Friday, August 28, 2015

Story the Broken Pencil Wrote

That morning seemed promising. It was cold but sunny. The chill of the breeze felt less bitter as I sat cozily in the corner of the coffee-shop I used to haunt every day. I was a writer who found not just peace but inspiration as I sipped my usual cappuccino and watched people coming and going. There was so much to notice, so much to observe. Some wore worries to their workplaces, while some wore smiles. Some fidgeted in hurry, checking their phones or watches every second, as if time would stop or change in doing so. Some were calm as a gentle breeze on a spring morning.

That day was special. It showed me something I did not see every day. She stood outside the coffee-shop. Disheveled hair, torn clothes, dirty little hands and in those hands, a broken pencil. The moment I spotted her, I would have looked away but as I told you, I am a writer. So I see what others overlook. I notice what others ignore. I engage where others shun. So I persisted in my gaze.

She had apparently picked it up from the sidewalk. As she stared at it, her first impulse probably was to throw it away. It was hardly of any use to her. She did not know how to hold it properly. She glanced at it from all angles, looking at its color and the tiny pictures drawn on it. I wondered what she was thinking. Then, she threw it away and walked a few steps only to retreat and pick it up again. This time, she tried to hold it hard against the floor, which broke it in two small halves. It startled her momentarily. I know it because she looked around with a start, fearing a beating maybe. But nobody had seen her, except me. And I was out of her sight.

She tried to make a mark on the floor. Maybe she did make some mark. I cannot say for sure, for I sat far from her and although I am a writer, I have physical limitations. So I narrate only that part of the story that I saw.
So let us assume she made a mark and was not amused with the results. Or maybe she tried to make a mark but failed. Whatever happened, she gave it up. Then she started tapping the broken pencil’s two halves against each other. She seemed to be humming too, for her frail body swayed to the tune of her lips and the tap of the pencil. Her eyes lit up. She seemed happy. She got up and danced her way out of my sight, leaving me enthralled by her performance, entranced by her story.

Since I am a writer, I felt happy that even a broken pencil held a promise of joy. It did not teach her to write, but it did engrave on her face a moment of pure delight. Maybe, the broken pencil wrote on her heart a story of joy. Who knows! I however felt content, sitting in the coffee-shop that day, noticing people come and go. Yes, the story of that day was complete!

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.


If you liked the above post, you might also like these two short stories I wrote :


24 comments:

  1. And it leaves me in happiness; with the inspiring message! :)

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  2. Indeed a worthy observation. I like the hope you give to the readers at the end. :)

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    1. I am so happy to hear that Rajeev.......:)

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  4. A moment in time...a broken woman with a broken pencil....a moment of joyous life! It's those little moments that hold a telling tale. Wonderful story, Sunaina

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    1. Thanks Lata.....and still we all complain that joy is fleeting, difficult to find....

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  5. Wow! This was a story that touched the inner chords of my heart. Beautifully narrated dear :)

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    1. Thanks Purba.....I am glad to have reached your heart.....:)

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  6. She didn't learn to write and yet she learnt to be happy over something, A nice narration of those those joyous moments in life when one creates happiness out of nothing. :)

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    1. True Somali.....that was the point I wanted to make....:)

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  7. Very interesting story.She creates the HAPPINESS out of nothing.:)

    Cheers,
    Sriram & Krithiga

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    1. Thanks Sri Kri......that should be the essence of life, don't you think....?

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  8. You're a great writer, Sunaina. Your ability to empathize is amazing. I'll always remember this quote: "Even a broken pencil held a promise of joy."

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    1. Oh you always make my day by your kind comments Ravish.....It feels great to have someone appreciate your work....I am glad you liked my story.....:)

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  9. Such pleasant writing. And such a vivid description of an incident most people were blind to that morning.
    Very, very nice, Sunaina. :)

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    1. Thanks for such encouraging words Divya...

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