Sunday, July 12, 2009

Arunabho - The glow of the Sun!


She had always liked the name 'Aditya'. It brought images of a warrior, of a chariot blazing with the gold of sun. It was an image of an invincible, uncompromising man who was powered by the courage of truth. Who stood tall without fear in the battle of life. It was also the closest image to her childhood sketch of Karna- her favourite mythical character.

A soft and shy girl, she got married with ease to a fairly good looking boy, from a decent family. There was no sparkling fireworks that she felt on seeing him, but that was ok, she had not expected any. The boy was educated, earning well, living not far from her city. All in all good husband material, somebody who would prove to be respectful and caring towards her parents and affectionate towards her younger siblings. A far cry from her warrior of the sun, his name was Soumya, meaning gentle, mild, a steady glow. She accepted the steadiness of a candlelight to that of the blinding blaze of the sun.

Life was smooth and easy. She liked his sense of humour, his soft spoken nature. She respected his meticulous habits, his penchant for cleanliness, his warmth was infectious and genuine, he was adored by her parents and her siblings, and she started falling in love with candle lights.


They planned their future amidst coffee and excel sheets. She offered a vision and he detailed it, He built the dream and she coloured it. They lived comfortably, enjoying small pleasures. An evening spent at the beach, a movie at a multiplex, a dinner out once a month, A rocking chair for a particular corner, a lamp shade for another. He bought home flowers every week. A few years passed and the stork came visiting.

Their joy was unbriddeled. They took all the guidance offered by the elders and bought Dr. Spock's book as well. They read the pages together and marveled at the miracle of life. The morning sickness, the pigmentations, the moods were accomodated happily in the larger picture of their baby coming to life. Monthly visits to the doctor, the sound of a heart beat for the first time, the first sonography were all milestones in this journey that brought them even closer together.

As months progressed, there came the issue of naming the child. At once she said ,"Aditya". The image she had stored away came in front of her eyes full throttle. The golden chariot, the fearless and strong warrior of the sun, the power of courage, all these images filled her to the brim and she said once again,"Aditya, thats what I will name my son." "And what if we have a daughter, what will you call her then?" asked Soumya, smiling gently. She had never considered a daughter, and after these images, she didnt even want to. So she feigned tiredness and turned on her side saying,"You think about that, I will sleep for a while."

A daughter, such soft and tender emotions the word can evoke. A smaller version of the only girl he had ever loved. The same eyes, the same dimple. Soumya stayed with this magical thought throughout the night, comparing his image to every name the internet sites offered, No name did justice, it seemed to his mind's image, but his practical and steady mind plundered on. His goal was to come up with a name by dawn.

'Abha' is the name he liked the most. It seemed to convey all the qualities he felt his daughter would possess. The warm and soft halo of light that softens all rough edges. His gentle nature evoked images of a shy and soulful girl and the name went with this image perfectly. Over tea the next morning he introduced his wife to 'Abha'. It was decided then and sealed with a loving kiss of the parents who were now counting days for their image to come to life! A boy would be named Aditya and a girl would be named Abha. They kept the names to themselves and did not encourage helpful relatives to come up with names for their baby.

Finally the day dawned and Soumya drove his wife to the hospital for the delivery. Things went as per his meticulous planning and he tried to make it as comfortable for his wife as possible. He stayed with her througout the long hours of labour, wiping her forehead everytime it filled with drops of sweat, encouraging her and calming her alternatively. As the final push came into play his ears were numbed by the cry of his cherished dream and also by the shrill ring of his mobile. Years of habit made him take the call as his eyes looked at the radiant boy that was born to them.

The news on the other end was shattering, His father in law had succumbed to a major heart attack. In the labour room the doctor was cleaning his son as his wife lay drained on the bed. His mind was reeling under both the emotions. The caller on the other end was saying a name.. he didn't get it first.. again after a few seconds the caller said, "Dad had thought of a name for didi's son. he was sure she would bear a son. He wanted the child to be called, 'Arunabha'(pronounced Arunabho meaning the glow of the sun)."

