A Piece of Heart

by Sudarshna Negi

Her parents called her Ziva because she was the first born girl in their family after two generations.   Ziva,  means a piece of heart, as the name suggests she was loved by everyone in the family in her childhood.   Ziva was born in a small village far away from most of the modern facilities, in the lap of mother nature,  in a beautiful green valley surrounded by mountains,  a river at the bottom flowing by making musical sounds, and a big colorful sky above her head.  All the seasons can be seen there. She was a girl from the mountain and she knows everything about the mountains.  Ziva, had a small wooden home, having a kitchen and only a bedroom. Her father Mohan was a shepherd so he always spent most of his time grazing his animals., goats, sheep, and cows,  on the top of the hills where a beautiful grassland was present. This grassland was the property of the village. Every shepherd from the village keeps their cattle there and also lives there to look after them during summer and in winters they came back home with their cattle.

Her parents called her Ziva because she was the firstborn girl in their family after two generations. She was loved by everyone in the family as a child. Ziva was born in a small village far away from most of the modern facilities, situated in the lap of mother nature, in a beautiful green valley surrounded by mountains, with a river at the bottom flowing by making musical sounds, and a big colorful sky above her head. All the seasons can be seen there. She was a girl from the mountains, and she knew everything about the mountains. Ziva had a small wooden home, with a kitchen and only a bedroom. Her father, Mohan, was a shepherd, so he always spent most of his time grazing his animals: goats, sheep, cows, and two donkeys on the top of the hills, where beautiful pastures were present. This grassland was the property of the village. Every shepherd from the village keeps their cattle there and also lives there to look after them during the summer. In the winter, they come back home with their cattle.

She was at the start of her teen years and she became a very kind-hearted person because of her mother’s values. Ziva was going to a small school of her village. She was a brilliant student too. Her parents were saving money for her education. She was 12 years old, but she understood all the family problems. She was the only daughter of her parents. Her father wanted a son. She sometimes saw her parents fighting, but now she was able to understand the reason for their fight. She felt bad for her mother, who sacrificed her life for her husband, and now her husband fought with her for a son. Ziva’s mother had gone through two miscarriages, which made her very weak. But she was a strong lady, so she still worked hard for her earnings. Ziva knew the only solution to stop the fight between her parents was the birth of her brother.

She usually sat in the front yard of her house at night to look at the stars in her childhood because the sky seemed so near to her and she thought that someday she would fly high to catch a star, but now she was sitting there with some reason, with some hope. She was waiting to see the shooting star because her mother told her that the shooting star completes a wish. For the first time in so many years, she wanted to ask for a wish. She wanted a younger brother for her. So she sat daily outside in her yard and wished. At last, she was blessed with a baby brother. She was very happy and she thought God heard her prayer and sent an angel to her home. The first sight of her baby brother brought tears in her eyes and lots of happiness in their family. Ziva was right; now there’s no more fighting between her parents. With time, Ziva becomes a more sensitive, understanding, and responsible person. She looks after her younger brother like a mother. because her mother was busy most of the time working for an income. So she felt like a second mother to her 12-year-old younger baby brother.

She was growing up, and the wings of her dream were spreading more. Her imagination was becoming more powerful. Once, in her school, her teacher taught a poem about the Horizon of the Sea. Her teacher explained, “The beauty of the sunset and sunrise on the sea is mesmerising and it fascinates the eyes of every person. Most people visit beaches to see the beauty of the sea and sky. It seems like the ocean is meeting the sky at the end of the world. This is a horizon where the earth meets the sky. These words settled in her mind, and she wanted to see the beauty of the sea. As she grew up in the mountains, she never saw the sea, and now after this poem, a strong desire to see the sea was building in her heart. It was so strong that she forgot about the beauty of her place and she was losing her obsession with mountains.

Once, she asked her father to take her to the beach because she wanted to see the sea and the horizon. She wanted to know what it’s like to see the ocean meet the sky. But the sea was miles away from her village, and they didn’t have enough money to go to see the sea.

