The Talisman

Submitted into Contest #58 in response to: Write a story about someone feeling powerless.... view prompt

7 comments

Mystery

                               The Talisman

       The talisman was given to Anu when she was reading in class IX. Anu’s parents tried their best for her education. After all, she was their only daughter and Anu’s father, Biswanath babu, had a lot of property. Their only concern was her future, and for that purpose she must be educated properly. They want that Anu should stand on her own feet. At least they can marry her off to a good bridegroom if she has good educational qualification. But she passed her exams somehow, let alone scoring eighty percent marks or above.

    So, one day Anu’s father contacted a hermit renowned for his power of transforming the lives of people. The hermit gave Anu’s father a talisman and asked Anu’s mother, “Attach it with a rope round her left arm and see the result after fifteen days. After returning from the hermit Anu’s father told Anu and her mother everything. Anu asked her father, “Is it true that I will be able to perform better in school and score better marks in the examination?”

    Anu’s father drew her close to her bosom and while patting her back with his hand, told her, “This hermit has done miracles to so many people’s lives. You never lose it. The hermit has said that you will see the result only after fifteen days!”

  Anu became confident and started reading with enthusiasm. After fifteen days the talisman really started to work. Anu found greater interest in her studies and her performance in the classroom was much better. She started to gain in confidence. Her confidence was evident in her attitude , in her behaviour, and in her body language.

   Seeing the change in Anu, her father heaved a sigh of relief. The Headmaster of the school himself met Anu’s father and said, “There is a sudden change in Anu’s class performance and as all the teachers are discussing in the staff room that Anu is progressing very rapidly in all the subjects.”

   This information pleased Biswanath babu beyond imagination. Suddenly, the Headmaster asked him, “Have you appointed some good private tutors who are doing the miracle?”

   This unexpected question put him at unease for a moment, and then recovering himself Biswanath babu replied, “No, no. That’s not the case. Anu herself is determined to transform herself. In fact, I have told her that we have no dearth of anything in our life. But the performance of her education makes us unhappy. My request has a deep impact on her suddenly.

     Seeing Anu’s father embarrassed a little the Headmaster told him , “Biswanath babu, are you feeling uneasy? I have said this in a joking way. It is a matter of happiness that your daughter is transforming herself and the teachers are happy. That’s all. Encourage your daughter constantly so that she continues this performance!”

       Saying this and blessing Anu the Headmaster took leave. Anu’s father rushed to the study of Anu and placed his hand gently on her head, and said, “You have started giving me peace and contentment by your effort. Stick to it.”

     He then said to Anu’s mother, “I told you that the hermit possesses real powers and is not an ordinary being. We would meet him soon. Her teachers all discuss that Anu is changing rapidly.”

 Anu’s mother said, “This time I and Anu would accompany you”

Biswanath babu jumped to the suggestion and said, “Surely! Anu must touch his feet!”

       Anu was desperately trying to prove herself and also to prove the power of the talisman to herself. She was making continuous progress in her study and in the unit tests conducted by the school.

    Almost after two years, the biggest miracle happened to Anu’s life. In the final exam of class X, Anu stood first in the class. Biswanath babu’s joys knew no bounds. He was surprised beyond words. The family ascribed all the successful events that happened in Anu’s life to the talisman. After this unbelievable event the family became sure of greater miracles in the coming days.

   In the H.S. Examination, she again stood first in the school. By the time, Anu’s caliber was well known in the locality. The educated section of the locality came to congratulate her on her success. Anu’s father was hopeful of a very brilliant career in the coming days.

     Anu got admission in a reputed college as a student of English Honours. In the first year, she scored high marks and made her father really proud of herself. Biswanath babu was counting the days when she would pass the Honours corse and would achieve a job of her choice. When she would get a job, and she would be able to give her daughter in marriage to an eligible bridegroom, all his worries will vanish.

    After graduating with first class in English honours, she applied for the job of the highest administrative post. Biswanath babu’s friend came to visit his house two days before the exam. Seing Anu deeply engrossed in her study he commented,  “Anu is going to face the toughest examination in India. Generally, even the brightest candidates take two or three chances to qualify this exam. If she fails to qualify for the first time don’t let her be frustrated.”

  Biswanath babu was too confident of her success. In other words, he was confident of the capability of the talisman given by that great ascetic. Anu took her father’s blessings before leaving for the exam centre. Biswanat babu only said, “Don’t be worried. Only pay your homage to the hermit and the talisman before starting to write.”

  After taking everything Anu took her seat in the exam hall. The question papers were not yet distributed and she wanted to have a last glance at the talisman but to her utter dismay and terrible fear, she found that the string that tied the talisman to her hand was gone. She searched it properly but it was nowhere. She asked the permission of the invigilator, “Sir, can I go outside? I have left an important article outside.”

The invigilator said, “OK, but only for one minute.”

 Anu came outside and searched it in the corridor. She remembered she had gone to the toilet before entering the exam hall. She also searched there. But nowhere was it found. She felt that all her strength had vanished. She was feeling entirely powerless. It was the vital force that was behind all her success. She said to herself, “ Without that how can I face the exam?”

 She came out of the hall crying. Her father was astonished to see her come back. She hurriedly came to hear and asked, “What’s the matter, Anu?”

 Anu replied, “Father, I’m doomed. I have no power. I have lost the talisman.”

Saying this Anu fell on the ground and lost her consciousness.

September 11, 2020 18:30

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7 comments

Michael Boquet
01:12 Sep 17, 2020

Is your story inspired by something from folklore? Fun concept that creatively answers the prompt. I found the writing itself to be a little clunky, but I get the impression English might not be your first language. So, if that's the case the story isn't necessarily poorly written. Though I did have to re-read passages to fully understand them. Solid effort overall.

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Ujjwal Dutta
06:51 Sep 17, 2020

Than you for your valuable comment. English is not my other tongue and I am learning to write. Your comment will help me to develop myself.

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Michael Boquet
12:29 Sep 17, 2020

You're welcome. You have an impressive grasp of English vocabulary, you used all the right words. Now focus on your tenses (past, present, and future). For example, instead of "At least they can marry her off to a good bridegroom if she has good educational qualification" it should be "At least they COULD marry her off to a good bridegroom if she HAD good educational qualification"

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Ujjwal Dutta
11:26 Sep 18, 2020

Heartiest thanks for your precious comments. I am delighted that you have read my story with so much care. I would definitely learn from persons like you. Thank you, again.

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Ujjwal Dutta
11:26 Sep 18, 2020

Heartiest thanks for your precious comments. I am delighted that you have read my story with so much care. I would definitely learn from persons like you. Thank you, again.

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Suhi Rohin
04:44 Oct 03, 2020

You truly expressed how much faith in something can affect a person, as well as reason for confidence. Out of curiosity, what was the message you were trying to convey when you wrote this? My one critique would be to explore creating variety in sentence structure to create differences in pace in the story. For example, increasing the pace towards the end to convey the anxiety and despair that Anu felt.

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Ujjwal Dutta
16:02 Oct 09, 2020

You have already and rightly guesses my message in the first sentence of your comment. Thank you so much for reading my story and for your valuable observation that I must pay heed to in my subsequent writing.

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