Lovely mama and He-Man papa
The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was a blur, a dim lit room and a sound. Drops of water dripping down from something. It took me more than five seconds to even deduce that. The pain on either side of my head was killing me, ‘is this what mum told migraines were?’ I thought. Was she suffering from this every day? Poor mum. Anyway, like what every person on Rimmi does when they wake up in a place they don’t know, I tried remembering the events that I could remember last, the house trembling down from a bomb hit. Oh yes, the War.
It was a bright day when I and papa brought in a goat-intestines and some chicken for lunch. Papa always stressed that we have a good meal even during that unpleasant day when the neighbor city of Siera was being bombed. He said that the war was due to the fact that us- tanned, thin, shorter and not yet computer-friendly nation had learned the ways of the paler, and that, we tried to get invited for the coffee after they had ate the hors d’oeuvres, the entrees and cakes. We wanted to be just like them, to have great T.V shows like the Dr.Igloo M.D and the series Buddies, and to be capable of producing movies like the blue-men story of Many Lives. We wanted to taste great pasta from Italy, coffee from Columbia and rotis from India. We wanted to drive McLarans and Zondas like they do. Is that really a bad thing to ask? We had something they did not, and instead of giving us their movies, McLarens and Zondas they were bombing us.
Coming again to that bright day, we walked towards my home, me carrying the chicken and my father the goat-intestines and some vegetables. I loved mushrooms but they were available only once a year. They needed to be what papa said ‘import’ from other country, when the other country accepted to make us ‘import’. I was flying with happiness when I learned a new word that day, but came down to Earth on the hot, hotter and hottest July when I heard that Siera won’t get mushrooms for a year or two. I don’t like onions; they make my mouth smell bad. Even my sister Pinky next won’t play with me, even if I accept to play Barbie, that doll with one leg and half burned hair. How anyone could like dressing that ugly doll up is not for me to know, but she liked it, but when I eat onions she won’t accept to play even dress-up-Barbie.
So as we turned around to my street a thousand granules of sand hit my face, an empty bag made of jute hit my father. He pulled me quickly towards the home nearby, and with one kick, I tell you, one kick that opened the thick door of that house. It was like I was seeing He-Man in front of my eyes, the one who destroys Skeletor and frees the Oracle.
After entering inside, he shut the door and said
“Son, this is what we call War. After Siera, the taller guys want to rob us of everything. Listen to what I am about to say now”,
For which I replied even when we heard a loud noise in the middle of my sentence, which papa called a bomb, I had never heard a bomb before that,
“Papa, we don’t have anything useful, no mushrooms, only Onions and that Misba Chicken that I am bored. Let us give them the chicken and ask them to leave.” boom. “Pinky will be waiting for me”.
“Listen to me son, Pinky will be waiting to play with you, but it might not be today, might not be this month. Do you remember asking me what I was doing going away from you and your mother every two days?”
“Yes papa, you said you were about to make Rimmi a better world. You said that we would get McLarens and Zondas, and we could eat”, boom, “ good Rotis because of what you were doing”.
There was sound outside, just like the sound of rain, like thousand droplets falling around the house, but it was July. We won’t have rain until November and it rains only one or two days a year. I later came to know it was granules of sand when the house next to us was bombed.
“Yes beta, but right now, these people who dislike Zondas and McLarens coming inside our country, they dislike me for helping our Friends from far away to import those Zondas. So listen”, and the sound of rain again, “to me carefully”,
“Yes papa, are they bad people? Do they hate mushrooms”, a motor vehicle sounded loud horn and a loud thud, it should have hit into a home nearby, I saw many motor vehicles when we ran inside, ”like I hate onions?”
“Yes son, they do. They also hate McLarans, Zondas and the TV show Buddies. They want us to watch only cock fights every day, you are bored of them right?”
His eyes were sad, or angry, I don’t know what, but they caused his eyes to water, that was what he told when he hit my friend Miki a week before, when that idiot Miki burned a bright red silk scarf. Actually Miki hit on the candle that fell over the scarf. But that scarf was a present from papa to mama for staying together and not going separate like many of our far away Friends did, for ten years. I liked Miki although I knew him only for ten months, I wonder how much papa likes mama, and he has been with her for ten years. I would want to be with mama for a hundred years.
“Yes papa, I need to watch movies like Many Lives every week and I want to go on that tora-tora every day. I liked that giant-wheel also but tora-tora is my favorite”.
“Ok, then listen to me, these bad people will need to talk to me. They might take me in their jeep. They want to learn how I am helping our far away friends and why we like McLarens and Zondas.” Boom. The house shook, a bomb had fallen on back rooms. I could see the sun, the bright all-powerful. “So if they take me, you need to go to mama and ask her to talk to uncle Hadik and tell her that my stories, the stories I need our far away Friends to read, are under the water. Ok?”
