So Many Books!
Watching two tiny human chunks, shunned and ignored by the stiff-upper-lipped society, clowning around, Santosh Bakaya is delighted to see the rays of the early morning sun falling on these two gems of ‘purest ray serene’ and hugging them tight. Everything is not lost.
On World Book Day (23rd April), she wonders how books amaze children who don’t have access to them. Enjoy her jottings with a hot cup of tea. 🙂
My morning walk and Pushpa’s entry into the campus coincided. Oh, did I tell you who Pushpa was? No, No, don’t jump to conclusions, she had nothing to do with that famous Pushpa of Amar Prem, whom Rajesh Khanna, [the superstar of yesteryears] wooed with his famous dialogue, “Pushpa, I hate tears!”
This Pushpa never cried, she always had a huge smile on her face. What was she so happy about, I often wondered. Unlike her mother, she never frowned, even when scolding her naughty brats with giggles and grins.
“My kids are very naughty, but I have to bring them along as my mother also goes out in the morning, so does my husband,” she said one morning when I had stepped out of the house.
“What are their names?”
“Sahil and Badal. Sahil is three and Badal is six.”
“Very nice names,” I said patting them on their heads. Enthused by this unexpected gesture, they broke into an impromptu jig and started clowning around. Absolutely ignoring the glares of his mother, the younger one started beating the elder one with a stick, which he had
picked up from the road.
Utterly tired after all this running around, both slumped down on the staircase which lead up to our house and started singing songs created at the spur of the moment.
“Din bhar aisey hi gaatey hain yeh.” (They sing like this the entire day)
“Oh, these songs are very good.”
“They compose the songs themselves.”
I went in and brought a few packs of glucose biscuits and a loaf of bread for them, which they took very shyly, looking at their mother from the corners of their eyes. “Kabhi bhi bhookh lagey, ghanti baja diya kerna, theek hai?” (Whenever you feel hungry, do ring the bell, okay?) I said and rushed in.
A couple of days later, there was a knock at the door, followed by some incoherent words. Not adult voices, but baby voices. I at once knew they were Puspha’s kids, Sahil and Badal.
“Aunty ji, bhookh lagi hai.” (Aunty, we are hungry.) Sahil, the younger one said, peeping through the door.
“Oh, Sahil aur Badal, aao andar,” I said. (Come inside)
“Arrey nahi, aunty. Hum gandey hain. Aapka ghar kharaab ho jayega,” Badal remarked, a look of terror flitting across his face. (Oh no aunty, we are dirty. We will spoil your house.) His expression almost made me cry.
“Aa jao, hamara ghar bhi ganda hai.” (Come inside, our house is also dirty.) I reassured them and pulled them inside.
And both came inside diffidently, tightly clinging on to each other’s hands.
After shyly nibbling on the eatables, I had put before them, they started glancing around, awestruck.
“Itni kitabein!’ (So many books!) Both exclaimed, looking at our precious assets, which we have never tried to hide.
“Main to bahut bahut padhai kerna chahata hoon,” Badal said, confidently, but a trifle shyly. (I want to study a lot.) He was definitely not a flower to ‘blush unseen’, and ‘waste his sweetness on the desert air’. I saw the blush, I felt the blush. Very clear. Very palpable.
An hour later, when I peeped out to look for the morning newspapers outside our door, I was pleasantly surprised to see Badal, sitting on the stairs, clutching a newspaper in both his hands, eyes refusing to leave it, while Sahil was teasing a mangy little pup with the same stick he had been using to beat big brother with. The rays of the early morning sun fell on these two gems of ‘purest ray serene’ and hugged them tight.
Watch this space for more Morning Meanderings every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. 🙂
Pic courtesy: Santosh Bakaya
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