Updated: Sep 17
Chapter III: The Tale of a Questionnaire
Listening to the raindrops & smelling the sweet sand’s fragrance, Naina lay on her bed looking at the ceiling. Feeling the cold air through the window, she recalled Nihal’s question, “Did she honestly deserve it?”
For a while, she could not understand how her supervisor only perceived her mother as a fictional character & nothing more. It was not the first work she showed to him & it was nothing but a little different from the rest of them in the past. She was curious as to why Nihal asked this question today.
It has been six months since she finished college & if not for her Professor, she would have joined the master’s program. However, he advised, “Collaborate with a published author Naina & maybe your passions could be put to the right use.”
Saying so, he suggested working with Nihal Nayan, the author of “Duality”, and Naina knew no bounds to her happiness when Mr Nihal even agreed to take her as an apprentice. Since her first day, the only rule Nihal had was that Naina must write a thousand words every day & if a day came when she missed, that would be her last day.
For a long time, Naina ensured that her submissions did not reveal her personal life & she followed her Professor’s advice of fictionalising her submissions to their best. Nonetheless, Naina didn’t know what got into her one day. She finally wrote down the story of her father walking away from her mother. Maybe it’s her undying desire within that wanted to visualise the moment. Perhaps she wanted to live the moment that haunted her once.
Today when she hesitantly gave in her submission, Nihal knew it would be fascinating. When he read it in the afternoon, he asked, “Could you tell me more about the woman who was left behind in this story, Naina?”
Anticipating the response, Naina grinned. She thought to herself to not overpower her mother. So she replied, “A strong independent woman holding onto her beliefs no matter what life throws at her. What more can I say?”
Taking off his reading glasses & placing them on the rectangular table that separated them, Nihal asked, “Do you believe in destiny or karma, Naina?”
Since this was the first time someone asked her about it, Naina thought for a moment before saying, “I believe we reap what we sow.”
Bending towards the table and resting his chin on his fists, Nihal’s gaze intensified as he asked, “Then do you really think this woman deserved it?”
Staring into his dark black eyes that seemed like the night sky, Naina remained silent. A moment later, Nihal continued, “Writers are playing Gods when they define characters Naina. Though we fancy the twists & turns, we promote hope because it is worth it.”
Though Naina nodded, her speechlessness was due to the worm that just crept into her mind about her mother’s tale. For the first time, she wondered, what if her father walked away because her mother might not have been as faithful or responsible as she claims to be?
But now as she lay on her bed, it no longer seemed like a suspicion.
This story is available in paperback & ebook.