Sara stood staring at the door. The door which led to a shack, a place she called home. She stood for a second and gazed around. The sun was just beginning to rise on the horizon, casting a gleam of orange light and blending into the night sky. The train tracks lay barren and silent, slightly blurred by the morning haze that hung over. In a few minutes, the first train would pass through, leading to a flurry of activity. This was where she had been born and raised, on the side of the tracks, where food was always scarce and people were too afraid to dream.
Sara finally tore her eyes away from the landscape and forced herself to knock on the door. A bearded man in his early fifties opened the door, dressed in shabby clothes, with a cigarette dangling from his mouth.
“Where the heck did you run off to?” his harsh voice made Sara flinch, but she held her ground. “Just watching the sunset, Abu” she replied in a low whisper. “Is that what you think about, Sunset? If I see you disappear again, I’ll make sure both you and your mom pay for it.” Sara stared mutely as her Dad slammed the door in anger and left.
This was Sara had been reduced to. A shadow, an echo who dreamt but never said a word. It was like she didn’t exist. Sara contemplated for a second. She knew what she was about to do was crazy. Every living soul who had known about her plan had warned her against it. Yet Sara knew she could not go like this. She wanted to show everyone what she saw, about how the world was beautiful if you only cared to look. With adrenaline coursing through her veins, Sara moved at a lightening pace to pack her bags.
10 minutes later, she stood with 2 packed bags with all her worldly possessions. She stepped out into the dark, moving at a brisk pace till she reached the bus stand. A quarter of an hour later, Sara had boarded on the journey of her life.
———11 months and 31 days later——–
Sara thought about that day which had changed everything. The day she had boarded a bus and went straight through to an NGO office. She remembered meeting Ms. Sonali, with whom Sara had been coordinating her escape. She had to wait before she turned legally 18 to carry out her plan. It wasn’t that Sara didn’t love her father. She did. And that’s why she had stuck around 18 years, and put up with nights of domestic abuse that would forever haunt her.
It was just that Sara had realized that her father’s journey was marginally off track, and she had refused to let her circumstances define her own journey. She remembered all the so called “talk” sessions which Ms. Sonali had had with her Abu, and how it had let to only worse circumstances.
Looking back, Sara worked in a photography magazine. It made her happy to click photos; and for once; people looked at the world from her perspective. She was at last, learning and living and loving. It would still take her years more of progress and efforts to build a life for herself and her loved ones. But in that moment, for her, it was enough.
You need to login in order to vote