Living Underwater

Chapter 1

Leela's Story

After having myself relaxed a bit, I changed myself into a new pair of clothes, which had a olive green shortie and a black sleeveless net t-shirt. After that I put on my sport shoes. I decided to take my cute little back pack that I bought a few days ago when I was at the hostel. I put in some dry snacks, some girly stuff, my phone, earphones, a miniature glass bottle with a plastic cork and a few books which I always love to read.

After a few minutes I was done with wadding my backpack and so I decided to go down. I hung the straps of my backpack on my shoulders which caused me to stoop a little. I made my way to the door and as I was going to open it, the door flung open and there stood my maa wearing a Patiala dress.


" So are you ready darling? " She asked with a smile.


" Yes mom, we are ready to go now." I closed my room door and went straight downstairs with my mom following. I grabbed the basket filled with eatables and wended towards the door. I am getting really happy to see my father. I pushed the huge doors and stepped outside. 

As I opened the door I saw that there was a fancy car already waiting outside. Our family never had this fancy car, could it be that they might have bought it the foregoing Year?

" Maa, when did pa bought this fancy car? " I asked with a question mark on my face.

" No, Leela this is not your father's car. This is the car of your step father's car." What? Step father? 

" What? ..." I was cut off by a man who opened the door of his car, I assumed him to be my step father.

" Hey? Is that your daughter Shilpa? " Said the man.

" Oh! Yes Armaan. Now Leela, I'm sorry that I didn't inform you but your father will never come home." She continued. But before that my mom turned around and she called out a maid who was an old woman and said.

" Michelle, are the bags ready? " She said this with her voice completely filled with irritation. I am so muddled. Where is my father, what happened to him? My brother, my whole family where is it? I am dying to see my family. Tears started to roll down from my eyes and gradually falling on the hard Matt ground made up of grey tiles. My mom saw me and she immediately understood. Her face expression said that she has become splenetic on me for behaving in such a way. I never knew that my mom would do such a thing. Why she did this to me?  What did I do to deserve this? My heart that I imagined to be the rose had now become hollow because of the thorns that gashed into it. The man who I assumed to be my step father, got out of the car and marched towards me with complete apprehension in his golden coloured orbs. I could see that he was worried for me and that was not fraudulent, not at all. He put his right hand on my back and moved in circular motion in order to calm me down. To my surprise that really worked, I stopped crying and then mom caught hold of my wrist softly and then gently dragged me towards the car. The door swung open like wings and then my mom pushed me in but softly not leaving much impact but stumbled a little. I landed my butt on the right side corner of the car, remaining silent though I was asked all kinds of questions by the two elders. They don't understand how much it pains me to be unable to see my father.

My step father sat on his driving seat while mom sat on the passenger seat, besides him and as he started the car the radio started playing a song ' proper patola ' which was my favourite song and so I started singing along with it. It made me lighten up my mood a little bit. I looked out of the window, trying to hold in the tears. My heart beat started increasing and ...

" Leela, don't worry your father is alive." My step father spoke as he changed the gear to 4. It solved down my heartbeat and finally gave me some space to relax.
I placed my back to the seat and relaxed myself with the song playing and trying to enjoy it for a bit.

The rest of the journey went silently, means no one was speaking and all of us were enjoying the music that was playing on the radio. After a while the car suddenly came to a halt which probably means that we reached our destination or something was wrong g with the car. I looked out of the window that was on the left side and saw a big gate decorated with flowers. They were wonderful, but what is this fancy place?  I have never seen this place before. It looks like some amusement park. " Open the door darling " said my step father " don't you wanna meet your family?"

What?  So my family is waiting here for me. I got down from the car after my mom and my step father did.

As we neared the entrance I was getting excited my family. The entrance gate opened and saw that it wasn't an amusement park it was a wonderful garden. It had many flowers and so many of them I don't know their names. All three of us entered and my step father told me and mom to follow him. We did as he told and after a few minutes of following him we came near to a group of people sitting on a beautiful mat. A white haired old woman turned towards me and I was filled with a familiar feeling, which I quite couldn't describe. She was my grandmother. I was so happy to see her, she hasn't changed a bit, except she has grown more old. The wrinkles on her face and the loose and soft skin reminds me of my childhood days, where she used to tell horror stories to all the kids of our family daily at night and then we used to go to sleep. It was fun.

Then I saw my brother, my aunt and my uncle. I was beyond happy to see them. But, the one thing that clenched my heart was the absence of my dad. No one told me about him. Where is he? What is he doing? What happened to him? The smile from my face disappeared as I was remembering my dad. I was really hurt, I am confused. It feels like I am slowly letting the colour of pain and agony swallow me in their depths which have no end and once I go completely down it would be impossible for me to come out of it. I wonder how did God made such thing. All of them say that we are made from cosmos and that God is the cosmic energy, but I feel that God is us, we people.

Flora Luxar

Edited: 13.07.2020

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