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Sundari’s Calling

by Gowri Bhargav

” Sundari, what’s wrong with you? I seem to have no clue. I see paint splashed all over the floor. You’ve doodled on the walls and doors.” Sundari’s father was worried about his daughter’s strange behavior. He was quite upset with her.

” Not just that, Appa. Since yesterday Akka has been endlessly singing Sarigama.” Sundari’s brother, Gopi also appeared agitated. Sundari did not pay attention to what he said and started practicing Bharatanatyam instead. 

Thakadimitha–Sundari’s feet moved clumsily. Soon, she found it difficult to balance and fell hopelessly. 

” Now, It’s time I tried my hands at baking. That’s probably my calling.” Sundari felt dejected and marched towards the kitchen. Her father wished to know what had happened.

” Wait, please give us an explanation for your behavior,” said her father. But Sundari didn’t seem to bother.

She referred to a cookbook and tried to bake. Unfortunately, she ended up burning the cake.

Tears trickled down her cheeks. Her voice turned meek.

“My drawings are chaotic and bad,

Practicing music turns me mad,

I can’t dance to any music,

And my baking skills are sick,

And yet I need to find my calling,

Gosh! I feel like giving up ’cause a bell does not ring.”

” Oh dear, so that’s the problem. Now we know why you are glum. And why do you wish to excel in everything? Without being obsessed just be joyful in experimenting.” He sure was an understanding father. But Sundari wasn’t convinced despite his attempt to console her.

“Gopal is an expert skater,

Siddu is a chess player,

Divya excels in Odissi,

And Meera is an artist, you see.

Bama has a melodious voice, 

All I know is to make some noise,

Everyone has found their calling,

And Appa, you talk about experimenting???”

“Come on Sundari. Take it easy.”

” Appa, I’m upset and I can’t. Sorry if you think I rant.” 

” What exactly did your teacher say? About calling, please explain, if you may?”

” Yesterday Supriya ma’am told us that everyone in this world is blessed with some talent or the other. The ones who recognize their talent and follow their calling will emerge as winners.”

” Hmm, I see. Now I understand the reason for your melancholy. Just be patient dear. You have nothing to fear.”

“Time will run out soon, don’t you see?

Everyone will emerge as winners, except me,

I’m terrible at everything, 

What if the bell never rings?

I seek my talent unique,

But looks like the chances are bleak.”

” EUREKA! It’s time to party. Rejoice and be happy.”

” Party? I’m sad, can’t you see?”

” You, dumbo! How’s that you still don’t seem to know? Don’t you realize you excel in poetry? Your poetic rants were exemplary though I have to admit they were quite lengthy.”  Her father proclaimed and hugged her.

Sundari’s face instantly brightened like a thousand watts bulb and she kissed her father.

“Appa, you’re the best dad ever.”

” Glad you found your calling, dear poetess,” he replied and kissed his ever-beloved daughter.


This month’s prompt by Penmancy required us to pen a 500 word story on the theme “𝙨𝙚𝙚𝙠”. Apart from that, consecutive lines in the story had to rhyme( or have near rhymes). However it had to read like prose and not poetry.

It was first published in https://penmancy.com/sundaris-calling/

The story secured second place.



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Vijayalakshmi p May 3, 2023 - 3:48 pm

Interesting read Gowri keep it up

Gowri Bhargav January 17, 2024 - 8:41 am

Thankyou very much


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