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How did it all start?



How did it all start? I just grabbed my little pencil and started scribbling the first line of a story, I was seven.   

I don't remember its lines now, but the story was about our dog. Our watchdog of my age and my playmate. We loved and pampered him, taking advantage of that he did naughty things like chasing after cats and birds, once he snatched a ball from my hand tore it open with his jaws. I only appreciated him clapping hands. We called him Nelson, I abbreviated it to Nel. 

Nel was friendly with our chickens, in numbers, my mother cooped them in a big hen-house in our backyard. It was part of my mom's home management to add protein to our meals from the eggs and occasional meat. And Nel had a significant role to play in that to guard the chickens, especially in the nighttime. 

As time went by, Nel began to be adventurous in his endeavours with the chickens. He would pretend to sleep in the open yard for them to march past by him clucking and crowing. When they reached ahead, he would slowly wake up break into a gallop and storm into their midst. The chicken would scatter into different directions, some fly high, some go duck into the nearby bushes and so on. It takes time for the chickens to resettle and quack ahead when he crouched down onto the ground, wagging tail as though begging an apology and join them. The young easy-going cocks would slow down to show him favour who get reprimands from their wise mother hens. Nel getting the mother's warning would turn back calmly to a corner in the yard. 

We were a community living together, like an open-world having no fences built around to distinguish boundaries and keep distances. As a result, the dogs, children, humans, kittens, chickens and cattle all lived as an extension of the other. When a visitor suddenly leapt into one family's courtyard, others knew, time to share some essentials and delicacies. 

Now, of course, things are changing, people are busy building compound walls before the construction plan for home gets finalised. And borrowing a coconut or a bit of sugar and coffee from a neighbour is considered shameful.

So, we were living in that boundary-less world, and I was seven when one day Nel went on a really mischievous mission. He began chasing one hen that strayed away from the group due to whatever reasons, sick or wounded.  Nel spotted her and chased after her. In extreme distress, the chicken flopped onto the ground quacking loud when Nel mounted on her.  


In no time her mates arrived at the spot, crowing, cooing and clucking but nothing persuaded him from mutilating her. He brought his mouth closer to her neck, when Gopi, our neighbour's son leapt onto the spot. He pushed Nel off the chicken who toppled on to the ground to run off.  


My mother was busy cooking lunch in the kitchen, we all lounging around when we heard the commotion outside. She ran outside followed by us to see the neighbourhood already there one aunt had lifted the distressed chicken in her hand. We patted the chicken on her head and feathers, the poor thing didn't even look at us, head lowered, she rested in aunt's hand. 

When we turned to looking for Nel, he was nowhere to be seen. My 
mother moved around calling him until she spotted him hiding inside the cattle shed. She bought him out for all of us to see him and show our anger at him gave him a lecture on the need for behaving well stressing about his responsibility as a guard dog.  He stood listening to my mother, head lowered and wagging tail occasionally to agree to her, I believed.

So my story was about that incident how I got angry with Nel for the first time. It was unfair, the way he behaved wasn't acceptable.

I didn't give him a lecture instead poured my anger onto paper. Once done, a kind of pride fanned my mind. I can write a story like in my textbook. I started dreaming of a day my story appearing in a book. My mother was very pleased to read it. She said she felt very proud of me. That gave me the courage to disclose my dream to be a story writer one day to her. I meant to write a book and publish it.

I remember her smile didn't properly flower her face the reason slowly dawned on me a story writer struggles a lot harder than other professionals to make both ends meet. My mother had dreamed of me to be a science professional.


However, things are changing now, writers are making money. I read the other day world literature acquired grown with capitalism. 


I became a science professional. In life, I had to leave my wall-less world and travelled to Africa to work there as a science professional. I got a family, two beautiful children who gave me happiness and joy in every second in my life. However, I never managed to fully part with my childhood wish to be a story writer. It remained with me, grew with me, and turned my passion. So, after getting retired, I decided to pursue my creative work seriously. 

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