The Prodigy

This Flash Fiction was written for the sixth edition of #FictionMonday, a blog hop hosted by my very talented friend, Vinitha Dileep on her blog, ‘Reflections‘ based on the word prompt ‘bright’.

Photo by luizclas on


The Prodigy

“You are our pride”, says Ma jubilantly, as she continues to stuff my clothes into the red suitcase. It is our de facto baggage when we travel to any town or city, before a special performance. 

“Baba says there’s a lot of prize money this time.” Ma’s voice trails off, as she walks out of the room, while I sit by the doorstep, gazing into the unknown.

Baba returned from Kolkata last night, having signed me up for a competition, organised by a TV channel. I do not like being dragged around, from city to city, parading myself as a singer, but my parents do. After all, their hopes are all pinned on me, now.

“Baba, please, I don’t want to go this time,” I mutter, recoiling at the thought of being stuck with 30 strangers in a big house, miles away from home. 

Baba simply shakes his head and says, “No, Mishtu. It will be fine.

I cannot tell you how much I detest the word ‘talent’! It has taken me away from my dreams—of ever going to school and playing seven stones with friends, or berry-picking. The swinging mango tree and those endless stories on rain-soaked afternoons are now lost to me, forever.

This morning, I trudged up, for one last time, to see the open fields. The birds kept swirling above, as they always did, while the Moon shone brightly, under a twilight sky.

Nothing looked different, except for the trajectory of my own life.


(248 words)

16 thoughts

  1. Great narration! Parents often project their unfulfilled ambitions on the kids .. who end up losing their childhood in the process..

    1. Couldn’t agree more, Archana! And, btw, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts here. 🙂

  2. I often wonder if the kids love being in talent shows when I occasionally do watch one of them. I find small kids gyrating on sexy numbers really sad as the kids have no clue what it means and yet here they are, trying to do so much. How do the parents not see how adversely this can affect a child’s mental growth?

    1. I get your point, Shalini. That’s exactly what I was trying to say in my story. I think childhood is too great a price to pay for kids who are forced to fulfilling the dreams of their ambitious parents! Sad really!! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Shalini. 🙂

  3. It’s a sad life for talented kids these days, isn’t it? Your post reminded me of the Shakuntala Devi movie I saw last week. She, too, disliked being dragged from school to school by her father for her shows. She just wanted a regular school life. Sigh. Such a touching story, Esha!

    1. It is, right Shilpa? Sad and tragic that kids are pushed to fulfil the dreams that belong to their parents and not them. And, force is probably something that one should never ever use for children, for anything at all. Yes, Shakuntala Devi’s story also started lin a similar way, and as we all know, now, hers is also an isolated case because she turned this push by her father to her advantage, to become a celebrity, which is very very rare!! So happy to read your thoughts, dear Shilpa. Thank you so much, dear. 🙂

  4. I feel for her! How beautifully you have captured her struggle to stay on the path to bring the dreams of her parents come true and her desire to be just a kid singing in the fields! Lovely narration, Esha.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Vinitha. Loving this weekly exercise of writing fiction. I’ve not been very consistent in writing on the blog and especially writing fiction, so I tell myself that I need to be more regular.

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