One fine day, Kabir was running down the road and his mother was chasing him. I was cycling at that time and was approaching from the opposite side. Kabir was gasping and his mother was trying to catch up with him with a rolling pin in her hand. She was shouting loudly-“Wait till I get hold of you.”A street dog was sleeping on the road and as Kabir ran past him, he too got up and started chasing Kabir. The dog was barking and a passerby picked a stone and threw it at the dog and the dog stopped barking with it’s remnant agony and went to other side of the road.
As her shouts increased, so did Kabir’s pace of running. I was trying to avoid the whole mess, but Kabir saw me and hid behind me. He got on to the back seat of the cycle and said “turn the cycle around quickly and cycle away from here before Ma catches up with us.” His mother was panting, still she had the zeal and energy to chase Kabir down. So, unwantingly I had to turn the cycle around and we went to my house.
Until I reached my home, Kabir remained tense. Now that we were in safe domain, he opened his mouth after having a glass of water.
Kabir-“I am not going back home. I will stay here.”
Me-“But what has happened? Why was aunty chasing you?”
Kabir-“That’s because I had made a big mistake.”
Me-“What mistake?”Kabir-“My mother was making rotis and keeping it in a casserole. A crow which comes regularly to our window still was cawing “kaa, kaa” and was asking for food. On a daily basis I give it bread or biscuits to eat.”
Me-“Still, I don’t find any fault in it.”
Kabir-“That’s where I made the blunder. I had seen Ma make those rotis and keep it in the casserole, so I took out all four nice and hot rotis made by Ma and after making several pieces of it, I gave all the pieces to the crow.”
Me-“Aunty, must have been very angry.”
Kabir-“Ma was furious. When she saw that the rotis were missing from the casserole, she shouted and angrily asked –“Who took the rotis from the casserole?” Now dad was shaving at that moment, so I couldn’t put the blame on him, so naturally I had to accept my crime.”
Kabir-“Ma, was boiling. She told me-“You gave the rotis that I made to that blistering crow?””
After saying this, Kabir took a moment’s break and drank another gulp of water.
Kabir-“Then? Then all hell broke lose.”
Kabir-“Ma began screaming. She said-“do you know how precious my sweat drops are? Their worth cannot be adjudged by a stupid boy like you. They are priceless and you wasted my sweat, my time and my hard work?”” Then Kabir stopped.
Kabir-“All was under control till now, save my father poked his nose in between. He was shaving his beard, when he jerked his head out of the bathroom and said-“your sweat isn’t worth a dime, as my mother’s sweat was also not given any value. TIll now I have not got any tiffin.”
This sentence of his infuriated Ma like anything. She picked up the rolling pin and before she could do anything, I escaped by running and she followed me.”
Me-“Oh, so you are the culprit. That’s why aunty was so angry.”
Me-“Well you can stay here till evening six o’ clock, but after that you would have to go back home.”
Then we all had lunch.
Kabir- “Can’t I stay here the whole night?”
Me-“No, you can’t stay here as aunty and uncle would be worried and anxious about you.”Kabir’s face fell on hearing my words. He was scared and his guilt was to the tee of his whims.
He responded-“What punishment my father will get, only God knows. Maybe Ma won’t speak to him for weeks or he would have to prepare his own tiffin.”
Kabir had a brilliant talent of drawing.
So I asked him to make a drawing of an elephant for me. Within half an hour he did so. After seeing his drawing, I couldn’t control myself from asking him to make me another drawing of a rose.
He finished the rose within forty five minutes and even coloured it. The rose looked beautiful and glorious.
I told him-“Don’t worry Kabir, I will go with you to your home and show this drawing to aunty and she will definitely forgive you.
Then my sister who was studying the whole time Kabir was here, came forward and said-“I too would go and meet aunty and convince her to forgive you.”
Kabir’s mood lightened up a bit after hearing our words.
In the evening after having tea and snacks, we all went to his home. It was his father who had opened the door and said-“Your mother is very angry. I didn’t even get lunch. Had to order food from a restaurant and your mother didn’t have a single morsel of food since morning, so I too couldn’t have it.”
Suddenly his mother appeared in the doorway and Kabir cowered back and hid behind me. My sister went ahead and said-“Aunty please, forgive him. He is scared to the core.”
Kabir’s mother- “Do I have any other option other than forgiving him?” Then she suddenly realized that we all were standing on the porch, so she said –“Why are you all standing on the porch? Come in”
Instead of going inside the house, Kabir took two steps backwards, when his father caught hold of him and took him inside.
My sister-“Aunty, I will make rotis for you and the next time I come, please teach me to make bhakris.”
Hearing this words Kabir’s mother had tear in her eyes and said-“God Bless you child.”
My sister quickly made rotis (round flour bread), a sabji (vegetable) and dal (lentil).
After the hearty and sumptuous meal me and my sister went back home. Kabir was still afraid of his mother and he had locked himself up in his room. Aunty had thanked my sister a lot for making the food. She too had helped but was feeble for not having food since morning.
The next day we met Kabir and he said-“Ma didn’t say a single word to me.”
Apparently he was still scared of his mother and tried to slip out of his house early in the morning, but his mother stopped him and made him have his breakfast.
Hope he doesn’t chicken out anymore.