Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Thing

It was a shiny little thing that looked as precious as precious could get. A golden ruler with tiny black markings on it that seemed to call out to all…”Ooooh! Just slide that lovely black HB lead on me…you’ll see how we rule!” A tiny red maple on it was all it took to show it off as a worthy souvenir from one of those faraway lands, where the leaves were red and they fell like blazed gold from the broad trees while the wind took them all in its arms and caressed them till they filmed the road…But the best part, was the tiny golden knob on it…Neeraj had never seen anything like it before! That was convenience at its best! The ruler would never slide out of his hands again…faithful old knob shall help me…Siddhartha beamed in pride as he brought it to school in his candy-pink pencil box and revealed it to the class! The golden gleam in Neeraj’s eyes were easily lost in the ooohs and aaahs of the others. Maybe there were others who wanted to play the magi too, he thought…but victory shall be his! He chuckled at how Mrs. Banerjee had made him sit beside Siddhartha…he grinned in sheer evil…opportunities…oh how he loved them when they came by his sight…

He could wait. The time would be just right in some time…He daydreamed his classes away making his master-plans…When…how…?

Siddhartha would have to get up some time…Everyone needs to go to the bathroom…nah…that’d give him too little time and everyone would be watching…He could borrow it from him and then pretend to be forgetful…nah…that would be too obvious and he would know as to who took it…clever creatures they said, elves with gold! He thought…

Ah! The prefect plan! Sports hour was tomorrow! Everyone would have to go out and play…including Siddhartha…the plan was done! Neeraj tried his evil-cinema-vamp-ish guffaw but then ended choking on his own lunch…but the plan remained….Operation Rule…

The next day flowed as usual…first graders didn’t have much to do or learn anyway. All that they looked forward to was to try their hands at funny games in the Sports hour and grating their biscuits at lunch…But Sports hour was all that Neeraj waited for.

The bell seemed to ring funnily this time, as the kids jumped off their seats and skittered about like little ants in pants until they formed the “line”! Mrs.Banerjee insisted on them standing in the order of their heights…

”Damn!” thought little Neeraj(although such profanities were to come in the later years of his life…”Cha!” would be a sufficient replacement.)

The kids marched in their little white shoes, some sparkling from yesterday’s canvas whitener, some that seemed to love the brown dirt so much that the mud stuck to it and seemed undoable, some seemed powdery from the “chalk-rub”(a pathetic attempt at hiding amnesia for polishing!) and some unfortunately black!(they would be in the line only for a few minutes before Mrs.Banerjee found out and smacked their buns.
Neeraj’s were white…cats were clean.
The ground was pretty small and smaller still was the place where they could play as the bigger guys with funny tufts on their chins took the better and drier spots…But they got busy, with their little games. Cops ‘n’ Robbers was the latest sensation and they started off on trying out the new hides that they’d discovered over the week.

None noticed the cat though. He slipped into the classroom and slid the pride of his life into his bag after a brief search in Siddhartha’s bag and left the room in minutes. What a coincidence! He was a robber in the game and no one found out where he hid!

To his luck, it was the last hour too…no one shall find out about the missing pride until the next day…ah! His master-plan had worked!

At the 3rd ring of the bell, he was out of the school and he ran back home while his usual company home wondered as to what on earth was wrong with their little friend! He threw his bag on the couch and touched the ‘thing’ with pride…but that was when it dawned on him that his mom would find out about it very soon…he had not planned for that…what a fool he had been!!! He cursed himself and latched another plan…

He ran into the apartment playground with the shiny thing sticking out of his slightly undersized shorts. A hungry dog with his bone, he buried it under the see-saw…he looked around to see that he was the only cur around and ran back home before mom would start looking for him…he could come back in some time and take it…that way, it would be what he found on the ground…ah! He chuckled at his plans again! How totally devilish he was! He laughed away his horns and tail…Beelzebub with a golden ruler for a trident…

He changed in a flurry and ran out into the ground again, with his mother screaming at him to be back soon, which he didn’t hear without doubt! Victory shall be his! Sweet smell of success…!

Neeraj ran to his treasury of mud and dug away...a couple of inches…three…and he wiped the sweat off his brows. He knew for sure that he hadn’t buried it so deep…

He looked up and saw Jitesh smiling at his new-found treasure…

His eyes burnt…

2 comments:

Finch, Scout said...

they can't be I std kids.
chalk rub and all is too smart for them.

III is fine.
lovely story.

just love the way the conflict of your story always comes in the end.

too much! :-)

Arun Sethuraman said...

thanks, ms.amulya...[:)]and yah...we were a little too smart in the first standard...[:D]school days...ah...