Please note that this story is purely a work of fiction and all names, characters, places, events and locales are either a product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictous manner. Any resemblance to any event and/or person living and/or dead is purely coincidental. We do not intend on offending any race, religion or community.
Diya walked down to the sitting room early in the morning. The staff was still arranging the cushions and the tables were being cleared up. It was foggy and not even a single sunbeam could be seen. She walked upto the receptionist and asked her, “Excuse me, but do you have any idea from where the wood logs are brought? I mean those used in the fireplaces?”
”I am not very sure mam, but I guess that there is some deserted land a little distance away from from here.”
”Thank you for the information.”
It was quite cold and still dark. Although Diya felt that she should wait for Nisha to wake up, but then she thought that she could go alone. It would only take half an hour or even less. She proceeded towards the doorway.
”You seem to be in a hurry my child.”
Diya looked up and saw the same Santa she had met in the train. She felt quite puzzled.
”Before you rush out, I have a winter present for you.”
Before she could decline the offer, he had already taken out a small wooden box.
”Here my child, this is the one for you.”
Diya held the box in her hand and stared at it for a moment. It was beautiful, no doubt. The wooden carvings added to its ancient look but it looked as if it had recently been polished and furnished. She was so lost in admiring its beauty that when she looked up Santa was no longer there.
”How very strange!” she thought, “I wonder whats inside this. I hope its not some silly prank.”
Diya quickly opened it and was amazed to see what lay inside. The box contained a beautiful red ribbon on which it was written in glitter “NURTURE NATURE”.That was exactly what had been on her mind.
”Excuse me Ms.”, Diya was snapped out of her thoughts by a voice. She turned around and saw a young man holding a huge diary in his hand.
”I am sorry to disturb you,” he spoke, “but we are conducting a free monology workshop today.”
”Monology?” thought Diya. She had heard that word somewhere. What was it? O yes, Nisha had spoken to her about it.
”If you would like to register now……….”
Diya was in no mood to think about this. She wasn’t interested but it was for free, so why not?
”We are two people here,” she said, “I would like to register for both of us.”
”All right, you can put in your names here,” he said giving her the diary to write.
”By the way,” she spoke while taking the diary from him, “may I know your name?”
”I am Vivan. My partner Arjun and I are conducting this workshop. People here don’t seem to know too much about all this. Yes, thats it. Thank you.”
Diya handed him back his diary and hurriedly proceeded towards the exit with the wooden box in her hand.
There was much less traffic on the road and it felt quite deserted. She walked at a steady pace covering herself well with her shawl and cap. Her feet felt numb and her finger nails were beginning to turn blue.
”Finally I am here,” she said and heaved a sigh of relief.