Spicy Rasam

Not a cooking or food blog! I just share what's cooking in my mind.

To read the part 6, click here

India, 1998

“Hey!” called Bright Eyes. Tivini, the snake, lifted his head up and looked around. ‘Hmmm’ he thought and started to move again. “Hey! You.. Tivini.. stop!” said Bright Eyes. Tivini took a defence stance and got ready to attack the owner of the intruding voice. “Who is there?” asked Tivini with anger.

Bright Eyes jumped down from the neem tree. Tivini looked at Bright Eyes with shock. ‘Did she just jump down a tree?’ thought Tivini. He looked at Bright Eyes’ blue dress and long, red bindi. ‘OK! She is not a monkey. How did she jump?’ thought Tivini.

“Look! Did you see a person with three eyes?” asked Bright Eyes as she hugged her knees and sat down on the ground. Tivini got back to the defence stance.

Bright Eyes sighed. “Look Tivini! I am not here to scare or hurt you. I just want to know. And Please tell me exactly what happed that day,” said Bright Eyes. Tivini could not take his eyes off Bright Eyes. Her eyes were too bright. “She was glowing,” said Tivini, as the urge to talk overwhelmed him. “She had three eyes. One eye on her forehead. She was glowing,” he said.

“And?” asked Bright Eyes.

“She did not hurt me. She as not afraid of me. She…. She was different,” said Tivini.

“Hmmmm!” said Bright Eyes and disappeared.

Tivini searched all around him to find Bright Eyes. She was no where to be found. He lied down and tasted the air for possible danger. He found none. ‘Maybe I am becoming old,” thought Tivini and slithered way as fast as he can.

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Bright Eyes walked Near Marina beach on the sea water. She could see fishes and other creatures swimming in sea water. She sat on the water and sighed. Waves splashed on her and she absently tried to beat water off. Her mind wandered off. She will be called up. Janani will be initiated. She always knew this day will come. She never thought it will be this tough. Janani was still a child. She had a big heart and was clueless of her powers. Bright Eyes has to find a way to make Janani and Rishi friends. Her kid, Janani, needs a person like Rishi to carry out the tasks. Without Rishi, Janani will invest more than what was required.

Bright Eyes sighed again. She could see a school of seer Fishes and pellonas swim the waters. A huge ray fish was gliding just beneath where Bright Eyes sat on the water. Bright Eyes smiled. The ray was curious. It could see her. She petted the big ray and promptly disappeared. The ray fish looked around and swiftly swam away startled by the experience.

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Rishi stood near the kitchen where his mom was angrily cooking. She suddenly stopped cutting brinjal and turned towards Rishi. He steeped back a little, startled. She opened her mouth to speak, sighed and went back to cutting brinjals. The police had come to their house and applauded Rishi. Simran brought a huge fruit basket and Punjabi sweets to thank Rishi. These had not sat well with Rishi’s mom, Pournami. Rishi’s father and sister were pretending to be doing their normal chores around the house. His father, Dilip, was dusting the TV unit vigorously. His Sister, Rishitha, was cleaning the sofas with a used toothbrush; she had spilled grape juice on one of the cushions last week. She was terrified that her mother would anger-clean the house and find out.

“Mom!” called Rishi. Pournami continued to cut brinjal and mix the boiling drumstick sambar on the stove. “Mom! Please… look… mom…” called Rishi.

Rishitha and Dilip looked at each other as they continued to clean the already clean surfaces.

“Mo…” started Rishi and Pournami placed a metal plate on the granite kitchen counter with a big thud. She tuned to face Rishi. “Do you have a death wish boy?” she asked with seething anger, “You climbed onto the terrace? Jumped inside the kitchen window? What the hell were you thinking? For the love of god, why would you put yourself in danger?”

Rishi clenched his fist in dormant anger. He had told Sanjay, Baasi uncle and Simran to keep mum. He never expected the police sub-inspector to come to his house. Simran had said, ‘Hey! She already knows. Why can’t I show my gratitude too?’

“I have one boy!!” screamed his mother, “Is asking you to stay alive a crime? Can’t a mother even expect that?”

