The Dancing World | Sachin Sharma

Hi, I am Sachin,

Our lives is like a draft version of reality, our stories make life readable, enjoyable and accessible. I like to believe that every story we tell makes us more mature. Living my life through characters and feeling the true emotion that my characters feel, I believe I can connect better with the world via my characters. That’s why I write.

The Dancing World

Sachin Sharma

The Collateral Landscape Award



Salim shushed the class and drew its attention to the black board using his crutch as a pointer.

“A for…”

“Aeroplane,” the classroom reverberated with a high pitch voices of pre teens.

Before the teacher could move to the next alphabet there was a cavalcade of fighter planes that passed through the skies above, roaring. 

The kids following the protocol, ducked and folded onto the floor, placed themselves like an array of canon balls. 

Sitting on his knees as if praying, Salim slowly raised his head up and reminisced his own childhood. 

Roughly 35 years ago, he was in this very classroom when he had heard the enigmatic sound of a plane for the first time. The entire class including his teacher had rushed to witness the apocryphal flying machine that was crossing their skies. That day they had forgotten everything and remained outside for hours to get another glimpse of that mysterious thing that moved like an ant, leaving a trail of parallel clouds, bisecting the sky above.

The rumble in the sky slowly moved afar. With the fading sounds of planes his memories dissolved themselves in the present. 

Ready to teach the rest of the alphabets, Salim got up and brushed he knees of his pyjamas.


Mohna, a small village in Afghanistan was an indistinguishable dot on the map of the world. The map that hung on a pale yellow wall. The pale yellow wall that was recently attacked, mauled and damaged by the attempts to wage the war on terror. The war that caused those numerous serpentine lines on the map, frequently erased and redrawn confusing millions of dot like villages about their capricious identities.

3 days back, this map hung next to the blackboard. One could still see the bright white rectangular patch on the wall. This naked part of the wall had lost its veil when another wall needed it. The bombing had made a hole that let the sun and dust inside the class. The teacher had decided to use the ‘world map’ to keep the dirty world outside the class, using it as a screen. 

“Fixed it,” he told himself after covering the hole on the wall, “no one will notice this now”. May be no one did, or may be they pretended they didn’t. This fractured wall epitomised the state of turmoil, the entire country was in. 

Everyone was hoping for hope. 

Some of these kids had lost their fathers, some their mothers, some their limbs. Almost all of them had lost their childhood. That wall was not the only thing that was wrong with this class. Sometimes when the strong wind blew and tickled the leaves of pomegranate tree standing outside the wall, the map danced too; oscillating, twisting, and finally turning its back to these kids, just like the rest of the world.

The afternoon sun always highlighted a specific part of the map. As if the sun wanted to gleam only that bit of the world. America on the map was backlit like an advertising billboard.


The teacher continued, “B For…”

A naughty kid suddenly jumped and yelled as if he had been waiting of this chance forever


The whole class sniggered. 

Those who could, clapped, rest high-fived.

Salim smiled. 

The map fluttered.




The Collateral Landscape Award