Amma always grumbled when I told her I wouldnt give away something I was not using. But she never realised that I might just need it some time later...
Krishna, the watchman's son, came running up to say hi to me as I walked in through the gate.
“Sarika!” my friend Rina hissed as we waited for the lift, “That boy was wearing your Superman T-shirt!”
“I know,” I said.
“But I thought you didn't want to give it away because you loved it!” Rina said.
That had been my plan. I had loved my Superman T-shirt so much that I had continued wearing it even when it became tight. I had stopped wearing it, very reluctantly, only when it became really uncomfortable. But even then, giving it away had never occurred to me. And I had been upset with Amma, when I'd found her packing it into a bag, so she could give it away.
“I am keeping this T-shirt,” I had told Amma, putting it away along with all the other things that I couldn't bear to part with. Amma had grumbled, like she did every time, about why I couldn't give it away, since I never used it. But nothing she said would make me give away my dolls, my pretty tea set or the skates I had outgrown. I hadn't touched these things in years but who knew when I would want to play with them again?
“And then a few days later I came home from school and saw Krishna wearing my Superman T-shirt!” I told Rina. “I knew it was mine because it had that brown stain from the chocolate ice-cream I spilt on myself at your party. Remember?” “Yes,” Rina nodded, “So, your mother gave it away though you wanted to keep it?”
“That's what I thought,” I admitted, “And I was so mad with Amma, I wanted to quarrel with her. Then I thought of how cute Krishna looked in it…”
“He did, didn't he?” Rina smiled, “With that T-shirt hanging down to his knees!”
“Yes,” I nodded, “And it seemed so silly for me to keep that T-shirt…” I trailed away, not sure how I could explain things without sounding too noble.
“When someone else could be enjoying it?” Rina completed, “I know! Makes you feel mean, doesn't it?”
“Yes,” I said, grateful that Rina had managed to put my feelings into words, “And that's why I didn't quarrel with Amma. I just told her that I had seen Krishna wearing the T-shirt and that I wanted to give away some more of my old stuff!”
“She must have been surprised!” Rina guessed and I laughed, “Yes,” I said, “She was! And now whenever I want to save something of mine all she has to say is –Remember that Superman T-shirt? – and I immediately agree to give things away!” I thought of all the things I had given away since then and even though it had caused me a pang to do so, I knew that it wouldn't stop me from the good work I had started on by mistakenly giving away my Superman T-shirt.
Keywords: Quick Read