“Guiding Star” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Gauri Nair, Queen Mary's School, India.
Once there was a very bubbly, happy-go- lucky girl named Riya. Now, she has become a very calm and quiet girl. Her grandmother, who was also her best friend, passed away a month ago. This situation went worst for Riya. She could not bare it anymore. Her grandmother used to tell stories, played with her, taught her and in result she would get full marks. Therefore she was the topper of the class. But now she got fair marks in exams. Her parents were so busy that they didn’t even know what had happened to her. So in the P.T.M., teacher asked her parents that Riya was going through something, her marks aren't good, not participating in any competitions. Her mother replied, "I don’t know, but once she told me that she missed her grand mother but I don’t know if it is linked with her studies." Then Riya’s parents went back home.
Riya was in the balcony, she looked at the stars and started talking to herself. She said, “Oh grandma where are you?. You used to tell me about the stars, that they are the people who are no more. Then suddenly she thought that she saw her grandma's face on the moon, then she realised that it was only her imagination. When she lied on the bed, she thought someone was touching her hair. It was just like the same feeling which she had felt when her grandma touched her hair. When she turned her head, she saw her grand mother! She got up from her bed and touched her to see if she was real, she was real! Riya said, "Grandma! I can't believe it is you! Why did you go away? I was so worried. Grandma replied,"My dear I have taken permission from God only to meet you because I know we both can't live without each other. So if you ever want me to come, just close your eyes and I'll be there with you." Then she disappeared.
Next morning Riya's mother saw Riya is talking to herself. She scolded Riya saying,"Are you a grandmother who talks to herself?" But Riya didn't care she just blinked an eye to her grandma to ensure that she didn’t care. Few days later everything was normal again it felt like grandma was still in the house. Riya got full marks in her exams, she was active again. One day after her mother left home for office, Riya's father got ill. After her mother came home she saw him unwell and she was so worried. Riya's father told Riya and her mother that once, just like this, he got ill when he was 10 year old, Riya's grandma made an antidote, for him. When he drank it he got up and jumped as if it was a charger for him. When Riya heard this she got into a room and locked the door and asked her grandma for her recipe. After some time she made the antidote and asked her father to taste it. Her mother said, "Sweet heart I know you care for your daddy but there is nothing you can do.
Suddenly her father said," wait a minute its looking the same antidote which mom made !" He then tasted it and was normal again, he asked her that how did she know the recipe. She told everything that had happened, her father replied, “My dear it's just your imagination and mom must had told you the recipe when she was alive." Riya again ignored it. When she came back to her room, she tried to call her grandma. After sometime only her grandma’s voice came back and said, “My child you promised not to tell our secret." She replied," but grandma he didn’t even believe." Her grandma said, “No matter what Riya never lose hope and have faith on you and you will find your destiny." This was the last sentence that she heard from her grandma. Riya never lost hope and had faith in her. But whatsoever her grandma never came back.