A short story that speaks about the inner strength of a mother , who can fight with any odds of life to save her child.
Lofty pine trees and luscious green carpet surrounded this stone built house on hill top with mighty Himalayas as the backdrop, the view was breathtaking for humble dwellers . Pooja was a beautiful, young, diligent lady who was well aware with the hardships of hilly region and stayed in this house after her marriage with Kapil, a local businessman. The house was the ancestral property of Kapil that had passed on for last three generations.
Being a nature lover she loved her in-law’s house for its picturesque view facing valley and snow capped lofty mountains at the backdrop, she had come back after six months of her delivery as her in -laws were no more and Kapil found difficult taking care of his wife and newborn son , all alone.
It was a bright sunny morning ,with clear sky , the fragrance of wild blooms made the morning more beautiful and romantic. Kapil was jubilant to have his family back and wanted to spend some time with them but an urgent work in the city compelled him to go . With a heavy heart, he moved out giving a peck on the forehead of his boy and a warm hug to his better half. The departure was little unusual for him this time, as he felt a strange uneasiness , quickly warding of all negative thoughts he waved his hand for goodbye.
Little did he know about the impending storm that was gaining strength and was moving rapidly to hills. Pooja being all alone was busy wrapping up her daily chores as she knew that Kapil would leave no stone unturned to reach to his family by evening, she too wanted to spend some time with her heartthrob.
In the midst of weaving her world of fantasy , that how she would surprise her husband by getting dressed up like a bride, when they had first met, she failed to notice the gusty winds. By afternoon weather changed completely and clouds raged war over the sky. The loud thunderstroke shook her out from her fantasy world and she sensed the fury of nature. Though she had faced such fury of nature many a times but this time it was little different. The wind started to whistle and scream ,as if it would tear down the house showing no mercy , electricity was also not there and with just a flickering candle ,the ambience was horrifying .The baby was crying incessantly on hearing banging windowpanes, loud thunderstorm and torrential rain. Without wasting any time Pooja started to gather few essentials in a bag ,as she knew its too late to ask for help and in those days mobiles were luxurious item and only affluent could afford it.
Before heading towards the basement which was constructed for such calamity ,she grabbed a notebook and a pen that was lying on the table. She could sense it was no ordinary storm and tremors justified her fear for an earthquake to occur, which was lurking in the dark of wild forest to strike at this village of handful dwellers.
“ You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake. – Jeannette Rankin
She could see all her dreams of motherhood shatter before the fury of nature and there she stood helplessly looking at the innocent face which was lit up by the candle light .Time was fleeting and the earthquake was waiting out there in the dark to gulp all hopes and dreams of this little house.
The next moment she wiped off her tears, vanquishing all her fears and there she stood as a warrior whose sword was her faith on Almighty and courage was her shield, ready to fight back, protecting her child from the wrath of Earthquake. Quickly she wrapped her baby with a heavy blanket and penned her last words to her soulmate and son, whom she believed would be a survivor of this merciless calamity.
The letter said “ I Love you my Sweetheart and I love you my Son. Your mother will always love you and protect You”.
She took her baby in arms tightly wrapped with a heavy blanket ,placing the letter on top of her baby she bend over him ,holding him firmly ,she covered him like a shield. The house started crumbling and in fraction of seconds , three storied building was nothing more than rubble.
Anxious Kapil tried his best to reach his abode of all his happiness but the roads were clogged by debris and broken trees . On hearing the magnitude of storm he rushed to his home early morning with rescuers. The sight was heart wrenching with rubble only to be witnessed all around. He wanted to bid last goodbye to his wife and son , with no hope of survival. Grief stricken Kapil ran helter skelter like a madman trying to lift the rubble to find the bodies . It took almost a day to remove the rubble but there was no sign of body . The rescuers were about to give up the search but when they were about to retract, they heard a feeble cry of an infant .A new hope rushed in and everybody gathered their including volunteers , local villagers started following the voice and helped in removing the debris.
On recovering the body of Pooja ,they all were awestruck that how she protected her child like a vault of steel. Ray of hope ushered in Kapil’s heart when he saw his baby perfectly fine and on unwrapping , found the letter that was crumbled. Adorned with her tears that left the mark along with her last words. The letter was the only possession of his soulmate that he would have for lifetime.
Pooja’s grit, unflinching faith and courage made her immortal that even treacherous clutches of Earthquake could not snatch her child from her, justifying every word of Korean adage that says , “ Woman are weak but mothers are strong “.