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THE HEADLINE

Three knocks. . . “Yeah, I’m coming”, again another knock. She was coming from the roof. As soon as she opened the door, her son hugged him tightly. Mom started to sob. The tears of happiness. John asked, “Why are you crying, mom?” added “I’ve not said you anything, listen to me first!” “I know everything my son, I’m accustomed of your knocking at door”, John’s mom said undoubtedly. A mom knows everything; silence is more vocal than verbiages in front of the word ‘Mother’. “Then you would know, my story is selected” John broke the reverie between them. “I know, it will my son. “

John, a 15 years old, lost his father at the age of 7. Her mother Maria and he was making constructively, the 8 years’ journey together. She lived in a small rent house with John. The room was so small but huge dreams within. Infact struggles teach the greatest lessons of life. Life, itself comes with various weapons to cherish the soldier and make the body strong enough to face the nexus of time. John earned by teaching neighbouring infants and mother Maria added through a job of housekeeper. They fight the duel hand on hand as father Anthony, unfortunately left nothing for their future. They face what life sends for them and fight against every problem smilingly. They were lucky since they had nothing to lose. Maria and John saved a little sum to feed a nearby orphanage weekly. It was their only living in future, otherwise they lived the present moment of life. At the age of 10, John grew a dream and said her mom, “I want to be a Doctor, but also a writer, like Sir Arthur Conan Do. . . Doy. . . “, “Its ok John, listen to your heart, it knows everything. “, Maria said then. From then he started to write when he was free from his busy lifestyle. He showed some of his childish creation to the school teachers. But they said each time, “Show me your grammar test copies first. . . have your ever shown those to your mother ?” He stood firmly each time and listened to everyone who tried to pinch him, “Well, it is suspense, not suspence !” His mother encouraged him all the time and said, “I can look, your ‘Steven’ will take the place of ‘Sherlock’, son, learn patience first. “ She added “Everything will come when you are in the right time of getting what it sends. “ “Don’t lose your faith, your mistakes are judged in the ongoing system, but I know those are your words, new words ! to be added at the vocabulary of the future’s book. “ John recollected his urge and went on not giving up. He had a mother as example, what he needed at all ! Whenever he lacked enthusiasm her mother gave him powerful hug. Then his pen started to flow again. He wanted to be voice of the world and mother was ‘Virgin Marie’ for him. At the age of 12, he started a flawless journey of the writing sea. Day by day his writings changed into a experienced ones.

One day Maria brought a book named ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho, for his son. John was dreaming to be a writer but he might know the language of heart, firstly. Paulo gave a clear insight in this book about ‘following the dreams’. She gave it to John; he started reading the book and flowed with ‘Santiago’, from his home town to Egypt. He finished it on the following night and woke up late at morning. When he opened his eyes, looked at his book shelf; there was crunched newspaper. His eyes were fixed at a word written in the paper _ ‘COMPETITION’, he hurriedly collected and started reading it. The local newspaper had brought out a competition named “Early Bird’s Suspense and Thriller Competition”, “Age Group- 15 to 18 . . . “, he called his mom, “Mom, where did you get this newspaper ? “ Maria looked back as she was cooking. “Shopkeeper has wrapped it while selling the book to me. “ The boy’s heart started to beat rapidly, he got his ‘OMEN’, and the book ‘The Alchemist’, started to show his paths which he never discovered. He started, “Mom, it is an OMEN, OMEN. . . mom OMEN. “ Maria replied with bright eyes, “Go for it, son !” John’s empty cup was filled with the warm tea of desire and dream.

