One fine morning, the little girl, who usually came at 8.30, came with a cloth in her hand. She said, “Baiya roya (Elder brother cried).”
Mom asked, “Kyon roya?”
She replied, “Naayi aaya. Baal kata. Toh Baiya roya. Maja aaya. Lounda hai. Baal katna haina. Nahin toh larki ban jayega. Mummy ne uko lounda bola hai. Toh who lounda hai. Larki nahin haina.”
We felt like laughing at her innocence. But we kept quiet because she might hit another bouncer and make us speechless.
Mom asked, “Did you come early because of that?”
She replied, “Baiya ko chambal rahi hai Mummy. Meko frock pinao na.”
When I went to help her out, she shouted, “Main benian mein hoon. Meko hath nahin lagana!”
We liked the awareness that her mother had given her. Some women leave around their even older children without proper clothes.
So, Mom had to take over dressing her up. Then she pampered her saying, “Meri Gudiya Rani, bahut sundar lag rahi hai.”
Every Thursday and Friday, we would have poojas at home. For that the watchman had brought mango leaves for toran. Even if we forgot, someone in our building would remind him to bring them. That was because the Punjabis living in our colony called our home as Mata Rani’s mini temple. Other North Indians would call our home as the temple of Vaishnodevi because they believed that Satvik Sanatan Dharma pooja in one house would bring good to the whole building. They would wait for the 2 aartis per day, pray from wherever they were and then only leave for any work. Similarly, Shiv Sena and Congress activists would pray to our deities and then only go for elections. Mom would say winning an election is not important. What social work you do for a colony is more important.
This time the watchman brought mango leaves in branches. I was teasing Dolly and in between Mom said that he has brought the leaves with branches. I just said casually, “Tukde tukde karke bandenge.”
Dolly immediately started crying and complained to Mom, “Mummy Aunty, tukle tukle karegi bolti hai mele ko!”
We never knew what she would take in a wrong manner. Mom explained to her, “She only told that we can break the branches into pieces and then use it for toran. We will never say anything like that to you because you are our Vaishnodevi.”
Immediately, she gave several expressions and hugged her Mummy Aunty. Then she came to me wanting to be lifted up. After picking her up, I looked at Mom, thinking how I would make the toran, with Dolly in my arms. Mom told her to help me and she immediately started giving me broken branches for making the toran.
To be continued…