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Powerfully Unparalleled and Unchanged

Powerfully Unparalleled and Unchanged

A touching short story of a hardworking young man who tells his tale to the generous soul who has remained unparalleled and unchanged!

A Story to Tell

Image by our  interviewee, Preeti Bhatnagar ( IG: @samanilai)

She is wearing a dress tonight. It is a long one, so long that whenever she takes a step, the excess fabric causes her to stumble but she always manages to catch herself miraculously. However, more than anything, it is the enchanting smile on her face that captures my attention, making my heart swell. I take in a pained breath, my expanded heart not giving much space to my poor lungs to function. My eyes close involuntarily as if my brain needs a few moments to save this picture in the memory slot. I open my eyes to see her making her way towards me, her fists clutching the silky fabric of the dress.

I stand up, go around the table and pull her chair out. As she sits, a whispered “Thank you” reaches my ears and I too whisper “You’re welcome” in return. I take my seat and steal a couple of seconds to simply soak in the sight of her. She, in turn, stares at the flowers that I’ve brought her, tentatively touching the fragile petals, a smile, as delicate as the buds in her hands, lighting her face. She picks them up, brings them to her nose and takes a deep breath, her eyes fluttering close. She puts them down, places her hand on top of mine and says, “They are lovely. Thank you”.

I pass her a smile in return. For some time, we talk about a couple of random things. The weather, movies, my job, etc. And then she asks, her eyes the softest shade of brown, beseeching me to tell nothing but the truth, “How are you, my dear?” I take in a pained breath again but this time it is the dreadful circumstances that take hold of lungs, squeezing, squeezing with all their might.

And I break down. I tell her everything. I tell her how my father, after losing his job, has turned into a drunkard, how every single night, we go out searching for him, miserably praying that he might be in a gutter instead of getting hit by a speeding vehicle. I tell her how my mother has resorted to her depression pills which keep her drowsy most of the time, incapacitating her. I tell her how my grandmother, my only source of light and life, has been diagnosed with Middle-stage Alzheimer’s and no longer remembers me.

I tell her how my pay isn’t sufficient to cover the cost of my grandmother’s treatment, in addition to my younger brother’s school fees. I tell her how I have no choice but to sell my grandmother’s ancestral locket, a beautiful heart-shaped piece with rubies and emeralds encrusted. I tell her how miserable I am, how guilty I am of selling the only thing my grandmother has of her late husband. I tell her everything.

An Act of Kindness

She looks at me with glistening eyes, a steady wet trail making its way down her cheeks. Her eyes are a bottomless pit of sympathy and she pats my hand as if assuring me that what is going to come cannot be worse than what I have already endured. She then asks me to wait for a moment as she makes her way towards her bedroom, taking slow, measured steps, and returns with a box clutched tightly in her unsteady hands. She places her cane at the foot of her chair, takes a seat and hands the box to me, her wrinkled hands slowly delivering it to mine.

“Pawn, or better yet, just sell the jewels inside. They would easily cover the cost of your beloved grandmother’s treatment as well as your brother’s school fees,” she says. I look at her with eyes filled with unshed tears and ask in a broken voice, “How can I take them?” She says, in a voice tempered with utmost benevolence, “We all are mere visitors in this vast vast world, living on borrowed time. All that we can hope for is to commit deeds that would make us immortal. The weak take the sinful road while the brave head on to the majestic one.

The rest, like me, dedicate ourselves to small acts of kindness, with the hope of getting immortalized in the memories of people. So take this box and allow me to do this good. You seem to be a gentleman, one willing to voluntarily spend his time entertaining an ailing woman he doesn’t even know. Do not deprive your grandmother of the lone reminder of her husband. Let’s pretend that it’s your own grandmother giving it to you”. I stare at her, unable to comprehend the extent of this brilliant woman’s generosity.

Stumbling out of my stupor, I thank her profusely, the tears now flowing freely. I clasp the box firmly in my sweaty hands. Her nurse then comes in to inform us that it is time for her medicines. She picks up her cane and stands up carefully, beckoning to me while she does. Her dress, which once fit her like a glove, is now a drooping mess on her frail body. I move closer and she leans in, cupping her mouth with one slightly trembling hand as if disclosing a buried secret.

