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© Nisha Ghosh

Fantasy Classics Romance

4 Minutes   27.2K    679

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He walked past the rooms, crossing many people who crowded the hallway. Mentally checking and ticking the things that were left to do, from calling and informing the relatives who still weren't informed of her demise to making arrangements for the days to come. His sister and wife were busy comforting the people around, the loud sighing, whispering and incessant buzzing was just an additive to his alarmingly increasing irritation. A long lost uncle tapped his shoulder from behind, tried comforting and engulfed him in a hug, returning a courteous hug he broke away from the embrace and set out to get hold of the pandit. He didn’t have a moment to grieve since her death in the wee hours, from rushing her to the hospital and settling the bills, to informing the close relatives and performing the cremation. Oddly enough, he didn’t feel a thing, just went about mechanically mimicking his duties, ones that he had performed a few years ago, for his father. After all, once you grow up, death no longer scares you. It becomes a part of life. Tugging at his white kurta, his three year old stretched out her arms, an indication of a request to be airlifted. Carrying her in his arms as she wrapped her arms around his neck and hung onto him, he wandered into the kitchen and found that the relatives had cooked his daughter’s lunch. Setting his daughter on the kitchen platform, he picked out a plate. Putting some rice in it and two bowls containing dal and potato curry, he lifted her with the support of one arm and walked into the balcony. He sat on the ledge and mixed her rice with the curry as she aimlessly wandered and babbled around. Making little lumps of rice of different shapes, he arranged them on the plate and called out for her. She sat on his lap and they named them together, the biggest one was an elephant, then a tiger, a dog and the tiniest one being a parrot. The storytelling then commenced, ‘Once when Dolly was wandering in the jungle, she found a little elephant that was stuck in a big hole, Dolly being the strong girl that she was, caught the elephant by its trunk and pulled it out!’ He then nudged her to eat the lump of rice that was named, ‘The Elephant’. ‘The Elephant thanked Dolly and offered to give her a ride, on the way they met a lonely tiger who requested if he could join them. Okay! Let’s go! Dolly gave him a thumbs up, and then...’ She looked at him wide eyed, he nudged her to pick up the other lump named the tiger, and promptly she took it and gulped it down. ‘They came back to the city where Dolly found a little brown pup, and she decided to keep the puppy at home with her. So now, Dolly, Elephant, Tiger and Dog were together’, both of them sang the line in chorus and she gulped down another lump. ‘Finally as Dolly sat in the balcony, she saw a parrot fly through the window, the parrot was green and had a red beak, she saw dolly’s beautiful house and wanted to stay. Dolly being the good girl she was said, yes! And then’, as if on cue, she picked up the last lump of rice and polished it off. Laughing and giggling, she continued to prance around while he mixed the rest of her rice with dal, recollecting how his mother mixed his rice when he was that little. Of how post school she would wait for his arrival and lovingly feed him as he ran around on the terrace, watching the planes from the nearby airstrip, and how they tried making things out of shapeless clouds. Or how she taught him social, by making tiny dams, wells and rivers with rice and dal. Lost in his thoughts, he mixed the rice and dal to make a well, a tiny hand caressed his face as his teardrops fell, like waterfall.

Mother love food india rice dal children death laughs childhood

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