Rishi’s father could no longer keep mum, “Pournami!” he called from the kitchen’s entrance and got a seething stare form his wife. He mustered his courage and continued to talk. His son needed him. “Nami… Come on! The boy saved a life. He was brave. The police came personally to our house and wished him well. He is a local hero!” he said. Paurnami continued to mix the brinjal sabji and cleaned the kitchen counter.

“He saved Mr. Saxena. Please do not be angry! You should be proud of our boy,” said Dilip and rested his case. Rishitha smirked. Both Dilip and Rishi turned to look at her. She raised an eyebrow and shook her head.

“Dilip!” called Pournami, “Stop encouraging these acts. What will you do if he is put in danger? He is already so small..” Rishitha giggled, “…. He may get hurt. Rishi….” she said. “Yes ma?” said Rishi. “Come here!” said Pournami. Rishi went. Pournami took few chillies and salt in her palm. She rotated her hands in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions in front of Rishi’s face. She asked him to spit on the chillies. She then proceeded to throw the chillies and salt mixture on a heated iron kadai. They cracked loudly. She took the kadai out back and dropped it near the coconut tree.

“Don’t you have tuitions? Go!” said Pournami, washed her hands and continued to cook. Rishi hugged his mom, gave her a kiss and hopped away to get ready for tutions. Dilip walked near Pournami and back hugged her. Pournami sighed, “What are we going to do with him, Dilip?” she asked.

“Nothing! We just wish him well and be there to catch him when he falls,” said Dilp. Pournami smiled and rested her head on her husband’s shoulder.

To read the part 5, click here

India, 1998

Rishi played with a yoyo ball as he walked towards the grocery store. His mom had given him a big list. The chore was worth it though. He will get to buy 2 Bar One chocolates. Rishi walked past Mr. Saxena’s house. The front door was closed. Simran, Mr. Saxena’s granddaughter, always opens all doors and windows. They were even nicknamed the ‘open house’ in the neighbourhood. ‘Odd,’ he thought to himself as he walked away. “Hi!” he heard Angel’s distinct voice. He involuntarily smiled and creased his forehead with sudden realization. He turned to face Angel. As usual, she was wearing a blue dress. She smiled brightly.

“If you’re here, who is it this time?” Rishi stooped his shoulders and said, “Angel!! I have work. Come on! Mom will kill me. She thinks I am slacking away. Last time that girl did not even thank me.”

Angel smiled. “Come on!” she said and walked towards Mr. Saxena’s house. Saxena uncle was in his 80s. had been in the military. He stayed with his daughter and granddaughter. “Uncle!” called Rishi, “Aunty! Simran…..” he called. Angel was already inside. She gestured, ‘come inside.’ Rishi sighed and walked inside the compound.

He called again, “Uncle! Uncle, you there?” Rishi saw that the newspaper was near the shoe-flower plant. It was today’s newspaper. He turned to look at Angel. She was not there. He walked near the window and looked inside. The house was dark. No lights were on. Rishi pursed his lips. He looked at the big list in his hands. His mom will kill him if he goes empty handed. She has made carrot halwa. He was sure his share will go to his sister. He wet his lips and thought for a second. He walked around the house and reached the backyard. The house had a huge well in the backyard. He kept the bags near the mango tree and climbed on the well. He held a branch of the mango tree with one hand and swayed his way onto the sunshade. Once he was on the sunshade, he pushed himself up the terrace wall and jumped on the terrace floor.

Angel watched him with delight as she sat on top of the coconut tree. Rishi was resourceful. She knew that. He did not empathise with people, but he could be persuaded to care. “Whatcha doing?” Angel heard a voice. Without looking, she knew it was Bright eyes. “Shhhhh….” said Angel as she watched Rishi remove all the ropes that were used for drying clothes. He tied the ends and connected the ropes. He then tied one end to the huge pillar in the middle of the terrace. He proceeded to climb down to the first floor. Bright eyes nodded and said, “I am impressed.”

