Children

Homecoming: Truth is out

Illustration: Sonal Goyal  

The story so far: Akash and Dharti began teaching English while the other children chipped in by teaching them Kannada.

“Akash! Dharti! Get ready. We are going to Daksh uncle’s house today.” By noon, they arrived at Daksh uncle’s house. The kids played outside and when they went indoors for water, Akash spotted it.

“You have a television?” he asked. “But Appa, you said nobody has television in the village and that you don’t get the signal. You lied.” Akash said angrily.

Appa said, “You kids were spending too much time with electronics. Now, you’ve learnt so much about plants and animals.”

“Do you ever ask what I want? Do you even spend any time with us?” shot back Akash. “You are either on the farm or at the hospital. You don’t care about us.”

“Of course we do,” said Amma. “That’s why we came back.”

Akash ran out of the house and found a tree to climb.

His father followed him.

Mending mistakes

“Akash, I’m sorry, I should not have lied. I know you miss your life in England. I realise I have not been spending time with you. Will you forgive me?”

Silence. After some more coaxing, Appa sighed. “I’ll tell you what. Let’s go to a theatre in town and see a movie. Why don’t you and your sister choose a movie?” Appa fetched a paper and Akash, who had now climbed down from the tree asked, “Can I choose?”

After a lot of debate, Akash and Dharti chose an action film.

The movie was great and everyone had a great time.

* * *

“I don’t want Akash on my team,” sulked Rudra. “He can’t aim, throw or catch.”

“I can play,” said Akash his ears going hot.

Rudra who was piling up the seven flat stones, said “Okay, last chance, English boy.” Rudra took the ball and aimed at the pile of stones. He struck the pile and the stones toppled. It was while Rudra was making his way to the stump to pile up the stones that he heard a loud wail.

It was Akash...crying. The boys had hit him with the ball. Rudra was irritated. “I told you, you can’t play! You can’t play any of the games. Now you are crying also.”

“I hate these games. I hate all of you,” Akash screamed and ran into the house and hid under the bed.

Ajji had seen all that happened and went looking for the boy. She heard his sniffles under the bed. She sat on the floor and persuaded him out. “I know a game you will like; your mother loved it too.” Ajji brought out Chowka baara. She explained the game.

“It’s a cooler version of Ludo,” said Akash, his eyes brightening. Soon, he was playing like a pro with Ajji and his sister. Rudra came around and watched them play. He joined the game.

Akash lost. But Rudra grunted, “Well played, we will play again tomorrow.” Akash had lost this round, but he felt he had won.

To be continued...

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 11:47:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/homecoming-truth-is-out/article30592975.ece

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