Fences - A Short Story

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As a child, Leela always wanted to travel. She wanted to see the world, from the mountains of Switzerland to the beaches of Bali. And as a child, she believed she would. But as she grew up, she has a horrific realization. She was a woman in a conservative village. … (read more)

As a child, Leela always wanted to travel. She wanted to see the world, from the mountains of Switzerland to the beaches of Bali. And as a child, she believed she would. But as she grew up, she has a horrific realization. She was a woman in a conservative village. And in her village, women didn’t leave their homes alone. Her parents, and later in-laws weren't too keen on traveling. So they never took her anywhere. Leela spent 5 years within the fences of her house. She looked outside and saw the mountains of her village and yearned to go there. They seemed so familiar, yet so distant. But she knew that forget Switzerland, she probably would never even go outside of her village. She would probably spend her whole life staring at the distant mountains, living within the Fences.

Some more years passed and Leela remained miserable. She didn’t have any kids, which everyone assumed was her fault and blamed her. She was almost 30 and had started to compromise with her life when things started to change. Her small village started attracting tourists, who would come and stay in the village homes, or homestays, as the tourists called them. And they weren’t just men, but women too… women who didn’t have to ask her parents or husband’s permissions to go anywhere. Women who traveled, who took decisions. And Leela got something she never thought she would get… hope. But she was still missing courage. The courage to do something about her dream.

And one day, she finally found the courage in the form of Annie. Annie was a divorced woman from Goa, who ran her own business and lived her life on her own terms. She was the first divorced woman Leela had seen. And unlike the other tourists, who only took interest in the nearby meadows, Annie took interest in Leela. Not romantically, but as a friend. Annie was the first person to ask Leela if she was happy. She was the first person to ask Leela what she wanted out of life. And so, Leela poured her heart out to Annie. Annie encouraged Leela to follow her dreams. She asked Leela to come with her and work for her. And finally, Leela found her courage. She made a plan and shared it with Annie and Annie immediately agreed to help. That very night Annie put her things in her car and told everyone she would leave at dawn. And before sunrise, when the whole village was asleep, Leela got up and hid between the luggage. She was nervous, yet excited. It was a feeling Leela couldn’t describe, as she hadn’t felt it before. She was liberated, she was free.

Annie too got up at the crack of dawn and started driving. She told Leela’s family that Leela had gone to the village temple for prayer early morning. The family accepted it, as the temple was the only place a woman in that village was allowed to go alone to. Finally, Annie got into her car and drove off, making sure not to talk to Leela so that nobody suspects. Leela had written a note to her husband, which he would find in an hour when he went to take his clothes in the cupboard. The note said, ‘I am going. I need to live. I am sorry.’ And so Leela went. With her newfound courage, she managed to peek through the back window of the car to see one last glimpse of her home. The last thing she was were the fences, this time from the other side. She was finally happy, for she knew this was the last time she was seeing these fences.


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Comments

Himanshu Arya
2021/06/29

Great vibe!

REPLY
Abhimanyu Amoli
(creator)
2021/06/29

Thank you!

REPLY
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Ξ 0.07 ($142.25)