Friday fiction on facebook

I was invited by Mark McBradley, (I forget what he was known as on xanga), to join the group. I think by now you have guessed that I enjoy writing and reading. SO, I agreed and to the prompts given by another xangan, I wrote this piece of fiction.

The prompts today, were Key/Keys; (Light and dark and Portals and Time were extra bonus prompts.) Here is my offering.

The prompts are key/keys, Portals and time, light and dark.

She saw Raju again yesterday, drawing water from the well near the rice fields. His brown skin shining with sweat, and the muscles rippling as he pulled the bucket of water from the depth of the well. Just as he was splashing the water on his face he had looked up, and seen her. For just an instant he smiled, or did he? He had to have smiled, why else did her heart lurch in her chest?

She closed her eyes, and tried to visualize that moment. Bright and blinding sunlight was playing hide and seek between the broad leaves of the Banyan tree, tiny points of warmth all along her face, and suddenly the smile was gone, before she could realize that he had smiled at her.

They grew up in the same area, and played in the courtyard of her home; she, her brothers and all the kids from the village. But as the time of childhood turned into that of a more reserved and untouchable factor between the daughter of the homestead and the domestic help, she found herself wanting to be by his side. She wanted him to search for her in the different corners of the garden where light and dark shadows filtered through the eaves, just like he had done when they were little kids.

But she grew up. More quickly than he did. She was made to wear saris, and not step out of the grand portals of the mansion. He had come several times to the gates and called for her, but his father, the gardener, had sent him away to the fields, to work along with other young boys. And just like that he got busy with the life in the village across the canal and the fields, and came over to the mansion only on days of festivals, or if there was a dance celebrating the harvest season. She would sit with her brothers and parents and watch the dances of the servants and the field workers….throwing color at each other, some old Bollywood music playing on the old gramophone. She wanted to get up and dance with him. Her feet would tap on the ground, the tiny silver bells in her anklets keeping time, her hands gripping the sides of her chair, ready to spring up. But the stern looks from her parents made sure that she melted into the rattan of the seat.

One night she heard her father talking to her mother. “We should get her hitched. Then we can send her away to the city, where she can live like a lady of the house, and not be like a horny tramp, ogling at young men.”

“Oh don’t say that! She loves this village. She has spent her childhood in these portals, and time writes everything. She knows these men and women of her childhood.” Mother said. “She will be heartbroken if she is sent away. You think she will survive in a city?” Her mother tried to defend her.

“Cities depend on the villages. Without our rice and wheat and tamarind and lentils, they are nothing. Our cotton builds their strength. Our villages hold the keys to the cities! She will get used to the city life and forget all about the village. I do not care for the way she looks at Raju.”

Her father the land lord, had spoken. The line was drawn in the sand. She couldn’t cross it, even though she knew that she would feel like a princess if only she could cross the canal and the rice fields and go live in Raju’s hut in his village.

Copy right: Zakiah Sayeed.

About Zakiah

I write poetry and some fiction, have a book that was published in 2012. . . Stray Thoughts/Winged Words. I have four grandchildren, ages 16 and half to almost 16 months. I love the ocean, and grew up along the Indian Ocean in South India. I am a retired physician. Don't know much else to say. Thanks for reading. That has been my profile for so many years. My daughter Saadia a great poet and story teller, has two sons; the oldest grandson is now 21 years old, doing architectural engineering at Missouri S&T in Rolla MO. His younger brother is almost 16 and taking driving lessons seriously and is in High School. The other two grandsons, children of my son Sayeed, are 9 and 5. I have recently published another book titled Gulistan, A home of Flowers. It has stories and memories of my childhood and of a distant land which I still consider as my HOME., even though I have lived here in the US for more than fifty years. Hope to see you on my blog.
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20 Responses to Friday fiction on facebook

  1. theinfiniterally says:

    Zakiah! This is so wonderful! You engaged all of my senses, transporting into the world of the characters. I especially enjoyed the touch of pathos lent by the hard words of the father. A great story, truly.

  2. You’ve painted some vivid pictures with your words, SweetZ! A great story! You got my senses AND my emotions involved, and left me wanting more! Oh, I wonder what happens to her. ??? And Raju?! Of course I want happily ever after, but no life doesn’t always end that way.
    Sigh.
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  3. Oopy…”know”, not “no”

    • Zakiah says:

      ha ha, thanks for that correction. I floundered a little and started thinking, ‘oh she means, no life does always end that way’! But, ‘know’ that life doesn’t always end that way, sounds so much better. Thank you dear heart.
      This was a my first attempt at the Friday Fiction, and the prompts were difficult. I had mulled over them for two days before putting the story together. I love to write about India. I have lived here for more than forty eight years, and I still continue to grab some aspect of life of that land and write poems and stories about them. I am glad you liked it Carolyn. Have a great Sunday.

      • Yes, I hate that we can’t correct or edit our own comments in WP format. 😦 As I often type so fast I misspell a word or two. 🙂
        Yes, I know life doesn’t always end happily-ever-after, but the optimist in me still roots for it to! Especially related to love! 🙂
        Sigh. 🙂
        I love when you write about India! 🙂
        I hope you have a great Sunday, too! 🙂
        More HUGS!!! 🙂

  4. sunsetdragon says:

    well written and totally enjoyed the read

  5. The impossible love !
    I am sensitive to your style , Zakiah. You use the English language with art and emotion.
    I liked especially the description of the man drawing the water from the well . It was like a painting.
    Love ❤
    Michel

    • Zakiah says:

      I have spoken English since I was in the third class. I think in English and sometimes dream in English. BUT, when I write in English language, I have to translate my emotions from my mother tongue which is Urdu; it is a very poetic language and is a branch of the Persian (farsi) and Arabic.
      I thank you for being so kind to my words which I write. I love hearing from you dear Michel, my friend.
      Much love, ❤
      Zakiah.

  6. There’s something about the line “But the stern looks from her parents made sure that she melted into the rattan of the seat.” that I like. I could almost feel the stern looks and the texture of the rattan seat.

    This was a very nice to read, I enjoyed it.

    • Zakiah says:

      Thank you Matt. We used to have rattan chairs in the veranda of our home. Had to include them in the story. I am so happy that you enjoyed the fiction.

  7. You should be off on your adventures (to the wedding) soon…right?! I am hoping and praying you have a wonderful trip filled with lots of laughter, love and fun1 🙂
    HUGS!!! : -)

    • Zakiah says:

      Leaving on Sunday from St. Louis to Chicago and then to Doha in Qatar. After a lay over of about 4 hours, will fly into India from there. Total hours from St. Louis to India, about 32!! Hope the knee doesn’t act up on the way! Thank you for your prayers and good wishes Carolyn. You are so good to me, and all your readers.

      • You will be in my thoughts and prayers as you travel! Praying for good health on your trip (especially your knee).
        Go make some beautiful memories! 🙂
        HUGS!!! 🙂

      • Zakiah says:

        Thank you Carolyn.
        I just left a comment on your post. I will be thinking of you dear heart, and praying that everything goes smooth and splendid for you.

  8. Wow–I could visualize it all. You are very talented and I totally enjoyed reading this. Hope there is more to come. hugs

    • Zakiah says:

      Oh thank you Elizabeth. Like I said above in one of the responses, I think, dream and talk India, regardless of the fact that I have been here for more than 48 years. I am so glad you liked what I wrote.
      Hope you are doing well, and making progress. Lots of loving prayers in all your endeavours and the hopefully transient trials.

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