Children

Summer with the Goldies: Eerie chore

Illustration: Sonal Goyal

Illustration: Sonal Goyal  

The story so far: The two wheelchair-bound friends, Mr. Garg and Mr. Dhaliwal have a race, with the latter pushed by Rayu. But as luck would have it, they crash into Mad Malini.

I looked at Mr. Garg for support. He had quietly parked himself close to the wall, out of Mad Malini’s line of sight. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Rani running along the corridor to be my side.

“My new dress!” Mad Malini shrieked. Her white kurta now had splotches of brown mud from the corridor floor. “Don’t you have any sense?”

It was left to poor Mr. Dhaliwal to support me. He burped! I gazed at Rani. She giggled. I giggled. Mad Malini’s eyes glowered. “Nonsense! Wait till I meet your parents. I am going to make sure both of you are sent to the strictest boarding school in the world.”

With those words, she stomped off towards our clinic. Rani and I laughed.

Mr. Garg joined us. “Are you ready for another race?”

Mad Malini had sucked the happiness out of me. “Not now! I have to go home,” I muttered and abandoned Mr. Dhaliwal in the corridor. “God knows what Mad Malini will go and tell Ma.”

Rani patted my shoulder. “You don’t have to worry, Rayu. Ma and Pa are not at the clinic.”

Unsettling

I followed Rani who was walking towards Mrs. Charumathi who was limping with a cane basket in one hand and holding Floppy’s leash in another. “Got any work for us?” asked Rani.

“Yes!” she replied. “Floppy needs a walk and there’s a business in the graveyard.” She gave me a cold stare. I rushed to hold Floppy’s leash. “I will take him for a walk.”

Floppy wagged his tail and nuzzled closer to me. Mrs. Charumathi turned to Rani. “Will you come to the graveyard? Or are you a scarypoo like your brother?”

“I will help you,” said Rani.

“Good! I like brave children,” said Mrs. Charumathi, handing over the basket to her.

I wasn’t scared of the graveyard. There was something about Mrs. Charumathi, which bothered me. It was her piercing eyes. They went right through you like a laser beam till you either looked away or looked down, whichever came first.

To be continued

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2020 7:38:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/summer-with-the-goldies-eerie-chore/article31855659.ece

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