Monday, April 08, 2013

'HIDE & SEEK': A short story by Sarojini Sahoo

It’s a story about a hypothetical relationship developed between a mother and her young son. Mother is a careerist and her son is an introverted alien soul. Son has a sense of being a right soul in a wrong body, but he can’t open his feelings to mother.

The total story is based on an online chat between mother and her son. Their relationship, the lack of warmth in feelings, and their confinement to their own world, all appear through their conversation. They always feel they were moving on two parallel linear paths and it was not possible to traverse each other. Still, whenever they felt their hearts heavy with any saddened moment, they used to call each other.

They used to extend their hands to touch each other.

And now, the son was in need of three lakh rupees for his operation to satisfy his soul and to feel his soul was in a right body, but he couldn't illustrate the reason why he needed such a huge amount of money to his mother, the one from whom he sought the money. “This is to help one of my friends,” he told his mother.

For the whole night, his mother was thinking of that person for whom her son cared so much. Was his son in love with anyone? Did he have a lover? Would she demand more for his money than for his heart? Was it a he or she? Was her son being taken advantage of? The questions kept screaming out and she had no clear answers. The thought also entered her mind her son might be involved in an antisocial faction. Ultimately, she refused to give him money and her son never pursued the request further.

Once during chatting, mother forwarded an audio file to her son, which she liked very much and whose lyrics touched her heart. But did he get impressed with that music and words? To know her son’s response, mother asked him, “You didn't tell me about the audio file I have sent. Did you listen to it?” Instead of replying to her eagerness, he wrote back, “Listen to this song from this link.”

It was a link of YouTube. When she clicked the link, a favourite Bollywood movie song appeared entitled “Luka chhipi bahut hui”... “we had so much of hide and seek games.” It was a song for a youth in that Hindi movie, who sang it for his mother.

Mother’s eyes filled with tears. So pathetic the tone of that song was. A mother searched for her son in that movie. She searched in lanes, by-lanes, parks, and roadsides. She called out, “Where are you, my son? Your mother is searching for you.” She imagined her son was in a coffin. There was a pyre. There was smoke. She could hear her son’s voice, “How can I say where I am, maa? How can I?”

But it was not a climax. Did the boy express his feelings to his mother? Did she accept them? What happened to the boy’s feelings of a right soul in a wrong body?

I’m thankful to my friend Paul McKenna who has encouraged me to write and has edited the story despite of his busy schedule.

It will be great to read your comments and feedback at my blog site at