A Non-sense Novelette
The Treasured Past
Chandu had only added a heaped tablespoonful of salt and pepper each to his father’s post lunch, pre nap tumbler of milk with the sole intention of varying the flavor of what he felt to be a monotonous routine going on for years.
His father, always in a placid and benign mood at this time of the day, took the first sip in his usual reclining posture, choked violently and in a matter of seconds came to right conclusions. He jumped to catch hold of Chandu with a promise to skin him alive.
Chandu ran like a hare and in no time he had wandered to the adjoining village and strolled aimlessly pondering deeply on the injustices prevailing in this world.
Here he was accosted by two of his school chums who persuaded a large black malignant mongrel to chase Chandu away. Chandu made his second fastest sprint that day, rather less successfully as the barking menace appeared to be drawing closer, when his lady luck in the form of a remarkable girl came across the road.
The mere stare of the girl was enough to cow down the mongrel which whimpered, down flagged its tail and hurriedly sneaked away down a dark lane. A second stare directed at Chand’s school chums proved to be equally effective. A third stare directed at Chandu proved, however, to be in reverse gear.
Chandu was looking up in awe, mesmerized, when their eyes met. This was one of those crucial moments in history about which epics are written and Chandu felt what Romeo must have on his first eyeful of Juliet.
But this was no ordinary Juliet. She was Nanibala in her figure and personality, she was a strong one who liked to dominate scenes. She was also the only daughter of Balaram, only rival in the milk business, but this Chandu was unaware of.
After a close scrutiny, Nanibala asked, “are you Chandu?”
Chandu nodded, glowing inwardly at his own rise of fame in hitherto unknown terrain, though he was aware that his Independence Day performance in school had a lot to do with his publicity.
“Come with me,” she ordered and Chandu meekly followed her to a large cowshed. She untied a fat calf and said, “like a good boy go to your mum and have some milk,” the part addressed to the calf.
Then she proceeded to sit on a hay loft in one corner and asked while patting Chandu down, “Do you smoke?”
Before Chandu , still in a trance, could respond, she deftly produced a cigarette from the folds of her clothes and said, “I got this snitched from my father’s pack and want to give it a try.”
What followed was the usual routine of cough, smoke and tears with a mutual consent of disgust. But the bond was made.
In the days that followed Chandu was at the beck and call of Nanibala, ran errands for her, albeit in a secretive way, as both were well aware of their parents’ rivalry. And for some time Chandu’s poetic scribbles found a definite direction.
(To be continued…)