Horrendous!! A true catastrophic agent you must say. Hopping over the wrecked couches, leaping through wringing wet floor of the corridors, almost knocking out everything, alive or dead, he disappears into the thin air unbeaten every time. Sporting a nicker fastened tight to the famished waist and a fairly air conditioned banian clinging from the bony shoulders, this bare foot one-man army is gifted to snatch your breath and leave you cold for a moment.
His uncanny and indigenous creations, in spite of what you would think, are tiny warfare weapons. A catapult geared up by tying a strap between the legs of a beheaded gi joe, a stiletto carved out of the windshield of a defunct automated toy car, his treasure of marbles, alluring, but often take pleasure in demolition rather and aaaand what not?. From the instant, we regain our senses in the morning until this highly erratic phantom ceases to fall asleep; one can hear only one name booming throughout our residential complex, Chirag!!
This morning was unlikely. Peace, yes it was; other than the cry of forgiveness from a death-ridden mixie towards my better half, who is mercilessly holding the upfront with that same vigor and valor every day. Probably there has been a ceasefire; else, the brave warrior of our compound was still laying oblivion embraced in his safest dugout, enticed to the blissful aroma of his mother’s bod. However, either of the serene atmospheres prevails only once in a blue moon. Now it was almost three hours past since I had rejoiced the early morning victory of my beloved. Occasional hoarse arguments could be overheard from the giant window of our living room but there was no trace of our cynosure. It was ceaselessly nudging me to probe into it.
सब ठीक है ना ?
हाँ साब…. वो उसके पापा ने गुस्से में आके उसको मारा था…
अच्छा (obvious! I thought)… कहा है अभी?
पता नहीं साब….इधर ही कही खेल रहा होगा। आ जायेगा साब…. दोनों एक जैसे ही है…
There was a poised grin on her face, embodying the calmness, the eternal conviction of a mother.
Overwhelmed and rejuvenated, I leaned over the wooden armchair in our veranda. Memoirs of that unrest spirit of my childhood, the same innocence and childish anger sunk my heart in trance. Gaping down the balcony with an innate smile on my face, I was taken aback with a surprise by the sight. A very familiar stature of our community was bending down to utmost curvature of his back over a pile of trash. With his skinny hands, supported against the knees and eyes fully engrossed, he stood still. To reassure my conscience, I stood on my toes stretching halfway across the parapet wall. Yes, it was Chirag indeed. Is he out for a dreaded operation again?
Bewildered, tensed, and alarmed, the huntsman stood frozen. There was no gesture from the either side. Muscles stiff and strong, state of the minute was intense and thrilling.
Uhh..There is the attack!!
Chirag stretched out his hand towards the heap. It seems he caught hold of the trail of his enemy, quite thin and long in built. What is he upto? ….a rat? Delicacy is something that is always mislaid in his acts. But this time it was otherwise. He is geared up for something precious. Wrapped into his hand he took out a set of discarded decorative diwali lights. This is what he was longing for! The studded fabric in it was sparkling like a gem. So were his eyes. They were gleaming in happiness and the joy of realization of a soulful desire. A fantasy that was lent to the deaf ears of a helpless father triumphed. The smile on his lips, and the inimitable moves of his body were airing out a gust of ingenuousness; a spur to celebrate with a young heart.
Up roaring and whistling through the street in thrill, our little soldier fled into his whimsical world.