The rain poured in. No it was not rainy season but some passing cyclone. For the past few days it was raining heavily.
“Ma. I am so bored. When will it stop? I want to go out and play.” MIsry cried.
“In a day or two sweetie. Till then you can play with your doll.” Madhavi replied.
“Can I go and play with Honey? I will run fast and not get wet at all.” Misry suggested.
“No way! You can only go when the rain stops.” Madhavi said.
Ma’s no means No. So Misry didn’t say anything else and turned to play with her doll.
A little later, Madhavi called her for lunch. She ate her favorite Machh Bhat and Alu Bhaja along with her mom. Misry was all praise for her Ma for cooking the particular item she loved so much. Madhavi promised to cook the item again for dinner.
Once their lunch was over, they both went to bed for midday sleep. Misry closed her eyes pretending to sleep as Madhavi crooned the lullaby patting her gently.
Ten minutes. No sleep.
Fifteen minutes. No sleep.
Twenty five minutes. No sleep.
Thirty minutes. Crooning stopped and eventually the gentle patting too. Misry was sure Ma was fast asleep now. She opened her left eye first to take a peep. And there beside her, Madhavi was in deep sleep. Misry opened both her eyes.
“Aha! Free at last.” She peeped out of the window. The rain had stopped and given way to sun that shown dimly due to cloudy sky.
Misry tip toed out of the bed without Madhavi’s knowledge. The little girl went to the drawing room, picked up a stool, put it against the main door, climbed it and opened the door latch. She climbed down, picked up the stool, kept it back in its place, took off her sandals and carried them in her hand, opened the main door and closed it behind her without making any sound and then latched it from outside. She walked few meters away from the house bare footed then put on her sandals and broke into a run to Mrs. Singh’s house.
“Honey! Honey! Open the door.”
Their orderly opened the door and announced that the family had gone to the city.
Misry turned back disheartened. Now what? Whom would she play with? She was out of house after so many days. She can’t go home so soon. Moreover, sleeping in the day time was something she detested completely. Her night sleep gets affected and she hates staying awake at night.
Slowly she walked down the stairs thinking hard. Then she had an idea. She ran out of the building and took the path to the recruit training ground. There were several adventure obstacles like the spider net, Tarzan jump, jumping over the wall, beam balancing and what not.
It was their gang’s favorite hangout when they were bored of the games they play in the playground. That area was not very far from their playground. The children loved hopping from one obstacle to another without much success though but they loved the daring.
With no frineds to play with Misry too reached the Training ground. She was on the spider net when she saw a pool of rain water. It was just beside the wall and once again she was tempted to touch the water. She remembered how badly her Ma had spanked her last time. But then at that time Ma was awake. Now she was sleeping and she would never know. Misry looked here and there to ensure that no one was watching her. Once certain she took off her sandal and wadded in the pool.
“Chapak! Chapak!” she jumped as the clear water into muddy water.
And then there was no stopping. How could she not practice her swimming skills when the opportunity knocked? It was so much fun. She continued playing in the water forgetting the count of time. She also forgot that she was supposed to be sleeping beside her Ma and what will happen when Ma wakes up.
A Jawan was passing by and saw her. She was not unknown to him and her antics were quite popular within the campus. He knew she was again up to something which she shouldn’t. He commanded her to go home immediately. His tone was enough to tell her that he meant what he said.
Misry came out of the water all drenched and walked towards her home. The Jawan kept looking at her till she took the path to her house.
“But I can’t go home with wet clothes. Ma will beat me again.” Misry thought. She looked up at the sun and then her clothes. She had seen Ma dry her wet clothes in the sun. So she thought of doing the same.
She squeezed the water out of her frock as much as she could and stood in a clearing looking at the sun. The rays of the sun fell on her completely. Misry hoped to get dry soon enough.
Two minutes. Still wet.
Five minutes. No change.
Ten minutes. I am bored.
Twelve minutes. I am tired.
Thirteen minutes. I am going home.
She opened the latch of the main door quietly and went inside the house. She repeated the former steps again to latch the main door from inside. She tip toed to the room where Ma slept. She found Madhavi sound asleep.
Happily she tip toed to the bathroom and changed into her previous day’s dress from the laundry bag. She abstained from washing her hands and muddy feet with the fear of waking up her Ma to the sound of the running tap.
Then she crept in beside her Ma in the bed and closed down her eyes pretending to be asleep.
Madhavi could not stop laughing watching her daughter. She was amazed at her daughter’s intelligence. She had been widely awake all the time and didn’t interfere at all only to see what Misry was up to. When Misry had locked the door from outside Madhavi had telephoned the sentry on duty near the gate to watch out for the girl. The Jawan had called her back to inform that he had seen Misry and now the girl was on her way home.
“Ma you were awake all the time.” Misry was surprised.
“Always dear. Even with my eyes closed I can see you. Now tell me why did you go in the dirty water again?”
“Did you see that too?” Misry was surprised.
“Of course yes. And now you are messing up the bed too with your dirty feet and hands. Go and take bath now and also change into fresh clothes.”
Later when Misry came back afresh she hugged Madhavi asked, “Ma do you know magic? How can you know everything without even getting up?”
“My sweetie pie when God made mothers he also gave them super powers to take care of their children from the Oogly Boogly. So even if I was not with you physically, I was there watching you and taking care of you.”
“Who is Oogly Boogly, Ma?”
“The demon that lurks out for lonely children in the streets and takes them to his den. ”
“Oh!” Misry was frightened thinking about it. “Did you send that Bhaiya to save me?”Misry asked.
Madhavi nodded. Misry was very thrilled to know about motherly powers. She promised not to venture out alone without her mother’s consent.
Madhavi smiled and murmured, “GROW UP MESSY!!”
Glossary* Machh Bhat and Alu Bhaja- traditional Bengali dish
26 stories in 26 days. I am attempting very very short stories series with GROW UP MESSY – The sweet sour story of a 5 year old girl. Follow my blog for the next story of Messy.
You can read the other post in the series here.