Vamana To The Rescue…(Part 5)

Oh hello my friend, did you have lunch? Come let us walk and I’ll tell you more of my story. I do not know if you like Vamanapuri or not. But to me, it is the most beautiful place on the earth. These green fields are where I took my first steps. The birds’ songs were the first songs that I heard. I can never hear enough of them. It is enough to calm even the angriest mind. I come here every evening almost. Oh, you want to know how the priest is. Thankfully his fever has lessened and he is feeling better. If you are willing, he has even asked you to come for dinner. Oh, you are. That’s wonderful. Now I’ll continue my story.

The next morning, I was woken up by the sound of glass breaking. The sun was shining through the window pane. The old man was still sound-asleep, and as it was only 6.30 am, I thought I’ll not disturb him. I tiptoed out into the hallway, and went downstairs to find out the cause of the early morning hubbub. The cook and the driver were at the gate already. I reached the gate, and saw that a man was standing there, holding a couple of boys by the ears. He was scolding them in a language I did not know. The cook saw me looking confused, and told me that the boys had been playing cricket on the street, and one of them had hit the ball onto the glass of the neighboring house. The man was from Delhi and did not know Malayalam at all. He was not able to understand what the boys were telling him. I started laughing, because the man had caught the wrong boys. These two, were going to school when the boys who hit the glass, ran off. They had satchels on their shoulders. The driver was trying to explain to the man, in broken Hindi. Eventually, I think he understood and let them go. I was laughing all the way back to the house.

After breakfast, the cook sent me with the driver to the marketplace. I had with me, a long list of things to buy, and some money to buy anything I wanted. The money for the vegetables and groceries was with the driver. It was a big market. There were many people sitting on the pavement, with vegetables and fruits in front of them. I saw people haggling with them, for even 1 rupee of things. There was also fish, waiting to be sold. They were fresh, having been caught by the fishermen who had gone out early morning and just returned. I could see them from the terrace of the old man’s house, which was quite close to the sea. The driver though did not go to any of them. He took me and went to a big building. Inside it was huge. There were several rows for food inside. I could see eggs, chocolates, biscuits, bread and many other things. I looked at the list and recited aloud, one by one, the things we needed. Near the end of the building, I saw a fancy shop. There people were buying threads and tying them around other people’s hands. The driver told me that the next day, was called friendship day, and the threads were friendship bands. I used some of my money to buy a simple green band. We went back home after one hour. I went to the old man, and tied that band on his wrist. Told him, that I was his friend also… that made him smile.

The rest of the day passed by without any more incidents. After dinner, the old man talked on the phone a lot of time, and it was nearly eleven when he finally went to sleep. Since it was Saturday, the cook and the driver had gone to their home. I was again woken up by the sound of breaking glass, but when I opened my eyes, I was surprised to see it was still dark outside. I looked at the clock next to the sofa and saw it was only 4 am. The old man was sleeping soundly and had not heard the sound. I tiptoed into the hall again, and went downstairs. I was shocked to see the kitchen door open, and the glass of the window next to it open. I saw a small light in the big room across the hall, and slowly crept toward it. I saw two men placing the old man’s money into a bag. One I recognized as the gardener I had seen when I first came to this home. The other looked much like him, so I knew he must be his brother. When they went out through another door, I took the bag and ran upstairs. They must have heard me running, because they came after me soon. I wrenched open the nearest door and went in. I knew immediately it was a mistake, because it was the terrace door. I was trapped. They came to the terrace too, and shut the door behind them. They were smiling, and they told me, ”Kutti, nee bag thannal ninne veruthe vidam. Ilya ennanankil ninne njangal kollum.” I was scared. They had told me to give them the bag, or they would kill me. I told them no. They were 5 steps close to me when she came to my rescue. Ena. In the dim morning light, she had seen me in trouble, and with a cry she attacked them. They were surprised, and ran back downstairs leaving me and the bag. She flew after them, and only returned when they had gone, running out of the house like marathon runners I had seen on TV. I took the bag back to the old man, who had been trying to get out of bed, to see the cause of the commotion. He hugged me with relief when he saw that I was okay. He decided not to call the police, since no one had been awake to see what happened.

The driver and cook came at nine that day, and after breakfast, the driver called me. He told me, he was taking me to the airport. I was surprised at first, but then I remembered that the other aunty was coming today. I dressed in some new clothes that the old man had asked the cook to get me yesterday and went with him. The airport was very crowded, and many people were bumping into each other all the time. I thought I would get lost in the crowd, but the driver held on to my hand tightly. I saw many planes, landing and taking off also. They had words written on them like Air India, Emirates, Deccan and many others. The driver told me there were many more like them, and that the auntie would be coming in a plane called Kingfisher. I nodded to him, the beauty of the airport having made me lose my voice for the time being. After some time, the driver pointed out that auntie to me. She also had a small girl holding her arm. She smiled nicely and bent down to say hello to me. The girl, was very shy, and hid behind her mother first. After aunty told her who I was, she smiled and gave me a hug and a kiss. She held on to my hand, till we reached home.

Well, my friend, I’ll tell you more after dinner. I need to help the priest with preparation of the dinner. He cooks really well. You will love it. There is not much left to tell you, but I see you want to know about it. Bye my friend, see you at dinner. I’ll not tell you what is special, but you will definitely enjoy it. It’s becoming dark. There are thieves in this area, who might take advantage of unknowing visitors like you. Ena will give you company till the guest house. Bye.

Poetry & writing to me are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

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