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“Did you see my kite? It is the highest in the sky.” Raju said.

“But Dadabhai, this is the third kite that you are flying since the morning. The first two had been cut down by that boy on that roof.” Dia said.

“You just wait and watch. This time I will bring down his kite.” Raju said confidently.

The kites tussled in the sky and again it was Raju’s kite that was brought down. The winner kite flew higher in the sky challenging all the others kite flyers.

“Dia Ria! I don’t believe this. Who is that guy?” Raju was shocked.

“He is Raja, the bully boy of our school.” Ria answered. “He is very arrogant Dadabhai and always teases us. I wish we could teach him a lesson.”

“We will teach him a lesson. Just wait and see.” Raju said. He got another kite and this time he chose the “Manja” carefully.

This time it was a good kite fight. Raju had really managed to give the other guy a good fight before his kite was cut down again.

The three were really pissed off this time. There was no kite left. Raju asked Dia Ria to buy kites from the colony shop.

When Dia Ria returned they were in tears because Raja had teased them again and tore down their kites. Raju was very angry. He went out to teach a lesson to Raja.

Raju was an outsider and Raja, although couple of years younger to him, was popular among the boys in the colony. Raju was no match for the bunch of boys. He returned home battered. But that didn’t stop him from cussing them. He promised to return and bash the boys badly.  Dia Ria dressed up his bruises.

Misry had just returned home when she saw Raju. Dia Ria told her the entire story. The tomboy, as she was, was all ready to avenge her cousins, no matter how big the other boys were.

***

Misry bought a kite and started running on the road outside Raja’s house holding the kite behind her. It blew up a little against the wind as she ran. Raja watched her from his roof top. He did not understand how to react.

Here was a girl almost half his age trying to fly a kite in his province. Should he allow her or treat her same fate as her cousin’s kite.

“ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ” Misry ran from this end and back with the kite behind her ignoring Raja completely.

Raja was irritated. He came down to the road and warned her.

“Who are you to stop me?” Misry said.

“Only our kite flies here. You better go home to your cousins.” Raju mocked her.

“I do what I please. You cannot stop me.” Misry said.

“Really!” Raja was amused at her daring. “What will you do if I stop you?”

“Just wait and watch.” Misry hissed.

The warning was more than enough for Raja to lose temper. He clenched the kite with his fist and trampled it under his feet grinning at her. This was what Misry had been waiting for.

She pounced upon him like a cat and scratched his face with her nails. He cried out of pain and kneeled down on the road.  Misry attacked him with her fist and kicks. She held him by the hair and pulled hard. Then she tore off his kite to pieces and ran from there.

The boy for few minutes didn’t understand what had happened to him. Then he and his friends ran after Misry to teach her a lesson.

Misry didn’t go home and ran as fast as she could. She turned from this lane to that lane till she was completely out of sight of the boys.

When she finally stopped, she didn’t know where she was. She sat down and relaxed for a while. She was thirsty and hungry but the fact that she had lost her way home didn’t make her nervous. She was happy that she was able to teach Raja a good lesson. She rejoiced her victory.

***

Seconds passed into minutes and minutes passed into half an hour.

Misry was really uneasy now. She came to her senses that she was lost and the worst part nobody in the house knew where she was. Unfortunately she didn’t even know the name or number of her Dadu’s house nor his name. She got up and tried to retrace her path but everywhere the lane looked the same. She had not even seen the surroundings when she ran. She just ran blindly. Now she wanted to return home. But how?

She looked around. Luckily it was a residential area and there were several houses just like her Dadu’s. She entered the first house and knocked the door. Nobody came out. She knocked the second door again no body responded. It was lunch time and probably most of the people were having lunch inside she assumed.

But she didn’t give up. She knocked the third and fourth house and finally the fifth house. A lady responded.

She was surprised to find a little girl at her doorstep all by herself.

“Aunty, can you take me home?” MIsry asked without wasting time.

“Home? Are you lost?” The lady asked.

Misry nodded.

“Oh! Wait I will take you home. Tell me the address.” The lady said.

“I don’t know!” Misry replied.

“What? Lane number, house number, your father’s name. Anything?” The lady asked.

Misry thought for a moment and said. “Ma’s name is Madhavi.”

The lady knew the child lived somewhere nearby and lost the way. She asked, “Oh that won’t help! You have to tell me her full name. Then I can see the address nearby.”

“But we are visiting our Dadu’s house. It is my Mashi’s marriage. You can see the pandal from outside.” Misry replied.

“Oh! But child, it is marriage season and there are lots of Pandals in the area. Can you recognize the pandal of your Dadu’s house?”

Misry nodded.

The lady locked the door of her house and picked Misry up in her lap and went out in the street looking out for Misry’s Dadu’s house. She would wait in front of every lane and ask Misry to see if she could recognize anything including the pandal.  Some of the lanes had more than one pandal and Misry would look for clues to recognize.

Finally they reached their Dadu’s lane. It didn’t take Misry a minute to recognize her Dadu’s house. She ran indoors and found the whole family anxiously waiting for her.

“Where have you been? It’s so late?” Madhavi snapped.

“Ma I lost my way home. This Aunty helped me reach here.” Misry said.

“Oh! Thank you so much! Please come inside.” Dida said.

The lady told the whole story and said, “You Grandchild is pretty smart. What I liked about her was she wasn’t nervous at all. Rather she brought me here. But I wonder how did she travel that far alone?”

Her cousins looked at Misry and said in chorus, “GROW UP MESSY!”

*****

 

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.

 

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