Rishi looked though the first-floor window that was Saxena uncle’s bedroom. He was not there. Simran was his tuition teacher, and he was well versed with the house. He went to the kitchen window and kicked the grill door. The screw came off a little. He swayed back and kicked it again with more force. He was lucky. Aunty had not yet fixed the door. It fell with a thud on the kitchen floor. Taking some utensils and the water cooler along with it. ‘I am dead if I don’t find anything wrong,’ he thought.

He jumped on the kitchen counter and walked on top of it to reach the door. He proceeded to search in the living room. Mr. Saxena was not there. He thought for a second and went inside the bathroom. He found Mr. Saxena on the floor. He immediately tried to lift him up in vain. He opened the main door and ran to the Nairs’ house. “Uncle!” he called. “Uncle!” he shouted with increased volume. “What?” asked Sanjay, Mr. Nair’s son, as he came out of the door. “Saxena uncle’s fell down. Help me!” said Rishi. Sanjay ran, along with Rishi, inside the Saxena house to help him.

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“Want some?” asked Angel to bright eyes. She held out a piece of coconut. Bright eyes got it from her and started to eat. “When did he see you?” asked Bright eyes. “Some time back!” replied Angel, “The kid is different.”

“How?” asked Bright eyes.

“He has a knack for getting things done,” said Angel.

“Hmmmm…” said bright eyes, “So! He is the one for Janani?”

“I think so,” said Angel.

“He looks so small, though. He’s really 15?” asked bright eyes and Angel nodded. Both looked at the boys helping Mr. Saxena. Sanjay, who was much older than Rishi, effortlessly lifted Mr. Saxena by holding his shoulders. Rishi was talking on the phone. He kept the phone down and went to the kitchen to get some water. Sanjay lay down Mr. Saxena on the sofa and started to rub his soles. The walls were not there. Bright eyes and Angel could see what was happening inside. “And! Hey!” said Angel to bright eyes, “The snake near the lake, the one that eats rats. It saw Janani’s third eye.”

Bright eyes stopped eating and looked at Angel with a startled expression.

“She’s just 12, right?” asked Angel and bright eyes nodded. “All the best,” said Angel and turned to look at bright eyes with a smirky smile, “You’ll be called up soon.”

India, 1998

Parimala looked at the clock eagerly. She worked in a local wholesale rice shop as an accountant. The work was good and it paid well. The best part was she got discount on rice. “Annachi, I am leaving,” said Parimala and took her handbag.

“OK!” said Annachi and got back to counting money. “Wait! Parimala,” he said.

“Hmmmmmm…”

“How much was the money Dilip stores deposited this month?” asked Annachi.

Parimala thought for a few seconds, “hmmmmm…. 2000. They deposited Rs. 2000.”

“OK! OK then! We can give them rice tomorrow. OK, see you tomorrow,” said Annachi.

Parimala smiled and walked outside. “Bye Mani,” she said to the store helper. “Bye!” replied Mani.

Parimala walked to the Aavin milk centre and bought milk sweets for Janani. She loved to walk home, even though there was a bus to the locality she lived at 6:15.

She placed the sweets inside her bag and started to walk. She loved the evenings. The orange sky was beautiful, and the greens were greener. She could see people everywhere. Some were leaving work. Some were buying vegetables from the street vendor, and some were gathered in the local Ganesh temple for evening pooja. She kept walking, taking in the liveliness.

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Saravanan walked silently behind Parimala. She always walked. Why can’t she take the bus? It is definitely safer. He sighed. He had to walk everyday because of her. Saravaran worked in the medical shop opposite the rice shop. He loved Parimla. He knew she was a widow and has a child. He could not help but love her. She was sincere, intelligent, and simple. Annachi could not stop praising her when she had joined as an accountant. She organised the books and eased book-keeping within a month. For some reason, whenever he praised Parimala, Saravanan felt proud. It took him a whole year to figure out that he liked her. And another year to figure out that he loved her. His assistant thought he was crazy. He understood why. He was a good 5 to 6 years younger than her and she had a child.

