Read #1 book on Hinduism and enhance your understanding of ancient Indian history.
Read #1 book on Hinduism and enhance your understanding of ancient Indian history.

Amrita Mallik



Amrita Mallik


Of Worms and Pickles

Of Worms and Pickles

3 mins 237 3 mins 237

"I got one! I got one!" She shrieked, jumping up and down in excitement.

For the first time she was seeing a worm crawling. In our village house we had been habituated to seeing such tiny creatures. But, they don't come, here in concrete cages!

So, she was overjoyed, bending down to greet her newfound friend. Then, she searched everywhere, observing closely every nook of the home garden. There she discovered snails, marching ants, caterpillars and several unnamed wildflowers.

We had somehow come down to her grandparents. The perks of online classes and work these days. While we were working parents she would get to spend some quality time. Besides, the broad smiles on the old parents were soothing. Moreover, corona had spared these villages and small towns far away from the crowded cities.

She would get up early morning. She would go for a long walk with her grandpa. She would meet human and non-human friends and talk to them, carefree and amazed. Sometimes she would hug a puppy or a goat kid.

She wouldn't fuss over her meals. She would gobble up blithely simple puffed rice, poha or plain rice and daal. Making her eat fruits and vegetables, indeed became a child's play. No chocolates or cookies or such salty and fried items were required to bribe her.

She would go with her grandparent to tend the plants in the garden. Witnessing nature from such a close angle with so many varieties of flowers and fruits hanging from the trees - she danced with joy.

She would help her grandma with household chores. Drying papad or making pickle she would closely observe and try to perform each activity. Even when she would break something her grandparents wouldn't scold her but teach an important lesson through the incident.

Suddenly we noticed how her temper tantrums and bad habits had disappeared. She didn't once touch the mobile phone. She demanded less. She even didn't require those expensive, fashionable and 'children-safe' toys. She was glad jumping into muddy puddles, dirty hands and dresses. Even minor cuts didn't bother her. She slept on time and rose early. And, I noticed, how she fell less ill.

I had carried books but I kept them away. She was learning far better and more interesting things here in the open, under the sky than she could learn there.

"Let her breathe and be herself," I thought and left her to savour these delights.

Even our anxieties and frustrations due to improper work-life balance had vanished. After so many years we were sleeping peacefully at night.

Pandemic turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We decided to stay here until we were needed to be present physically in schools and offices.

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