|Creative Writing Competition 2012 India|
|OBJECT||Any Jewellery – Necklace, Ring…|
|THEME||True Love Triumphs|
In the midst of an ancient crowded city a boy was born. The city was a big one; there lied one of the largest markets of all time. Traders from all over the globe came to this city for trades. People used to call him Zlatan. He grew up there as boy on his own, feeding on the scrubs left by both rich and the poor and drinking water from sewers and gutters, never knew who his parents were and never was he interested in knowing them, sometimes used to pickpocket the traders in the marketplace, but only sometimes when dying with hunger but just after the theft he used to work somewhere and return the pennies he used to take, to its rightful owner and apologize. He was never seen begging for money because he never wanted to become one of them. He believed in almighty that things will change for him so he never begged.
Time passed away like the wind and the boy grew up into a man. Same old life but this time there was something different. He was in love. A girl called Fatima. She was the daughter of the blacksmith who traded swords and katana he used to build for money and food from the traders. Many a times Fatima used to tell him to work somewhere and make some money so one day he can ask for her hand to her father but he ignored her. Some months later when he was mad in love with her he made up his mind asked her father for her daughter. His father laughed at him and said that even the beggar who sits around his stall would make a better husband than me.
“Earn at least five hundred bucks or more in a week and I shall marry my daughter to you.”
“Yeah but not a penny less than five hundred bucks”
To get five hundred bucks a week was a very easy thing. But Fatima’s father believed that it would be impossible for him. The next morning he went to the market to find any kind of work. He inquired every shop if they needed somebody.
“I shall do anything you ask, please”
“You have no experience about work, you can’t work here” the shopkeepers said and pushed him out of the shop. This went on until the sun started to set.
At last he turned his face towards the sky and his hands rose into the sky and begged for help and his eyes full of tears. All of a sudden somebody placed a hand on his shoulder; he thought it would be Fatima but that hand was too heavy to be hers.
“Brother, do you need work” the man asked. He turned and saw a black man in Arabian robes.
“Yes, I will be very grateful if you give me one”
“I am a merchant from Egypt; I have come here for trades. Can you work at my shop?”
“What should I do?”
“Before I come to the shop I want you to clean it and before I leave arrange all the jewelry as it was in the morning in the shelves, the people here purchase less but scatters more. I will pay you four hundred bucks a week”
“Okay I will come from tomorrow”
He informed Fatima about the good news but she asked her about how he was going to get the other hundred. And Zlatan replied that he will surely get any work and will manage it.
After dusting the selves in the merchants shop the other morning. He sat in the market lane with his shirt taken out and started saying
“Boot polish, only for a buck” he also put a poster behind him of the same. People came to him. Of course why not it was a cheap rate, the other cobblers charged five bucks. By the end of the day he earned twenty six bucks and then returned to the merchants shop and started tiding the jewelries and keeping back to the shelves. After he completed his work, the merchant said to him.
“Good work keep it up, I shall give you bonus if you work like this”
He worked hard the other day and by the end of the week he had earned seven hundred fifty bucks even after spending it on his daily needs. He showed it to Fatima’s father he was impressed but he began making excuses that he doesn’t have a house to live in and where will his daughter live after marriage. He said that they will rent a house but his father refused and said him that he wants that he should have his own house.
He searched for a house in the whole city but all of them were expensive at last he found the cheapest house fifty thousand bucks. He made a deal with his owner and assured him that he will buy it in a month. He worked hard day and night; doing any kind of work he got other than what he used to day; people in the marketplace were amazed to see a drastic change in the boy.
“Is this really Zlatan” people used to say, the others replied that it was a matter of true love. By the end of the month he earned fifty five thousand two hundred bucks and bought the house. It was the hardest month in his life; he even used to go on without food for three days sometimes. This time Fatima’s father was really impressed this time.
“One last examination, my boy and then Fatima will be truly yours; I myself will arrange the marriage ceremony. I give you one week, buy a ring for Fatima and it should be the best ring I have ever seen; I know it’s a difficult thing to do but you will have to do it for me, for you and for Fatima”
He couldn’t step back he had come too far. He accepted the challenge; he searched for rings in the marketplace but couldn’t find any which could lure his attention. At last he thought of the black merchant maybe he could help him. He started wandering his eyes in the selves and then suddenly he spotted a ring, a beautiful ring it had a piece of ruby, sapphire and emerald in the centre. It was the best ring he ever saw.
“What, you want this?” the merchant suddenly asked
“You cannot afford it, it costs two million bucks and I had to travel half way across the world to get it”
“I want it, I’ll pay anyhow”
“I give you six months; you shall not work here as I am going for a trade in distant country and I am leaving today; I want the money when I come back”
“Thank you my friend, you have helped me a lot; I promise to give you the money”
“Today’s date is seven August 26, 1206 A.D. I will return after six months from now”
The merchant had gone away. Zlatan couldn’t even wish him good bye; he was too busy to find work for himself. He was married to Fatima and he thought it would be a happy life but he didn’t forget his promise; he worked hard, months passed away and he couldn’t make up the money, he led a miserable life but he never gave up. By the end of the fifth month he collected one million and five hundred thousand bucks. One forth money was still left. But he and his wife were in rags and had grown pale.
Even the city beggars had better clothes than them. Fatima’s father was mocked by other people in the market; so at last he frustrated and forcibly brought Fatima away. He wept for her, not because he had lost her but all that he had done was in vain. He turned his head up like he always did and begged for help. But he was on his own he had got enough help, maybe the merchant could help when he comes back but he had to repay his loan. He worked hard the other month and made the total money anyhow. It was the day when the merchant should return he waited outside his shop. Then suddenly Fatima came to him with a letter.
She said that a person gave it to her and asked you to give him. He opened it, it was from the merchant. But Fatima interrupted
“Father says that he is sorry for whatever he has done to you, he cares about me. That’s all. He has sent me back to you and he says that you will surely come out from this situation. He trusts you and moreover believes you. Hey Zlatan”
She tapped on his face when she was talking to him. He stood there frozen unable to believe what had just happened god had helped him. But they were still very poor but he was happy he had got what he always wanted. The poverty didn’t matter now.
He returned home and took out the merchants letter and read-
Due to some reasons I cannot come back to the country. I have some important matters to attend. You can keep the money and the ring with you as gift. Lead a happy life brother good luck.
The black merchant
He had no words to say. He looked up high and smiled, he had really helped him. He was a millionaire now. He asked his wife who had given him the letter and she replied that he was a black man. How can this be, can he be in the town. He searched for him everywhere in the town. He asked the city gate guards if the had seen a black coming in the city. They said no and then he asked them that had they seen any man going away before six months.
“You stupid, why don’t you understand blacks never come to this city. We have been guarding the gates for the past two years and have never seen a black man”
But then who was he Zlatan thought to himself. Maybe he had sent somebody to help; he looked in the sky as he thought this. He smiled and again repeated who was he?