Friday, July 02, 2010

Eight years and counting...

The boy got down from the car, opened the back door and pulled out his bag. As he swung the bag on to his shoulders, he started complaining all over again. He wanted to press the facts and strike the right chords. "He called me naayae amma" (Mom, He called me a Dog), he said. He looked up at his mother, who was walking beside him, holding his hand, giving little attention to his whining. He had repeated the whole tiffin-box-pushing incident over and over since last evening.

As they walked into the school, he said, "You should scold him nicely. He shouldn't fight with me anymore." His mom did not respond. "Naan baatukku chaaptindu irundhen, avan gudhichaan3rd row lendhu" (I was minding my business and eating my lunch, he jumped from the third row), he repeated, "fulla kottiduthu" (It spilled completely). He went over the details once more as to how the other boy was being mean to shout back after spilling his food. He kept on grumbling about it, alternating the modulation between angry and sad, until they reached the chapel.

They came to a halt in front of the chapel. She let go off his hand and said "Avana ingakootinduvaa" (Bring the boy here). In no time he was running as fast as he could to II-A (2ndGrade - A section). His happiness knew no bounds. He couldn't believe that it was happening. He sprinted into his classroom and threw his bag haphazardly on a desk. He walked up to another boy, who was sitting in the middle of a group and said, "Stallone, My amma has come".

"Come, Come", he added victoriously, "Chapel la irukaanga. Nethu en tiffin boxa thalli vitta illa" (She is in the chapel. You pushed my tiffin box down yesterday right). Stallone looked petrified already. He did not know what to say. He looked around and the other boys looked bowled out too. He stood up trembling about what was going to happen. Left with no choice, the two started, while one looked comforted the other contorted.

There was no conversation throughout the walk to the chapel. As soon as they reached, Stallone started, "Aunty, he only first scolded me". "Amma, but he jumped and pushed my tiffin box", the boy shouted, his face throbbing with anger that Stallone complained on him. The boys kept telling on each other referring to the tiffin-box-pushing and recalling other instances from the past. Though it was a child's play, the enmity behind it was evident.

After listening to the nuances of the two boys, she finally spoke. She started by shushing her son. Then, she looked down at Stallone who was almost about cry out of fear and anger. She did not say a word. She smiled at him first, patted on his head and opened her handbag. She pulled out a couple of snickers and handed it to Stallone. Both the boys were taken by surprise. One was happy and the other was furious that his enemy was getting two of the few left over snickers his dad had got him. He didn't dare say a thing though.

"Both of you are good boys right?", she asked. Stallone nodded with a smile while the other boy was still staring at his mom for her betrayal. "Stallone", she said, "if you are his friend, you'd give him one chocolate". With no second thought, Stallone, still smiling, offered a chocolate to his new friend. "You", she nudged the boy, "if you are his friend, you'll take it". The boy wasn't quick enough, but he knew what would be the post-school consequences of denial. He accepted it with no change in mind or expression.

"Shake hands?" she prompted. Stallone gave his hand in acknowledgement, but her boy was still stubborn until he caught the expression on her face. She wasn't staring at him. She did not look angry. It was the smile*. The smile to convince him to finish his homework, to sit through music class, to not shout while she conducted tuition, to wash his hands before he ate, to go back to sleep after he had woken up from a bad dream, to pack his bags according to time-table every morning and more. He gave in. He shook Stallone's hands. "Go to class now and be friends", she said as the two boys, prepared to leave with one's arm around the other's shoulder.

That day, she taught her son, why it was important to be friends, to let go small things and how anger masked all the long lasting love that was buried beneath. He was too young to understand the implication then. But, he caught up later. Stallone and Sriraj (aka Chiju) were great friends till they passed out of school.

We're not in touch now, but I really wish he reads this.

Eight years have gone by.
Doesn't seem long, I wonder why.
For all that I do, see and breath,
Has you in it, is the truth.

Dedicated to my Mom who left to some other world, eight years back, the same day! (July 2nd2002). Today is my Mother's day! Miss you ma!

*The smile - The last chance for me to realize that I'm being unreasonable. Its more of the final convincing mechanism. Past the smile, trust me, which has happened many times, is really a nightmare. :) I don't feel bad about it today because I used to be such a brat. :P

14 Expressions:

S.Kaarthikeyan said...

this is one of your best post. and stallone if you can get hold of nithin or rindo they will be able to help you. will text you nithin's number.

Chiju said...

Thanks man! :) I got Nithin's number!

Vasanth said...

Nice one Sriraj, what to write..... u have summed up all below,

For all that I do, see and breath,
Has you in it, is the truth.

$ph!nX said...

Poignant and beautiful da... I don't know how else to put it.. And as with the poem last year, I words fail to describe how I feel....

Chiju said...

Ya! Those lines sum it up all.

shruti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shruti said...

Good one Sriraj...You mentioning your mom brought back beautiful memories of Indu miss and tuition class...She did constantly make us laugh in her own way! :) And the incident you mentioned above sounds so like her :)

Shruti Jayachandran

P.S : I deleted the previous post cos i didnt add my name to it

Swathi Vaidyanathan said...

Nicely written. As you said, her smile is the very thing that kept us going so far. As I read the last line of the post, I was almost in tears da. Miss u ma!!!

Navneeth R said...

I dono wot to say ... Really moved .. my comment just wont and cant explain hw I feel ...

Chiju said...

Yeah she did! :) Lovely days!
Likewise! :) Your Letter was so perfectly drafted!

Junaid Ahamed said...

One of the best post,I ever read...She would have been so proud of you chiju!

Chiju said...


Kanz said...

Touching buddy..

Kamakshi Priya said...

You two are really wonderful strong kids

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