AUTHOR : NAVAL LANGA
Nothing can be achieved without enduring a bitter fight: this is written on foreheads of Indian men and women. My short story The Handicapped is a story of struggle, a struggle that catches a person’s throat and suppresses voices. In the present short story I have tried to narrate that how a man, along with his lover, struggles for becoming an entrepreneur. He has to wrestle for acquiring a licence for setting up a small business—the regular odds from establishment. However a the persistent efforts pay, and it always pay. — Naval Langa
THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS stopped, a python like line of the city vehicles turned immobile, humming like the groan of an injured leopard. The passage for walking blinked a green light. He turned cautious; girded his loins. On any count it was not easy, for him, to cross the distance between two roads within the stipulated time, thirty seconds. The seconds started reducing. He gathered all the pieces of courage he had and went on almost galloping, in his style. But the people coming from his behind did not wait. They found it urgent to push him aside, making their way through. He could not make it. He fell down in the middle, on a white slash of the zebra crossing itself. Bag in hand smashed. Stampede.
Before he could collect himself and touch the other side, not a safer one but other side, the traffic signal had opened. He was caught in between. Within a few seconds the entire current of vehicles got disturbed. Horns shouting. He lost the sense of time and space. Survival. The survival of life became paramount. Until a policeman approached him, helping, he had experienced the nearest contact with fear. In addition he had known half of the dictionary of abusive words, too. From the vehicle drivers’ mouths.
“O… why don’t people like you sit at home?” Another policemen shouted from a safe distance and proved that he was on duty and awake. However the man managed crossing the road, but not without bruising on his left hand. The legs were safe. The policeman who shouted earlier was still throwing his preferred syllables. Incessantly. He did not heed. Because only he knew how difficult it was to cross the road, for a person having one polio-affected leg. Handicapped.
He did not thank God. He should have. Because he was in the midst of losing something important: a leg, a hand, or even an eye. But he was happy that a copy of the file he had in his cloth bag was in tact, unspoilt. He had painted a picture of his life to come in this file. CONTINUE READING >>>>>