Aishwarya Rao

The only way Parvathi kept track of days during summer holidays was by following serials that appeared on DD Metro. This morning the unimaginative tune of Chandrakantha woke her up...just when she was about to ride appa’s brand new scooter. For a while she wriggled in her bed in an effort to shed the drowsiness and then jumped on to the mosaic floor. As she walked past her thatha (whose hands were busy conducting the coffee wave from the tumbler to the davara) Parvathi gave him a dramatic good morning salute. She didn’t notice his gesture in response, as Parvathi was already headed in the direction of an aroma that was beginning to envelope the house.

In the kitchen Paati sat meddling with the karuveppalaia and the delicious scent of arachi vita sambhar made Parvathi hungry instantly. But as it happens with children, Parvathi’s attention to food was brief and it hopped on to her young cousin in the verandah. He sat there memorizing the ranks of gigantic men on ‘WWF’ cards.

While Amma had forbidden them from playing The Singapore Airlines cards, somehow it was okay to engage oneself with meaningless cards that had men’s biceps and chest sizes listed on them...As she stood at the entrance of the verandah staring at her cousin who had staunchly refused to play more intelligent games, she noticed something.

Something beyond the dependable walls of her grand parents’ cosy home in Officer’s colony. Something that grabbed her attention in a manner that the sambhar or the Herculean men on those cards had failed to do! As she took in the scene, Parvathi stood defeated by many emotions that swamped her all at once....May be it was the peppery air around her or the hopelessness she felt when it came to her cousin’s silly games, you see, Parvathi couldn’t stop crying.