#MonalofSushness : Day 11. Monal of twelve, quite close to her Annual Exams of seventh grade had the good luck of travelling to a big city by train from her small town with her Mamma and her little sister. There was a wedding in the family.
Her eldest girl cousin was getting married. This cousin was a first born of her generation in her father as well as mother’s family. She was everybody’s favourite.
A big three story house was rented and every room was choc-a-bloc. There was a central verandah that was used for impromptu singing and dancing every night. Monal met some girls her age for the first time and instantly bonded.
A mark of trust was established amongst the twelve somethings when they shared their personal experiences of the first time “chumming.” A couple of girls had not yet started menstruating but were aware, tried to conceal their left-outness. But true bonding happened when these young girls witnessed something by chance with abated breath from the confines of the first floor balcony.
A big dappled cow was letting out painful moos. She was going round and round and then would sit down. Then repeat. A crowd gathered in the street below. Soon she lay herself down and a big white diaphanous balloon appeared at her rear end.
The girls in the balcony had stopped breathing by now and were holding hands. Monal noticed that the kind eyes of the cow had a glazed far away look. What happened next made Monal feel that she was witnessing a miracle. In the balloon appeared a pair of hooves and a black nose! There was no way that the girls were going to move from there now.
Soon the calving process was done and the cutest, wettest, little life stood up. Somebody in the crowd, in the know of things came and tickled the baby’s nose and put water in the tiny ears. The little one shook head from side to side and sneezed. The Mamma cow and her baby were dragged away by the owner perhaps and the girls too were taken away from the balcony.
Their mothers were too busy luckily to notice till then what Monal and her friends were up to. Monal almost never again met any of them but she always knew that if ever she did then they would deeply connect at a level that remained untouched since.
Article by Sushmita Gupta
Art by Ashwin Pandya