Soaked: The story of two reluctant children


Time moves at tremendous speeds, too high for us to realise that a greater part of life has passed away and too high to enable us to reflect over what has happened and safeguard those memories. It was around a month ago. After being soaked in work for the entire day, I was all prepared to go home and immerse myself in the joy of having time to relax. I got into the car and drove at the highest speed suitable for me, neither looking to the left nor to the right, lest I get distracted by the offerings of nature as on every other day. But the shrill cry of a small child of around 7 years old made me halt the car. I got down, approached him and asked the reason for his sobs which had the power to influence the heart of even the giant who consider himself to be ruthless and insensitive. The shrillness and loudness of his cry only increased. People stared at me as if I as attempting to kidnap the boy against his wishes.


I offered him ice cream, chocolates and every other thing that I could find around me but he wouldn’t accept to bury his tears. I recalled the story ‘The Lost Child’ where a small boy loses himself in the crowd at a fair. A stranger appears on the scene and offers everything that he had wished for earlier. But he demands for his parents and nothing else. The situation at that moment appeared similar. He seemed to be the descendant of the lost child, inheriting the same trait of being reluctant to accept what is in reach rather than craving for things far away. The only additional trait and the most dangerous trait too, that the lost child of the contemporary world possessed is his reluctance or incapability to convey what he needs. Having no other way, I took him to a nearby park and we seated ourselves on a bench. The butterflies hovered around us and the nightingale sang to the ragas of the lost child. I closed my eyes and soaked myself in the memories hidden deep in my brain.

As a child, I was highly insensitive to others. The world was my own. I could love or hate people to the maximum as per my wish. Love would result in hundreds of kisses being gifted, be it the old grandmother or the young friend. And hate would see my fury in the form of missiles created from anything and everything hurled at them. I would run all around, disturb the aesthetic arrangement of flowers at the entrance and devour the young plants in the mud pots. And I would also steal money from my father’s pocket and distribute it to the beggars on the street, help the not so intelligent classmates do their homework and share my chocolates with everyone in the class. People would get soaked to the fullest in either my love or in my naughty play.

God seeing all this wanted to teach me a lesson and so, one fine day, he delayed my father who was to pick me up from school. Walking from east to west, north to south; running around the playground, creating a dial on the sand and watering the plants, and of course, plucking the flowers- a full one hour passed away. I could no longer wait for someone who wouldn’t bother to pick up a young kid on time. And so, I decided to reach home by walk, all by myself. Having travelled on the same route for over three years, I assumed that I have a virtual map stored in my brain but I was proved wrong after three lefts and four nights. I landed up in a space alien to me. I wondered if I was still on earth or if I have been transported to another planet. I tried to retrace my path but I ended up being lost even further. The words ‘Try and try till you succeed’ reverberated in my brain and so I tried for a third time but in vain. Fearing being lost even further, I halted my trails and stood three like a rock waiting for my father to search for me, come over there and take me safely to my house. I feared the least.

A group of people passing that way noticed me. They started at me for a few minutes and I returned the stare. I was bombarded with questions one after the other, even before I could open my mouth to answer them. I did not know the reason but I started crying unconsolably. They offered me chocolates, biscuits and everything that they had at that moment in their bags (they were probably returning form a grocery store) but I did not stop even after devouring all of those delicacies. Having no other things to satisfy my hunger, they tipped off fearing my loud cry and my hungry stomach. I stopped crying a few minutes later but tears rolled down, one after the other and they wouldn’t stop at all.

It became dark and I could hear the sound of thunder. It started raining and I got soaked in the rain. An hour or two passed by and I could see the rain drops shining like crystals in the light that was be traced back to the headlights of an approaching car. It was my father; I ran into his arms and cried louder and louder.

Forty five minutes of journey landed me in my house. I expected all the members of my giant family to come towards me and hug me to their hearts. It did happen but after that they started scolding me, each of them talking turns. I was not given any food that day and the chocolates too, that I would be offered every night. They all sat around the big dining table and filled their stomachs while all that I was asked to do was to stare at them. Controlling my hunger, I went to sleep.

I awoke all of a sudden a few hours later, thanks to my stomach that was demanding food. Groping in the darkness, I moved to the kitchen with a hope that they would not have emptied the bowls to the last grain. I heard the sound of footsteps and turning back, i could see my mother coming towards me with a plate filled with fruits. I savoured them all and also, double those usual chocolates. I was soaked in here love.

I heard quarrelling noises of men and women and I returned back to the present from the memories of the past. People gathered around me and were scolding. I could not decipher the intention behind their abuses. Did they think that I was trying to kidnap the boy or did they think of me as an incapable parent who couldn’t calm down his child?

From the crowd came my wife, took the child in her arms, gave an angry look and moved into the car. The child stopped his sob. On the way back home, I told her how impressed I was with the way she could tackle small children and also promised that I would soon find out who the parents of that boy are. Our house arrived. She got down asking, ‘Isn’t that our child?’

Yes, it was! I was soaked in work and tension forgetting that we were blessed with a baby seven years ago! 

Too much of soaking is too bad for anyone, be it the small child in the flashback or the current me. And so, it is for the clothes. Soak no More. Use surf excel!

This story is an entry for SoakNoMore contest at IndiBlogger. If you have liked it, do vote for it here.

Here are my other entries for contests at IndiBlogger. Do check them out:


11 comments:

Panchali

Loved it cos the writing says it all, especially the way yo weaved in the surf excel towards the end is stupendous!
The words precise and straight to the core. All the best!!

jayadevm

Soak well before you wash in soap seems to be the theme of your tale.

So what if it gets you into a bit of a bother .... either way you get a good dhulayee! :)

Geetanjali Gulati

it was good. completely engrossing. funny, yeah/. but how can a person can get so "soaked" as to forget his own child-funniest part.
:P

indu chhibber

I ctoo got soaked in your story from beginning to end.good luck.

Nirvana

quite a twist in the tale there!!! Nice... and all the best!

Ranita Sinha

nice one..got me engrossed till the end which brought a smile into my face..good luck for the contest..

Sanjeev S Singh

Brilliant!! brought back my childhood memories...

shovonc

They ought to give you a prize for that.

Ghazala Hossain

You are amazing :)

gautam maitra

excellent....enjoyed reading....but forgetting 7 year son for job pressure ...that logic was a bit harsh for the over worked parent :D

Panchali

Oh, too much soaking is honestly bad..hence surf excel matic is ideal for a household. Loved the endearing narration..:)

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