Home > Short Stories > Mansuetude



She was one of the last five.

Three had already been on the stage. Only two got it right. She was the fourth.

As she walked towards the centre of the stage, she had her head low for the first time. She adjusted the mike as she looked towards the three judges sitting behind the large black desk. As all the judges smiled at her, she smiled back.


MANSUETUDE” she replied.

“Yes, said the judge in the middle. “MANSUETUDE meaning mildness”

“May I have the origin please”, she asked politely, still with a smile.

“1350 – 1400 middle English to Latin,” the judge replied.

MANSUETUDE”, she said again.

“Yes”, the judge replied.

She scribbled few transparent words on her soft palm.

She rubbed her palms. Looked up and said, “ M-A-N-S-U-E “ , then she paused a bit.

There was a dead silence in the auditorium.

T-U-D…”, she stopped again.

There was a silence of about 10 seconds.

She smiled and said,” I think that would be it.”

The judge repeated the word.

There was a big applause as the correct spelling was announced. Everybody in the auditorium was on their feet.

She had got it wrong by just one word.

She still had the smile as she kissed the cross on the end of her silver chain. One graceful lady had come forward to usher her from the stage.

The applause was still going on.

She was one of the last five.




She was the first 12 year old blind by birth to make it up to there.



  1. August 28, 2012 at 11:06 pm


  2. August 28, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    You amaze me with the sheer simplicity, and the great depth of your posts Prashant.

    The post, is as beautiful as the 12 year old would have looked on the stage. In the pink frock, that she’d have been wearing.

    • August 29, 2012 at 7:07 am

      would surely update her pink frock 🙂
      thank you !

  3. Ti
    August 29, 2012 at 3:07 am

    Good one!!

  4. August 29, 2012 at 11:32 am

    This is the real trademark of yours… simplicity and innocence reflected and woven in few words … admire it and your way!

    • August 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      thank you…

      • August 30, 2012 at 3:42 pm

        nominated you for the silver quill award! check my post!

  5. August 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    That was a great story. 🙂

  6. August 29, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Nice 🙂

  7. August 29, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Tears welling. I smile.

    • August 29, 2012 at 10:56 pm

      …and you must always

  8. Archana
    August 29, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Nice story 🙂

  9. August 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I have nominated you for few awards!
    Have a nice time!

    • August 29, 2012 at 10:56 pm

      My honor ! Thank you

  10. drsuraiyanasim
    August 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    I love this! Absolutely love it! It was so touching.
    “She scribbled a few transparent words on her soft palm”….i could imagine everything. Very well-written!

    • August 29, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      coming from you – surely means a lot 🙂

      • drsuraiyanasim
        August 30, 2012 at 1:23 am

        I mean it. 🙂

  11. August 30, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Winning is in the doing. You thrill me with your writing: pure, sweet, strong. hugs, pat

    • August 30, 2012 at 9:38 am

      graceful your words are !

  12. August 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    What an inspiring story! That is the definition of a true winner.

    • August 30, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      surely it is.. 🙂
      thank you for dropping by with your grace !!

  13. August 31, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Beautiful story…eloquently written….your words painted every image vividly –as you do so very well! Thank you for sharing this 🙂 Hugs ~

  14. September 2, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    like the sudden endings these stories have!

    • September 2, 2012 at 11:55 pm

      always want the readers to move on with something special in their comments ! Like this one of yours…

  15. September 3, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    [quote]surely it is.. thank you for dropping by with your grace !![/quote]
    Ready to get back in

  16. Asifa Zunaidha
    September 13, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Brilliant creativity.. Keep writing such touching and inspiring short stories 🙂

    • September 17, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      Would surely try my best Asifa !
      Thank you !

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