baggout Blogging Contest

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Pinky had carefully drawn big squares for playing ekka-dokka when Tukai came and peeped over her shoulders. ‘Oh my! What big squares! Are you sure we can jump over them’ Tukai was clearly skeptical of her own jumping powers. ‘Why not , look here how I jump. It is so easy’ So saying a buoyant Pinky started jumping over the marks. Tukai took a step forward eagerly ‘let me try. But it is so hot out here. I am feeling queer……. thirsty….Pinky will you….’ tukai stopped talking and started tumbling down slowly like a Pack of cards . A strange sound started coming from Tukai’s open mouth- aanha…aanha…. Pinky looked awestricken at Tukai’s half closed eyes and began the fastest run in her life . Pinky knew what it was. It must be tetanus. She was sure. Only two days back, Pinky and Tukai were climbing the guava tree when Tukai fell from the lowest branch and scratched her arm. Pinky insisted that she should tell her mother and get an injection but Tukai would not listen. She was such a coward, so afraid of the needle. Though in her heart of hearts Pinky admitted that if it was Pinky, she herself would not have divulged the news for fear of the needle. But outside she put on a brave façade and urged Tukai to come along and get a proper medical attention. Tukai begged and begged of Pinky not to disclose the incident and a reluctant Pinky had to give in . Now see what happened. Dadi and Monima were in Dadi’s room . Dadi was busy reading the newspaper with her spectacles balanced precariously on the tip of her nose and Monima was busy knitting a pullover for Bablu. The ceiling fan was moving in full speed. It was mid April and quite hot outside. But the room was cool and comfortable. Bablu and Bhulo were no where to be seen and were most probably playing with ball in the garden. It was quite evident from Dadi’s countenance that the news that she was reading was quite pleasant. There was an overall atmosphere of congeniality in the room when it was rudely shaken by a sudden and violent intrusion in the form of a shrieking and disheveled Pinky who came panting and pale like a sheet of paper, ‘dadi, dadi, monima, monima, a disaster…a disaster . Come soon’ Dadi took a little time to comprehend and looked up from her newspaper with resignation written large on her face but did not show much alarm. But Monima acted so strange. The ball of wool and the half finished sweater fell from her hand ’ What is it Pinky ? Is it Bablu? What happened to my Babulu.. Where is my Bablu?” Pinky took a deep breath and a step backward. No no, it is not Bablu Monima, but Tukai. She has fallen down and is not talking. A somewhat relieved Monima and now an anxious dadi trouped behind a pensive Pinky to the spot, which was way up on the roof. Pinky sensed a stabbing pain deep in side. How panicked Monima looked and how strangely she cried ‘My Bablu..’ Pinky’s little soul some how realized that because Bablu was her own son, she was so upset. Would she have been that much perturbed if it was Pinky and would she have cried saying ‘My Pinky’ ? Pinky doubted it very much. Tukai was taken downstairs to Pinky’s room. But Doctor uncle said it was nothing serious but too much heat and a heavy dinner the night before that she had had at the wedding ceremony of her relative had a combined effect on her. A little rest and a few glasses of water with salt and sugar would be enough to make her fit and running. Pinky was sitting by her side when Rangakakima, Tukai’s mother, came rushing in. Rangakakima loved Pinky and showered her with hugs and kisses whenever Pinky visited their house. She was Pinky’s favourite as she had a mole on her chin just like Pinky’s mother had. Though Pinky did not remember her mother but she has seen the mole in her picture in the silver photo frame that is kept beside dadi’s bed But today Rangakakima came like a storm and did not even look once at Pinky. She bent over Tukai, and murmured in a broken voice ‘Tukai, my dear little girl. Are you ok?’ To Pinky it seemed as if a frog was crocking through her voice. And Tukai ! She also did not even think of Pinky. Did not care how much Pinky was worried for her and went home timidly with Rangakakima. And she claimed she was Pinky’s best friend. Pinky felt so much let down, neglected, and utterly forsaken. For some unknown reason Pinky felt like crying. Bablu stood by her side and tugged softly at her hand. Pinky brushed him rudely and said ‘ don’t you dare come to me.’ Monima now turned to Pinky…. ” How many times have I told you not to go to the open in this blazing sun. But no, you would not listen” ‘Ok, I am a bad girl. I do whatever I wish. I don’t care about what anybody says. I WILL go in the blazing sun and I WOULD be sitting under it the whole day long. I DON’T CARE ABOUT WHAT YOU SAY“ cried Pinky at the top of her voice. A dumbfounded dadi looked at her and exclaimed “Oh God ! What ever is the matter ? Why are you so upset? Calm down child. Come down.” “Why then she always picks on me?” Pinky cried defiantly? Monima was furious – Maa, I have told you, that you are spoiling her to no end. See how insolent she has become. She will be naughty and over and above she would answer back. How dare is she. Pinky I am warning you. Be very careful in future. If ever I catch you on the wrong foot again you will be sorry that you crossed my path”. And she gave a good spank on her back. See how unjust monima is, Pinky talked to herself silently. She would love Bablu more and on top of that she would strike me.. The whole day Pinky avoided Bablu like a plague. For some unknown reason she could not tolerate the sight of Bablu. She did not talk to anybody at all and kept to herself. No body was aware of the turmoil inside her little soul, how hurt she was and how angry at the world as a whole for the injustice of it. Little Bablu avoided her and kept at a distance. That night Pinky went to sleep crying and feeling angry and desolate. Next morning Pinky felt odd and flushed and very uneasy. She went back to her bed shivering from a very high fever. She found a towel lying on the floor, covered herself with it and went into a drowsy sleep. Not finding Pinky in the breakfast table, Monima went in search and the sight of the little orphan lying alone in that fashion pierced her heart like a sharp dagger. To say Monima and Dadi were flustered would be to grossly understate. Both the elders were so upset and cursed themselves so mercilessly that doctor uncle had to intervene and console them like two children. The whole day Monima never left Pinky’s side. Gave her medicine, took her temperature, stroked her tenderly. Next day Pinky was feeling much better. After two days the fever was gone but she was not allowed to leave the bed. Monima still fussed and refused to leave her side. Around noon, after giving Pinky a hot body sponge and washing her head with cold water, and after feeding her piping hot chicken stew with bread, monima was reading out a story while Pinky and Bablu and even Bhulo listened with rapt attention when Ramala-aunti, Monima’s friend and next door neighbor entered the room. ‘Seema (it was Monima’s name) I have got two tickets for matinee show of the new movie now showing at Menoka. Get ready fast. The show starts at 2.30 sharp’. But Monima showed no interest ‘please excuse me this time, I can’t go’. ‘ But why not? It is a real good movie. I have gone through the review in today’s paper’ coaxed Romala. ‘Please Romala, can’t you see Pinky is not well. How can I go to a movie, leaving her alone . No, no, I am not coming’ Monima was very definite in her assertion. Romala aunty was not at all happy ‘really Seema, you are making too much of a fuss. She is not that ill and Masima(meaning Pinky’s dadi) will be at home. Won’t she?” “May be, but I am not feeling like going to a movie and that is final.” Pinky’s pillow became wet with the flow of warm and salty tear drops that flew right from the bottom of her six and half year old heart. Bablu exclaimed “ma, ma, didi is crying.” Monima got worried ‘ oh dear. You are not feeling well ? See for yourself, if you don’t listen to elders, you suffer. Come on, dear girl, don’t cry’ ‘If I listened to you , I wouldn’t have known naa? Pinky whispered through her sobs. What would you have not known, child ? Monima was at a loss. Little Pinky felt shy and she put her head in her aunty’s soft and warm bosom and whispered ‘That you are a Jewel , my Moni MAA’ (jewel-mother)

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