Pionirski dom, Center za kulturo mladih iz Ljubljane, že nekaj let pripravlja literarni natečaj Bodi pisatelj/pisateljica v slovenskem in tujih jezikih. Natečaja so se letos prvič udeležili devetošolci naše osnovne šole, in sicer z literarnimi deli v angleškem jeziku. Izabela Letonja je prejela priznanje za najboljše literarno delo med učenci 3. triade.
Natečaj v tujih jezikih, angleščini, nemščini, francoščini in italijanščini, je namenjen učencem 3. triade in srednješolcem. Učenci so svoja literarna dela pisali na podlagi ene izmed treh ponujenih iztočnic. Na natečaj smo poslali dela Neže Babič, Izabele Letonja in Filipa Madona. Strokovna komisija, kateri je predsedovala Aksinija Kermauner, je najboljše izbrala na podlagi vsebinske izvirnosti, jezikovne pravilnosti, besedišča, vezljivosti in zgradbenih učinkov ter inovativnosti v slogu. V kategoriji osnovnih šol (3. triada) angleški jezik je komisija podelila tri priznanja za najboljše literarno delo. Izmed treh finalistov je učenka Izabela Letonja iz OŠ Žirovnica za svoje zmagovalno besedilo z naslovom Temporary matter prejela nagrado za najboljše delo. Komisija je o Izabelinem dosežku med drugim zapisala:
Zgodba je vrhunski zapis sprejemanja minevanja in smrti ljubljene osebe. Tako zrel in poglobljen zapis o tako težki tematiki je še en dokaz, da gre nagrada za najboljše literarno delo med 14-letniki v prave roke. Izabela je ustvarila pravo mojstrovino, ki se odlično bere in kar predstavljamo si lahko, kako bi lahko bilo njeno zmagovalno besedilo le del neke večje, daljše zgodbe. Mogoče pa nekega dne dočakamo njen prvenec, z velikim navdušenjem ga bomo prebrali! Izabela, poklon!
Nagrade so slavnostno podelili na zaključni prireditvi 14. februarja v Pionirskem domu. Odlomke nagrajenih del v slovenščini sta brala priznana slovenska igralca, odlomke v tujih jezikih pa sta prebrala predstavnika British Councila in Goethe Instituta. Po podelitvi so bile organizirane izobraževalne delavnice iz kreativnega pisanja, improvizacijskega gledališča, animiranega filma ter scenaristična delavnica.
Iskrene čestitke Izabeli!
Nataša Černe, mentorica
Vabljeni k branju nagrajenega Izabelinega literarnega dela.
A Temporary Matter
A copper doorbell rang loudly as a door swung open. “You’re not going to believe this!” Shoba called out, a hint of anger in her voice, as she stormed into the small antique shop she and her husband owned. The familiar musky scent of old things did little to calm down the elderly woman as she walked further inside and up to Shukumar. Enraged, she shoved a piece of paper into his hands and said: “This came in the mail today. I thought you might want to see it.” Her husband raised his amber brown eyes to look at her. Both of them knew very well that he was a slow reader. However, not wanting to bother his wife, he did skim over the words on the neat sheet of paper as quickly as he could.
The notice informed them that it was a temporary matter: for five days their electricity would be cut off for one hour, beginning at eight P.M. The work would affect only the houses on the quiet tree-lined street, within walking distance of a row of brick-faced stores and a trolley stop, where Shoba and Shukumar had lived for three years.
Needless to say, neither was exactly thrilled about it.
“First they open our street to cars, then they want to cut down the few trees we have, and now this?” Shoba complained loudly, to which her lifetime partner only shrugged. He sat back and watched his hot-blooded wife stomp around the room as he always did when she got angry. “They’ve been pulling crap since the kids were little, and that was thirty years ago! I mean, what’s going to be next? ‘Dear Mr & Ms Khatri, we’re happy to inform you that you are to piss off in two weeks because we’re building a highway where your house is!If you have any complaints, deliver them to the complaint box in the city hall, which is opened every Friday and the contents used for the Mayor to wipe his ass!’”
Shukumar stayed quiet for the entire time. He wasn’t much of a talker, really. Shoba made up for the both of them.
However, the passionate ranting and the even more expressive gestures at the city hall through the window did little to stop eight PM from coming; and, sure enough, all the lights went out and everything stopped working for exactly an hour.
