This short story became SPIXer (Most popular story) on 11 Jan 2014 and won INR 500
“The passing is technically short. But once you enter, it appears long, sometimes too long, that you may think there is no going back , you may feel crippled to move ahead, and you may opt to become a part of the pass.
You may start taking everything into your ‘self’, and in that process, may forget your very objective; they are all just existential feelings. Your challenge is to get rid of them each time they crawl into your soul….and it is not going to be easy. Because tuning your mind with truth is never easy!”
That’s what he was told just before entering the pass.
“Do it only when you are ready! But never out of curiosity! If you lose, you lose your ‘self ‘ , you fail!”
After stepping into the pass, each moment he was tutoring his psyche not to believe and act upon his illusions in the pass.
After all he needed to reach the other end without losing his ‘self’.
Only then he will be a winner! And who doesn’t like winning?
The pass was a narrow, dark tunnel.
For the first few hours it was difficult for him to cope with the darkness.
“How long would this take ?” He was passing those clammy, dingy, long paths.
After a while he saw light. To know the opening he looked all around but saw nothing.
“How can light be there without a source?”
Longing to see someone like him, he moved ahead. He saw none.
“Am I the only one?”
Darkness once again spread.
He saw orange fireflies all around him.
He moved fast.
Darkness splintered. For the first time he saw another one.
An old woman was stitching a fur coat.
Excitedly he went near her.
“What are you doing here? …..How long is the other end?”
The woman didn’t care. He repeated his questions.
“That’s none of your business. You move ahead. No talk. No questions. No doubts. No actions. Just walk!”
“How weird!” He exclaimed.
The old woman raised her head and stared him deeply.
He was about to move from there.
“Wait!” she ordered.
“The end will be near if you close your senses and kill your human mind. Then you win.
If you care what you see here, you will fail, I have enough fireflies here!”
With each passing second he became a little eccentric.
“What the hell! Where’s the end?!!” He ran.
After a spell of darkness, light spread from nowhere.
A smiling boy’s fragile right hand was extending to him for something, may be for food.
He stopped for a while, took the only bread he had saved for the journey and gave the boy a piece.
Within minutes a new firefly was flying around.
Thus, he failed.