Monal of Sushness : Day 13,Short Stories by Sushmita Gupta


#MonalofSushness : Day 13. It was towards the fag end of the Summer Vacation when Monal was nearly thirteen. It was a Sundayafternoon. The lunch menu for the day off almost always featured Mutton Curry. Monal could not think of any other food item dearer then. This Sunday was no different either. Babi, Monal’s father being home, for “together meals” on Sundays, made the day extra special for all at home, her Mamma, her baby sister and Monal herself. Summer was officially coming to a close. That afternoon soon after lunch a storm broke.

The giant acacia in their little garden swayed ominously from side to side. The dried moon shaped leaves got a new lease of life and they flew all across the garden. There seemed a rain of bright yellow. Those were the tiny, feathery flowers from the huge tree falling and flying all around. The other big trees, guava, mango and blackberry also did their own little dance but those trees were on the side and at the back of the garden. Whenever there was a storm the electricity in the homes of Monal and her neighbours tripped.

So after a sumptuous meal just when Monal and her family were preparing for an afternoon siesta the plan got scuppered for how can one sleep well without the fan doing its work. So Monal’s family decided to play one of their favourite board games, Ludo. Monal’s Mamma and she were always a team opposite to her Babi and her little sister Pari.

Pari being the youngest always got her way in choosing red and yellow counters opposite each other on the board. Monal was alright to get green and blue counters for she believed that her Mamma had the best Ludo strategies for winning. With that faith she mostly won all the games. Just as the game got over the sky burst open. Every leaf of every plant and tree in the garden got a refreshing wash. The smell of wet earth, the one which is a universal favourite made Monal’s eyes close in pleasure. Just as suddenly the rains came, they were gone too.

The electricity repair men could already be heard clanging their long metal ladders giving an indication that the fan will come on soon. Monal’s Babi decided to walk down to the nearby Paan Shop (betel leaf) to buy some. Immediately Monal wore her slippers, slipped her hand into her dad’s palm and decided to go along. Just then the clouds were breaking and on the western end the sun rays were cutting through exactly the way Monal painted her early morning scenes.

The rays alternated by dark. To Monal it felt like God was smiling and blessing through the sky. But of course God was right there, after all her little hand was in the most gentle yet secure grasp she was ever to know, her Babi’s.

Article by Sushmita Gupta

Art by Ashwin Pandya

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