Peacock’s Feather a Short Story
Peacock’s Feather a Short Story
There I found the peacock’s feather on page fifteen of my history book. It looked nice and vibrant upon the rusty crown of old Shah Jahan (1628-1658), the great Mughal Emperor. He gave it to me and told me to keep consistent vigilance over it.
“It has a miracle power”, he says, “It will grow and even give you one or two more out of it.” So I did that, every day, sometimes three or four times a day. Then I got promoted to a new class. I lost it in the smell of new books. It also could not show any miracle till then, a whole academic year.
Time flowed like a river but not in a meandering way. It was steady and steadfast in its punctuation and determination, diligently keeping pace with the hour, minute and second. I grew big and my head started collecting more air in its place than a mere peacock’s feather. In the place of one feather, I dipped my buffer head in thousands of peacock feathers to be grown and reproduced with multiple iridescences. But nothing worked. Page fifteen of Geometry, Nesfield’s English Grammar, and page fifteen of Hazlitt, History of Britain, Saussure and Structuralism, even in Virginia Woolf there were they, either blue or yellow or scarlet green. But dashing all my fancy, no one fed my aspiration. Embarrassment, the counterpart of defeat, was enough to strangulate my inner thoughts. I no longer waited for them to grow. I let them vanish…way out of me. There left no dawdle time in my mature daybreak for any magic.
Then one day after ten long summers, I met him again. He said, “He had waited for me.” I felt baffled and trapped. I wished to return all the coloured feathers and to tell him to go away I didn’t want them anymore. But I couldn’t find any of them. So I bowed my hand and tolerated all his gibberishes till I had mustered the courage to say ‘no’ to him.
I didn’t believe in such trash …no more. Many a time I had made myself the clown. My life had been devastated in the long journey and I no longer believed in that trash. My husband had left me for another woman and now I wished not to search those peacock feathers and let another man enter into my life. I told him I hated pity as much as I hated him. I sacked him out of my door and shut it tightly. In search of a strenuous job to keep my mind busy, I started dusting my bookshelf. I must discard some old staff to give sufficient space for new ones. Suddenly, I felt something touch my finger as I flipped the pages in search of a truant cockroach. It was so soft and light, like a piece of old cotton or the love of my grandmother.
There it was on page 35 of the tricoloured flag of India. I had misplaced it many years ago. I wished to run to him, shouting his name. I wanted to say sorry but I felt I had misplaced my love many years ago and could not place it again in my broken heart…no, not anymore.
Hey, I am Munmun, the phoenix fabulist who wants to tell you stories. I love to read stories and I love to weave stories. I feel life is an amalgamation of multiple stories, colourful threads, and threads of pain, pleasure, hope, and hopelessness. We just need to pick those hues and arrange them, knitting them with our own emotions and perception. So let’s celebrate the stories of life.