Parimala wore a bright maroon saree today. Her hair was always plaited. She never wore earrings. She had a dark complexion, with tiny pimple marks on her cheeks. She always wore a red, round bindi, a thin gold chain, and one bangle on each hand. She never wore synthetic material sarees and she loved cotton sarees. The way she wears her saree makes someone wonder if she ironed the cloth after wearing it. It was perfect. She was perfect.

Parimala walked in a steady pace. He sometimes felt like she was dance walking. Saravanan smiled. This was her only indulgence. She was a frugal woman, so of course her indulgence did not cost money. Everyday, Saravanan will follow her till she entered her apartment building, and he will board a bus back to his shop. His assistant knew, Annachi knew, and Mani knew. Even the lady who sold flower garlands near his shop know this. She would pester him to profess his love and give him jasmine flower garlands then and now. ‘Everyone knew, except Parimala’, he thought.

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Parimala stopped to buy some fruits. As she bargained and paid the amount, she could see in her peripheral that Saravanan was following her. She was used to him by now. He did that every day. He was a good man. He never tried to talk to her or misbehave. “He just wants to make sure you go home safe, akka,” Mani would say with a mischievous glint in his eyes. She had a fondness for Saravanan. She was not sure if it was worth redesigning her life. Anyway, Saravanan has never told her that he loved her. So, no point letting her imagination go further. She distracted herself with the mother and kids trio who walked in front of her. The two kids were fighting to hold their mother’s hand. The mother was walking slowly so that the kids did not trip and fall. She was holding a heavy bag on her left hand. Parimala smiled and went near the mother. “Want me to hold the bag?” she asked with a smile.

The mother looked at her two angry kids, one of whom was at the verge of tears. “Yes, please!” she said and Parimala got the bag from her. “I can carry it till Mullai flats,” said Parimala.

“Till Apu Flats will do,” said the mother and held both the kids’ hands.

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Saravanan looked at the scene proudly. ‘I wish she was younger’, he thought, ‘Maybe I can change her birth certificate.’ He then smiled at his silliness. He suddenly realised that his legs hurt. ‘God! Why can’t she take the bus?’ he thought.

To read the part 7, click here

To read the part 4, click here

India, 1987

Parimala sat near the homam (sacred fire) as the Pandit performed ayush homam. The father was required to perform the ritual, but Parimala had requested that she do it. She missed Ashokan. It has been 6 months since his death. She adjusted Janani’s hair and her dress as she continued to do the ritual with the Pandit’s guidance.

Janani looked like Ashokan; his photocopy. Parimala’s eyes brimmed as she looked at her baby daughter who was trying to wriggle her way out of her mother’s grasp. “Amma! Play..” said Janani in a frustrated tone.

Parimala smiled and lifted her up to seat her comfortably on her lap. She took a banana and gave it to Janani. The child’s eyes sparkled. Janani took the banana and started to peel it. The assistant pandit looked at the child with amazement.

The pandit who was performing the pooja smiled. He was used to Janani’s differentness now. She was born on a very impossible star alignment. Her parents do not believe in astrology, so he kept the information to himself. He loved the chubby, quirky child. He asked Parimala to lift the child so he can place the small garland on her. Janani looked at the Pandit’s eyes and smiled as he did that. He secretly bowed a little and sat back.

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Ayush homam was finished and the guests had left. Parimala and Shetawari were cleaning up in the kitchen. Shetawari’s husband, Sunil, was cleaning the living room. Ambujam had taken Janani to the paly area.

Shetawari finished cleaning the vessels in the sink and sat down on the inverted water-storing container. She sighed heavily, “Pari! Well-done!” she said, “It was a good ceremony.”

Parimala stopped scrubbing the stove and looked at Shetawari, “Tai! Was it? Really?” she asked with distrust.

Shetawari smiled. “YES! It was a good ceremony. The guests loved the food. The homam went well. Janani did not cry and was a doll. If Ashokan would have been here, he would be proud of you,” said Shetawari.

Tears rolled down Parimala’s eyes. She leaned on the kitchen counter. “Yes! Yes, he would be,” she said. Shetawari went near her and hugged her friend. Parimala started to cry.

