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“Misry leave that I said!” Dadu shouted.

MIsry looked back at Dadu and picked up two more handfuls of jujubes from the basket and dumped them in her pockets.

“I said STOP!” Dadu yelled. But Misry was in no mood to listen to the old man. She wanted the Xtra berries and no matter what she would have it.

Before she could even anticipate Dadu came up from behind her and smacked her hard on the back.

“I don’t mind spanking little girls if they don’t listen. I have given you the lion’s share yet you want all of it. No way! Give all that back. Now!” He hissed.

Tears dropped off Misry’s eyes as she handed him over the jujubes she had picked from the basket. She was very angry with her Dadu. The old man had not given her jujubes even after so much requesting. And when she turned to disobey him he spanked her.

Every year her cousins get to eat these berries from Dadu’s garden. She was visiting him after so many years yet he divided equally among them all. She deserved a cut more for her absence all these years but the old man forgot his calculations.

Dadu had a different opinion about the same. According to him eating lots of jujubes causes sore throat and Misry was very prone to it even with slightest carelessness. He didn’t want his little grandchild to suffer and ruin her vacation due to it. Hence he used to give her only few of it even after repeated request from her. But today she just won’t listen and he had to beat her. The old man felt bad but it was for her good. He was sure the little child will forget about it soon and carry on with the day with full enthusiasm like she always did.

But he was wrong. He forgot that Misry was very sentimental too and she would never forget that her Dadu, of all the people, had beaten her for her cousins.

***

Later in the day

“Misry, why are you not eating your food? Ma has made it for you.” Dida said.

“I am not hungry Dida.” Misry replied meekly.

“Hmm something wrong dear? You sound low.” Dida said.

“Nothing Dida. I am fine.”

“Hmm, did anybody say anything to you?” Dida asked.

Before Misry could answer Dadu had joined them for lunch.

“What’s going on Didibhai? What is on the menu today? ” He said sitting beside her on the floor. They had their meal sitting on the floor on a flat wooden board called Peedi.

Dida started laying out plate for him while Dadu kept chatting with Misry.

“Sweetheart I know you are upset but one day you will thank me for that. Always remember that we love you very much.”

Misry started eating quietly.

***

“Misry come on let us play!” Dia Ria called.

But Misry didn’t come out of her room. She sat beside the window watching them play hopscotch.

“Misry what’s wrong dear! Why don’t you go out and play with them?”Madhavi asked.

“Ma, when will we go back to our home?” Misry asked.

“Why sweet heart? You don’t like it here?”

“No! People are bad here. They don’t love me.” Misry replied making a sad face.

“Oh Dear! Did anybody say anything to you? Did you do something wrong?”

Her Ma’s tone alerted her. She knew if she says anything against Dadu Ma won’t listen and hold her responsible for everything that had happened in the morning. So she kept mum.

“Fine! So I suppose there is nothing to worry and you are just fine. Right?”

She nodded.

Madhavi left her alone in the room. Misry thought over the whole incident. She could not come to the terms that Dadu could beat her for asking for some more jujubes. And now her Ma was also not ready to listen to any of it. She felt very lonely and angry.

***

Next morning.

Dadu tried to do something xtra for Misry. He knew she was still upset with him and was not talking to him. He thought of surprising her by giving her a new present.

He took his fishing rod and umbrella and headed straight for the pond. He had promised Dida to get something nice to cook for lunch for his little granddaughter.

He was waiting to hook a turtle in his fishing rod so that Dida could cook a lavish dish of turtle meat for lunch today. There was no doubt in his mind that Misry won’t enjoy it. He had seen his other grand children enjoy every dish cooked out of turtle meat. Luck didn’t favor him yet he kept his patience and didn’t go off guard. As the hours went by he was tired and hungry too but he didn’t care.

But for some reasons the turtles were busy elsewhere and not coming in the vicinity. But Dadu was in no mood to give up. It would have been easier for him to go and get one from the market but he wanted to have it from his pond. Time tickled and still no catch.

Misry saw her Dadu sitting on the edge with a fishing rod and an umbrella.

“Again he was getting something for everybody else and not for her.” Misry thought. Anger flared inside her. She remembered how he had spanked her the previous day. She wanted to take revenge. She crept behind him quietly and gave him a hard push.

The old mad fell down in the pond with a big splash. The splash was heard from inside the house and everybody came rushing out to see what had happened.

Misry was still standing there watching the old man struggling for his balance. He was a good swimmer and quickly gained his balance back after the sudden jolt. He was not hurt at all. Rather when he saw everybody rushing towards the pond he started swimming.

Misry hid behind the bushes seeing them. She was sure the old man will put up a cry and will make sure she gets spanked again for her act.

“What happened Baba? Are you all right? ” Nilesh said giving his hand to pull him out.

The old man didn’t want to blame MIsry. He knew the little girl did this out of anger and if he said the truth she will be angrier with him probably forever.

“Nothing. I just dozed off.” The old man said.

“What is the need to fish here the whole day when Ranu has already bought fish from the market?” Nilesh asked.

“I was looking for a turtle for my Didibhai. I know she will love it.”

Misry heard what her Dadu had said. She was ashamed of herself. How unfairly she had thought of the old man. He was here since the morning only for her only. The tutrles were only meant for her. She felt ashamed of her behaviour and wanted to bed for forgiveness. She ran and hugged her Dadu.

Others thought the little girl was terrified to see Dadu fall in the pond and were not aware of the actual incident.

”I don’t want a turtle Dadu. I am so sorry.” She sobbed.

Dadu hugged her back. He knew the child was feeling guilty so didn’t let the others know what was actually going among them. He simply said, “Don’t 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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