The strong desire to see the beauty of the horizon was stunned in her heart. She made a promise to herself that one day she would earn a lot of money and then she would go to see the Horizon at the beach. That desire was in her heart, so movies, pictures, and paintings rememorize her desire every time. She usually spends her free time observing the colours of the mountains and flowers, the chirping of different species of birds, and the water of the river that flows into her village. But due to that desire in her heart, she had not done this for a long time.

After some time, there came a festival in her village, “The Festival of Flowers.” At this festival, the people of the village go to the top of the village to bring some rare kinds of flowers, which are used for the worship of the local goddess. This festival was celebrated during the monsoon season for three days. So during this festival, Ziva went to the track with her family to collect the flowers, and this track was completely mind-changing for her.

The ocean in her mind was too deep, and the desire to go to the beach was very strong. She lost her interest in all things related to the mountains, so the start of her track was boring and tiring for her. It was a task for her. She was not enjoying the path which was leading her toward heaven. They walked through the mountains all day until they arrived at their first stop, where they planned to spend the night in a wooden hut, and the next day they had to collect the flowers and return to the village. They arrived at their first scheduled stop in the evening, Ziva’s. parents went to collect some firewood for the night. Ziva was sitting on the top of a big stone, and she was watching the mountains with a desire to see the sea.

The view was too amazing. Her love of the mountains came back into her heart. She came to that height where the clouds were looking down and the peak of a snow-covered mountain cloud could be seen. It was the time of sunset. The view of the sunset from the top of the mountain overlooking a valley was breathtaking for her. She saw this mesmerizing beauty of nature for the first time. On the one hand, there was the setting of the sun, and on the other hand, there was a rising moon. The sun and moon were sharing the same sky at this time. She was completely lost in this view of nature. There was a twinkle in her wide-spread eyes. She felt blessed that she was able to see this.

She was lost in her thoughts about the beauty of nature when she noticed that during the sunset at the valley’s end, it appears as if snow-covered mountains are touching the clear reddish sky. She realized that this view is the horizon. The horizon in the mountains, where the skies and the mountains meet. She felt very happy and energetic after seeing the Horizon in the mountains. She kept staring at the horizon till it vanished.

Ziva’s parents called her to the hut because it was dark now. They lit the fire and made food for them. Ziva’s old charm returned and she felt so happy. At night, she was lying on the green grass looking at the sky full of stars with a complete moon. She felt she was too close to the sky, a big open sky. Look anywhere and there was the sky with its twinkling stars. The night was so beautiful in the mountains with millions of stars. She saw an amazing streak of light move so fast so near to her as she could catch it. Yeah, it was a shooting star. She shouted happily and said to her mother, “The shooting star was so near to me.” This was the best night for her. She was enjoying every moment in the hills. She slept there under the sky with stars.

The morning was too amazing, like the evening. As she regained her love for the mountains, so her further track was giving her eyes a new satisfying view of the beauty of nature. The flowers of different colors on the hill She collected bunches of flowers of every colour for her herbarium to make a memory of her journey. The small fountains in her way, the color of grass, clouds under her, birds chirping, cattle grazing, and her clear beautiful sky, everything seems so beautiful. She was enjoying every little thing that was coming her way. Finally, they reached a point where they found the holly flowers “Barahma Kamal“. The beautiful white flowers are growing in between the rocks. They collected some flowers and came back home. They celebrated the festival of flowers and worshipped their goddess.

Ziva felt like a princess of the mountains once more, and she felt blessed to have been born in the mountains. She realized that it was so wrong to lose interest in what she liked most. So many people want to see the beauty of the mountains, want to live in fresh air under a clear blue sky, but everyone doesn’t get what they want. She was blessed that God gave it to her. The desire to look at the horizon of the sea was in her heart, but the fascinating view of the horizon of the mountains was in her eyes.

About the Author:

Sudarshna Negi is from Himachal Pradesh. She is doing Ph.D in Microbiology. She is passionate about poems and story writing.

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