“Pari!,” said Shetawari, “Janu looks like him more and more.”

“Right?” said Parimala as she released herself from Shetawari’s embrace, “I felt so more today than other days. She has his eyes, his nose, same smile….” Parimala cried on her friend’s shoulders. Shetawari cried with her. Shetawari and Ashokan had been best of friends. They had connected well, and their common interest was cricket. She knew how much Ashokan loved Parimala. God is cruel, she thought.

India; 1998

Janani walked inside her home and threw her bag near the TV stand. She kicked one shoe inside the bedroom and the other one near the dining table. She walked to the bedroom and fell on the bed.

Ambujam kept working in the kitchen but knew something was wrong by the daad… tuddd.. tadaddd… sounds from the living room. Ambujam sighed. Teenage is coming, she thought.

“Paaatiiiiiii………….” She heard Janani yell.

“Your mom’s home!” said Ambujam in a calm voice. She heard Janani hastily coming to the living room. Clear sounds of her placing her school bag on the shelf and retrieving her shoes from wherever she threw them. After some seconds, “Mom’s not home. Is she?” asked Janani in a stern voice.

“Well! You better fall for it every time. What if I was telling the truth?” asked Ambujam as she placed freshly fried Bajji on a plate. She turned with a naughty smile to face her granddaughter. “Here!” she said, holding the plate of bajjis out.

Janani took the plate and started to eat. She sat on the low table in the kitchen. “Paati!” called Janani.

“Hmmmm”

“Do you believe in fate?” asked Janani.

“Hmmm… Not sure!”

“Do you believe that a person will die in a predetermined moment?” asked Janani as she absently played with the bajjis on the plate.

Ambujam startled momentarily and resumed to fry the bajjis. “Why the sudden deep discussion, sweetie?”

“I could have saved someone today. Bright eyes did not help me!” said Janani in a low voice.

Ambujam sighed. She had become accustomed to bright eyes. Janani had been talking about her for a long time now. Ambujam had initially thought it was an imaginary friend. She eventually understood that bright eyes was alike a guardian angel.

“Why? Why did bright eyes do that?” asked Ambujam, as she dipped an onion ring inside the bajji batter.

“Don’t know! She said it was their fate. Then, why is she saving me? Is it not my fate too? To suffer?” asked Janani, matter-of-factly.

Ambujam stopped mixing the batter and onion rings. She sometimes wondered if Janani was an adult in a kid’s form. Her questions were not simple.

“Hmmmm….” said Ambujam and slowly dropped the batter-coated inion rings inside the kadai. “So, you do not want bright eyes to save you?”

Janani sighed. “I don’t know! I do, but why only me? You’ve told me I’ve been seeing bright eyes from when I was a baby, right?” asked Janani.

“Mmmmmhmmmm” replied Ambujam as she fried the onion rings.

“So! Why can only I see her? What is she?” asked Janani.

“Chat later! Move out the kitchen and ask your grand mom to move too,” said bright eyes, suddenly, in a stern voice. She was standing near Janani.

Janani stood up without a word, pulled her grandmother and swiftly moved out the kitchen.

The burner promptly burnt with long flames and the oil kadai caught fire.

Ambujam turned to Janani with a calm expression. “Bright eyes?” she asked. Janani nodded. Ambujam sighed, took a huge lid, turned the burner off, turned the LPG gas off and placed the big lid on the kadai to cut off oxygen.

Janani turned to look for bright eyes. She was gone.

India, 1988

Parimala placed a bowl of raisins near Janani who was busy building a structure with her building blocks. Janani stopped, took the bowl and started to eat. She took a raisin and gave one to bright eyes, “Here!” said Janani, “You do not eat anything.”

Parimala saw this and sighed. She had gotten used to her daughter’s imaginary friend by now. This worried her. Janani frantically got up and ran towards Parimala. “What? What happened, baby?” asked Parimala and heard a loud thud. The ceiling fan had fallen where Janani had sat. “Bright eyes told me to run to you, mom. She said, ‘Run… get up and run to your mom. Fast.. fast…’. I thought she wanted to play,” said Janani as she hugged her mom. Parimala hugged her daughter and silently thanked bright eyes. It was a name her daughter had playfully given this friend who had very bright eyes. She looked at the space where Janani had looked when she talked to her friend.