The call ended and he saw himself sitting beside his wife. The bundle in their joint arms. He held them both to him and said in a steady voice, "Our son will be called Arunabha. This was what your dad wished, and we will honour that." Nothing more was required to be spoken as the enormity of the moment where she had lost one and gained another dawned on her.

Arunabha grew up to be a warrior of the sun who fought to soften the rough edges of society with his courageous fight against the system and his compassion for his fellow countrymen. He shone like the glow of the sun!


A complete work of fiction, with shades of personality traits taken from people I have known. The story developed on an idea of naming kids given to me by my friend Amrit.

64 comments:

Aparna said...

Completely different from what I had expected.
Thank god I did not face any such issues when I named my kids. I wonder if I would call my child by a name that I did not like, even if it was given by someone close to me.(Not saying that the mother did not like the name Arunabha.) Just my own opinion.

amrit said...

Nice story. But I wanted you to write a dark-humorish story - and as usual you wrote something goody goody. :)

sujata said...

@ aparna why missing the point that all the names though inadvertantly are forms of the same object, the Sun!!

sujata said...

@Amrit..cannot be a humorist I guess..and dark humour I dont even get that most of the times..

toshali said...

very very beautifully written mom keep it up

Anonymous said...

loved ur post

SJ said...

I agree with Amrit, I was expecting something to happen like the boy changing his name to Arb or something cool. This is too goody goody, well written goody-goody.

Indrani said...

When I read the title and first few lines i was wondering how this was going to end. A beautiful read!

(btw my husband's name is Arunabha, pronounced Arunabho. :))

Priya said...

just one word..."Awesome".... :D..okk ..i cldn't stop myself there..so another.."Brilliant... :D

kavita said...

My son's name KAUSTUBH was chosen by my only sister-in-law who knew that she has only few months to live....i love the name and would have agreed to any name she wanted....i miss her so much.Beautiful post SUJATA.

ZiLliOnBiG said...

awesome, I cant say much effectively. superb
We all have gone through this naming dilemma, for me it was very recent.

My parents wanted the baby to be named Deeya, but my wife being the stubborn lady she is, fought with all her nail and tooth and finally Ananya was decided. So i can understand the essence of the story very well. TC:))

Gymnast said...

It was a nice story sujata..but it lacked that certain something that i always see in your writing. That effortlessness. The words seemed forced and heavy.

It was good , but far below your normal standards.

Only my honest opinion as a genuine admirer of your writing.

Sumandebray said...

A great short story..
I thought it would have been nicer had you left the end to the reader’s imagination. Now that I know it is completely a work of fiction.
... And I should stress on the point that it was definitely a good read...

sujata said...

Thanks toshali

Thanks Anonymous

@SJ Is being good uncool? Thanks for dropping by, I have never found the abbreviating of names that most Indians staying abroad tend to do..cool either, so So Arunabho could never have been Arb..sorry to dissapoint!

@Indrani The name is one of my personal favourites, good to know its your husband's name too.

@priya thanks

sujata said...

@Kavita I agree with your sentiments, I guess i value a relationship much more than a name, or a personal decision. I am sure each time you call your son by his name, you remember your sister in law fondly.

@Zillionbig thanks, am sure your memories are the most recent. Ananya is a beautiful name.

@Gymnast thank you for reading it and for commenting so honestly. I will try and be effortless when i pen fiction next. I really appreciate your comments do keep them coming . Hope you are dealing with your loss well, take care.

@SumanDebRay what you said is definitely something I did not think about, and now that you said it, it seems the best possible way, I could have ended it. Guess thats how you learn and improve. Your suggestion was great thank you.

sherin said...

a brilliant story. the way the story developed is awesome. the events and feelings are realistic.. thats what i liked the best.

and thank u ma'm for your generous comments on my story. it means a lot..really..

Pesto Sauce said...

Pretty well written....does conjure up emotions

अनिल कान्त : said...

I like your story...
even i like the Name 'Aditya' or Aadi

R. Ramesh said...

repeating pesto's comments: Pretty well written....does conjure up emotions

SJ said...

Eekks no, no being good is cool and changing names (like Arb) is cool according to some NRIs! Nopes you didn't disappoint me, providing a different ending and surprising the readers is what makes a good writer (according to me :P). And you did just that! I was really expecting something wicked to happen (don't ask why :P) !

