Lost and Found Shahreen
In the distance, a thunder rumbled. The incessant Usher rain was soon to become a storm. Nilanjana advanced towards the right wing of the castle, where there was no one in sight. She stood beside one of the windows, keenly observing each and every rain drop hitting the surface of the pond next to the mansion. In an instant, she was petrified.
She simply could not believe how her life depended on a single statue made of nothing but earth. Breathing in a lung full of petrichor, she proceeded to one of the smallest corners inside the residence, which she shared with a fellow maid, Shyamoli.
"Did they find it?" Nilanjana asked with a face that was then as pale as death itself.
"You shouldn't refer to her as 'it'," Snapped Shyamoli.
"You know very well I am not a Hindu. Now answer my question. Did they find it?"
"No!" replied Shyamoli in a harsh voice.
Knowing that talking to a superstitious, blindly religious girl like Shyamoli would be of no use, Nilanjana silently left the room.
"The world is going to change someday soon, you know", Mumbled Nilanjana to begin her routine session of self-talk.
"People will then loathe how in the 18th century, girls in Bengal were killed in the name of sacrifice."
It was true that the British had done a lot of injustice to the state of Bengal. However, this time, they had indeed done something praise-worthy. Removing all the statues of goddess Kali to prevent such killing of young girls was perhaps the first great thing they had done. While thinking about everything the British did during their reign, Nilanjana suddenly felt a pang of immense fear, followed by a blunt hopelessness, which made all her senses become numb.
Nilanjana woke up in a different room the next morning. This one, unlike the one she shared with Shyamoli, was enormous. With the bed covered with a velvet sheet and the curtains made of a highly sophisticated fabric, the whole room was decorated to perfection. That morning, 'she' was served breakfast instead of having to serve others.
She knew well enough that trying to run away would be of no use. However, what even took Nilanjana by surprise was that she did not want to run away; because she knew if it was not her, it would be someone else. Moreover, she found peace in finally being certain about something.
Held strongly by two robust men, Nilanjana entered the dimly lit temple. Everyone was chanting in Sanskrit, which she could not understand a word of. Not wanting goddess Kali to be her last sight, she looked up. Was Nilanjana crying? Or was it just the water droplets oozing from the age-old ceiling of the temple that rolled down her face? No one bothered to know.