“Bye baby!” said bright eyes who was now near Parimala now.

“Bye!” replied Janani.

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“So! She can see you?” asked bright eyes’s friend.

“Yup!” replied bright eyes with glee.

“WOW!” said the friend. They were sitting on one of the kopurams of Meenakshi amman temple in Madurai. “How come? She is just a baby. How can she see you?”

“I don’t know. She can. She could see me sitting on the Naga Linga tree in the hospital she was born in. Her friend creased her forehead.

“This is odd,” said her friend, “Mine does not see me even now. Wait! Could she be the one?”

Bright eyes smiled. She was sure Janani was the one. She just had to check if she had the third eye. She must wait. She must wait till she was over 10 years.

“Want some?” aske bright eyes’s friend as she held out a piece of coconut. Bright eyes got the coconut from her and both ate. There was a huge crowd of devotees in the temple. It was the month of Navratri.

To read the part 6, click here

Road in the Forest 4K Wallpapers | HD Wallpapers | ID #28514

In a path that’s closed,

In a road that’s broken,

I see a sign that says, “STOP”

I go till the sign,

I peek a little,

There is a path further.

Should I go further?

Should I not stop?

 

The path does not scare me.

The road seems fine.

Because I see you.

I saw you when I peeked a little!

To read the part 3, click here

India, 1986

Ashokan walked fast towards the apartment building from where he had got a call. “F block, No. 401,” he said to the security.

“OK! Pandit sahib, go straight and turn left. F block,” said the security.

Ashokan walked towards F block. His daughter was 5 months old now. The doctor had been amazed at the rate at which she was growing. He smiled to himself. He wished his parents were alive to see their granddaughter. He felt Janani that looked like his mother. But his neighbours, his friends and people around him were wary of the baby. “She says ‘ma and pa.. and ta…’ This is abnormal,” Shetawari tai, his neighbour of 14 years had said. Ashokan made Janani sit on his desk in his office and his friend, Mithun, had remarked, “That’s odd. She’s just 5 months old.”

Ashokan smiled as he climbed the staircase to reach door 401. He was proud of his daughter. He was proud that she was different and could do all these things. ‘My daughter will be great,’ he thought.

He rung the doorbell and waited. No one answered. He rung the bell again. Ashokan sighed and sat on the staircase. He looked at his watch. It was 11:12 AM. He was right on time. He took out the receipt and checked the address. It was 401. He stood up to ring the bell again. “I am the TV mechanic. Is anyone there?” asked Ashokan in a loud voice. He saw that the milk packet which would have been placed there in the morning was still there on a basket outside the door. It had defrosted and there was a trail of water running down the staircase. “Anyone there?” he asked once again before leaving. Ashokan sighed and turned to leave. He slipped on the trail of water, bent his knee and fell headfirst down the staircase.

India, 1998

“Stop following me!” said Janani with anger as she tried to run and lose bright eyes. “I have to,” said bright eyes as she kept pace with Janani.

“Why can’t anyone else see you?” asked Janani with anger. Bright eyes just smiled. “You could have saved the people in the autorickshaw!” said Janani bristling with anger.

“Look! I do not do anything that I am not supposed to do,” said bright eyes and walked away.

Janani ran to catch up with her, “Why do you always save me?” asked Janani. Bright eyes stopped, looked at Janani and asked, “Save you?”

“Yes! You always do. Recently from that bad man too,” said Janani.

Bright eyes smiled, “Are you sure I was saving you?” she asked and walked away. Janani stood there with tear-filled eyes, confused head and hungry stomach. She took the cream bun out of its packet and started to eat.

India, 1986

Janani ran towards the motor room with her small legs and slowly lifted herself up the small window shade and crouched. She could hear her mother, grandmother and Shetawari aunty call for her. Janani was wearing a pattu pavadai. Her mom wanted her to wear a top, dress her up and put jewellery on her. Janani wanted to wear just a nappy and play. Shetawari aunty spotted Janani sitting on the window shade.

