Train of tales Children

Siblings together

The story so far: Shalu wishes that Samit help her build her castle. And miraculously, her wish comes true!

I had asked for good temper for Samit, thought Shalu. The thought made her giggle.

“What is it?” Samit snarled.

“Nothing,” Shalu said, straightening her face.

Samit had been in a bad mood since he came home from school to find that Amma had hidden his phone.

“Two hours!” he exploded. “What will I do without my phone?”

“Work on the castle,” Shalu suggested.

“I guess, since there’s nothing else to do,” he replied after some time.

Shalu simply stared, wondering if he was serious.

“What? I thought you were dying to work on your castle,” Samit asked.

That brought Shalu to her feet. “Yes, it is in the playroom.”

“Playroom? It’s only a tiny cupboard,” Samit snorted. “What a mess!” he said, looking around.

Getting down to work

Shalu looked gloomily at the jumble of things on the floor. Last night, she had emptied all the boxes in the carton and now the blocks of different sizes were hopelessly mixed up.

“First, let’s sort these,” he said. Shalu began to put the blocks away, chattering happily. Samit, busy reading the instruction booklet, responded with grunts. But when she said, “I hope Nitin doesn’t see this!”, he looked at her in horror. Nitin was their six-year-old neighbour whose one ambition was to join them in whatever they were doing.

“Remember, how he ‘helped’ when we were making our cardboard castle?” Shalu giggled.

Nitin had been fascinated by everything: the boxes littered around the room, the pot of home-made glue, but mostly the paint. “Let me help,” he was always begging.

He had sneaked in once when they were out and painted the castle in a glorious mix of his favourite colours.

“Remember how he wanted to fill the moat with water?” Samit laughed.

“And how he wanted to feed the soldiers?” Shalu asked.

There were plenty of Nitin stories to remember and laugh over.

“Wonderful!” Amma said, when she came home. Samit looked proudly at the grey walls of the castle, already quite tall, and said, “It’ll be done in a few days!”

“Here,” Amma said, pushing something at Samit. Shalu felt her heart sink when she saw that it was his phone.

His face lit up and he went running up the stairs. “Samit,” Shalu called, “there’s so much to do!”

There was no reply, only a slam. Shalu knew what that noise was.

It was the noise of her being shut out of her brother’s life.

To be continued...


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 8:36:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/siblings-together/article34985218.ece

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