Unparalleled and Unchanged

Unparalleled and Unchanged
Unparalleled and Unchanged

“Truth be told, I don’t even remember who gave me those pretty stones. You are just a way for me to get rid of them!” she says and then laughs good-naturedly, not at all ashamed of her chipped faintly yellowing teeth. At that moment, I am reminded of my love for this woman. It doesn’t matter how many wrinkles adorn her face or how her skin sags, threatening to melt off her bones. The only thing that matters is how radiant she is, even today.

Her beauty is unparalleled, unmatched. And the secret behind is that she is the most content resident in her own skin, never fancying elaborate ornaments to make her temple more pleasing but focusing on the ambiance instead. This is exactly where we, as a youth, lack depressingly. With social media as a crutch, we manage to fulfil our natural requirement of external validation by snagging attention with appealing pictures while fail to work on the personality department. If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?

I smile and bid her farewell with the promise to visit her soon. Once she leaves the room, I open the box to reveal the familiar heart shaped locket, the gems catching the light and shining brightly.

“Thank you Grandma “I whisper to the empty room and then sigh heavily, guilt seeping back into my bones as I exit Barbary’s Home for Alzheimer’s.

Read more Literary articles at The Teen Pop Magazine.

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Her beauty is unparalleled, unmatched. And the secret behind is that she is the most content resident in her own skin, never fancying elaborate ornaments to make her temple more pleasing but focusing on the ambiance instead. This is exactly where we, as a youth, lack depressingly. With social media as a crutch, we manage to fulfil our natural requirement of external validation by snagging attention with appealing pictures while fail to work on the personality department. If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?

Her beauty is unparalleled, unmatched. And the secret behind is that she is the most content resident in her own skin, never fancying elaborate ornaments to make her temple more pleasing but focusing on the ambiance instead. This is exactly where we, as a youth, lack depressingly. With social media as a crutch, we manage to fulfil our natural requirement of external validation by snagging attention with appealing pictures while fail to work on the personality department. If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?

Her beauty is unparalleled, unmatched. And the secret behind is that she is the most content resident in her own skin, never fancying elaborate ornaments to make her temple more pleasing but focusing on the ambiance instead. This is exactly where we, as a youth, lack depressingly. With social media as a crutch, we manage to fulfil our natural requirement of external validation by snagging attention with appealing pictures while fail to work on the personality department. If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?

Her beauty is unparalleled, unmatched. And the secret behind is that she is the most content resident in her own skin, never fancying elaborate ornaments to make her temple more pleasing but focusing on the ambiance instead. This is exactly where we, as a youth, lack depressingly. With social media as a crutch, we manage to fulfil our natural requirement of external validation by snagging attention with appealing pictures while fail to work on the personality department. If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?unparalleledunparalleled

Her beauty is unparalleled, unmatched. And the secret behind is that she is the most content resident in her own skin, never fancying elaborate ornaments to make her temple more pleasing but focusing on the ambiance instead. This is exactly where we, as a youth, lack depressingly. With social media as a crutch, we manage to fulfil our natural requirement of external validation by snagging attention with appealing pictures while fail to work on the personality department. If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?

Her beauty is unparalleled, unmatched. And the secret behind is that she is the most content resident in her own skin, never fancying elaborate ornaments to make her temple more pleasing but focusing on the ambiance instead. This is exactly where we, as a youth, lack depressingly. With social media as a crutch, we manage to fulfil our natural requirement of external validation by snagging attention with appealing pictures while fail to work on the personality department. If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?

See Also

Her beauty is unparalleled, unmatched. And the secret behind is that she is the most content resident in her own skin, never fancying elaborate ornaments to make her temple more pleasing but focusing on the ambiance instead. This is exactly where we, as a youth, lack depressingly. With social media as a crutch, we manage to fulfil our natural requirement of external validation by snagging attention with appealing pictures while fail to work on the personality department. If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?

Her beauty is unparalleled, unmatched. And the secret behind is that she is the most content resident in her own skin, never fancying elaborate ornaments to make her temple more pleasing but focusing on the ambiance instead. This is exactly where we, as a youth, lack depressingly. With social media as a crutch, we manage to fulfil our natural requirement of external validation by snagging attention with appealing pictures while fail to work on the personality department. If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?