Before I could agree, he unchained his watch, the Casio watch that does not have any batteries. He said it got power from our own bodies, and I, playing under the Sun every day, could charge it fully every day. So I can have it for another hundred years as long as I will be with my lovely mama.
“Ok papa.” He handed it over to me, it was big and round and white inside, and the hands were black. It made me look beautiful just like papa. Papa always said we should not have more than what we needed, because other papas in some other continents did not have even one grain of food to give to their loving sons like me. But he already had his iePhone that he touched every night. He could see the time in it and he still had the watch, but I did not want to question his own principle, or he will become sad or angry and water will come out of his eyes and he might beat me like he beat Miki.
Just then the wall over which we were leaning on was squashed by a bomb. We were thrown away. I cried his name, he cried back saying the bad men wanted to talk to him and that I should run away to mama and tell what he told me. I agreed and told him I that he should do whatever it takes to get the McLarens and Zondas in Rimmi. He agreed and I know for sure he will do anything he agrees. He got me my favorite white mushrooms the year before just because I asked him, and he travelled four hundred towns away to get it, that was when he came back with that small iePhone.
I was still lying down and I did not have my papa or my loving mama or Miki or Pinky. The sound of water drops became very loud. My face was unclean, something red flew down from my left ear. It had the same color as Kissan ketchup we added to noodles. I hoped it was not blood because if blood came out it could make me very tired. That was what happened when little Pinky was born. Blood came out of mama’s stomach and she was tired for next three days. I asked why papa did not hit the man with white coat when he cut mama’s stomach, as papa’s eyes was filled with water that time. But he said it was great help that white coat man did to us. He took Pinky from inside my mama and gave her to us. I could do that too, I was able to hide big lambs inside the pillows and cover it up when Miki searched for it and when he failed I would take the lamb out and give it to him. Miki always would tell that I am powerful boy when I did that, and I like hearing him say that. But when I did the same with mama’s golden ring, she had searched for it for two days as I had gone with papa to meet uncle Hadik. When I came back and gave it to her she slapped me hard and I had water in my eyes. She said it was her lovely mama’s and I should never play with it. Like Pinky, I couldn’t understand mama sometimes, girls were mysterious, and there after I always played that game with Miki only.
So my mama had pain for three days after Pinky was born, would I have pain for three days too? Hers was stomach and mine was in my ear. I sat there looking around, the home where papa left me. The roof was missing, and there were thousands of granules of sand around me. I tried to shout but there were many bricks over me. I needed to move the brick that sat over my mouth, and for that I needed to move my hand. Both my hands had many bricks sitting over them, so I became very scared. My legs too had many bricks over them. Mama always told me to look on the ‘bright side’, so I usually looked at the direction at which the all-powerful Sun was looking at, as it was the bright-side. But she hit me on the head and said that bright side meant goodness in anything. Girls, I know, they say one thing and mean something else. But I agreed at that time even though I did not understand her, just like how my papa did when he disliked the food. But it was many days later that she told me that if I play cricket and win the match, but I had blood on my feet, I should not cry because blood did not like to be inside me, but I should be happy with my team as we beat the other team. I liked it, it was just like beating Miki over that lamb-hide game.
So to look on the bright side- although it became dark outside, I was happy that no bricks liked to sit over my eyes, or I would have to play hide and seek game that I played with Miki but only the first part where I closed my eyes before Miki went and hid somewhere. Poor Miki and his loud breadth, I could catch him anytime. He told that the air inside him hated him so much that when it came out, it made a sound, very similar to the sound when air comes inside to my home after we closed all the windows during a storm outside. The sound of air from the tiny holes in our windows, much like whistle that papa does to mama with a smile on his face every morning, and mama smiles back at him. Papa told that Miki’s body was growing slowly than me and that after some years air will like to go outside of him too with smile and not hate, but I did not like it as it will make it hard for me to find him during hide-and-seek.
So as the sound of the water dropping made me get migraine I sat there, being a bed to the bricks over me, and looked at the beautiful moon. It was completely grown that night. It was round as the special Indian roti mama gave me a year before. Mama loved the moon when it was fully grown and would take us up to the terrace and feed us with food from her hands inside our mouths. Papa would tell stories about He-Man and Spiderman. I saw a spider once and placed it on my palm and asked it to bite me, so I can jump from one house to another, Miki will never be able to catch me in hide-and-seek. But when I did that, my palm became very red like the Kissan ketchup. I showed it to my mama and water filled her eyes. But this time she did not hit like papa, she kissed my palm. Girls, they are different, but if this is what all girls did when water filled their eyes, I would like to be with a girl like how papa was with mama, I would have a mama to my loving son. Then my mama will kiss my papa when water fills her eyes and my loving son’s mama will kiss me.
