Saturday, September 3, 2011

Meera

-Why are you here?
-Why am I here? Is that all you can say? After all these years?
-I do not wish to remember.
-But you haven’t really forgotten, have you?
-
-Meera, please-
-Don’t call me Meera. I don’t have a name.
- … I’ve looked for you for so long—believe me, when you disappeared-
-You didn’t look for me.
-Oh yes I did. Listen, Meera-
-I’m not Meera. The girl called Meera died years and years ago- that wasn’t me. I didn’t disappear, I just wasn’t ever there. You searched for the wrong person- she’s dead, you hear me?
-I searched for you. You aren’t dead.
-I’m not her.
-Of course not. You are you. And it’s you I’ve been looking for, it’s you I want.
-Yes, as a replacement.
-No, as a sister.
-Sorry to disappoint. I’m nobody’s sister. I’m not the daughter of anybody’s parents. You, of all people should know that.
-You are my sister. That-that house you left, it’s as much your house as it’s mine. Let’s go home, Meera.
-You did so well till the last word.
-What do you- I- well... Look, if you don’t like that name, we can give you another. You can choose another name for yourself.
-You think rechristening me would change everything? I’ll truly become your sister? A true third daughter of your parents?
-But you are-
-No I’m not. I’m a clone created by a scientist named Meenakshi Sinha- the clone of her dead sister Meera who died at the age of ten in a laboratory accident.
-Don’t-
-Remind you? Don’t remind you of what, Meenakshi? That it was you who killed Meera?
-DON’T! I didn’t kill her… she-she walked into my lab when I wasn’t there. I should’ve locked-
-She went in there because you told her you had work to do in the laboratory.
-I… She wouldn’t ever leave me alone, always asking me questions, running after me, asking me to play with her… I was sixteen! … I think I locked the door, I always did, she must’ve found the spare key… I didn’t want her to die. I didn’t kill her.
- But your mother thought you did. Even you think you did, don’t you?
-Don’t remind me.
-But you haven’t really forgotten, have you?
-Stop, please stop- Meera.
-There’s no Meera here. There is no Meera anywhere; it’s time you understood that, Dr.Sinha. Making a genetic copy of your dead sister doesn’t bring her back. I’m not Meera, I’m just her clone. You had me fooled for all those years, you made me believe that I was really your sister, your mother’s daughter and it used to hurt when she would shirk away out of my presence, but I believed you when you said it was only because she was ill. That she was grieving over the death of our father- your father. But I know now- she was grieving over the daughter she lost as well as the husband who died from the shock. I know I’m not her daughter. And your mother knows that too and that is why she hates me so much. Even you know that- that’s why you sent me away to boarding school.
-You’re…
-Don’t you understand, Meenakshi? I’m eighteen years younger than Meera, I went to school with different people, I played games with different people, I’m a different person! I can’t be Meera, I can’t make your mother forgive you for your sister’s death, I can’t help you in making her sane and normal again. You may be a brilliant scientist, Meenakshi, but it’s time you gave up on me. Your experiment failed. I’m a failure. Forget me. Go home to mother. She needs you there. Stop wasting time on me.
-… It’s gotten dark. I’ll take the morning train. Can I spend the night?
-...
I suppose you can. I’ve got a spare mattress. And I’ll see if there’s something to make for dinner…it’s quite late! I didn’t notice.
-Yeah, funny how swiftly the dusk passes in the mountains- it takes you by surprise. In the plains, it’s slower; you can notice the change of light.
-Oh please, you notice the change of light? Did you ever look from your books out of the window?
-C’mon, I’m not that boring. We went to the water park once, remember? And another time we got on that giant cartwheel and… Umm, shall I help you with dinner?
-No thanks, I can manage… Doesn’t Mum take her medicine before going to bed? Did you tell the nurse?
-I…
-Well you can call home now, very poor signal up here though…. You shouldn’t have left her alone.
-Meera, umm, sorry, I don’t really know what to call you. I’ve called you by that name all my life…
-I better start with the cooking.
-She died last month.
-
-It was peaceful. She went in sleep. Towards the end, she would sometimes talk normally- for little spells, may be… and she wouldn’t talk much, but, still, she could recognize people, recognize me. She- forgave me. And once, a few days before… she asked me about ‘the little girl who looked so much like Meera’… I tried to find you, but-

-Minnie?
-It’s nice to hear you call me that.
-Did you look for me before that?
-Before when?
-Before she asked for me?
-Yes I did, I’ve been looking for you since the day you left, but-
-Why?
-Sorry?
-Why did you look for me? Why are you here?
- Because I missed you. Because I knew Mum missed you too, even if she couldn’t express herself. Because you are my sister.
-Am I? Really?
-Yes you are. I still miss the sister who died, but I came here to find you, not her. Believe me, Me-oh, sorry…
-Oh forget it. It’s weird getting a new name this late.
-We’ll get used to it. I don’t mind, you know, if you want a different name.
-It doesn’t matter. Not really.
©Ruchira Mandal
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I haven't written anything since I tumbled headlong into the mad, bad world of M.phil studies - Oh, yes, did I mention that I got through the admission test for an M.phil programme at quite a good Indian university? Ah well, I've done my happy dance and all that, but now I've got no time for writing. I tried to force myself back into practice by picking up some incomplete pieces but that didn't work out. So here am I again, back to the Fiction Friday prompts at Write Anything. This week's prompt was:
Write a scene using purely dialogue. Nothing else is allowed ( no attributions, narration, description, scene setting etc)

So, you know the rule. If you liked this- do comment- it will inspire me to write again. If you didn't like it, comment anyway. I t might teach me to write better. Thank you for reading.

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10 comments:

  1. This was really cool, Ruchira. I'm glad you posted what the prompt was at the end, otherwise I would have been like "uh, narrative?" You definitely kept me to the end. And congrats on your admission!

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  3. Great stuff Ruchira's. I've never really considered this drawback of cloning that the person growing would be different!

    And congrats on the admission!

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  4. Thanks a lot, Elle. You made my day. Yeah, and they said "only dialogue" :( There were times when i wanted to add actions, reactions but rules are hard. :(

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  5. This is brilliant!:) Thank you, Craig.Well, we haven't done home-cloning yet, we don't really know what would happen. This was my imagination going wild.

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  6. Nice Imagination :) luvd it :)

    -Deepak

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  7. Enjoyed reading this Ruchira :) Fun surprises as it went along. - KJ

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  8. Nice sense of eavesdropping here. I perked a little as though I was supposed to turn away from them.

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  9. oh dude....i know it's late..but that was great....never read of something like that since long....hats off...

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