The Girl Who Gave Up

I was reading a book. A collection of short stories to be precise, and the fact that all the stories in that book had a happy ending was bothering me a lot. I mean, no matter how wrong the things went, every story ended with a smile. Do stories with not-so-happy endings not exist? Or, do they not deserve to be remembered, and told? Well, I don’t know the answer. But today, I am going to tell you a story that doesn’t have a happy ending.


As it is clear from the title, this story is about a girl who gave up. Let’s call her… Umm, what should we call her? Her parents named her Banhi when she was born. Banhi means ‘flame’ in Sanskrit. Flame, fire. But, we can’t call her that, because if she really had the fire in her, she wouldn’t have given up so easily, isn’t it? So, we have to think of another name for her. Let’s call her Lozera, shall we? Lozera means ‘loser’ in Malagasy, a perfect name for a girl who gave up.


Lozera was born in an upper middle class family in the late nineties. Her father was a government employee, and her mother, a homemaker. She used to be a brilliant student, spending most of her time in her room, surrounded by books. As she grew up, her love for books kept increasing. Even though she seemed to be an extrovert, she found the process of making friends difficult. And she had never been close to her parents, so books remained her only friends.


Her parents wanted her to be perfect. She wanted to be perfect too. She studied for hours, worked hard to score well. She wanted to be liked by all. The idea of being hated by someone distressed her. She loved everyone she came across, and she loved fiercely. She had her own demons too, whom she fought silently, but bravely, without letting anyone know.

But slowly, as she neared the end of her teenage, the demons started getting stronger, and the battles harder. She kept the scars from the battles well covered, the ones on her body, with clothes, and the one ones on her heart, with smiles. Suddenly, her life was no longer about being perfect and loved, but about staying alive, and not giving up.


She went to her parents, asking for help, but they told her that her demons were imaginary. All the persons she so fiercely loved, refused to help her. They told her she was being scared without any reason, that she was being stupid. The number of scars kept increasing. She felt herself getting weaker with every passing day, but she didn’t give up. She didn’t give in to her demons.


Hell broke loose when she almost failed in one of the most important examinations of her life. Her parents had expected her to score well. But the demons didn’t let her concentrate on the letters flooding the pages of the books open in front of her. She did not study. And as a result, she almost failed. Her parents stopped talking to her. The people around her were happy to avoid her. That was when she gave up. That was when Banhi became Lozera. She stopped fighting. She stopped trying to read, trying to concentrate. She stopped studying. She stopped trying to kill her demons, and be the person she used to be. She gave up.


I don’t know what happened after that. May be her parents married her off to someone. May be she learned to pen down her feelings, and became an author. But to me, she’ll always remain Lozera, the girl who let the fire inside her die. The girl who gave up.


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