“Thanks a lot, my children. I am overwhelmed to see this lovely gathering of my wonderful students.” He took down his spectacles and wiped his teary eyes.

That day Vikas got ready to attend the small get-together of his friends to celebrate the 75th birthday of their favorite teacher, Satpute Sir as  "THANKSGIVING".

“Why don’t you take Akanksha with you there? Sanyami, Rajita and Neela must be coming. Aren’t they? They all are your batch-mates and usually attend every function at Satpute Sir’s house. Right? Akanksha can get introduced to your friends. That will make her more comfortable.”

“If she is ready, I don’t have any problem.”

Akanksha was also keen to meet some girls in her age group. Akanksha was Vikas’s distant cousin. She had come recently to Mumbai from Indore in connection with her job.

At the function at Satpute Sir’s house, around 25-30 youngsters were present. Vikas introduced Akanksha to everyone and most importantly Satpute Sir. She also intermingled with all of them. Ashish, Mohan, Satish, Ramesh, Rohit, Ajay, Sanyami, Rajita, Neela, and all others were present. All of them welcomed her to their group.

After some time, Rohit got up and conducted the ceremony of felicitating Satpute Sir. Everyone was extremely happy to express their gratitude, their gratefulness towards their beloved sir.

Vikas said, “During our teenage, Sir treated us tenderly turning strict whenever it was needed.”

“We were like springs in the forests. With our lot of enthusiasm, quickly we wanted to reach a river to be taken to the ocean. But sir guided our path in such a way that we avoided the dangers of ending up our journey in soft soil. Instead, he guided us to jump through rocky, extremely hard paths which would ensure our reaching fast-flowing rivers." Shivam spoke.

Akshay added, “ In the moments of dejection, Sir stood firmly beside us to elevate our spirits.”

When Satish's turn came, he said, "Sir and dear friends, to express my feelings towards sir, I am going to tell a micro-story." Many of the attendees lost their heartbeats. A story and from Satish. An unbearable idea.

Mohan interrupted, "Satish, please, no storytelling."

Ashish supported Mohan. ”Yes. I also feel that it may be a bit too much.”

“Let him tell his story. Have you forgotten, in your college days when I used to tell you stories, you all used to enjoy it. Let Satish narrate his story” Satpute sir interrupted.

“Let him tell his experiences with the factory or something on technology. But not a story, please.” Yesh said.

“No Yesh. I want a story from Satish.” Sir insisted.

“OK. Satish. Go ahead. “Rohit took charge.

Satish got up and started." This is a very small, micro-story.

A gardener was looking after one small garden. It had various types of plants. Some bearing flowers looked beautiful without any fragrance. Some flowers were not very attractive but had a nice aroma. Some plants did not bear any flowers. And cacti had only the thorns. But the gardener took care of all plants. Nurtured all of them with equal love and affection. And that garden won the Best Garden award for many consecutive years.

We salute that gardener with utmost humility.”

Saying this Satish touched Sir's feet. Tears flowed from sir's eyes, moistened Satish's head. Controlling his tears Satish took his seat.

Spontaneous clapping from one and all ended Satish’s story.

Rohit took over again and announced further items of the function.

Akanksha was impressed by Satish’s story. When the function was over, she approached

Satish and extended her compliments for the grand story.

"It was nice. Opening out your heart beautifully. Do you write stories regularly?”

“I am an Engineer. But during my spare time, I do write something.” Satish said hesitantly.

“That is still great. Usually, Technology and literature never go together. So you are exceptional.”

“What about you? Do you also write?” Satish got curious.

"Yes. I also scribble in my spare time. I am an Architect. That gives me the full scope for my creativity. But jotting down your feelings is something extra-\ordinary. I love to read and sometimes I write too.”

Satish was delighted that he found somebody who enjoyed writing as well as reading short stories. He was about to ask her for feedback on the short stories he has already written. But he refrained from talking about his writing work.

Meanwhile, other friends joined the conversation. "Yes. It was a very nice story, Satish. Well written." Mohan greeted.  Then he looked at Akanksha and said," He is a good writer. How did you find his micro story? It was very nice."

“Yes. Very short but extremely sensitive. I told him I liked it.” Akanksha said.

“He is the person who has introduced we Engineers to writing stories. Otherwise, we had not dared to write anything. It is Satish who inspired us to write.

I also have started writing occasionally.” Mohan bluffed.

“So, you also write," Akanksha said. “That is great. If you have something written already, I would be happy to read it” Akanksha.

“Oh! Certainly. When we meet next, I will give it to you.”

“We all have started liking short stories because of Satish. I also write occasionally.” Ashish added.

“Oh! Wonderful. That means yours is a technocrat writers group.” Akanksha.

“Yes. You can say so.” Ashish confirmed.

“Does Vikas write? “

“No. He has not picked up it as yet. He does not even read short stories given to him for reading. Absolutely, insensitive person!" Ramesh interrupted. “I will give my story to you to read. “ Ramesh tried to impress Akanksha.

“So except Vikas, each one of you has a very common pastime of writing and appreciating short stories. I would love to read you all.” Akanksha.

Satish was aghast to know his friends’ love for short stories.

He could well understand their liking for stories was actually

 their interest in new friend Akanksha.  His story The Gardener was not heard by his friends with intent. They had not taken note of the story beyond the title. But Satish had found a genuine, sensitive reader of short stories. He thought a new plant was added in Sir’s garden, that had beautiful flowers with a great aroma.

Akanksha returned home with Vikas but thinking about Satish all through. She thanked Vikas for such a wonderful introduction to Satish.

November 26, 2021 16:15

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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

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