April 24, 2014


April A-Z Challenge - U is for Urmi - Wave (Origin: Sanskrit)
Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters
Urmi stood grimly in front of the Kensington Palace with flowers in her hand. It had been three days since the news of Princess Diana's death, and Urmi felt like she owed her this homage.  Like many others in her profession, Urmi had felt a pang of guilt when she had heard the news about Diana's death, especially since she had written many articles about her over the years, for the local newspaper that she worked for. Her eyes welled with tears as she saw the messages left by thousands of people. She felt the same kind of sadness that she had felt eight months ago when she had lost her husband to cancer. She had nursed a growing turmoil inside her ever since, about what she should do with her life now. She had contemplated everything from retirement to changing careers, but had found no answers. All those questions inside of her echoed even louder in the dim light of dawn, as she bid farewell to a person she had admired.
She had picked the wee hours of the morning to pay homage in order to avoid the crowd and also give herself enough time to prepare for her flight to Calcutta that evening. She had explained to her company that it would be a sabbatical of sorts, a brief pause to regain herself. But Urmi herself did not know the purpose of her visit to her home country. Perhaps meeting family and friends, visiting places she grew up in, dwelling for a while in familiar surroundings would give her the answers to her questions she thought. She was beginning to understand that her soul was searching for something more than what her job provided
It was a long flight and upon arrival, Urmi was flooded by her family and friends, temporarily relieving her of the gloom she had been surrounded by. The next two days went in meeting a lot of people, good food and idyllic banter with her loved ones. But by the end of it, Urmi still felt restless, her mind seemed alienated to her surroundings, busy in its quest for something. She heard a loud commotion outside of the house brining with it the news about the sudden demise of  Mother Teresa.
In less than a week, she stood there waiting to pay homage again, this time nearly 5000 miles away, to a person she had idolized through her growing years. She was deeply moved by the stories she heard around her while she waited for her turn in line. When she got closer and looked at the frail body laying there surrounded by the aura of the work she had done, a sudden wave rose inside her, Urmi finally felt like she knew what she wanted.
In a few months Urmi stood in front of the new school she had started in Calcutta for underprivileged children, with a sense of contentment.  A new wave of energy had taken over her and her quest had finally ended.

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