The Cinnamon Candle – Debjani Mukherjee


Its snowy smooth body was embedded with cinnamon and coffee beans. Anu picked it up in her hands and smelled the aroma whatever faint of it is still left on the skin. She sat on the rocking chair in the balcony where her mother always used to sit holding the candle in her hand. The milky wax exhibiting a foggy presence of the cinnamon and coffee beans, her father’s last gift to his wife.

Anu was only seventeen when she lost her father in a plane crash and since that day everything changed. Right before her eyes she witnessed her mother collapsing never to recover again and from the age of seventeen she became the puppeteer of her own life.

She used to see her mother every evening rocking on the chair holding the big square cinnamon candle in her hand conversing with her dead father as if he is right beside her, discussing all the problems of the house, discussing about Anu, her studies, discussing economic crunches they were facing, discussing anything and everything which was a part of their life.

Just a couple of hours ago the dead body of her mother was laying right there on the marble floor of the hall, adorned with flowers and sandalwood paste. Her mother who got trapped in a phase of time and all her life kept skimming the layers of her memories.

Anu lumbered to the place where the body was kept and sat on the floor, tears blurred her eyes. She placed the candle on the floor and after eighteen years for the first time flamed it. A string of fire which should have been flamed long ago melting away the memories of past and illuminating the future but was preserved with deep emotions like a corpse in a mortuary.

Anu kept gazing at the candle, bit by bit melting and spilling pain like teardrops through its body. As if years of grief and agony are finally melting away filling up life with divine light, as if a tale of woe is flowing away with the waves of the dark night and making it glow with its lucent flames burning down the relics of the past.

About the contributor: Debjani Mukherjee, is a poet and a writer. She is a regular contributor of Active muse, GloMag, Destiny Poets, Different Truths, Tuck magazine, Story mirror, Narrow roads etc. Her short story “ The Summer Moon won the summer contest of the USA based magazine Academy of heart and mind. Her other short story “The Paper Boat ” recently got prestigious Bharat Award for literature international.

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