April 7, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - F is for Farhan - Happy (Origin:Arabic)

Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters 

Thousands of stars lit up the night sky, as Farhan lay on the terrace of his house, taking in the sights hungrily. It had become his daily routine to sleep on the terrace with his grandfather, hoping to find respite from the sultry heat of the tropical summer. The women of the house slept in the one bedroom in the house that had a fan. Tonight he was there alone, letting his unwell grandfather rest indoors. 

He pretended he was a prince of a far away land and that the universe had conjured together to put on a show for him. He suddenly felt really big and important, his tenth Birthday was three days away. He thought of what his father would have said, and the thought of him brought a bitter sweet feeling. It had been exactly five years since he had last seen him. And as if the skies understood what he was feeling,  a plane flew by, leaving behind a long trail. Farhan wished that he had a big ladder to climb up to the plane's trail, and swim his way right inside the plane. He would fly across the oceans to see his father. He had made up his mind on one such night, that he would grow up to be a pilot and fly to see his father whenever he wanted.

It had been a fortnight since Farhan last spoke to his father, and he had made up his mind to wake up early the next day, in time for his father's phone call. Last time his father had called, he was spending the night at a friend's place. His friend's father worked in the same city as his father and was visiting his family, and Farhan had gone to see if his father had sent them something. Usually there was money for the family, something pretty for his sisters, something shiny for him and some sweet treats. But this time there was nothing, and it had made the usually cheerful Farhan rather sad. What is more, he had overheard his friend's parents talk lightly about his father and his work.

"How much can a taxi driver's income buy?" he had heard them say, "It is time somebody told Farhan the truth!"

Farhan had returned home angrily, and his mother had calmed him by saying his father would never lie to them. He was working for a big company, or else how could he have afforded a gift for all of their extended family when he visited last time?

Though Farhan wanted to believe his mother, he thought he will confront his father about it when he would call the next day. He tried to close his eyes and go to sleep, but all he could think of were the sweet treats that his father usually sent. His mouth watered thinking of the brown mounds of chocolate that would burst in his mouth, filling it with sweetness, while it filled him with happiness. Last time his father visited, they had to eat them out of bowls with spoons, as it was the peak of summer. His father had immediately gone and got a refrigerator for the house. He had explained how his huge apartment was filled with all the essentials and that his family should be living with the same comforts. His grandfather had bought sweets from a local store and chilled it in the new refrigerator and Farhan had distributed them to the whole town!

Farhan finally felt a tug in his eyes, as he obligingly closed them, to be transposed into another far away land. He was awakened by a loud commotion from the house, and he went down in the dim light of the rising sun. Farhan noticed a tall man with broad shoulders standing there, smartly dressed in a gray suit and shiny polished shoes. "Abu!" he cried and ran to his father. They were then in what seemed the longest embrace that Farhan had ever remembered, till something hard poked him from his father's pockets. 

His father quickly reached to his pocket and removed something and handed it to his mother.

"Here, safeguard these keys till I return. They are very important, they are my ta.. ummn car keys." 

"Car!! What color Abu?" exclaimed Farhan "I hope red!"

"Of course Farhan! Come let's see what is in the suitcase."

Farhan followed his father in awe, all the doubts in his mind had been replaced with immense happiness!


Jyotsna Bhatia said...

such a beautifully woven tale.. you have presented a child's mind and his thoughts so beautifully !!

Liz Blocker said...

What a lovely insight into this character's life. Thank you for sharing it!

Madhu said...

@Jyotsna, @Liz - Thank you!