Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Picture Perfect

Age : 6+ years
While cooking dinner, I heard something - has it arrived already? Did my ears hear the correct sound, or was it just the imagination of my mind? I ran out to the balcony to check and yes, the sky was overcast and it was actually the thundering that I had heard and soon enough big raindrops started plopping from the heavens above. The first showers of the monsoon - the irresistible sight. There is something magical about the first rain of the season which brings me out to watch. So continuing with this lovely routine, I left my cooking in the middle, quickly made a big cup of tea for myself and took my easy chair out in the balcony. It didn't take long before I got completely immersed in watching the raindrops washing the dust off the leaves, landing on the metal railing, falling on the parched ground where the dry soil seemed to just hide the raindrops in its folds as if it was not ready to exhibit its possession to the world. It will do so, but not yet, it needs to soak the drops in first, to quench the thirst of the innumerable creatures inside its layers that have been waiting for this day.

While sitting on the easy chair, umpteen memories of such rainy days went through my mind and I was just relishing everything - the time, the tea, the thoughts and most of all the rain.
I was so deeply absorbed in listening to my own thoughts that it took a while to register that a big group of little children had come in front of my balcony and were dancing and playing in the rain. Their loud peels of laughter interrupted my chain of thought but nothing seems to bother me when it is raining and soon I found myself relishing the sight of little children getting drenched in the first showers. These were the same children who occasionally came to me to ask for some help in their studies when their parents were not around or to just talk, or if nothing else some of them just came to sit on my computer chair - the big chair which gave them an emperor kind feel, the wheels gave the mobility and spin, in short - a mini merry-go-round thrill. But that day none of them wanted to be indoors. While completely soaked up in watching them, suddenly my eyes fell on a window of a home which was in front of my balcony, normally the doors and windows of which are closed, but that day, there was somebody sitting near the window and watching the dancing children. It looked like a small girl of 5 or 6 years. I saw some from the group of playing children waving at her while dancing in the rain, which meant they knew her. Then why was she not joining her friends in the rain? This thought crossed my mind but did not bother me and I soon forgot about it.

All of a sudden the playing children made a circle and joined their heads together as if brainstorming on some issue, perhaps thinking about a new way to make their playtime more interesting. But I saw them running inside the building and I heard a loud knock at my door. I opened the door and saw all of them standing in front of me. And together they started requesting me to allow them to take the computer chair out - the big chair with the wheels. I was not happy with their demand of giving them my chair in this kind of weather and I was wondering why even they asked for such a thing. But something (the rain I guess), made me not decline their peculiar request and to my own surprise I permitted them to take the computer chair for a little while. I thought they would take turns in sitting on it and the others would spin the chair to have more fun. But they actually did not come back in front of the balcony and disappeared somewhere else. I was silently scolding myself for having giving in to the irrational demand of the children and was a little apprehensive that I would get a spoilt soggy chair which would not be usable for many days. But once again I was startled by even louder cheerful cries of the children and what I saw was unbelievable. The child sitting on the chair was the girl who was sitting in her window watching the playing children a little while ago. But this time she had a lovely bright smile on her face. After looking closely at her, I noticed that she had a very heavy boot on one of her feet and some metal rods were going up from that boot. The purpose of earnest need of the computer chair now dawned on me.

The scene was complete and the picture was perfect now! No yearning in any heart, no guilt in any heart and I thanked God that He did not make me think miserly while agreeing to the demand of the children. And my computer chair found the best use that day.


  1. What a wonderful, heart-warming story! Almost lyrical in its description of the rain and the children playing in it. I could so clearly visualise it all, as if I was experiencing it myself. The twist in the tale truely made the picture complete. Children can be so thoughtful sometimes, it's a wonder that the same children can be contrarily cruel to each other.
    I'm not sure I have expressed exactly what I felt on reading this post, but have made an attempt. Sorry for the long comment.

  2. Thanks for such a lovely comment. The degree of children's compassion just amazes me sometimes and you're right they can be really mean to each other too.

    Your comment was a big reward for me.

  3. A moving narration, and I saw the incident through your eyes very vividly and thought your thoughts.

  4. Thanks Ashok for your kind words.


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