Shishir Mishra



Shishir Mishra


Boy With The Questions #1

Boy With The Questions #1

5 mins

When the world sleeps the careful Ishwar was the man with no blinks to safeguard his melon fields from intruders and thieves. He has already put all his saved belongings into the preparation of the healthy melons and before he could sleep, his nightmare came and told him about the tears he would shed if he closes his eyes. With the departure of the last ray of the day he would be ready with his old stick given by his grandfather usually called laathi and with the onset of the first light, his wife would be ready with water and neem leaves and his favourite tea. Both were toiling their foot to their head for healthy produce. They had the experience of crying slowly with their sounds stuck inside their mouth and tears soaked on pillows and bedsheets.

Even though they made no mistake in keeping their cry from each other, they heard each other crying for each other last year. It was Ishwar's first independent year in farming last year after the untimely death of his father. He and his wife Renu were raw in this deed yet they had enough self-respect not to give their land to the rich. The first year was half wasted and the rest had not so greatly done. They had to buy grains that year. 

This year they had no mistakes to make and no carelessness to show. The raining morning of July brought his wife with his lovely tea hot and life-giving. The night was short those days so he had to wait less yet had no patience. The night would start with the same thought he had since last month that farming is the hardest of all works and how he would be able to nurture his child in the near future with his unskilled farming. He would then have a heavy eye so reluctant to open yet he had to convince them both to be working sincerely till morning. His heavier heart would outshine his eyes and slowly in the dead silence of the black hours the weight of his eye and his heart would start reversing. After eight to ten hours of biting fight the eye would outshine the heart in the morning. This limit was set up by him and he would often think that humans are themselves their restrictions, they put up their own limits and cry for becoming inactive near that limit. His thought would not last long for he had to think of the plans for the rest of the year.

His wife would wake up at three in the morning and would finish all the daily chores before she could prepare the tea that her husband had invented. He had given her a page long recipe of the sip that he invented once with his father. Then she would wait till it's five and again she would warm the tea and along with some water, she would start a kilometer of her journey to the melon field. She would often find her husband dancing in the rhythm of his sweet sleep. She would first look around the field to check whether any animals or humans were not at work.

Then she would wake him up from his fake sleep and give him water and tea. After this rainy season, they had finally sold their produce to the wholesale market. This year they had enough money and probably grains not to cry on their inexperienced labour. One day in December Renu was thinking about their child who was still roaming somewhere in the galaxy, about his care, his education and so many things in advance. Ishwar was out of town searching for a new hub for his paddy sale. Coincidentally he had the same thought. He was looking at his own pity of roaming here and there, begging for buyers, shivering in the intense cold and so on that he would hate to offer to his child. 

Renu thought whether Ishwar ever thought about their future. Coincidentally Ishwar also thought the same about her. Their thoughts of coincidence were separated by a buyer on one side and a neighbor on the other. He found the buyer with terms and conditions nearing the limit Ishwar has created. On the other side, Renu was disturbed by one of her talkative neighbor lady who was asking whether she used one spoon or two of sugar in her tea. She was still being beaten by random talks when Ishwar came. He had a smile on his shrunken face which was slowly fading away due to the neighbor. He was against this culture of never-ending talks of some women. The lady didn't move an inch until she saw the red face of Ishwar. Slowly her lips started separating less and with a thud of Ishwar, she flew away giving a benediction of coming again tomorrow. Then the couple had a talk...

Ishwar: I have told you hundreds of times that I hate this...

Renu: I have heard every time and never went anywhere to talk. Your villagers are the people you should now talk to.

Ishwar: I'm not angry with you, I'm just saying you shouldn't have permitted her in. I am hell thirsty even in this cold.

Renu: I know, but what should I have told? Get out of here! so that the same would come to you and me from the village. I have warmed water for's in the kitchen. I also wanted to fetch you that but that lady would then start cooking your head.

Ishwar: Okay, we'll not talk on this anymore. I have good news... I have fixed a buyer for our paddy at the maximum rate.

Renu: That's great...

After a pause...

Renu: What do you think about our life as parents?

Ishwar: I'm not ready for that now. We will think about it later, after... after having enough savings.

Renu: Nothing is enough if we are not satisfied. We must make our plans...

Ishwar: Sure, after this winter...

Renu: Let's see when this winter ends.

Ishwar: Let me see the food first...Haha... I know you are hungry too.

Renu: Hmm...

They had their dinner and after a round to the field, Ishwar came back and sat beside Renu on the bed. He thought for 2-3 short hours on his savings, his awareness about vaccines and care of children, about his father, and Renu before he sunk into the indolent and cold night.

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