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BTB Monthly Challenge – June, 2023


‘All of eighteen and not yet married?’

‘Joining college? To study with those city slickers?’

‘You’re making a big blunder, woman…you will regret it later.’

Radha Debi frantically cupped her ears to shut out the unholy voices buzzing all around her.

In despair, she turned to her daughter.

“Amrita, I’m so tired. It’s better you follow the diktat of the village elders and get married. Your widowed mother cannot handle these brickbats anymore.”

“But Ma, what about my education? My professional aspirations…my personal dreams?” Amrita asked her mother, her voice quaking.

“You’re not joining college, and that’s final!” Radha declared in a defeated tone.

The same night saw a young girl leave home for good, and disappear into the dark woods leading to the highway.


Fifteen years later…

“Ma, your naive village girl is now a successful banker. And that has been possible only because she chose to walk away that fateful day.” Amrita touched her mother’s feet. “Walking away doesn’t always indicate running away from reality. Or going wayward. It can also mean moving ahead in life, forging new paths, exploring unfamiliar terrain, and taking up new challenges!”

Abha hugged her daughter and blinked away tears of happiness.

(Story only – 200 words)

P.C. Eliott Reyna on Unsplash

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