Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Giant

“Mom, look at that”, Sneha nudged Swati, as they were travelling in the bus. Swati had promised her daughter, to take her to the village, where she had the best vacation of her life.

“It looks weird. Isn’t it?” Sneha asked her pointing her to the farm. Swati was already lost in her thoughts.

Swati was new to the village environment. Her parents worked in a city, and during summer vacation, she visited the village. Since she was the youngest of all her cousins, it was evident; she was the source of their entertainment. Her elder brother, along with his cousins enjoyed teasing his 7 year old sister.

“Good Morning Amma” Swati was still rubbing her eyes. She had just woken up

“How is it that you are up so early today?. It’s just 6.00 AM. You are usually in your dreamland at this time, during vacation” her mother hugged her and kissed her on the forehead.

“Amma, I want to walk around in the field. Can I please go?” Swati pleaded her mother.
“Early in the morning, I won’t let you go alone. You can go with one of your cousins or brother, once they are awake.” was her mother’s response.
Swati went to the backyard sulking, where Leela, her grandmother was drying her hair, after the morning bath.

Leela was in her late 50s. She usually would be in the kitchen at 6 in the morning. But the previous night, she slept late as her sons and daughters, with their families had come to the village after long time. She was too excited and too busy, and slept past midnight.

“What happened to my darling? Did Amma scold you? Come here, I will give you something special” she tried to cheer up the little girl

Swati was least interested in what Leela had in store for her. “Why can’t I go alone to the field? Amma doesn’t let me go” Swati was complaining.

Before her grandmother could answer, one of Swati’s cousins who had just woken up, came to the backyard, and interrupted the conversation “Hey Swati, do you want to see the cow being milked?”

She was so excited at this thought, and ran with her cousin to the cowshed.

Swati had arrived the previous night, and this was the first time she had a look at the village in daylight. There were no limits to her excitement. Every small thing had her exclaiming.

The front yard had a lot of shrubs, which bore colorful flowers. As they passed these, and crossed the gates, the kids reached the cowshed. There were atleast half a dozen cows which she could spot from where she stood. She instantly fell in love with the one which was black and white. It looked just like the one in the butter packets, they got back home. She wanted to touch the cow, just then, one of the cows mooed. It was a fantastic experience for all the kids to see the cow being milked. More so, for Swati, since this was her first experience. She was tempted to drink a glass of milk at that instant, which was surprising as she was not a great fan of milk. By this time Swati had forgotten, her wish to visit the farm.

After lunch, one of her uncle’s announced that he would be going near the farm, and all the kids, who wished not to sleep and wanted to visit the farm, could hop on the jeep. Swati ran and sat in the front seat of the jeep. Two other cousins joined her, the rest of them were too tired of the travel, and wanted to stay indoors. Another reason, they stayed back was Leela had promised to make some yummy savories for them, and they wanted to be the first ones to taste them.

Once they reached the farm, uncle held Sawti’s hand. He had a firm grip, so that she wouldn’t slip on the mud. There was a smile on her face as soon as she saw the Greenland, bordering them were the huge trees. She saw that the farmers were having their lunch under the tree. She wanted to go and play in the shade, but did not want to disturb the farmers there. But seeing her uncle, a few of them came up to him and reported on the happenings. He gave them some more instructions for the rest of the day.

“Are you their teacher uncle?” Swati asked him. He was amused by this question “Why do you think I am their teacher Swati?”
“This is just like in school. When we have a free period, our teacher comes and gives us instructions” was her reply.

Her uncle then explained to her. “Let’s say, this is like school. I am their head master. So I take care of the school and the teachers and ofcourse the students too. There are a few farmers, who have been doing this for a long time, so they are the teachers. There are some new farmers, they are the students”

“Wow, I would like to be in such a school too uncle” Swati was admiring the farm. The so called students were back to work. It was fascinating for her to see them in the field. As she was walked around, she spotted something far away. She came back running to her uncle, and enquired. He was busy with work, hence told her, it was a dangerous place in the farm and that Swati or anybody should not go near the place without elder’s permission. She kept staring at it and decided she will ask her brother if he knew anything about. Initially, she thought of asking her mother, but later decided against it, assuming that was the reason she wasn’t allowed to go to the farm alone.