"Thanks for dropping by"? Why? I always drop by..wait OMG! are you asking me never to drop by your blog again? Noooooooo....

Kavi said...

Well written ! It has so many facets of human emotion and connects to the soul !

Lovely. Was infact a trifle surprised that it was fiction. it sounded like real !

Look forward to more

SGD said...

It was such a soothing story...
Was expecting well..something to happen, then thought it was autobiographical...but when it ended the way it did, it had such a 'feel good' effect on me ....
Lovely read!

Nazish Rahman said...

Nice story..very well written!!!

I sometimes wonder why people put so much effort to name their child..as Shakespeare said "whats there in a name"!!

tk

Aw.S.M said...

I m sorry i m trying to be a critic like gymnast but it just aint working...i just love ur work..this post is just as wonderful as everything else in ere..:)

But i do feel the ending was a bit abrupt..that would be my only criticism if any :)...u r just an amazing writer.

Ah oye toshali commented :D :D...how sweet eh...do say hi to her from my side

luv
amith

Aw.S.M said...

oh btw is karna ur fav mythical character by any chance?? coz he sure is mine..admired him all my life :)

Nona said...

As a reader, I loved the ending. Both the names had to do with sun.

You reminded me of the good times during the 9 months. The visits to the doctor, the search for the right name etc.

We knew about the gender long before since we were in the US till my wife was 6 month pregnant! So, there was no suspense. We knew it was a girl! Another friend's experience provided anxiety. There were also told it was a girl. They had decorated the house with pink. It turned out to be a boy! Imagine the boy dressed in pink for the initial few days! :)

BK Chowla said...

It is a beautifully written post.Yes,naming the child is a very tedious exercise.Our family was recently was blessed with a male child......DAIWIK...Gift of God

Jarlin said...

Nice one...

anamika said...

Turned out quite different..Glad its not the usual turn around story.
Good piece of work.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

I have a please-the-family-policy while naming my children. Both my daughters were named by my in-laws, who provided a list from which I chose. It made them happy, which made me happy!

Bhavya.B said...

Nice story as usual...but this time it has some unknown emotions injected to it .Great work

sujata said...

@Sherin thanks

@Pesto Sauce thanks

@Anil thanks

@R Ramesh not fair

@SJ you made me frown by your first comment..not on the post but the last part where I was framed goody goody...but have to give you this...that this comment of yours made me laugh!! Am receptive to anything you say on the post..but to call me goody goody was like uh-huh!!!you are always welcome here dear!!

sujata said...

@Kavi thanks, this piece has evoked a lot different reactions from various people..am learning all the time..hoping to improve

@SGD it was not autobiographical, but the characterisations were traits i like in people, thanks, btw that taggety taggety tag line is helping me!!

@NR Naming a kid is a huge thing, now a days kids do grow up and change their names or shorten it, to adapt to peer pressure, but thats a different story.

@Aw.S.M hope you are ok now, karna is my favourite character too! will tell toshali you said hi!! will keep your critisism in mind if i venture a fiction again.

@Nona ohh thats a fiasco to dress a boy child in pink!! A girl child in blue is still ok I think..

@BK Chowla thank you and congratulations on the new member in your family. Daiwik is a great name.

@Jarlin thanks

@Anamika thanks

@sucharita Sarkar my son is called Soumya and was named by my mother in law, I love the name though he doesnt resemble the name at all!!

sujata said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SJ said...

This actually shows how bad I write I meant well written goody-goody (post). The goody was for the post not you. Sigh, I need to go back to school ;( Noooo....

♥ Braja said...

Nice, Sujata....

Babli said...

Brilliant piece of work.This post is quite different from other with a different thought.I liked the story and ofcourse the name "Aditya" is one of my favourite name.

prithvi said...

Well the story ended well, but maybe I would have liked to know the conflict of emotions the mother was facing, maybe she didn't face any but maybe she did, well written!!!!!!!

prithvi said...

one more thing sujata visit this blog you might like it, it's really beautiful.

http://sandy-purplelatches.blogspot.com/

Rush said...

u r a born storywriter lady...loved the passion with which u wrote every word...really loved reading it..waiting for more :)

R. Ramesh said...

All is fair in blogs and comments..hahah.i just had the same opinion yaar..so dont feel bad..and thanks...:)

Kay said...

