It was evening. The sky was a painter’s dream of accomplishment. But how could one capture this heavenly beauty that seemingly lit every corner of the Earth? The sun was slowly steeping into the ground while its scattered yellow lights bid goodbye to the worn-out people of the land. The moon was now peeping from between the fluffy white clouds, glowing softly. Its softness numbed my pricking worries, letting my mind live life for once. The wind was blowing softly. Brushing my cheeks, it quietly landed on each tree, making their nettled leaves sway gently. I stared. My restless red eyes were soaking in the simplicity of this beauty. “Even an eternity wouldn’t do justice to such a paradise,” I said quietly to myself. This moment was my escape from reality. This is when I would pretend that the world was this phenomenal dwelling of peace and love. But alas, one’s imagination can only last so long. Aware that reluctance was tugging at my heart, I turned my glance at the people around. Predictably, what lay in front of me was- in a word – “chaos”. It was quite amusing to see people so wrapped up in their problems, that not even a paradise for a solution would dare distract them. “Mortals,” I said, shaking my head in disappointment.
This story is about a girl called Bhavna. She was a twelve-year-old girl who lived in a small village. She was the first girl child to go to school in the village. Her dad Mr. Moksh was weak in studies and used to fail in all his exams. The villagers used to rag him a lot about his failure. Moksh got really angry and decided to put Bhavna in a good school so that he could proudly say that his daughter was the first educated girl in the village. The villagers had a perspective that educating girls was a waste of money. Bhavna didn’t care about them because she used to really enjoy learning in school.
‘As I Prepare For Landing!’ is the debut book of Mrs. Gulnar Raheem Khan. It won the Best Debut award in the Fiction Book category held at the 4th ALS Lit Fest in the year 2022. It has been described as a ‘Basket of Stories’ and a ‘Casket of Poems’. I would, however, classify most of the prose in this book as personal experiences and anecdotes, since they do not follow the structure expected from a short story, like character arc, plot, conflict. They are simplistic in nature, with love and compassion being the common themes recurring throughout the book.
“God believes in creating infinite variety because he believes variety is the spice of life.”
Pluck any two leaves from the tree. Aren’t they different? Then how can two children be the same? Teachers, parents and grown-ups need to understand that each child is born with a unique set of talents, personality traits, abilities and interests to make this world a beautiful and colorful mosaic. Imagine how dull and dreadful life would be if everyone was either an engineer or a doctor?