I have always wanted to host a guest post at my blog, but somehow I couldn’t do it earlier. When I came across this wonderful blogger who weaves magic with her words and proses, I couldn’t resist asking her to write a guest post for my blog. So, I have Maliny Mohan who has an amazing blog at Chasing Passions. I’m an admirer of the enthralling stories that she pens at her blog. She also writes poetry and general articles.
Thank you Maliny for agreeing to write at Life Under Microscope.
'How would grown up Sonu look like in a pilot's attire?' The query seeped into my mind while I sat watching him in the pale glow of the twilight rays. Hunched forward on my tall, sturdy, polished wooden desk, his usual weary, lackluster face seemed to have acquired an unprecedented charm.
'Thank you didi'. I remembered the deep felt words he had uttered, words garnished with all the innocence and exuberance of a 7 year old, on seeing me switching on the ceiling fan to make him feel comfortable in a weather which was sultry and depressing. He had long unkempt hair - an uneven bunch of black and brown mopy strands, a mellow voice, deep set, large jet black eyes and a demeanor which was precociously mature for his age.
The day I met him for the first time six years back, he was perched precariously on a corner of my kitchen. He was wrapped in a pale ragged cloth with frayed threads fluttering from its end in the warm summer breeze. Amused, I had stood watching him for long, for a cute little bundle of beauty he was to me that day. As a baby, he was garrulous at times reveling in his undecipherable world of jargon and impatient at other times while he revengefully screamed at the top of his voice, probably irked by the nonchalance of his mother, our maid Radha.
Neither me, nor my mother enquired Radha about Sonu's father these days. For whenever we mustered our strength to do that, she would stare helplessly at us, muttering a few unrelated words which would eventually confluence into an untiring stream of sobs and snuffles. She along with Sonu stayed at our house. When he grew old enough, my father cared to it that he was sent to school, evading the many pleas from Radha to not let him be an unnecessary burden to us.
Little Sonu took his first steps in our home, in our kitchen to be precise. Running amidst the scattered pile of vegetables and many other paraphernalia, he used to laugh out loud as if he was the happiest kid in the world, while the kids of his age uncorked their fun and fervor in the country park, beautifully sculptured exclusively for them, under the watchful eyes of their eager parents. Nevertheless, little Sonu's stammer, his broken sentences, zestful gestures, impish stories, pointless rants and relentless cries filled our day and night and before we knew he had dissolved into the mould of our family.
Even so, it perturbed me at times to see his mysterious reluctance to spend long hours in our company. I concluded every time that it might be simply because there wasn't any other kid around here at our home with whom he could share his experiential angle of viewing this world and the people in it .
It was one month back, on one rain drenched cloudy evening, with the air pregnant with unspoken worries, that I noticed him idling in an isolated part of our house. It didn't take me long to realize that his usual cherubic face was that day particularly flushed, as if he hid something, with the gravity of which he would explode then and there.
“I failed in Maths didi and my teacher told me that it was a really bad thing. And Akash, my friend told me that all children who got a red mark on their report card would grow up to be like Ramu, the man who washed our tiffin box after lunch at school. Is it true didi? I don't want to be like Ramu when i grow up. I want to be a pilot. I want to fly and not wash dirty plates like him. Ma doesn't know anything about numbers. Akash's mother works in that huge yellow building near my school. Is that why he always comes first in class?" He was almost in tatters that day. The sorrow that shadowed on his face and drooping wet eyes had the unmistakable features of a boy scared of being prematurely whisked away from his path that might otherwise lead him to his well nurtured dream one day in his future.
My reverie was broken midway by the thud of a glass tumbler being placed on the desk. In a hurry, I fumbled for my handkerchief to wipe dry my eyes while Sonu started munching on the fruits Radha had brought sliced for us. In between, he kept reciting loud and determined the multiplication table that I had taught him with much effort the previous day. Sensing Radha's presence beside me, I looked up at her and even though my vision was clouded by dampness, i could easily trace the fresh drop of tear that was rolling down her smoke tanned cheeks.