A Little Fairy
please tell me the fairy's story." Tina had been annoying her mother
by saying this for about half an hour.
later. Now go to your room and draw a picture".
In two week's time Tina would become 4 years old. Her parents told her that if she could blow all the candles in one breath then her wishes would come true. Last year, she failed to do so. This year she was determined to succeed. She listed all her wishes in her dairy. Who knows if she forgets the wishes! Tina was going to invite all of her friends and relatives in her birthday, so she'd get lots of gifts. Oh! Why do birthdays come only once in a year?
In the birthday, Tina had blown all the candles in one breath, and wished lots of wishes by closing her eyes. Her friends began to ask her what she has wished but Tina said nothing. Ma gave her a beautiful pink dress and papa gave her a big teddy bear. Wow! Tina had wished for all these things! So she began to think that all of her wishes would come true. At night ma told her "Cinderella's story". Tina began to wonder if the fairy Godmother would come!
At night suddenly Tina woke up. Some one was calling her. The voice was so sweet! She opened her eyes and saw that her room was full of a beautiful blue light. Tina became frightened. She was going to call her ma but at that moment a very beautiful lady stood before her. The lady began to say, "Don't afraid of me. I am your fairy Godmother. I have come here to fulfill your wishes. Tell me what's your wish?"
Without a second
thought Tina said, " I want to be a fairy."
Tina became very upset because she knew her parents wouldn't give her permission to be a fairy. Tt was also not possible for her to live without her parents. Tina couldn't sleep anymore that night. Early morning she ran to her mother's room and began to tell her the previous night's experience.
"Ma, you know
what, last night a fairy came into my room, she said that she will fulfill
my wishes. Isn't that amazing?"
Tina became very
upset and began to cry. "Papa and Ma, nobody loves me. They don't
even care whether I live with them or not. I will go to the fairy land
and never come back.
As time passed on, however, Tina began to feel bad for her parents. Missing her parents, Tina began to cry. Other fairies became surprised to see her crying, so they take her to the Godmother. Tina requested her to send her back.
"Tina, I told you before that once you have become a fairy it's
not possible to live with your parents. Tina, fairyland is the most
beautiful place in the whole universe and all the fairies love you a
lot. Why do you want to go to earth?"
Searching for a
long time, at last the Godmother finds a way.
After waking up, Tina finds herself in her bed. It's early in the morning. She is feeling very strange. She runs to her mother's room and hugs her.
Tina is now 16 years old. She still loves fairy's story. In each of her birthdays a strange thing happens. She finds some beautiful roses on her table with a card signed by the name of "Pixie". Tina doesn't know who Pixie is and how these roses come into her room. Till now she couldn't solve this mystery.
By Desert Rose
Drip, drip, drip… the constant, rhythmic beat of water pattering on the asphalt outside has almost lulled me to sleep. Inside the air conditioner is in dire need of repair; it seems to do little except for making swishing noises to remind us of its presence. The carpeting is horrendous, a matted red as rough as sandpaper. The curtains are even more repulsive_ somehow their cheap, transparent flimsiness stimulates an urge within me to escape from this house. I try burying this urge underneath all the garbage in my mind and think about something else. Undoubtedly, it doesn't help.
This is my fourth visit to my father's new house. Although, as you have probably guessed by now, there's nothing new about the house. However, in a way it is new since my father has moved into it three months ago. The purpose of the shift was to join his second wife; my stepmother. The previous three visits have been carried out in great secrecy, with my father inviting me only at times when his wife was out of this house. The visits also had not lasted very long with my father's fear that she might return unexpectedly early and find the two of us in the comfort of her living room. This visit is being carried out with her permission. She greeted me rather over-jovially at the door and has now gone to bring me some delicacies, leaving my father and me alone in this room. But, I am beginning to wish that we could resume to our old format of meetings; I'd rather have a secret father-and-son get-together than this nervous father-son-and-stepmother reunion.
"So how's your
school going, son?" my father managed to say, licking his lower
He seems a little bit more comfortable now. My father feels very comfortable talking about money. Throughout my sixteen years of life, he has spoken to me about money very earnestly. From my childhood I have come to know of money not only as a medium of exchange; but in our house, it was synonymous to the word "happiness". I was constantly reminded of every cent that I had the privilege of spending and at the same time reminded of money that I was not born with the privilege of spending. Ours was never a rich family; but we were not paupers either. We were the average upper-middle class of this city.
At this point, my stepmother enters carrying a silver tray laden with the usual comestibles_ dry biscuits, some apple slices and a tumbler filled with an orange liquid, presumably Tang.
drink tea, Anouk, do you?" She smiled sweetly at me.
***I have decided to take a walk for a while before getting onto a rickshaw. My pocket has a very slight bulge from the crumpled five hundred taka note my father has folded into my reluctant fists. "Your rickshaw fare," he had whispered. I smile wryly. I wonder if he has conveniently forgotten where I live because no rickshaw-puller would charge such an amount for the thirty minute distance that was my house. Guilt is a foolish thing, I think.
It looks like it's going to rain any second. But for some reason, I wouldn't mind getting soaked. Not after the humidity of the morning. I walk on the pavement, which has chicken poxes of rain in between the edges of the pebbles. The traffic is thin on the streets and the street lamps have just been switched on; though some of the grey-gold sunlight still seems to filter through the clouds. May be I should get a CNG and not a rickshaw, I think.
But before that, I stop to buy some cigarettes. The seller is a little boy, about ten years of age. The whites of his eyes stand out against the blackness of his skin. Somehow, he and I share a silent mutual understanding; of what, I have no idea. He hands me the golden packet with his small hands; but in his bony fingers, I see an adultness that my adolescent fingers do not show. My hands are babies beside his.
I walk some more, stop and squint to find a CNG. There is none in sight and I settle for a rickshaw instead. He charges a ridiculous fare, I refuse and he reluctantly tips his head to one side, gesturing me to get on the rickshaw. I do.
By the time Anouchka opens the door, I am soaking wet. Anouchka is not my sister if that's what you are thinking; though I know the similarity to my name, Anouk, can be misleading. Anouchka is nine, female, always smiling and works at our house. Where she got such non-traditional a name from, we could never find out. She'd just smile and say her father has kept the name. Before I have even taken off my muddy shoes, she gives a little jump and asks, "Bhaiya, can I watch the TV?" All smiles. I notice that one of her canines are missing.
"When did your
tooth fall off?"
I pass the TV room where I find the local television channel showing some prehistoric cartoon. The door to my mother's room is open and inside she is sitting on her bed and staring outside the window pensively.
My father is referred
to as a third person in our house. I want to tell her that her not holding
a degree has nothing to do with my father leaving her or with me eating
fish six days a week. Oh, and I also want to remind her that she was
talking to a man here; so she could stop all that "man-slaughtering"
you going?" Her eyes don't squint at the sudden brightness of the
light. Instead, they look puffy and red.
By Maliha Bassam
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