He had only 2 days, left then. So he arranged his breakfast and hurriedly ate to start the thriller. Telling his mother, he would write all day long as he would submit the story next day. Last 24 hours of that day was his only chance to follow his ‘Omen’, otherwise he would wait for a second chance. Next time it will be a chance but far away from the former, it will not be same as before. So he gave his all effort to the canvas with the colors of creativity, thrill fully and adventurously. At night, at about 11:45pm, he completed his ‘Master Piece’;he was so tired that he couldn’t move anymore. He had slept in the bed where he was writing all the day. Maria saw that and arranged his bed. Placing the ‘Master Piece’ in an envelope. She prepared the submission and gave it a final shape which would be sent the next day. John woke up and collected the envelope from his mother on the final day. He rushed through the road and reached the head office of the editorial building within an hour. Finally he had submitted his creative emotions. The officials asked him, “What is your age boy ?”, “15”, he said. “Sounds interesting champ !”, added “Wish our judges will go through and hope yours will be published !” The boy gave a beautiful smile and bade them bye after the small encounter. He was satisfied and happy as he dreamt about his winning in the competition last night. In his dream, he hugged his mom on the convocation. After receiving the first prize he and Maria would go to the orphanage to celebrate his first victory. He had won the dream in his dream. But reality reins in future outcome. The boy didn’t know the art of living in future so he came back and enjoyed the whole day with his mom, only friend, guide and philosopher in his entire life. He observed the paper cutting and placed it in ‘The Alchemist’ Putting the book in front of ‘Sacred Heart’, he prayed to the chaste spirit for giving him the first chance in his budding life. He went to the orphanage with his mom and told the story to his friends there. As assaid earlier they were living the day to the fullest. At night his mother said him, “John, I know you are happy to overcome your fear and so that glad I am”, she added “Don’t lose your hope if your writing fail to please the judges, you are the winner in my eyes ! Thats all, the world works with your faults, I see your creativity in the mistakes “ John smiled and said “Have you read this mom ?” Maria smiled, “I’ve found only one mistake there, your ‘Steven’ missed the care of a father, but he never gave up in his investigations as he never missed dad on the way !” Tears come to John’s eyes, she caressed him smilingly.

He started to write on more topics which his heart told him to do so. A month passed with busy schedules of going to school, teaching his small friends, helping his mom and last but not the least writing flawleesly. Maria looked at John and said, “My busy boy, god bless you!”, all the time He replied with a guileless smile, “God is here in my pen. “ he added “Can’t you see, mom?”

“Lets go mom, get ready”he said to his mother, “One of my school teacher told me that the editorial personnel issued a letter for me. “ “Show me”, said maria, tears in her eyes. She opened the letter,

“Dear,

John D’costa,

Your story “The Nocturnal Beauty”, has selected to be published on the upcoming journal ‘The Suspense & Thriller of Early Birds’. We are glad to tell you that, the ‘First Place’ is yours. Our convocation ceremony is on 25th June, next Monday at Town Hall. Come earlier and collect your prize money of $2, 500, Best wishes from the team. See you their champ!

From, ‘City Times’ Maria closed her eyes and prayed to Jesus. She was too much happy after a long time. John said, “Mom, hurry up, we have only 1 hour to reach there!” “Okay, okay, I’m getting ready”, Maria hugged him again tightly.

 

At the ceremony of the ‘City Time’s Suspense & Thriller Competition’ had just begun. The teachers of John’s school had reached there already. The anchor had started the show, “Ladies & Gentleman please stand up for our hon’ble Sir James Creed, “a huge round of applause lingered over the town hall. “Now we like to call our Top 10 contestants on the stage; please give me the list. “She started to read the names one by one, “Number, 10 Andrew Johnson, age-18, number, 9 Jonathan Brown, age-18. . . number, 4 Amore Mitchell. age-18. . . and there we go, our number 1 contestant, this year’s winner, John D’costa, age-15, “she said “Our youngest contestant ever in this competition and stream. “ The teachers of John’s school and the audiences started to look here and there, “Where is he? Jo. . John. . . John ?”. “John D’costa, please come over the stage”, the anchor said “I think he hasn’t reached yet, lets continue our ceremony guys. “John had not reached there then, teachers started to ponder over his absence. The ceremony lasted for an hour, but he didn’t come there at last moment. So at last the officials announced, “We will deliver John’s prize to his given address, we are very sorry to tell that we can’t wait further, thanks ahead. “

Next day John’s story was published in the ‘City Times’ Editorial page, but there was another headline on the front page of the ‘City Times’, assaid there,

“A 15 years talent John D’costa and mom Maria, found    dead;Casualties of yesterday’s brutal accident. “

©Sudip Das gupta

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