Her beauty is unparalleled, unmatched. And the secret behind is that she is the most content resident in her own skin, never fancying elaborate ornaments to make her temple more pleasing but focusing on the ambiance instead. This is exactly where we, as a youth, lack depressingly. With social media as a crutch, we manage to fulfil our natural requirement of external validation by snagging attention with appealing pictures while fail to work on the personality department. If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?

Her beauty is unparalleled, unmatched. And the secret behind is that she is the most content resident in her own skin, never fancying elaborate ornaments to make her temple more pleasing but focusing on the ambiance instead. This is exactly where we, as a youth, lack depressingly. With social media as a crutch, we manage to fulfil our natural requirement of external validation by snagging attention with appealing pictures while fail to work on the personality department. If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?

Her beauty is unparalleled, unmatched. And the secret behind is that she is the most content resident in her own skin, never fancying elaborate ornaments to make her temple more pleasing but focusing on the ambiance instead. This is exactly where we, as a youth, lack depressingly. With social media as a crutch, we manage to fulfil our natural requirement of external validation by snagging attention with appealing pictures while fail to work on the personality department. If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?

Her beauty is unparalleled, unmatched. And the secret behind is that she is the most content resident in her own skin, never fancying elaborate ornaments to make her temple more pleasing but focusing on the ambiance instead. This is exactly where we, as a youth, lack depressingly. With social media as a crutch, we manage to fulfil our natural requirement of external validation by snagging attention with appealing pictures while fail to work on the personality department. If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?

Her beauty is unparalleled, unmatched. And the secret behind is that she is the most content resident in her own skin, never fancying elaborate ornaments to make her temple more pleasing but focusing on the ambiance instead. This is exactly where we, as a youth, lack depressingly. With social media as a crutch, we manage to fulfil our natural requirement of external validation by snagging attention with appealing pictures while fail to work on the personality department. If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?

Her beauty is unparalleled, unmatched. And the secret behind is that she is the most content resident in her own skin, never fancying elaborate ornaments to make her temple more pleasing but focusing on the ambiance instead. This is exactly where we, as a youth, lack depressingly. With social media as a crutch, we manage to fulfil our natural requirement of external validation by snagging attention with appealing pictures while fail to work on the personality department. If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?

Her beauty is unparalleled, unmatched. And the secret behind is that she is the most content resident in her own skin, never fancying elaborate ornaments to make her temple more pleasing but focusing on the ambiance instead. This is exactly where we, as a youth, lack depressingly. With social media as a crutch, we manage to fulfil our natural requirement of external validation by snagging attention with appealing pictures while fail to work on the personality department. If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?

Her beauty is unparalleled, unmatched. And the secret behind is that she is the most content resident in her own skin, never fancying elaborate ornaments to make her temple more pleasing but focusing on the ambiance instead. This is exactly where we, as a youth, lack depressingly. With social media as a crutch, we manage to fulfil our natural requirement of external validation by snagging attention with appealing pictures while fail to work on the personality department. If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?

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View Comments (6)
  • The way this short story teaches such a simple but beautiful lesson, it is overwhelming. I am purely in love with it and I am sure that i will be thinking about all the small details for a long time.😂
    Proud of you Ashima.😊💕

  • This short story creates a vivid picture in mind and leaves an everlasting impact. Loved every act of simplicity and empathy shown by you through your story. Its more of a reflection of who you are as a person.
    I would like to quote my favourite lines from it
    ‘The weak take the sinful road while the brave head on to the majestic one.
    The rest, like me, dedicate ourselves to small acts of kindness, with the hope of getting immortalized in the memories of people.’
    Proud of you Ashima❣️

  • Beautiful story shows us how simplicity and kindness are becoming a forgotten traits. Just loved it.
    God bless you. Waiting for more…….

  • After reading this story…You should be so proud of yourself Ashima…coz We are !.You’re the person that everyone wants on their team. Is there anything that you can’t do?Really love the combinational words n thoughts. Would love to see more lovely write ups….God bless ….Proud of you…
    😍🥰

  • Ashima you always keeps the bar high and keep on increasing the level every moment. The storyline is amazing and everyone is so proud. Love❣❣

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