Kappu – A Life of Lessons {Part 2}

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was first held in 2010. The challenge is that we have to post every day of April, except on the four Sundays. April 1st is a theme with letter A, 2nd with letter B and so on till April 30th which will be Z themed. This year, I’m planning to do short pieces of fiction (not a series), or a poem based on a word with that letter.

Index of Posts: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Kappu – A Life of Lessons

Part 2

Today, the guard without hair is not there. When I reach outside the school, there is no one in the ground. The other guard sees me, but he doesn’t flinch. Instead, he gestures at me to come over.

“What is your name?” he asks me in Kannada, the language I know best.

“Kappu,” I utter by mistake, but he laughs it off. He asks me my real name.

“Suma,” I tell him.

He is kind, this guard. He tells me that I can stand near the window and peep into the class all day if I want to. He’ll tell me if someone comes. It’s something I’ve longed to hear. But a ragamuffin can’t be at one place all day. I have to find enough to take back, or my father will give me a beating. So I shall move away soon.

Yellowed paper in hand, I stand crouched near the window, waiting to hear the woman.

“D for,” comes a voice, but it’s a different woman.

“Doll,” echoes the children, but I know this already.

I have stood near the wrong window. I can see the guard tell me that.

But I have stood at this window before. Seeing the woman show the picture of a doll makes me want one of my own. I want a doll. And I want the book that has the doll picture in it. In it, I have seen her show cats and eggs and jugs. I will ask the guard uncle if he’ll get the book from me after the woman goes.

I crouch down and move toward the right window. Looking through, I see the woman there write in letters close to each other. I can’t do that; yet. But one day, I will. Looking at her, I try it on my yellowed paper. This lesson is fun. I hear the bell ring, and I try to slip through the fence to the road. But there’s a hand on my shoulder.

An angry man looks at me, and shouts in a language I don’t know. I plead with him to let me go, and he does, but he takes my yellowed paper and tears it, just as the children come out and watch him. Tearful, I sneak out the fence, but my luck is bad.

I am caught by my appa. As he drags me away from the building, I can see the angry man throw away the pieces and the children look at me. My appa curses me in Kannada as he pulls me to our tent, asking me why I couldn’t know my place. He gives me the beating I knew I would get. But he’s in a fury today.

“Let this be a lesson to you,” he says, taking the hot flat ladle from the coal stove and pressing it into my right hand.

~ Continued in Part 3 ~

Index of Posts: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Like last year, I’m taking the challenge along with my friend Bhavya. We’re writing on the same themes each day, and giving each other the themes on alternate days. Day 12, the word chosen by us was ~Lesson~.

(© 14th April 2015)


Poetry & writing 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.

38 thoughts on “Kappu – A Life of Lessons {Part 2}”

  1. Well written Leo.. very poignant and deep. But I wont “like” this story. 🙁

    Waiting for the rest…

  2. Oh the poor thing. How can parents punish their children in a manner so harsh? Is he even her real father? 🙁
    Only the most cruel of people can hurt a child so 🙁

    Beautifully written Leo! I hope she finds an answer to all her troubles in the parts to come….
    (Bhavya recently posted… The Importance of Being Kind)My Profile

  3. What sad lives these children lead! We see them on the street, carrying heavy sacks on their shoulders, often barefoot, and we hardly spare a thought for them. But this is the truth of their lives. Please, Vinay, can you write a happy ending for her? Even if it is a temporary reprieve.
    (Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar recently posted… Dear Little Mermaid)My Profile

  4. Oh, the poor girl. How could parents punish their child such. Sad reality 🙁 I hope the story ends on a positive note.

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