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“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.
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.
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.