People don’t know, but they fall into a familiar routine day in and day out. Often the kindle that keeps them from such awful boredom remains a mystery. If you take my family, my father used to get up at the early light or more aptly by the call of his workers wanting to guide them on that day’s work. Soon my father sheds off the weary face and wears a grin look which he thought is domineering.
“I heard you guys went astray while working in the field yesterday. Had you any business out in the town?” shouts my father as he clears his throat to get a higher tone. In the time the workers think of a possible excuse, my father yells again, which leave the workers no options but to remain silent. Soon he will soften up, rather abruptly, make some silly jokes and try to ease them out. Such a clueless guy- man management, I suppose.
This drama creates enough distractions to my mother’s sleep. The first problem that looms in her mind was the breakfast and lunch too, for the children to carry to school. She juggles the dishes she knew and will arrive at a recipe which she feels is new and not boring. It’s a sort of puzzle though. Her first child (that’s me) wants rice with curd along with something fried either potato slices or sea fish. The second prefers the breakfast menu to be repeated itself for the lunch or rice with a compulsory curry and scrambled egg. The third is under a mandatory nutritious diet regime but my father ought to be content with anything in his plate. Rest of her morning will be used up for the cooking of such agreeable dishes for each ones taste.
The rich spices and oil would emanate an aroma that fills up the space and wakes my grandma from her half disturbed sleep. Grandma likes to guess the dish from the aroma itself. She heads her way to the front verandah, peeping now and then on the road near hoping any of her peers to walk in. Three or four old grannies will form an excellent company. Their conversations on the memories of bygone days are often punctuated by the stories from the great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. A thousand times, I have heard those. I even memorized the words and exact intonations the stories would be told.
A 12 year old me, though the eldest of three, will love to fake a sleep to hear my grandma’s conversations. I won’t open the eyes till my youngest brother jumps over me, startles me and tickles me till I laugh. These often left Grandma complain on the shortcomings of younger generation. I will grab my toothbrush and spent several lazy hours rinsing the eternal teeth until my mother pushes me into the bathroom for me to get ready for school.
In contrast, my second brother excise unusual right to sleep as he have the ability to get ready for school within fifteen minutes- ‘a symbol of manhood’ my father usually remarks. His maturity often leaves me ashamed of my age. He talks little but will be perfect in his work.
The youngest is yet to be touched by the burdens of school. His creativity takes shape in the forgotten heap of sand in the backyard. Tunnels, towers or a certain God form will adorn for the day. He ignores mother trying to teach him the alphabets and numbers but he knows his day will come then.
The day moves on with my father going on with the farm work; my mother cares the food and children; Grandma deals with idleness and we had school work and the youngest plays with sand all day. The evenings are filled with petty fights but all will settle down for the talks on the day’s proceedings.
“Mum, brother broke the sand temple that I built.” youngest would complain as the tears starts to well. I, in turn would make faces forcing him to cry. Mother fakes to scold and beat me with a light blow. She offers him some sweet rice and tries to placate him.
“There was a black cat in the kitchen today. Did anyone one see?” my mother tries to deviate the issue.
“Yes, Yes, I gave it my fish and saw it eat.” my brother giggles wiping off tears.
“Fishes are for us to eat. Don’t give it to cats. Then, the same cat would return in night and try to eat the fish in your stomach” my father threatens him. This makes my brother lie on my mother’s lap face down with fear.
“Don’t threaten the child. There is nothing like that, dear” as the mother kisses my brother. Then, I feel to say something.
“Mum, do you know? A cat can land on its feet when thrown from any height”
“From above our house?” my elder brother asks.
“Yes. On the feet”
“From the top of mango tree?”
“Top of Eiffel tower”
“Yes” say me with a little frown. Then everyone laughs.
Conversations like these end the evenings with no relevancy or object. Grandma wants us to say our prayers before sleep and what I pray is
“I want to achieve something. I don know what. Something. Don’t give me another similar day. Give me a direction, God. A goal. A point, something”. This I do after enjoying a whole day without boredom.
The question is what keeps us from this boredom of another similar day. Mother’s kiss, fathers scorn, grandmas stories, brothers love, or any imperceptible change which keeps one engaging. I’m confused but still another day begins.
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Short Story / War and Military
Short Story / Other
Short Story / Non-Fiction
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