“Janu…. Come down,” she said as she approached the window shade.

“Nu…I wunt,” said Janani in a baby voice and hid her head in an attempt to fool Shetawari aunty. Shetawari smiled and moved slowly towards the windows shade to pick Janani up. She caught the squirming child and picked her up. Janani laughed as Shetawari tickled her and showered her with kisses. Janani jumped and hugged Shetawari’s neck. “Aunty!” she said.

“Hmmmm” said Shetawari as she walked past the green bushes and plants.

“I don wunu des,” said Janani.

Shetawari smiled, “Sweetie! It is your birthday. Your first birthday,” She placed Janani on her hips and looked at her. Janani had a brown complexion and a chubby appearance. Shetawari called her gulabjamun. “Hey gulabjamun, dress up! I want to see my gulabjamun in the silk dress I got for her,” said Shetawari. Janani hugged her neck again and said in a muffled voice, “Na..” Shetawari kissed her head and walked fast towards Parimala. “Pari! Found your little princess,” she called out.

India, 1998

“What do you mean?” asked Janani as she tried to keep pace with bright eyes, who was effortlessly hopping and walking on wild grass path that led to Janani’s home. “Look! What do you mean by that? STOP!” said Janani and sat down on the wild grass.

Bright eyes turned to look at Janani. Janani sat cross-legged with a frustrated expression. Bright eyes smiled. She loved Janani. She was bright, courageous, generous and bold. She never had to direct Janani towards the right path. She never had to advise her. Janani was able to see bright eyes from when she was a baby. This was not the case usually. Janani was different.

“What?” asked bright eyes as she sat near Janani, cross-legged in a meditation pose.

“What? What…. Tell me! You were not protecting me? Who were you protecting? Why are you helping me?” asked Janani.

“Ask the right questions! You will get the right answer,” said bright eyes, stood up and walked away. Janani got up and dusted sand off her uniform. She searched for bright eyes. She was nowhere to be seen. Janani sighed and said aloud, “if you were not saving me, then who were you saving?”

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Tivini, the rat snake (dhaman), moved fast in the grass. The hunt was very productive. The snake lived in a small ant hill near the pond. The growing human population was a big hassle at first for Tivini. He was frustrated because he lost his home and many of his friends. Humans cleared his habitat and made it their home, but Tivini saw that they attracted a lot of rodents.

The rice shop was Tivini’s favourite hunting place. He did not have to invest a lot of time and was never hungry. The humans, for some reason, were afraid of snakes. They killed snakes. The huge cobra, Maali, was taken away in a van. Maali was the king of the wild lands. Once what happened to Maali spread, other beings became cautious.

The squirrels in the neem tree were no longer afraid of Tivini. They were afraid of Humans now. The leopards were not spotted for a very long time, now. Maybe even they were afraid of the humans.

Tivini had made the mistake of napping behind the big rice storage drum yesterday. It had become morning and he was afraid to go out in the light. There were humans. So, Tivini waited will sundown and is now hurrying to his home. As Tivini raced towards his home, he suddenly climbed on a very black, small rock. This rock was not very hard. Tivini was suddenly lifted off the ground.

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Janani saw the small snake slither its way out of the grass and climb on her shoes. It was having a hard time moving past her shoes. Janani took the snake and looked at its eyes.

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Tivini was staring at the eyes of a human. This human had 3 eyes. The eye on her forehead opened wide. Tivini bowed to the sheer power she sensed. He was not afraid, for some reason.

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The snake put its head down. It did not want to look at Janani. This was not the first time an animal had avoided eye contact with her. Janani sighed, took the snake away from the walking path, and threw it far off in the grass.

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Tivini saw the glowing figure walk away. This human did not want to kill Tivini. This human was glowing. Tivini had once seen a dog that had 3 eyes and glowed. A human? Never. Tivini turned and moved towards his home, preoccupied with what just happened.

To read the part 5, click here

 

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