The blazing sun was smiling in the sky. I was trying hard to get rid of my slumber. After washing my face with soapy water, I gulped down some ice water from the bottle in the refrigerator. Pathetically sitting in the couch, I didn’t know what to do. There was no option to go out due to the corona virus pandemic. Just then, an idea popped in my mind to makeover and renovate my abode.
The sixty-year-old me was exhilarated. I kept searching online for 5-minute crafts and painting hacks. I was perplexed thinking about which design to choose. Finally, I decided to go with my most favourite color combination – black & gold! As I was setting my wardrobe, an old yet neatly sealed box caught my attention. Resting on the floor, I unbolted the handle of the box and I was astonished to see inside! IT WAS MY DIARY!
My adrenaline lost its control! Salty tears rolled down my tomato-red cheeks. This diary was very dear to my heart. It was the only gift remaining till now which my husband, Jay, had given to me before he passed away because all the watches and bags were torn or worn out. The diary had hidden all my memories cautiously.
My teary eyes depicted a pixelized vision. Rubbing both the eyes with a linen kerchief, I began reading a random page. It was my forty eighth birthday when Jay and I had gone to the Taj Mahal Palace to celebrate. But, that had been the day in my life which I couldn’t ever wipe out the memory of!!
SHOOT ON SIGHT !!
In November, third leap year of the 21st century, we headed towards the Taj Mahal Palace on my birthday. It started drizzling in the twilight and we adored getting drenched. This financial capital has its own bunch of bustling people on the roads as usual.
Having completed dinner there, as we stepped out to have an ice-cream, we heard eccentric sounds. It was smoky all around. My mind was blank. Then in front of us were two youngsters with AK-47. Beside us was a girl shot dead. Oh my god! I fainted by seeing the blood shed everywhere! Jay scurried carrying me to a nearby café. The policemen somehow rescued us. Hats off to the Mumbai police!
I woke up the next morning with the following headlines in the news-
“167 people have been brutally killed by the hostages in the rampage. The Taj Mahal Palace chief chefs saved a number of lives. Many individuals have been rescued by the Mumbai police. Our channel salutes all those warriors for saving our lives. Jai Hind! Signing off for now!”
26th November 2008 was a terrific day and the most terrible birthday I have ever had. Turning forty-eight, I was happy but the death of 167 people was something that made me feel despondent.
// This fictional story blended with a diary entry has been penned by 13-year-old Anshika Kodukula and has been selected for publishing on our platform from the weekly submissions //