Thank you for your visit Sujata. It's so very lovely to meet you. I enjoyed reading your story. I like the thought of her marrying a man who wasn't exactly her spectacular vision of a husband but ended up being exactly that.

The Survivor said...

This was good!!

JD said...

simple and sweet.. was reminded of 'Gogol' :-)

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

whew! I was half-afraid it was your story! Thank god not!! Good one though!

eye-in-sty-in said...

nice one.. Sujata!

Meira said...

Awesome :)
Your story telling is great.
psst psst...I was named by an aunt who was being badgered by the doctor for a name on the certificate...she looked around for a while and blurted 'Meira' for the meera bhajan that she had been humming :O

Deeps said...

Amazing,Sujata...simply amazing!I have tears in my eyes after reading the line - "Nothing more was required to be spoken as the enormity of the moment where she had lost one and gained another dawned on her."

And the name is really classic.
Talking about Dr Spock's...its been my Bible/Quran/Gita for the past 3years :))

Yword said...

I thought it was going along pretty well and then it ended rather abruptly. you do have a way with words though.

Chriz said...

thats a total new style from you.. loved it :)

sujata said...

@Braja thanks

@Babli thanks

@Prithvi I dont think there was any conflict, will chk out the site url you sent soon.

@Rush thanks

@Ramesh ok taking your word for it!

@Kay, I think you nailed it..the love between two unknown ppl was also central to my theme other than the naming of the child part. Thank you.

@Survivor thanks

@Roshni I would have given anything to get my kids named by my dad, but he died even before I got married.

@eye-in-sty-in thanks hope you are enjoying your holiday. I think the wifi in franfurt airport is secured, you have to pay and enable it.

@Meira thanks, I love your name esp the 'e-i' in the spelling.

@Deeps thanks, Dr Spock has been my guide too, I still have the book with me!!storing it for the time I have grandkids I guess..

@Yword a lot of ppl thought the ending was not good enough, may be I shd have left the final decision to the readers as @Suman suggested. I really think that would have been good.

@Chriz thanks

Smitha said...

That was so beautifully told! A sad-sweet ending..

Loved it!

Pradip Biswas said...

It is a very nice story and every words of it are appropriate. The final effect is soothing.

PURN!MA said...

Breathtaking!! A.W.E.S.O.M.E! Simply A.W.E.S.O.M.E!!!

Shaye said...

Wow Sujata. This is great work...you are so gifted. Can't wait to read more, as always!

Hugs,

~Shaye

Rajesh said...

You have wonderful writing skills. I did not get up from the place till the completion.

Loved the story.

sujata said...

@Smita thanks

@Pradip da thank you

@Purnima what got you so excited? thanks for the cheering loved it!!

@Shaye thanks dear, lets see fiction is very new to me..


@Rajesh thank you

eye-in-sty-in said...

I know abt the paid net.... couple the charges with the additional surcharge on CC transactions and it does not make it worthwhile when my tiny source airport offers it for free.

Indyeah said...

Beautifully written ..
enjoyed each word..and Arunabho is abeautiful name

Ajit Ray said...

The story's been written very well but maybe you can leave more to the readers' imaginations. You can cut down the last two paragraphs of whether they really named the child arunabha and what happened to him.. What do you think?

Suraj said...

I am not an avid reader and the last thing i would ever read is fiction but the way you write it...I feel i should reconsider my thoughts about fictions.

And yes my name also means Sun !

sujata said...

@Indeayh thanks

@Ajit really, even I had been thinking on these lines after getting this suggestion from another blogger, theres always a next time right!

@Suraj Its a challenge to turn you into a reader..but hope floats right? Yes and how could I miss it...YOu are the Sun too!!

nsiyer said...

Though Shakespeare said ' A rose by another name will smell as sweet', I always felt that chrysanthemum by anyother name will be easier to spell.

Well written, Sujata, you rock.

Bindhu Unny said...

Very wellwritten, Sujata. Good work!
:-)