After some time, the moon walked very much to its right. I got bored. I wanted to go home and eat and sleep. I became hungry too. Mama said she would make the kheema, I loved her mutton kheema and was thinking of giving all the chicken to Pinky and eating more mutton that day. My stomach started to ask me for food loudly, just like when my papa’s jeep sounded whenever it asked for petrol. I then remembered what mama said when I want the time to run fast. It was not running now, and it was sleeping. Mama said that I needed to wake time up, and to do that I should listen to my inside, and if I ‘concentrated’, that was my first complex English word mama taught me, much I would be able to hear my soul. I should then continue hearing my soul while I think of doing what I liked, which was to eat kheema now. I started to ‘concentrate’. It was very silent but I started to hear something very low, like how our Timmy heard my papa’s jeep even before we could. She would be sleeping sadly till then, and after she starts hearing the jeep she would rise up her tail and start running around the house like how I ran when the spider bit me. She did it every day and mama told that she had deep ears that she could hear very low sound of papa’s jeep that I cannot.
It was like that, very low sound. But just like my papa’s jeep, it started to become noisy. It had two thuds and sometime between and again two thuds, like the sound that my papa’s shoes made when he climbed up the stair to wake me up. I hoped my room was still there, not like the house I lay in, the one that caught the bomb and lost its terrace.
I began thinking of what I wanted to happen that night. The sound inside me started increasing steadily. I wanted my papa’s beautiful jeep help my papa and mama reach me. Then my mama should come running towards me and remove the bricks over me to give them another bed to sleep. Then water coming out of her eyes when she kisses and hugs me. Then we go home in the jeep and Miki and Pinky sitting there around the dining table. And just for that day my mama allowing me to eat without cleaning the sand over me, to eat a very delicious kheema with that butter and some bread with the yellow cheese. Then me and Miki and Pinky playing hide-and-seek till the black clock with broken big hand that was always moving here and there, showed nine when Pinky had to sleep. Then me and Miki playing the lamb game and he telling me that I was strong. Then Miki staying with me that night when papa told me all the spiderman stories, he left the story the night before with the green lizard about to attack spiderman from that tower and spiderman was quickly swinging over all bridges and homes to tie up the lizard, like how we tied up Timmy. I have never seen a lizard bigger than my palm but I have never seen a man swinging over houses either. So spiderman’s world should be different. I would like to visit there someday and ask what spider bit him, so I can find one and become spiderman in Rimmi itself, so when the all-powerful Sun was very angry and hot I could go to faraway place where my papa’s Friends were.
I continued thinking, about the orange juice that I would drink the next morning with Miki. It was just then the sound of jeep joined the sound of my soul. My soul started fighting with the sound of jeep for who could be louder and faster. They both became louder with every thud. The jeep stopped outside, and I thought papa and mama came, but the sound of the jeep was not the same as the beautiful jeep that papa had. I didn’t care who came to help me find another bed for the bricks as long as I get a kiss that night from mama. I needed to tell her how I was able to hear my soul which was very loud then. My hands started to shake like what mama says, ‘it got life of its own’, just like every new rose flower did. The bricks above my right hand fell away. I said sorry to those bricks and to the other ones that I took off from my mouth, and my stomach and my legs and my left hand. I slowly started to get up when my left leg pained very much. The white pant was filled with red color, which might have been from the bricks or blood. I hoped it was not blood as I wanted to play that night instead of sleep. Just then mama and uncle Hadik came.
“Oh beta, I’ve found you at last.” And her eyes started to get water.
“Why didn’t you come faster mama, I am very hungry now”.
“Sorry beta, I had to give medicine to Pinky as her leg got injured and had to put her to sleep.”
She pulled me up and hugged be tightly as I curled my legs around her stomach. She began kissing me very much that her lips became red, from the bricks or blood I didn’t know.
“Mama, where is papa? He said some bad men needed to talk to him.”
“I don’t know beta, but I think he went to meet his friends.”
“Oh his Friends from far away? Bad papa, he said he will take me when he goes there. Did he hit all bad men like He-Man hit all Skeletor’s men?”
“Yes beta he did, he is our He-Man.”
“Mama, he told something about his stories and that they were under water. He also gave me his watch.”
Uncle Hadik quickly came up to me and removed my watch, I tried to fight him off saying it’s a gift from my papa and I will hold on to it until I met him again but mama told me to give to him so Uncle Hadik can take us to papa.
“Mama, Can I ask you one thing?”
The jeep ran fast between the red bricks that were sleeping over many others, those bricks needed bed so badly.
“Can you make me kheema? I am very hungry”.
Note to reader : I asked uncle Hadik to write this so you can read it, and he was so helpful, he taught all the additional words like ‘deduce’ and ‘principle’ and ‘computer’. He is with us now, sleeps in the shed with our cows, and mama said he has spoken to our Friends from far away so they could take us to papa. I can’t wait to meet papa and give him his watch back. I hope he has mushrooms for me so mama can make nice pepper mushroom curry.
© Copyright 2012 Arun Srinivasan