Once they were home, she had fun with her cousins. They played until the daylight faded away giving way to a beautiful sunset. All the kids were on the terrace, and loved the orange red combination in the sky. To give them company were the munchies their grandmother had prepared. They ate until their stomachs were ready to burst out. Everybody claimed, they wouldn’t have dinner that night. But all that running around in the frontyard and jumping around had them in the dining room, much before dinner time.

After a sumptuous dinner, they resumed playing. The elders too did not interrupt them, as this was the only time, they could enjoy without any school worries.

They were just about to sleep, when Swati told her brother about the weird thing she saw in the farm. He couldn’t understand what Swati was trying to explain to him and told her to remind him about it, the next time they went to the farm.

The next day, Swati woke up to the smell of something delicious. She saw Leela preparing breakfast for the entire family. While she stood, watching her cook, her mother slipped in a glass of milk, which Swati drank without any fuss. All kids were up in the meanwhile and were ready for the breakfast. All of them had planned to spend their day in the farm.

The farmers recognized Swati, and smiled at her. She too smiled and waved her hand in response.
“You are already friends with them, Swati” teased one of her cousins. “Ofcourse they are also students right” she said which surprised the other kids. But they dint ask for any explaination from her. As they walked, Swati froze for a moment. When her brother, who was holding her hand, according their mother’s orders, tried to drag her, she refused to go any further. On probing, she mentioned that uncle had told her not to go, as it was a dangerous place. The elder kids looked at one another, and smiled.

“Yes Swati, only kids who are above 10 years are allowed there. You stay here, we will come back in a while” saying this, all of them ran, leaving Swati and 2 others at the same place. After an hour, when Swati did not see any of her cousins coming back, she panicked and decided to call some of the farmers. Just when she turned around, she heard her brother’s voice, from the direction all of them had gone. She ran that way, and as she neared, she saw the weird creature standing tall.

She was at the back of the creature, she wanted to run away, but she thought about her brother and cousins, and this gave her the courage to stand in front of it and question. As she went to the front, she couldn’t see the face. It was very sunny and since the creature was huge, the glare of the sun prevented her from looking at the creature. She was scared. Her eyes were brimming with tears. She tried to scream at the creature, when she realized her voice had deserted her. Her mother’s voiced echoed in her head, about listening to elders. Why did she not listen to uncle? Why did she have to tell everyone about the dangerous place. It was now her fault that everybody was in trouble.

Tears which filled her eyes had now started to roll down her cheeks. She wanted to be brave, save her brother and cousins, but felt helpless. She dint know, what the huge creature was, blame it on the sunlight, she still couldn’t spot the face. But she did notice that the pant worn by the giant was shabby. The pant had loose ends, and did not even smell great. The shirt also seemed like an old worn out shirt. He must be a kidnapper she thought. She spotted few sticks nearby. She ran to pick up a couple of them, and started hitting the legs. She was amused on why there was no noise from the giant. She hit harder, and she could hear a bone break. This did not stop her and she continued to hit the legs, this time the other one. She again heard a bone break, and in minutes, a huge pile of sticks fell on her. The shabby clothes also were on her head. She was surrounded by her brother and cousins, everybody holding their stomach and laughing at her.

Like a hero who rises from the ashes, Swati rose from the heap of sticks, and gave a long stare. Everybody stopped laughing and apologized. She started throwing the sticks at them. It took time for them to pacify her and also to convince her not to complain to the elders about their prank. By the time they reached home, she knew the giant which she had fought was a scarecrow. At home, they had to come up with a story to tell the elders in the family, so that scarecrow could be back in its place.

As a punishment, for a week all her cousins satisfied all her wishes for a week. She did not stop smiling all those days.

“Mom, why are you smiling? And what is that weird thing?” questioned Sneha.

Swati kept her hand on Sneha’s shoulder and said “Let me tell you a story, then you’ll know what that is”

1 comment:

Thesis Writing Service said...

Excellent article, it is so to understand.