Category Archives: Fiction

Half A Chocolate

“Happyyy Birrthhdayyy to youuuu” sang the class in excited tones. The birthday girl stood in front of her class in her beautiful glistening white fairy dress, all of 10 years old, grinning from ear to ear. This year, her parents had told her she could give out 2 chocolates if she wanted to! How happy her friends would be! She would be the only one giving out 2 chocolates to the entire class! All the students sat down in complete silence. Any mischief now would mean being sent out of class and no one wanted to miss out on the birthday chocolates.. if rumors spread by the birthday girl’s best friend were to be believed, today they were getting 2 each!! The little fairy went around the class, row by row, placing 2 chocolates on each student’s desk. Under the teacher’s watchful gaze no one dared touch the chocolates without permission. When the girl finished and sat down, the teacher nodded with a smile, but they had to throw the wrappers in the dustbin she reminded them. The class erupted into noisy chaos as all the suppressed excitement came rushing out. Pop went the first chocolate into their mouths, sucking vigorously to finish it off real fast and move onto the second!

While the class delved into the task at hand at supernatural speeds, Lily decided she had to be slow. She had to take her time. There were two chocolates today so that meant greater responsibility of doing things with care. She quietly peeled the cover off the first one and studied it. It was a hard candy, she would have to bite with care, else it would splinter. Keeping one finger to mark the middle of the candy, she brought it between her teeth and bit hard. It didn’t happen the first time, so she gave a harder attempt this time around. The candy cracked, one half went hurtling into her mouth, the other half still in her hand. She quickly gathered up the splinters in her mouth with her tongue and sucked on the candy. But her hands were busy. As fast as her little hands could manage, and with great dexterity, she placed the half in the wrapper and carefully covered it, making sure the 2 ends were frilled as beautifully as they had been in the original. The éclair was much easier to handle, soft that it was, and Lily made sure there was no slack in perfection this time as well. As the class formed a queue to throw the wrappers in the bin, Lily opened her pencil box, and carefully placed the half chocolates there, making sure they wouldn’t fall out if the box was shaken.

Lily’s mother opened the door that evening. “Food is ready”, she said, “You must be hungry, wash and come soon”. Before Lily could take a step ahead, a tiny hurricane came rushing out from the room towards her. “Diiiiidiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!”. Lily smiled. She had almost forgotten. She looked down at the round face of her baby sister raised expectantly, the eyebrows knit with worry and nodded in confirmation. Today was a ‘birthday’ day. The little one closed her eyes using one hand and extended her other one. Lily placed the half-éclair. It took her sister not more than a second to pop it into her mouth and chew-chomp-chew! ‘Thank you Didi’ she said as she turned away. Wait! Didi’s palm appeared magically with another half-chocolate in it!! ‘Mango!!!!!’ she gleefully screamed!! She hugged her sister’s legs, ‘You are the best Didi in the whole world!!’.

Candies In Her Palm – A Short Story #NostalgiaSeries

“They walked in the sweltering heat, the two sisters and Namita, the elder one’s best friend. Backs bent with the weight of the khaki coloured bags..the rectangular ones with two shiny clips that had to go ‘tak’ and ‘tak’ again, so you knew they were properly closed. Feet clumsily covered in battered chappals, dragging on the dusty road. Hair that had been carefully oiled and plaited by their mothers in the morning, complete with the red ribbon on both sides, now stuck to their scalps as sweat trickled down their faces. Little Rano walked ahead with a steadfast determination, her sister’s hand in hers. Pulling her, goading her to walk faster, they were almost there. Sunaina sighed and carried on, she could never refuse her baby sister. They finally reached and Rano looked at her big sister expectantly. Sunaina dug out her treasure from her bag, 20p that she had managed to save that week. She placed a 10p coin into the wrinkly hand of the shopkeeper and received a grunt in approval. Carefully she lowered the big glass jar and held it tight against her chest. With her free hand she twisted the cap open and counted out 10 candies, some red, some green, some orange and some purple. 1,2,3…9,10, placing each one gently into Rano’s cupped palms. Rano’s round face broke into a smile and her eyes gleamed with joy. Sunaina laughed as her sister struggled to wipe the drool off her mouth, her hands full of candies. With Rano satisfied, she went on to buy sweetmeats for Namita and her four other siblings waiting back home. That was the norm, all 6 brothers and sisters would sit down in a circle and Sunaina split the candies among them all. Happiness was to be shared, their mother had told her eldest daughter and Sunaina intended to take that very seriously. Rano skipped ahead, eager to reach home and gobble up her share. Come fast Sunaina, walk fast Sunaina…”

“Sunaina?…Sunaina?” She broke out of her reverie. The doctor was talking to her. “You can see her now”. Sunaina nodded at the others and they headed for the room. The same round face, she thought with a smile. But the eyes glistened with tears of pain now and the smile was forced. She looked at Rano lying on the bed, with its white covers, tubes coming out of the bedsheets, recovering after the 4th surgery that year. The disease was catching up and Sunaina knew in her heart that no candy could make her sister’s eyes gleam now. They all sat down in that hospital room. Sunaina and her 4 siblings, around Rano. All 6 of them. All they knew was to share…candies, tears, stories, fears…all they could do, was share.

//This story is dedicated to my Late Aunt Smt. Suchitra Ray…you are forever in our hearts Ranu Mausi 🙂