Highly Commended Story - The Treasure of Life
“The Treasure of Life” by Aishani Goswami, Manav Rachna International School, Sector-14, Faridabad (MRIS 14), India, is the Highly Commended story in the junior category of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2019.
Aishani is an aspiring writer who has published five poems. She is a 10 year old girl studying in Class-5, at Manav Rachna International School, Faridabad, India. Her mother is her role model. She loves reading, writing poetry, playing instruments like Casio, classical singing, painting and dancing. With all these hobbies, Aishani wants to be a smile in everyone’s face.
The Treasure of Life
Zuan was looking at the rippled water. Those ripples looked as if they showed him all the circumstances and problems he had faced. He sighed, turned around and headed back home. On the way, he was halted by an old, weak man. “Who are you? What makes you stop me?” Zuan asked. “You will come to know when we reach our target.” This reply from the old man took Zuan into another world of doubts. “But where?” he queried. But the person delayed no more. He went through a passage and disappeared. Zuan followed him and found himself in a dark tunnel. He walked on. Suddenly, his foot slipped and down he went. Down and down he went, until he reached a deserted, lonely road. The man was standing there, smiling. “Let’s go” he said. They began to walk. After an exhausting, exasperating, tiresome, lengthy walk, at last, they paused at the base of a hill.
“Where are we?” Zuan asked.
“At the foot of a hill.” The man replied.
“Even I know that. But why did you bring me here?” Zuan enquired.
To this, the man pulled Zuan close to himself and said, “Do you see that peak? There is a huge treasure hidden. So much treasure that never ends.” To this, Zuan lost all his wooziness and began to run on the way towards the hill. Just as he was about to climb, the old man broke off his agitation and told him, “Calm down, son. It won’t allow you to climb it, unless it knows whether you are capable of it or not. All you have to do is to set a foot on it.” Zuan hesitated, but the desire of treasure forced him to obey the instructions. As soon as he walked on it, the flowery path turned dry and rocky. He sighed, but the man insisted him to carry on. They walked further. After a seemingly endless hike, Zuan sat on a rock and said, “Give me something to eat, I can’t budge from this rock.” Almost instantly, different varieties of food were served and Zuan happily ate, until he could have no more. Gulping down a glass of water, he said, “If I eat anymore, my stomach will burst.” Suddenly, everything disappeared. Zuan was surprised but he did not ask anything. They continued walking.
After sometime Zuan asked, “How do you know about this place?”
The old man replied, “My grandfather led me over here. He told me that every family in this world gets a chance after a century to see this wonder.” Zuan’s interest aroused. He asked, “what about those magical happenings?” “No More questions, please. You have been asking since we have approached the hill.” Just then, they were face-to-face with a snowy path. As soon as they began to cross the snow, they were provided with a shawl which came out of nowhere. But the snow was so thick that it was difficult for them to move. While walking, the man asked, “Son, why are you so upset of life?” “It gives me a lot of problems.” Zuan replied. “What is your name?” “Zuan. I am Zuan. Wait a minute, is it a miracle again? I am feeling warm again! ” Zuan said, removing his shawl. The old man smiled and said, “Take a look around you.’’ Zuan looked at the scenery. It was one of the most beautiful gardens ever! He began to roam freely all over the place. At last, Zuan asked, “Where is the treasure?” The old man gave a reply which changed Zuan’s life. “This is the treasure, the treasure which life gave you and all people on this Earth.” Saying so, he gave Zuan a drink and Zuan drank it. He immediately dozed off. When he woke up, he found himself on his bed, in the maddening crowd again. But he still thinks of the journey which changed his perspective towards life.
Moral: Life is a journey, sometimes like a dark tunnel; sometimes a deserted, lonely path; or sometimes a snowy path; but all leads to a beautiful garden of ‘ETERNAL TREASURE’. So, live your life, don’t leave it.