon they got into a playful mood and their conduct attracted everyone’s attention.
Opposite to them was sitting an old woman, who was a retired school teacher. She was going to see her daughter, whom she had not met for almost a year. On seeing Priyanka, she was reminded of her own granddaughter, who resembled her. Since she was traveling alone, she beat her boredom by clandestinely watching the passionate indulgence of the young couple in front of her. As she silently kept admiring the young girl, her eyes suddenly fell on her feet. The metti, worn by ladies after marriage was missing. She examined her neck and forehead and they were also bereft of the Thalli chain and the vermillion mark. Immediately stray thoughts assailed her mind. She wondered what the pretty girl was doing with a young man beside her. However, she did not wish to dwell deep into it and she stopped her mental comparison of her with her own granddaughter and tried to deviate her mind. As night fell in, the warm atmosphere changed and a cool wind started blowing. The rattling of the train, lulled her and she closed her eyes and went to sleep.
As soon as Priyanka’s mother returned, she started looking around for her daughter, to give her the prasad which she received from the temple. Not finding her in the house, she thought that Priyanka would have gone to her friend’s house in the neighbourhood. It was 9.00 p.m and when her daughter did not return still, she went to make a phone call to her friend and suddenly her eyes fell on the keys dangling in the bureau. Her heart skipped a few beats for it was not her habit to leave the keys carelessly on the bureau. On checking the bureau, she found that a few costly silk sarees were missing and so were all the jewels. She was shocked and suspected if her daughter had left the house with these. There was no trace of Priyanka till 11 p.m. Both her parents were utterly confused and did not know what to do. Finally, they realized that Priyanka would have probably eloped with somebody. Priyanka’s mother sat on the bed and started to cry. “How could she ever have the mind to betray us like this” she wailed. But her father was cool and he only consoled his wife, “take it easy, my dear! Don’t cry and make a scene now! All our neighbours would then come to know of the fact!”
This infuriated her and she shouted, “how could you be so relaxed and not bother to rush to the police station.”
“But this is nothing new in our society. And our daughter has grown up too and has fallen in love with somebody. On the very day, I was blessed with a daughter, I also knew that I was going to miss her one day or the other; for we had to get her married and send her to her in-law’s house. Hence, I had developed a strong mind and had been prepared for this separation, which was to take place eventually. And so, you may better stop crying now and feel happy that our daughter has saved us her marriage expenses!” After pacifying his wife, he went out and continued to watch the cricket match in the TV.
The careless manner in which her husband had taken the whole issue rubbed sand on her sore. Stunned at how it was possible for him to take things so lightly, she continued to sit by the window, hoping that her daughter would return home any time!
It was 3 a.m. and the old woman was having a sound sleep. Suddenly she heard a shrilling noise and thought that she was dreaming. But when the screams got louder, she jerked out of her slumber. Priyanka was sitting in front of her, crying at the top of her voice and surrounding her were a few people, pounding her with numerous questions. At once, she guessed that something sinister has happened, for the man who had been sitting beside her was missing. Beckoning the girl towards her, she requested her to stop crying and tell her what happened. Priyanka, who did not open her mouth so far, confided in this old woman…
Seeing Priyanka stifle a yawn, Vinod asked her to lie down and have a good sleep. It was 10 p.m. and everyone in the compartment had already fallen asleep. When Priyanka asked him if he was not getting sleep, he told her jovially that it was not his habit to go to bed until midnight and started thumbing through the pages of a magazine. After handing over the carry bag to him, she lay down; comfortably resting her head on his lap, and closed her eyes. Early in the morning, a cool wind was blowing and Priyanka started shivering. Unable to bear the chillness, she sat up, securing her dupatta closely over her body. She looked around for Vinod, to enquire if he was feeling cold too but he was not to be seen anywhere in the vicinity. Rubbing her eyes from the glare of the lights, she walked unsteadily towards the toilet. The doors of the two toilets at the rear end of the compartment were closed and she patiently waited outside, wishing that Vinod would come out soon. After a while – what seemed to be an eternity to her – she saw a man emerge from one of the toilets. She continued to linger on, expecting that Vinod was probably in the other toilet. She turned around swiftly on hearing the creak of the door, and was shocked to see only a stout lady emerging from there. Suddenly, her heart began to beat faster and her mind raced with wild thoughts. When the truth finally descended on her, she almost became unconscious. Vinod had taken advantage of her ignorance and infatuation resulting out of her juvenileness and had guiled her.
After hearing Priyanka’s story from beginning to end, the old woman was only exasperated, rather than feeling sorry for her. She lashed out at her, “you have in fact committed a blunder in running away from home, without informing your parents. You have acted in haste without any consideration for the feelings of your parents. You should have trusted them and confessed your love affair to them. Instead, you have acted in a very disloyal manner. After all, it was they who brought you in to this world. They have provided you with food, clothing and shelter unasked for. They had drained out all their hard earned money in seeing you through the best school and college. And could you not be patient until they found a suitable husband for you? Since you had found one yourself, you could have at least apprised your parents about him. With their experience in life, they would have definitely guided you in the right path. These days, parents go by the words of their children and wish to be in their good books forever. You have been so faithless to them!”
Priyanka sat in silence, lamenting the outcome of her reckless action. God had indeed punished her enough. All her jewels and costly silk sarees were gone. She had no money with her to return home. Madurai station was approaching and the train rattled at a low speed and finally squealed to a sudden halt. Everyone was picking up their baggages to dismount the train. Priyanka joined the crowd too, not sure of her next move. As she stepped on to the platform, she felt a hand over her shoulder and was taken aback. The old lady was standing beside her. She opened her purse and took out a few notes and placed it in her hand and said, “well, forget everything now! I know that the swindler had taken all your belongings and you are left with no single penny. However, you must be thankful to God; for you are still fresh and a virgin. The material things could be earned later on. Now, boldly return home and confess everything to your parents and humbly ask for their forgiveness!”
Priyanka’s eyes welled up and she at once bent down to touch the feet of the old woman as a mark of respect and gratitude to her. But the lady immediately lifted her up and said, “give me your phone number and I shall phone up and talk to your parents and apprise them. This would ease their mental tension and also alleviate your discomfiture!” Thanking her profusely for her kindness, Priyanka walked towards the ticket counter with an air of rejuvenation!