Alone No More
~ by Ishithaa ~
There were times, when his little heart yearned to have a sister. One who would come and watch him play, cheer him and call his name out loud from the audience and be pleased at the smallest of his achievements. It seemed like everyone had a sister or a sibling except for him. But he never wanted a brother; all he wanted was a sister, more like a twin sister. On this account, his parents too could not help him even though he did go up to his mom to tell her that he wanted a twin sister. His mom had laughed, the crow’s feet near her eyes more pronounced than the previous day, but her eyes twinkled and shone of the kindness she carried in her heart.
He loved when his mother smiled at him like that. It meant that she was immensely happy with him and that he was her favorite person in the whole wide world. That was when the thought struck him. If he had a twin, he would have to share his mother with another kid. Maybe then she would not smile at him the same way she does now. Little Sekhar decided that his mother meant more to him than a twin who did not exist and prayed hard to God, clutching his tiny fingers so hard that the little nails left imprints on his palm, asking Him not to give him a twin. That night, he insisted that his mother sing him to sleep.
As he was walking to his school the next day, he heard a lot of commotion. Unable to curtail his curiosity, he went closer to the group and saw that there was a girl, almost his age – in the middle of all the commotion. From the looks of it, she was the reason behind this crowd. With messy hair and untied shoe laces, she looked as if she was attacked; instead Sekhar was shocked to see that she was the attacker. She hit a boy left and right and when the boy started whimpering, she let him go. The kid quietly picked up his bag, shot the girl a furious look and limped towards his class. The crowd began to disperse, but Sekhar had not budged. He looked at her as she went about adjusting her dress and hair, picking up the books that were strewn on the path and arranging them in her bag, the buckle of which was broken now. Sekhar offered the water bottle he had in his bag and bent down to pick her Class Monitor tag and slyly noticed that her name was Priya.
“Priya, why did you fight with him?”
“He called me moti.”
Big fat drops of tears rolled down her face as she said this.
Little Sekhar was moved beyond words, for he knew what it meant to be taunted for his size. He helped straighten her up and walked her till her class. She was in VI B whereas he was in VI C.
That day when he was about to walk back, he waited till Priya came and they went home together. Her mother was waiting eagerly for Priya and came out to open the gate as soon as she saw both of them ambling along. She paused for a moment and invited Sekhar in, made him sit at the dining table and served hot steaming pazhampori on two plates. He loved this south indian dish and was extremely pleased to be served these by his new friend’s mother. He quickly finished what he was having and thanked ‘aunty’ profusely.
He had tasted one of these when his friend brought it to class one day and he’d been asking his mother to make them one day, but he had been extremely unsuccessful in making his mother understand what he was talking about.
On his way out, he mumbled something into Priya’s ears which piqued her mother’s curiosity.
Priya laughed and asked him to wait.
“Amma, avan oru pazhampori koduthu vidaamo?”
Priya’s mother smiled at him when she gave him the tiffin box containing the banana fritters. He remembered his mother’s gentle smile and thought he wouldn’t mind sharing her with someone as sweet as his new friend.
(4th November 2014).