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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Purposefulness (Purpose in Life) (05/25/06)

TITLE: Woman
By neha srivastava


India. A hot summer day. A pin dropped and she looked up, the sun was at its peak and there was not a soul to be seen, the deafening silence was getting to her, she looked out of her window to see a hot summer afternoon, the hand of the wall clock had moved only one bar ahead…time seemed to have stood still for her. She reeled back memory lane, into her schedule only a month back…so purposeful, so satisfying…or so she had thought?

A hot, sultry summer day, the channel said it was the hottest day in the last 5 years; she switched off the radio and increased the AC in her car, wiped her head with an already soaked handkerchief and glared at the sun, muttering “God knows why god had to create the Sun that was so harsh and then make me run around in this heat. But she loved her job of a training consultant which required her to travel widely and train faculty on ‘Soft Skills’, handling 29 centers of the entire Northern region was no joke, but the thrill of being just 33 and teaching PhD’s and 55 year old and being able to impart some knowledge to the scholars was worth any effort.

Rushing in the conference room, she loaded her CD in the laptop and greeted everyone to the lecture on ‘Better teaching methodologies.’ Her presentation was not more than half an hour but the question answer session lasted for an hour. There would be about 30 missed calls on her cell by now. The session got over and feedback forms were filled which were good as usual.

Picking up the shrill ring of her mobile she heard her boss, “ Is your PPT over? What took it so long? I hope you remember that you are traveling to Rohtak and Hisar for a faculty development workshop tomorrow?” Before she could mutter…”yes sir…” “And what about the Summer internship session for the students today?” he questioned.

With her head trying to balance the cell on her shoulder and hands on the steering wheel, she assured him that she was off for that training itself now. Training young students on how to behave in the corporate world that was equivalent to a ‘Mars landing’ for the new MBA graduates. A challenge that gave her immense satisfaction and purpose in life, sessions on, ‘how to impress your boss’, ‘handling office politics’ and ‘excelling in ones’ job’ were exciting, full of debate, questions and purpose, It was like bringing new life into the world…

‘Bringing a new life into this world…she reeled back into the present with these words, words that actually had a meaning now, her life had a new meaning now, She recollected her first reaction of joy, then of vacancy of having to do nothing except rest, then of uncertainty of having to quit something she thought was the purpose of her life…to teach, but life taught her a new emotion that surpassed all other purposes of life, now she is praying for success in this new assignment that is supposedly ‘high risk’ for her because of her previous operation. The previous purpose’s madness has given way to peace and content that she had never felt before.

This assignment that has been given to her by the Almighty himself, everything she had done in the past seemed frivolous for now, as she was doing the work of god now…he had finally chosen her after 7 years of her marriage, to do his job…bring a new life into this world. In life there are many ways to find happiness and our protagonist has found hers…

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 06/03/06
Your writing was very subtle here; I had to read it twice before I realized the woman's new purpose. I think that's a strength, though.

You have several run-on sentences with too many clauses separated by commas. The readability of this story will improve if you break those down into smaller sentences.

Thanks for this glimpse into India!
Shari Armstrong 06/05/06
A very nice portrait of a woman's life and how it can change suddenly-for the better. It needs some polish (editing for typos, etc) and the last sentance seems out of place with the rest of the story. But, I enjoyed getting to see the progression of the character as the story progressed.