Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wash The Mud

It was a bright day after a downpour the previous night. The
grass on the front yard was glistening with sunlight on the raindrops. It was a
daily ritual for the two
six-year-olds, Sony and Arun, to play in the mud before their moms dragged them
to get ready to go to school. The Moms had a tough time washing the dirt away
from the kids and their clothes. But the kids wouldn’t listen. Ever since they
became neighbors, they loved to play in the mud.

Arun was inscribing his name in the mud. Sony made a model
of a hill. After she had finished the masterpiece,
she looked at Arun, and said, ‘Look at the temple that I have made’.
Arun looked at it and laughed. ‘What sort of a temple is
that?’ he criticized.
‘Hey! The temple is on the top of the hill. It has a series
of stairs to the top’, Sony protested.
‘I can make a much better one’, said Arun, and began to put
his creativity into the competition.
Sony watched in silence as Arun created a bigger hill out of
the mud. He also managed to shape a temple on the top. Sony was green with
jealousy. She jumped on to the hill that Arun had made, and crashed it in a
Arun looked red with anger, and pushed her with all his
force. She fell in a puddle beside her and was bathed in mud. She began to cry
loudly, so as to gather the attention of her family.
Sony’s Mom arrived instantly and was taken aback at the
sight of her daughter bathed in mud from head to toe. Sony ran to her Mom and
wailed, ‘He… he pushed me… in… into the mud’.
Arun was worried as to what Sony’s Mom would say. He began, ‘She
was the one who stamped….’
‘Stop it. How dare you push my daughter into mud? You need a
beating’, she said, moving towards Arun with her hand raised on him. Arun’s Mom
had just emerged from her kitchen after sensing that something was wrong.
‘Sandhya, what’s happening? How dare you beat my son’, Arun’s
Mom growled at her.
‘Look at what he has done. He pushed my daughter into the
mud. He’s such a rowdy!’
‘Shut up! Don’t you call him a rowdy. Your daughter is the
one who triggers him to do all this. She’s the cause of all fights’.
‘Accha! And your son is sooooo innocent’, mimicked Sandhya.
There was a row between the two and they slowly dig into the
family histories. They complained about each other’s families, and what they had
faced for the past two years. They seemed to have forgotten where the fight had
begun, or why they were doing all this.

Sandhya’s husband had just woken up hearing the raising
voices of the two women. Just then Arun’s Dad came back from the market,
carrying a basket of vegetables. The two men tried to calm down the women. But
when the women went into family histories, the men lost their cool, and joined
the fight.
The other neighbors gathered to look at the drama. Some of
them fuelled the fire, too.
After half-an-hour of tremendous efforts from both the parties,
an old man from the neighborhood approached the sight, and knew what was
happening. He was a well-respected man in the colony. People with petty
problems approached him for solutions, and he comforted them with his words.
Now it was his chance to put off the fire.
‘Hold on, hold on, dear ones. Please stop this fight and
answer me’, the old man came on to the stage,
raising both his hands as if signaling them to stop.
The fighting club kept quiet after listening to the old man’s
voice. They were already sweating after exhausting all their energy.
‘Where are the kids?’ asked the old man. Everyone craned
their necks to spot the kids playing in the mud again.
‘Have you noticed that the kids, who were the initial point
of this fight, are back to their own world? We have a lot to learn from them. Unlike
adults, kids do not carry grudges. Even if they fight for the silliest things
on earth, they forget everything in a matter of seconds. They are happy to be
friends again’, said the old man.
The old man’s magic worked. It dawned upon the two families
that they had been fighting just for nothing. They exchanged a sheepish smile and apologized
for their behavior. The two Moms headed
towards the kids. It was time to wash the mud off themselves and their kids.

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