A River and Memories

Prerna ChatterjeeJanuary 29, 2017Ethics and MoralityAwesome Moments

The river in the butterscotch moonshine curved through the mountains. A soft breeze rustled through the leaves of the pine trees. The lofty mountains surrounded the river, protecting her.

Fireflies sparkled in the branches, as did the stars in the sky. A light fragrance of some unknown Himalayan flower filled the air. As I stood facing the river, I knew this was it. I stood there staring at the river. The moon-kissed ripples danced about the river. The lapping sound of the water instilled a sense of tranquility in me. The sound had no rhythm, no melody. Yet it was of immense beauty. I shut my eyes.

I saw faces — familiar ones. I knew the surroundings, as well. There were lights everywhere. I could hear the sounds of the Puja dhaaks coming from a distance. There were people all around, in their shiny, colorful clothing. Today was Shashthi, the first day of the Durga Puja. People were out to visit the different pandals of the city, to see the idols of the goddess Durga. These people, I realized had no connection to the faces that surrounded me, faces that were in sharp contrast to the festive environment. These faces were tearful, yet bright. As they all wept, I felt a strong connection. You could call it love or maybe just an attachment. These were my friends. I had known their stories, their heartbreaks, their joys, their miseries for 15 long years.

I realized that we had become tied down together, not only by happiness but also by sorrow, by grief. Sitting on the same benches together; sharing food from the same lunchbox; whispering stories in the library; witnessing each other’s first loves; consoling broken hearts; dancing in the rain together, in the school courtyard; getting scolded by the teacher; the feeling of anxiety before the exams — all these were not just petty moments. These were stories with their own morals. We all belonged to the same storybook. Now that the storybook was coming to an end loneliness gripped each one of us. Amidst the crowds of excited people, dazzling fairy lights, the smell of candy floss, and the beats of dhaaks, we all cried together, for everything we had lost, everything that had torn us apart.

I felt a hand on my shoulder. I opened my eyes. I saw my parents standing beside me. None of us spoke. We all stood, gazing at the river. Her flow was swift. She skidded and leapt over the enormous boulders that blocked her path. She was beautiful. I sighed. Life did move on, like the river. It is just these memories created with the people or the things we love the most that make us look back and reflect on how amazing life is. The storybook had indeed come to an end. But the story, I knew, would stay with me forever. With the river and the trees, with the mountains and the moonbeam, with the brilliant memories of my loved ones in my heart, I smiled, in spite of myself.

Prerna Chatterjee lives in the city of Calcutta, India. She is a 10th grader at South Point High School. Other than writing she enjoys reading, listening to music, daydreaming, playing badminton, cycling, traveling, watching movies and spending time with family and friends.