Monthly Archives: January 2010
Hello! I’m putting up the first short story I ever wrote. I had to write one as a part of my Creative Writing project. Having lacked the courage to write anything, I am now thankful that I was forced to write a story. Else I am not so sure as to when I would have gotten around to doing it.
Anarghya sat in anticipation, cross legged and twiddling her thumbs, staring at the huge pendulum of the grandfather clock in her bedroom. She willed it to tick faster. And before long the clock chimed 12, at the exact moment of which her cell phone rang. She snapped it open without even glancing at the screen for the caller ID. “Hi!” she exclaimed, breathless. Five assorted voices sang “Happy birthday to you!” in unison. Anarghya happily alternated between listening and chuckling, knowing she had the most darling friends. And when they finished the rhyme, Anarghya told them as much. But she was in an instant dismissed by Kavita who clucked her tongue loudly and asked what friends were for, if not for such intimacy; while the rest of the callers expressed their approval vehemently. Anarghya sighed contentedly and quickly bid goodbye to her eclectic bunch of friends in order to attend to other calls. She chatted gaily with every caller, laughing and being social, thoroughly enjoying the attention one invariably received on their birthday. She was pretty pleased with the number of people who had called on her and resolved to snub the people who had forgotten to do so.
The phone calls took a while to stop and when they eventually did, Anarghya headed towards her parents’ room where they were waiting along with Priti, her elder sibling. They took turns enveloping her small frame in huge bear hugs and telling her how proud they were that their little gudiya had now grown up. Anarghya felt exhilarated to finally have turned 18, an occasion she had long waited for. She had desperately yearned to experience the feeling of being an adult, of being responsible and in control of her own life. The conversation soon veered to Anarghya’s plans for the day.
“Umm… I haven’t really decided yet. We will probably hang out at The Big Jim’s tonight, though we might move to the bowling alley if we are in the mood for it. Oh, you know I am not much of a planner. Things are more fun if they are spontaneous. There is a certain thrill in not knowing what is about to happen next.” Anarghya said. To which Priti, always the meticulous one, rolled her eyes and declared she was hitting the sack.
“You must sleep now too, beta.” Mrs Arora pecked Anarghya’s cheek. Anarghya nodded and returned to her room, but felt too excited to sleep. After all, it was not everyday one turned 18! So she switched her laptop on, logged in to her messenger and scanned the list of contacts online. Disappointed that nobody worth talking to was online, she began checking her mail.
Deleting a couple of annoying forwards, her eyes fell upon a mail with an unknown sender ID and no subject line. Hmm, who is Gemini_09, she wondered. Curious, she clicked it open. The sender had not identified himself and had merely written a few lines, asking her to be present at 12pm at Eco-Garden the following day. She smiled knowingly, assuming it was one of her friends, pulling a fast one on her. But she cringed at the thought of being seen at Eco-Garden, and that too on her birthday! She made a mental note to chide her friends later for such a poor choice of location. Putting the laptop aside, she lay down on her bed and tried to sleep. But a quarter of an hour later, she was still wide awake, trembling with excitement over the surprise she thought her friends had planned for her. She tried, sleeping on her left, and on her right, counting sheep, and reciting God’s name, but nothing excited Anarghya more than surprises. Little did she know what this particular surprisal would hold for her.
Please click here to read the rest of the story.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back.
There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: “For Whites Only.” We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
I urge you to read the entire speech.