-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.
-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.
-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?
-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-

-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 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
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.



  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!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  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!

  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. :(

  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.

  6. Nice Imagination :) luvd it :)


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

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

  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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