Dolly had my sister’s camera, which did not have a roll in it. My sister had removed the roll and had kept it aside to give it for development. Dolly had picked it up and had come to the balcony with her Mummy Aunty to play. She was not able to take the picture because there was no roll in it. So I helped her to take the picture of Mom with my camera, which had a roll in it. She was intelligent enough to understand that there was something wrong with the camera she had.
There was some unused roll in my camera, which I kept inside. Immediately, Dolly started crying and complained to her Mummy Aunty about me that I had taken away the camera. For her, my Mom and our possessions were hers and only hers. In front of her, Mom scolded me and Dolly was satisfied.
Food was ready and Dad had returned home. Dolly got some pampering from her Appa Uncle and her mother called her back home. There is a strict rule in our home from the beginning that children should be home by 8 in the evening. Rest of the 31 houses there also followed the same rule. If the children did not come back by that time, the fathers in their families would take the avatar of Appa Uncle and the children had it. Thus Dolly left, unwillingly. Before leaving she told her Mummy Aunty, “Chubah aa jaoongi. Raat ko kahin chale mat jana. (I will come in the morning. Don’t go anywhere at night.)”
The next morning she was at our home exactly at 8.30. Mom would wash the parapet wall of the balcony every day because she was growing 4 Tulsi plants in pots there. She would also draw rangoli and do pooja of the place. The previous day we had just returned from Thirupati and were tired. So, Mom did not clean the place. On this day, she had placed at that place a bucket with water and a plastic broom, used only for cleaning that place.
Dolly gave her attendance to her Mummy Aunty with a “Goo Maaning,” and picked up the broom to say, “I will clean for you. Pour water.”
Mom pretended as if she was allowing her to clean the place and drew rangoli. She also performed pooja over there. During the cleaning process, Dolly wetted her frock. Thus Mom called her mother and said, “Your daughter helped me clean the place and made her frock wet. Change it and send her back.”
She did not want to leave the broom behind. She liked it very much. But her mother would have scolded her. So with difficulty she left the broom and went to change her dress. After she changed her dress she returned and saw that I was going to the library. I needed to leave early. I had left my handbag and sunglasses on the bed. This girl picked up the sunglasses and wore it. She also took my handbag and said, “Chalo chalte hain. (Come let us go.)”
Mom took the girl with her and placed her on one of the chairs, which were in the balcony and told me to take a picture. Then Dolly stubbornly insisted that she wanted to come with me. At that time, the Brahmin lady was cooking. Mom took Dolly to Salma’s house to check with them about the condition of her grandfather. During that time, I sneaked out of the house and went to the library.
In the evening, Dolly came back during her usual time. When I returned home at 7 PM, she caught me and began fighting with me, “Meko choke gaye? Kyon? (Why did you leave me?)”
She kept troubling me for 15 minutes. Mom took her toys outside on the balcony and diverted her. She understood that Mom was diverting he attention and began looking at me with anger. After having coffee, I went to wash my face towel and handkerchief. She came in and asked, “Aapne khujala apnaya?”
Actually during that time there was an ad of the brand Ujala, where the main model asks, “Aapne Ujala apnaya?”
We asked her, what happens if we accept Ujala. By chance just to speak to her I asked this question and she replied, “Khujala apnanese khujli aati hai aur maja aata hai. (When you accept khujala, you get itching and we will enjoy.)”
We had already laughed so much in Thirupati with our relatives and we had returned with stomachache. Now we had to laugh despite stomachache!
More to come…
To be continued…