Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Little Devils

September 6, 2007

Usha aunty visited today. You know her, don’t you dear Diary? She the one with a mustache and likes to pinch little girls’ cheeks. “Look at those two little devils! Aren’t they simply adorable?” I winced at her remark. ‘Don’t call me a little devil; I am a TEN year old girl!’ I wanted to retort, but held back my tongue ‘cause my mom was there you know!

I’m tired of these aunties and uncles calling us –me and my little sis Anu- “little devils”. Now Anu is a proper devil if you ask me, little or not. You should have seen how she climbed into Usha auntie’s lap! Aunty even kissed her on her chubby cheeks. YUCK! I don’t know how or why she puts up with these adults treating her like a baby. I wouldn’t do it even for TWO lollipops, NO WAY!

It is Anu’s birthday tomorrow, her sixth. Dad said there will be a big party in the evening, balloons and all! He said he will be back from office early just for her b’day. Dad was away on his tour last month, when it was my b’day. But I don’t hate dad for that, to tell you the truth, dear Diary. Dad has to work, I know. I’m a big girl now. But I hate the little devil for having her b’day when dad is not away!

You know dear Diary, how it is with that snotty girl. She gets the first AND the biggest chunk of ice-cream or chocolate pudding or whatever that mom makes or dad brings home. And she gets to watch all the cartoon shows on TV. For me, it’s “Tanu, don’t you have to finish your homework?”

Dad had brought this doll for me, you know, the one that shuts her eyes when she sleeps. It was my b’day present. But the little devil cried and cried until mom let her have the doll. Dad said he’d bring me another doll but I said no,” I don’t want a new one dad. Let her have it.” “Look how our Tanu has grown up into a big sister! ” dad had said proudly to mom. But of course you know dear Diary, what fun we had that night, don’t you? As the brat went to sleep, I had taken the doll from her and cut its head off with the kitchen scissors and then put it back under her blanket. I wish you had seen her face the next morning!

I’m not going to school tomorrow. My favourite Mohan uncle is coming with his two kids. I like Raju and Meenu a lot. They are such fun to play with! Nitu auntie’s Bunty is another devil, but OK type of devil you know, oldest among us cousins. He will be here too. I hope he doesn’t fight with Raju.

Good night dear Diary! See you tomorrow.

September 7, 2007

What fun we had today, dear Diary!

Mohan uncle and Neetu aunty arrived in the morning. Bunty did not beat Raju up. Mom and the aunties were busy with the b’day preparations so they did not bother us too. We all played hide-n-seek, except Anu of course. Who would want to play with that snotty little devil? Bunty said we should let her play but I said no, “She will cry any time and will spoil our fun”. She did cry at that. So mom took her into kitchen and fed her all the goodies uncle and aunty had brought with them.

You know the basement dear Diary, don’t you? The one where dad keeps all sort of junk and where I feel a little afraid to go alone. Well, we played hide and seek there this morning. It is not as weird as I had thought. Dark and damp and smelly, yes, but so many places to hide! When it was my turn, I could not find Bunty at all. I had to give up before he came out of that big steel trunk in the darkest corner of the basement. As a punishment, he made me crawl into it and closed the lid.

It was very cramped in there, dear Diary. I could not breathe and was panting when Bunty opened the lid in a minute or so. “How did you breathe in there?” I asked him. “You have to hold the lid a little open, you silly girl!” he said. I told you he is a devil, didn’t I?

Mom made a BIG cake for the b’day. In the afternoon, Bunty and others went to the park to play. But mom made me stay home with Anu. “Come back soon. Anu will cut the cake at six.” Mom told Bunty. Then I helped Mohan uncle with balloons and ribbons.

Around five ‘o clock mom dressed Anu up in that silly frilly dress bought specially for today and then left her in my charge as mom joined the aunties in last minute preparations. I asked Anu if she wanted to play the special game we played in the morning. She said yes.

“See this big trunk Anu? You climb into it and I close the lid. You count aloud up to ten and then I open the lid. Got it?” I asked her. She said she didn’t want to. “Don’t you know how to count up to ten?” I taunted her. That did it!

Mom asked me several times but I stuck to my story, “She said she wanted to go play with Bunty and others, so I let her go.”

Everybody was searching everywhere for the b’day girl. But I stayed in the drawing room, watching the big cake on the center table. Even if they find her, how are they going to open the big lock I had put on the trunk, I wondered, when its key is buried deep inside this cake!

It’s the b’day girl who cuts the cake, no dear Diary?


© Rajendra Pradhan


[A play on clich├ęs]

Heart in his mouth, he pleaded, "Don't leave yet honey! Who will clean this
mess? Just give me five minutes and I shall finish my meal."

"Don't you have any manners? Don't talk with your mouth full." She retorted.

"I have to hurry or else I will be late for Rhonda's birthday party. She has
promised to bring some deliciously handsome guys from her office to the party. I am staying over. See you tomorrow. And don’t forget to clean up after your
supper"; she added with a hungry gleam in her eyes as she put on the sandals.

Still with his mouth full, he called out, "Will you bring one of your friends
home from the party, dear? But let it not be a blonde. I like the brainy ones,

"Don't crack bad jokes. May be I shall bring one of those handsome men!" She
quipped back.

"You can have all the fun you like darling. But me, I have strictly
heterosexual taste." He persisted.

“If you keep that up, one of these days I will have you by your balls, slowly
turning over on a barbeque”; she shouted back at him. The thought brought a
smile on her crooked lips as she closed the door behind her and hurried to her
friend's place, like a bitch in heat.

Inside, he went back to his supper. He chewed hard and cursed his wife, "The
slut has once again left the dish undercooked! These urban bitches! They are
hard nuts to crack, even in pressure cooker situations!"

Settling down here in this metropolis had been her idea. "Lots of easy prey
here darling, especially for us who know the art of hunting" she had said with a wink. She had been right. With so many birds of different feather flocking
together here, the metropolis had spiced up their lives with variety, he
conceded albeit reluctantly.

Like a lion in his native Africa, he let his wife do all the hunting while he
stayed home and watched the telly whole day sipping beer. Getting up only to eat when hunger, that was as unavoidable as death and taxes, hit him in his
potbelly. ‘But tonight, the bitch has left the cleaning job to me’, he muttered
angrily as he returned to his lion's share waiting for him on the kitchen table.

Ignoring the look of stupid surprise frozen on the blonde's dead face, he
looked inside the carcass. It was cold as a witch's teat.

"Pity she had such a small brain! Not enough even for a breakfast. And the
liver we already had, at lunchtime. No soft parts left anymore! She must have
been one of those aerobic freaks. No flesh on her bones to sink one's teeth
into, either. There is more meat on a chicken's forehead than on this dumb
chick!"; fretted the cannibal who had been softened by urban life, as he plucked out shreds of uncooked heart tissue from his teeth.


© Rajendra Pradhan