Novella:  A Skyful of Balloons ( Fragment: OOF KHUDAYA, WHAT A NARROW ESCAPE!) / By: Dr Santosh BAKAYA

 

OOF KHUDAYA, WHAT A NARROW ESCAPE!

” He was drenched from head to toe, his teeth chattered, and he stuttered, but there was a triumphant grin on his face. “I am an excellent swimmer. No storm can drown me.” He said lugging the canopy behind him over the choppy waters. “I could not have allowed this canopy to go away. My abba would have killed me. He had bought it just a couple of days back.” With a huge sigh of relief, Preeti almost hurled herself at him. But it was so windy that the canopy could not be put back. “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream Merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a dream”. “This is not a dream, Vivek, it is a nightmare. Our parents do not know, we are struggling in stormy waters. Your rhymes are not for these treacherous times.” “So, should I spout Shakespeare?” He was trying desperately to lift her drooping spirits, but she was on the verge of tears. Despair clutched at her throat, cold anguish curdled her heart. Would they be pulled into the roaring darkness? The clamorous unknown? “Steer the boat to the backwaters.” “How does one steer a canopy-less boat?” Vivek asked, looking at the boatman. “It is very simple, even a three year old can do it”. He said pulling out an antique looking oar from under the seat of the shikara “Aye, aye sir.” Vivek said, taking the oar from the boatman .

 

Dr. Santosh BAKAYA

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