The evening was unusually cold. Winter could be seen at a distance treading toward the delicate vale with a gallop. The monster was about to take it in its harsh embrace. It hadn’t snowed the previous year and the gods were determined, in the name of divine justice,to pay in full this time around. As he sat on the edge of his room and looked outside the window he saw the future.There was snow. The colour, above, was black; sun nowhere to be seen. The water had frozen. Apple trees had no apples. Their wooden skeleton was trying hard to stand up against the might of snow which had surrounded them all around. People looked pale. Sunken eyes, patched lips.There was melancholy. Soon the monster should complete its task. The task of annihilation. There was fear in the eyes. The dark of the eye looked even darker. The hearts beat faster. Mothers waited for their children to return safely, to hug them, to embrace them to their bosoms. He heard wailing, chest thumping. People ran around directionless. Chaos had taken over the land. It was going to be a tough winter. Some of the wise predicted the winter to last forever: “Don’t you see the might of the winter. It is forever this time. The sun will never rise in this land again!”.The pessimism wasn’t far fetched. The elderly always talked about the great winter when it had snowed for months on stretch and sun, it had seemed then, would never shine on the people again and truly it never shone again with its former glory.A sadness always covered its being which reflected on the sombre faces of people. Now it was more mightier and hence justified the wise. “It is unwise to stand up to the challenge that faces us. Better give up resisting and concede to the enemy, you’d do good. At least, the damages would be less,” would say the pragmatic voices. A confusion had plagued the land. Should we continue a “meaningless resistance” or realise the difficulties and accept our fate. No universal solution could be found.

Amid all the fear and confusion that surrounded the vale his eyes caught sight of a little girl. Tiny hands that were ice cold, she moved across the street. Tiny little steps, tiny little path she made in the snow. She hesitated, fell, yet kept moving. Next, she was inside a shop selling charcoal. She was preparing for a fight. She was determined to face the winter. For that she was making preparations. She cared not about the might of the winter but was too absorbed in setting her house in order, to set her defence right. What struck him most about the little girl was a curious happy smile on her face. It symbolised hope, a sort of optimism. Despite all the odds, all the challenges that faced her she was happy for the effort she was making. The effort was her life and until she made that effort she would be happy. Her resistance was her blood; the enemy didn’t matter. “What if the winter is forever i will resist forever. That will be my freedom, my hope, my happiness and nobody but myself has control over it,” exclaimed her cute face with an angelic smile on it.

Dropping the curtains he sank in the chair lying in the corner. An ecstasy had taken over him. Tears rolled down his face, of happiness. He was happy for his land was safe; safe in the smile of a little girl. Even if the winter is forever he was assured the life will flourish with freedom and with hope, never to give up!

The author is based in IOK. Contact here: Naveed

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