“Hero! Come in so that we can close the door,” shouted Raman.
I went in and sat quietly, watching the excited faces of Raman’s friends. I was not so excited myself, as I preferred the wide outdoors to the small outhouse, but kept my thoughts to myself, watching half eyed from my corner and trying to doze off. “Three cheers for summer vacations,” exclaimed Pinky. “I don’t want to waste a single minute and squeeze the last drop of fun out of every day”, added Vindhya, who was always overtly expressive and dramatic.
“But how? Do we have any plans?” enquired peter, who was the practical thinker in the group. Shaheen and Hussein, the twins, sat silently smiling. Raman, Whose house it was, took charge of any situation easily and implicitly assumed leadership of the group. In fact it was his idea to get together after the seventh class exams finished and the school declared holidays. The other five, Pinky, Vindhya, Peter, Hussein and Shaheen were his classmates in Chennai Angels, their School.
“Let us form a Club,” suggested Pinky, who was affectionate and friendly by nature. “What sort of club?” asked Shaheen, who was smart yet gentle. “And what shall we name it?” added Hussein, the school athlete and House captain. “Maybe a nature club, where we can go on treks”, suggested Vindhya “and catch butterflies.” “Or a book club, where we can exchange books, read and review them”, offered Peter. “Or a Detective Club, like the Famous Five or Secret Seven,” pitched in Raman with a Twinkle in his eyes.
The air in the room got electrified, or so it seemed, with the outburst of ideas and the enthusiastic voices of the kids, following these suggestions. Raman’s mother peeped in through the window, smiled at them and went to make some snacks for them. I smelt the scent of grass flowers in the garden and longed to go out, but waited patiently as I didn’t want to spoil their fun. After all, they were my favourite gang and best friends.
“Silence!” Raman’s firm voice towered over the others, as they stopped chattering and looked at him. “We will get nowhere like this. Let us consider all options. Each one of us can explain his club idea to us briefly, so that we can listen and understand their view point. After that, we can go with the best idea”, he proposed. “I agree”, seconded Peter.” “And if we can’t reach an agreement, we can go for a vote.” “Bravo! Let’s do it,” said Pinky. “Who will be first?” she asked. “You speak first”, said Raman. “The Club was your idea. Vindhya and peter can speak next followed by the others.”
I watched lazily as a fly hovered over my nose, debating whether to swat it or continue dozing off. “Okay,” said Pinky, standing up. “I would like to form a fun club, where we bring snacks from home and share them between ourselves. We can also play games every day.” I twitched my nose appreciatively, still half asleep, but listening on.
“Well, we do that every day”, said Vindhya, “It’s better to trek into the mountains and have adventures. That would be so different,” she argued.
Peter stood up next, talking in a smooth voice. “But we can’t do that every day. Our parents may not agree to parties or adventures daily; maybe once or twice would be ok. But we can read books daily and our family wouldn’t mind if we met every evening to exchange books. And we could discuss and review them too”, he went on.
“But reading would be so school like,” chipped in Raman. “We could do some scouting and solve some mysteries. Wouldn’t that be so thrilling?” he asked.
“Well it may be so, but we have no training in spying and may end up in problems”, said Hussein, standing up.
“Better to form a Sports club, go to the stadium and play every morning,” he volunteered, speaking like a true athlete.
“No way”, objected Shaheen. “I wanted to learn fabric painting from my Aunt every morning in this summer.”
That brought the discussion to a tie of sorts and there could no chance of voting as each of them had different proposal.
Thankfully Raman’s mother knocked on the door and entered with a huge tray of kaimurukkus, a local savoury and adhirasams, a sweet which they all liked, with steaming hot fitter coffee. I loved her kind smile and yummy treats. By the time, all seven of us had our fill, we were quite contented and of praise for Raman’s mother for her culinary skills.
“Let’s go out for a game of cricket”, suggested Raman, forgetting all about the club.
“Hooray!!” joined in the others, rushing outside.
“You too, Hero!” I rose and followed them, grateful to go outside at last, barking excitedly and wagging my tail.