Broken Heart (Hindi Short Fiction)

Hansa Deep हंसा दीप

Author: Hansa Deep

Translated by Rajni Mishra

 

The truck had left with the last trunk of the belongings. The children were in a hurry to leave with the loaded truck. They had left in their car, without even waving, as they left. I kept standing for some time, staring at the lonely path, waving my hand, unknowingly. As I came back to my senses, I looked around, shyly, if any of the neighbour was looking at me. On entering the house, I was surrounded by the same silence, which I had imprisoned inside me, while leaving my old house. I started thinking about the time when I had shifted to this new house and left my beloved old house. The same house, in which I had spent the best twelve years of my life. I remember my mother’s words that, a lot of change comes in the period of twelve years. I was not able to figure out, whose time has changed, mine or the house’s. As far as I am concerned, my time was very good in that house. Perhaps, that was the reason why I had shifted to a new place, so that the house may feel a change. The new residents of the house may understand it better than me.

Rajni Mishra
I had taken extreme care in decorating the house. The walls of all the rooms, were adorned by my handmade paintings. The light of every bulb and chandelier had been selected by me. The furniture of the house gave the impression of a five-star hotel. I had showered great love on my home, and it had reciprocated in the same manner. While living there, I had earned everything; name, fame and wealth. After getting everything, what went wrong that I decided to leave it. Perhaps, my family’s dreams were too big to fit into the small house. Although, it had a big heart, so big that it had absorbed all of us. The list of necessities kept on increasing and the walls of the house seemed to be shrinking. Suddenly, everything seemed to be ’small’ so small that my heart was unable to hold my extreme love for that house, it slipped from my hand, like sand.

I still remember the day we had shifted to that house. How enthusiastically I used to explain its chief characteristics to the guests! “Look, the C.N. Tower is clearly visible from here; the beauty of autumn is beyond description. The clumps of trees, loaded with multicoloured leaves are adorable. The sunrise of this place is more beautiful than any hill station. When the sun comes out from the crimson clouds, its rays fall on the glass skyscrapers; get reflected and impart a golden hue to these buildings. They give the impression that they are made of gold. “Poor guests! They must have felt that I am a guide, showing off my museum. To say truly, that small house had really become a museum of my memories. A beautiful, lovable, and comfortable house, where I had invested my complete energy, in my writings. I created many stories and novels, lost in the flash of glittering lights, before me. Took many classes for my online students. Even in the Covid time, the city bathed in light never seemed sad to me, which I could see from here.

Gradually, I became aware of every nook and corner, every problem of that house. My keen eyes would see some part even before it fell apart and got it repaired. Perhaps, it even sensed my tiredness. It didn’t used to look soiled, and I was able to take rest, with a sigh of relief. We had become so used to each other! Even then, I left it and shifted to this new, big house. Although, it is quite big but, is located on the ground, not standing with its head held high up in the air, like that small house. I have always liked people with a big heart, though small in stature. The chief characteristic of that house was its big heart.

Every morning, watching the rising sun, I have locked its beauty somewhere deep inside me. When I used to paint in words, every minute detail of the house, my family said, “you love the bricks which are inanimate and talk to the floor, which is silent.” But, frankly speaking, I have heard them. Every bit of the house knew my touch. Whenever I cleaned it, I felt the house was talking to me happily.

Leaving such a dear house, I was so worried to load my belongings in the truck, that I couldn’t even bid farewell, properly. I didn’t feel bad, handing over the keys of that house, rather, I was happy and felt like attaining freedom from some kind of imprisonment. I had left silently. The house watched me leaving, sadly. It hoped that I will have tears in my eyes, while leaving. But I was very busy in other things, like completing the paperwork, locking the door and many others. Moving towards a new horizon, I forgot everything. These walls had absorbed all my feelings. They were sad, watching me leave in this manner. Every corner of the house was trying to attract my attention. I had decorated it, sometimes with flowers and sometimes with colourful show pieces of fall. As I stepped out of the house, a piece of cement fell into my hand. I was not able to understand that embrace. On the contrary, the thought which came to my mind was, “the house is falling apart. It’s good we have left it. Old technique, outdated!” I threw that piece into the garbage bin and left in haste with the truck.

Today, when my children left, indifferently, ignoring my teary eyes, I am feeling as if my own body has hardened like cement and bricks. The bricks, which are baked in furnace and silently hold the burden on their shoulders. I feel, every part of my body is frozen in that silence. My children, who never used to leave me and kept the house alive with their laughter. At times, I would be their father too, as mother was always with them, in every breath. Today, I saw a different form of my children. When they were kids, I could feel the pain of separation in their eyes, even when they were leaving for school, kept waving their hands again and again. They were able to understand my mood, even before me. When I sat down to read something, they used to hand me, my spectacles. Today, both of them, did not look at me even once, while leaving for their separate homes.

I had left that house for my children’s convenience. Now they left me for their own. Suddenly, this large house seemed small to them or perhaps, I became small, and they grew in stature. They were free, after handing the extra keys of the house to me. A feeling of freedom from oldness and smallness! They were also in a hurry to leave me, perhaps. I was as strong as steel, and emotionless, like the house for them. They must have felt, I am losing my sheen.

Though my eyes were hurting with dried tears, I felt my body has become stronger than before, as if made of hard walls, free of all emotions. Cement and concrete were not a part of this or that house but had crept deep inside me. I was nothing more than a house for my children. The silent house was resounding with my own words, ‘Old technique, outdated. ‘Even, I have accepted the truth that in the new technique, the house speaks, not human beings.

I am hearing some sounds, perhaps the new house is laughing at me, or the laughter of the old house is also included in it. My heart, which was covered with the plaster of maternal love for all these years, has now broken.

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Bio: Rajni Mishra

rajni.2826@gmail.com

Mrs. Rajni Mishra, born in Mhow, District Indore, is presently residing in Indore (Madhya Pradesh). She is working on the post of Assistant Professor in Higher Education Department for last 34 years. She has done PG Diploma in translation from IGNOU, has also completed A1, A2 and B1 certificate courses in French Language from DELF.


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