“Tan .. tana .. tan .. tan .. tan .. tan .. tan .. tan .. tan …”
It felt like the best music in the world was coming from servant quarter in our backyard. It had been three months, since the new family has moved in; Husband, wife and three kids under the age of seven. It was 15th August, and I had treated the kids with a Choc-bar (ice cream) each.
I considered ice-cream as a celebration for Independence Day. But it turned out; they had no idea of Independence Day. They were celebrating ice-cream with the happy tan-tan song. After that it became a custom, I started treating them often. I would bring some toys that made them dance. Once I bought them sunglasses (roadside). I am not sure how it affected their visibility, but that night all three of them slept wearing sunglasses. Each gift was responded with a happy song or happy dance. Everything was good.
As the years passed, a single quilt that was shared by the whole family was replaced by two beds with mattress and covers. Three plates were replaced by stainless steel dinner set. And the happy songs and dances were replaced by pretentious smiles and gratitude.
I realized, they were still grateful, but my gifts didn’t earn me the best music in world anymore.
Today, Neha (their second daughter) came to show me her report card; 92% marks and 2nd rank in class. She is going to a school, her parents can hardly afford and she never lets them down.
“Thank You didi” She smiles as she holds the cash envelope from my hand. I love the hopeful eyes of this, 15 years old. I can see her excitement and proud, as she has earned her envelope. She shows her gratitude but my ears still long for “Tan .. tana .. tan .. tan .. tan .. tan .. tan .. tan .. tan …”