IN SEARCH OF NEWER HORIZONS
By Neel Anil Panicker
Every morning Sheena would step out of her little thatched that stood at the far end of the little village that was cut off from the main road by a good eight hour walking distance.
The city, as such, didn’t hold any major pull; she hadn’t had even a glimpse of urban life in her over a decade and half existence on Planet Earth.
It was the hills that kept her awake, day and night.
As she crossed the sweet threshold of sixteen years, the only child of farmer parents, felt not only the myriad changes in her body but also the ways in which in her teenaged heart swelled and beat with romantic fantasies.
After a day long back breaking work, helping her father sow seeds, rear the two dozen odd cattle the family owned, and that which provided milk that was contracted to a private party that exploited the naivety of the unfettered village folk, and paid pittance in return, the young girl would join her mother in the small rudimentary kitchen that abutted the sole spartan mud room.
Soon dinner would be over, and her parents, weared down from the day’s labour, would lose themselves to sleep.
Little Sheena, would then, sit, cross legged on the floor, and gaze at the distant hills, her eyes straining to catch a glimpse of the changing contours of the brown mountains beyond, wondering what lives lived beyond those undulating grassy landscapes.
Some mornings, the young girl would wake up at the crack of dawn and wander around the foothills, many a times sitting on a rocky edge, and gazing at the far skies that stretched like bat’s wings, wondering if and when she could take the long march through the hills, and begin life anew, a life that take her away from the daily drudgery of mundane existence.
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