A Lost Dream
by Anita Bhattacharjee
A hectic night lay ahead .. Dia sat exhausted on the bench of a nearby park. Five years had passed by since the untimely death of her father. She had lost all hope of getting the pension of her late father for her helpless mother and younger sister. The government officers were ruthless in this regard and then began an endless series of official work.
As time passed by, Dia realised that there was very little hope that she would ever get her father’s pension though it rightfully belonged to her mother. Dia could not understand why she was expected to pay a huge amount as bribe for the pension money which was rightfully hers. Her poverty, her mother’s illness, and her sister’s desire to gain good education made her walk towards that gloom from which there is no return. Her dark lipstick glittered in the darkness and her red saree draped around her slim figure made her look distant in the crowd. She looked lively yet she was lifeless, she was alive yet she was not better than the dead.
Life had never been supportive to her, yet the smile on her mother’s face when she would return home the next day, was enough to keep her going. She wanted her sister to achieve all the happiness in this world which she was denied. She wanted her sister to study hard for the exams and be a topper and she could go to any extent to fulfill her father’s dream. The thought of a prince charming riding towards her in a black horse out of sheer darkness was only a dream which she still cherished in her lonely moments. At times she was full of remorse that she had so recklessly decided to quit school out of sheer boredom. Her father had tried his best to make her understand the importance of education, but she hardly cared. Today life would have been quite different if she was educated, maybe she could get a decent job to support her family.
A car screeched to a halt near Dia. Two men jumped out and walked fast towards Dia. She woke up from her thoughts and adjusted her hair and saw her reflection in her purse mirror. Two sightless eyes stared back at her which were definitely not her own . She had ceased to be herself and totally lost herself in the fast life of the big city. Dia was very well aware that there was no turning back. The men spoke to her for few minutes and offered her few bucks. One of them opened the door for her rather roughly and she entered the car.
Something fell from her purse and lay on the road. The car pulled up and sped away in the darkness. A small kid dressed in rags came and picked up the glittering thing from the road. It was a small replica of Goddess Durga, which Dia's father had gifted her on her birthday. *****