Once upon a time, there lived a poor woman in a remote village near the sea. That woman along with her husband and mother-in-law was living a poverty sticken life where having a full course meal was a far fetched dream. Their only source of income was through fishing. With the same wearisome monotony everyday, the family was somehow holding out their already worn out lives.
One day, they heard the news that a new fish factory is going to be established near their area and the fishermen of the village will get employed there. A new glimmer of hope was what swamped the poor couple. Their happiness was tenfolded when they got to know that they are going to be parents soon. Mother-in-law distributed home made sweets in the entire neighbouhho
Soon, the foundation of the factory was laid and the otherwise dull surrounding of the village became brightened.
Months passed, and the couple gave birth to an angelic boy. Considering the baby to be a lucky charm for the village, they named him Felix, meaning forunate. People would barge anytime into their house to get glance of that mgnificent boy. Even his cries were endrearing to put them in trance. But, no popularity exists when the tragedy strikes and what comes next, is the vicious cycle of agony and desolation.
It was the day Felix uttered his first word, Mom. The mother’s happiness knew no boundaries. even few neighbours were present to witness that heartwarming moment. Suddenly, they all felt a sharp yet large jolt under their feet. The walls started shaking and they could hear the noises coming from people, animals, or probably from anything that can speak, except that angelic faced kid, who was smiling amid the calamity as if watching a thrilling yet endearing show. People, present there, were running in and out to save their lives and properties. But, even in that overwrought situation, they managed to see the smiling Felix squirming in his mother’s arms.
That was one of the most pernicious seismic earthquakes the village had witnessed. The major casualties were the fish factory, few of the employees, including Felix’s father, few animals and hopes and future aspirations of the villagers. And just as Felix was the lucky charm who brought goodwill to the village, he, nevertheless, became a monster responsible for the calamity. That smiling face of a year old kid was inferred to be ominous and baleful.
Believing him to be cursed, the grandmother ascetained to send the child far away to never see him again. Yet the mother, already devastated from loosing her husband, couldn’t bring her self to endure another separation. But, still being scared to be on the receiving end of people’s wrath, she decided to lock him up in an attic in the house and thus, keeping Felix away from the eyes of her mother-in-law and the villagers.
Soon, that small attic became little Felix’s entire world. Mother would go to him many times a day and give him food and books to keep him company. In their little time together, she would feed him and teach him how to read and write. As the days were passing, the number of visits kept on reducing. It was not long after, when Felix would hardly get to see his mother in days. Although, the food and books were regularly kept near the door, Felix would crave to get a glimpse of his mother even if it was for a short period of time.
The mother worked hard to provide food for her son and mother-in-law. Though, she longed to see the angelic face of her child, but the need to feed him well made her work for longer hours than usual. Another part of her felt sorry for her kid whom she had confined in a small room when the other children of his age were playing around and going to school.
Few years had passed. Little Flix was going through his teenage years. Though, not much was changed for him except the size of books and noises from the surroundigs. And he hadn’t seen his mother for weeks. The people in the village had started migrating to cities in hope for better lives. Those who remained, would still mention the cursed boy in their group talks and blamed him for their misfortunes.
The mother had her own worries to fathom over. A distant cousin of her’s had visited earlier. He offered her a well paid job in big city he lived in. She was ecstatic to finally be able to get her boy out of that tedious attic, but, her mother-in-law was against it. Still, hell bent on her beliefs, she even convinced her cousin and his wife that Felix was a cursed monster and he would lead to mishaps no matter where he set his foot on.
There was another anxiety creeping in the woman’s heart. Felix hadn,t spoken a word for the past few years. All he would do was to read his books or stare at the walls while sitting at the right end corner of the attic. His such behaviour made her mother-in-law more ascertained in her fallacy regarding Felix. She would keep calling him monster even after getting reprimanded by the mother. Being torn out in between her worries for her child and indignant sneers from her mother-in-law, she decided to send Felix away to another city. Grabbing a bag, she filled it with clothes and snacks to eat. She took out her pochette from the almirah and counted the money it had. Being satisfied that her savings of years would help Felix to start a new life, she applauded herself for all the hard work she did till date.
Then, there stood another challenge that was to convince Felix to move to another place. Although, she was sure that her child would be more than happy to get out of this place, what worried her the most was her son’s inability to speak. She decided to first take him to a good doctor and then bid him a joyful farewell. She made his favourite dishes and arranged them in a tray. When she reached the door of the attic, she realised how long had it been since she last visited her son.
With a heavy heart, the woman opened the door of the attic and reached the right end corner. Felix looked at his mother with the delightful eyes. She couldn’t stop and with a heart full of infirmity, she took her child in her embrace. And for the first time in years, that boy spoke, “Mom, I missed you so much. Why you took so long to come ?”
Copyright © absoluteshami, 2020.