The couple needn’t have been bothered by it. They went to sleep early enough anyway. Though Shoba liked to keep a nightlight on, it wasn’t that much of a problem.
At least to Shukumar. It was a gigantic problem for Shoba.
If there was anyone there to witness it, they probably wouldn’t believe it. Any person that knew Shoba Khatri knew her mainly for her many words and loud nature. She was passionate and loud about anything; her antique shop, her husband, her breakfast, a spider on the wall.
Therefore, no one would believe that the darkness made her shut up and her insides clench into a ball. But it did; oh yes it did.
Not because she was scared of it. She lived through a lot in her life. She lived through the poverty that came with being one of the many children of two Indian immigrants. She saw and felt the horrors of being an outcast.
So, yes, she wasn’t at all scared of the darkness around her as she lay in their bed.
She was scared of the darkness drowning out her metaphorical torch that lay beside her.
For every day of her life, Shoba was a fighter, not a person that ran away and cried. She fought hard and fiercely – and the biggest fight of her life was when she tried to crawl from a deep, dark hole that was poverty, but always came just short of it. Just a hand away.
Until one day, a hand reached out to her and pulled her up.
Shukumar was there for her ever since she met him – ever since they bumped into each other in elementary school. The antique shop was her idea and dream that he helped to live out. He was the beacon of light in her life, a vibrant flame that made her go on. Perhaps he was silent, perhaps he was the quietest person she had ever met. But he was there for her. As long as she could see him, he was there for her.
Until the darkness came and claimed him for itself.
For four days, Shoba would lie awake for precisely an hour from eight to nine, staring at the darkness of the other side of the bed, not moving, not breathing, not talking. She’d just lie there and wait for the nightlight to come on, to see her husband’s figure again, to be able to drift to sleep.
For four days, the fierce eighty-four-year-old woman was reduced to a scared little girl for an hour.
Until the fifth day.
Until the day when the lights didn’t come back on.
(Later, there came a notice that the work was prolonged due to a mishap. It didn’t change what happened next.)
She didn’t really notice when another hour came by. Honestly, she was merely confused at first, long before fear began to choke her.
It’s stupid, she repeated to herself time and time again. He’s there. Even if you can’t see him. He’s there.
Shoba lay completely still and watched the shadows dance around their bedroom. This somehow led to her anxiety growing. The dark was playing tricks on her mind, but she just couldn’t tell herself that without being sure.
And so she reached out, just to be sure, just to check.
That was the moment Shoba’s world seemed to collapse in on itself.
That was the moment she reached over to find nothing but sheets beside her.
She was quiet like she had never been before. She was quiet just like her husband was- is. Is, because he’s still there, it was stupid, he was still- Shoba found herself standing up before her brain could catch up, with the panic drowning her being as she looked and looked but couldn’t see Shukumar. She couldn’t speak, she couldn’t breathe, why was it so hard to breathe?!
It felt like something was being crushed in her chest. Like a wall tumbling down into smithereens. Like ice breaking. Like realizing something wasn’t true, wasn’t there.
Because he wasn’t there.
He just wasn’t there.
Shoba Khatri was a proud woman, above anything else. However, she was also a woman that loved her husband more than anything, more than her children, more than herself. She was a woman that was held up by her beacon of light her whole life.
And she was also a woman that needed a completely minor inconvenient thing to make her realize that that beacon was gone.
That he was gone.
Had been gone for a while.
If Shoba could see anything in that moment, she’d see the silent silhouette of her husband slowly drift away with each teardrop that unknowingly began to streak down her face. She’d see a ghost of her past slipping away. She’d see a house of cards collapsing. But she didn’t, because she didn’t have to.
In a way, she always knew he wasn’t real. Ever since the funeral, she knew. In the back of her mind, she was aware. It was just so much easier to pretend, so easy to see her light when there was light and so hard to find it when there wasn’t any.
Now, however, she felt the light begin to arise again – this time inside her chest. It was all it took to make her admit two things.
Her husband was dead, but his light was still there. His light was never in any of her desperate hallucinations. It was inside of her.
When the lights turned on the following morning, Shoba was calm once again. She was at peace despite not being able to share it with Shukumar. Her tears were dried, and agony slowly shifted into acceptance with each passing moment.
Denial is, after all, a temporary matter.