A Visit to Heaven by Kumar Shivam

Finally, I am here. I am here in a room of 8” by 10”.

I look around, it is shady. The walls have an aura of all the grief and suffering it has witnessed, throughout its life. I can hear the creaking noise of the ceiling fan that is barely moving.

In one corner of the room, is a stove and a few utensils, stacked one upon the other. Beside the stove, is a child. He must be 3 years old, playing with his broken toys, unaware of what is happening around him. I look at him. I can see a smile on his face, a ray of hope in his eyes. It pushes me back in memory, my childhood, where I had a lot of toys to play with, good clothes to wear, and food to eat.

I pull myself back into the present. I look towards the other side. I can see a curtain, a ragged curtain, supposedly white, got reddened by the wrath of time.

I can see a figure behind the curtain. It is difficult to comprehend as to who it is. I slowly walk towards the curtain. I move the curtain aside. There she is, a woman barely in her 20s, wrapped in a red saree, with a heavy reddish makeup.

She smiles at me. I can decipher, it is a fake smile, a smile she has given for many years now. She gives a hand towards me. I hold it. I can feel the numbness of her hand. I can see the pain it has witnessed.

I sit down, beside her, behind the curtain. She starts unwrapping herself. Slowly, I have gotten used to the light of the room. I can see clearly now. Her face, it has it. It has the pain she had gone through.

As I look down, I see, she has unwrapped the saree from her bosom. There she is, sitting in her blouse, undoing it. As she undoes it, one hook after the other, there surface a lot of marks, crying out her miseries. I look at her son through one of the many holes in the curtain. He is sitting, smiling, unaware of what is happening behind the curtain.

I move forward to kiss her. I am inches away from her lips, I notice her eyes, her wet eyes. It sends a chill down my spine. I pull back and run out of the room.

My eyes are soaked in tears. As I look around, I see dim lights everywhere. I am terrified. Slowly, I start moving.

As I pass a room, I see something. I see a man pounding a woman, while she lays dead.

Something has already taken over me. I stand here, in the midst of many endless rooms, while sounds of crying, moaning make their way to my ears. I move around, trying to find an exit from this hell that once looked like heaven.

I see a light on the pole, on the far end of the long endless corridor. As I make my way towards it, I come across a room, girls stand there in a queue, while some people shout. 5000 for the pink, 10000 for the green. I look at the faces of the girls, heavily enveloped to hide the tears. I actually see a sale, a sale of girls, barely into their teens. As I look at the faces of the men, I see frustration, I see a fake sense of masculinity dripping down their eyes.red light area

I am here, but I am not like them.

These things are weighing down on me. I start moving slowly towards the light. I come across another room. I see a woman bargaining on the price of something. 50000, she says. Sitting on the other side is a man and a girl; a cute little girl, around 10 years old. She looks at the man and the woman with anticipation. Little does she know what is waiting for her.

I am barely in my senses. Somehow, I carry myself and move slowly towards the light. As I reach the window, I find stairs. I manage to crawl down, onto the streets. I see children playing, walking around. None of them have good clothes. As I look around, I see women, lots of them, faking smiles and waving at the people. On the other side of the road, I see a police officer, surrounded by puffs of smoke, giggling with the shopkeepers. On the far end of the street, I see a sedan stop. A man comes out. He talks to a woman and they disappear.

As I walk towards the exit of the hell, I see a girl being dragged into it.

About the Author: This short story was sent in by Kumar Shivam a first-year student of Computer Science Engineering at Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT), Manipal.


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