Editor’s Choice: A Day In The Life Of A Five Year Old
“Thank you God for the wonderful day! I want to thank you so much for your help today.”
God, Every child likes the visit of relatives. I liked it too, for they always reduced my punishment of completing my homework and my study time and the amercement of sitting in the corner of the room for some logic which my parents could never acknowledge. I clearly remember I was a very innocent child in my childhood and I never did any harm to anybody (by the best of my knowledge).
I was always taught to be disciplined , respect my elders and focus on my studies. I knew that they always said that for some benefit of mine which they said I will realize when I will grow up. I honestly followed them and I realized that they may need my help too but I could never get the appreciation of my sincere advises from them. I could never understand why my chachu (father’s younger brother) started avoiding me and getting scared of me. What I actually remember is that I just saw him smoking on the terrace and throwing the cigarette away when he saw me coming. I saw that the cigarette was still burning so I tried to extinguish the red dot as much as I could by blowing it off with all my might , but when I failed in that, I simply picked it up and carried it to him and said, “ chachu you need to put it off, somebody may step on it barefooted and get burned.”
I swear, I don’t know, why my parents and my grand parents were looking at me with so much rage and chachu seemed as if he was about to cry. Chachu even said a lie, “ It is not mine” and I clearly remember he was perspiring although it was a very cold night of December. I was waiting for an appreciation because I saved somebody’s foot form getting burned but nobody paid attention to my heroic effort of bringing that cigarette (still burning) from the terrace to the drawing room. Instead, I was told (very rudely) by my mom to complete my homework.
I said I had completed it in the afternoon but then she pressured to complete the extra credit. I said I don’t want the extra credit in moral science but I don’t know why my father said, “Trust me, you do need an extra credit in moral science.”
I am hardly five years old , it is still a mystery for me that how could a car which was running so fast in a TV serial for around half an hour ,could come to stand still in air when the serial ended and suddenly some names started appearing on the screen. My mom told me it was the photograph of the car in air which is showed at the end and not the actual car which could stay in air. I didn’t believe her as that car was moving just a second ago , then how could a photograph take its place. I didn’t believe her at all, because she has also told me that my milk bottle (my favorite milk bottle) was stolen by a monkey and I have to drink milk from a glass like adult. I swear I saw that bottle in the store room, under the broken table where I could easily go but they can not.
I always wonder why do these grown ups had to speak so much of lies. That day chachu was lying for cigarette, mom was lying for my milk bottle ( Oh, it was such a luxury to suck the warm, sweet milk, little by little rather than drinking from a glass… why don’t adults drink it from a bottle? They don’t know what pleasure are they missing!). And even my father told me to lie to Sharma ji that he is not at home ( can you believe it? Sharma uncle can spot his scooter right away standing at the gate!). But I simply followed his instructions and told Sharma uncle that daddy is saying that he is not at home. Now tell me what was wrong in that? Why was everybody giving me a frowning look (I know frowning look means I have done something wrong).
My mom has a habit of sending me to places where only adults go. She sends me to buy sugar from the kirana store which is only twenty two steps from my house ( yes I counted, I can count till hundred). I don’t know why she is getting so lazy and asks me to do all the jobs of the house. (One day she may even ask me to go to dad’s office in his place!). I am not a lazy boy like Mandeep, my neighbor, who still drinks milk from a bottle and even wets his bed. ( I quit it long ago, except for once when I saw that episode of Zee horror show).
Today I went to the shop to buy some coffee and I saw a new toffee in the beautiful glass jar. I asked for it but the shopkeeper said it was of one rupee and I had to return empty handed and with a sad face. I asked chachu for the toffee but he didn’t hear me and was busy smiling at the Radha aunty who standing at her terrace and also smiling. I think they want to talk about something ( Stupids! Why can’t he just go to her house and say whatever he want to?)
The thought of that toffee was simply not going out of my mind and I felt it was calling me to eat it.
“Cheeku, would you bring some tomatoes from Kanta bua?” My mom has asked for the first time to buy vegetables.
“Sure ma” I replied so sweetly that even I couldn’t believe my tone. My mom smiled , pinched my cheeks in affection ( I simply love that, when she does that too me) and gave me a five rupee note. ( One rupee is greater than two rupee and five rupee note is the greatest)
I went toward her small shop and asked for the tomatoes. She gave me half kilograms tomatoes of two rupees and returned three one rupee coins. I like the coins more than the notes, they are shiny and they make sweet sound when you shake your closed hands with the coins in them. Chachu even knows to toss a coin! I am a big boy now and can easily carry half kilogram tomatoes in one hand.
I was about to return when I saw the toffee jar in the kirana shop. It called me and I went towards it, mesmerized.
“What do you want?” The old uncle asked. I just pointed my hand towards the jar.
I nodded in consent.
“Do you have one rupee?”
I again nodded.
He gave me the toffee and I reluctantly took it. I gave a one rupee coin and left the shop. I walked back to my house and was near Mandeep’s house which means around ten steps from my house. I unwrapped toffee ( I didn’t want to throw away the wrapper and wanted to show it to Mnadeep but I couldn’t keep it with me because mom will know it.)
Oh… it was so sweet, I can’t tell you, it was so yum yum. I tried to prolong the ceremony but I had to reach home fast. I went home and handed the tomatoes to mom.
“How much are the tomatoes for?”
“Three rupees.” I don’t know how could I lie but just did.
My mom didn’t say anything and went to the kitchen. She came out within two minutes and said,” Cheeku these tomatoes are rotten. Go back and return them and bring the money back. I will cook something else. She will give you three rupees back, okay?”
I was playing with my ball and the words sent a wave of terror through my body ( like the villain in the horror show). how would I bring the money? I have already spent one rupee on the toffee, Kanta aunty will give me only two rupees back.
“What happened? You don’t want to go? Ok I will go.”
“No, no… I will return them.” I have to think of something fast.
My mom gave me the rotten tomatoes and I left to return them. One rupee is such a big amount, from where will I get it? I have eaten the toffee too ,so that I cannot return it now. I couldn’t count the steps in tension and reached the shop before I realized.
“What happened baba?” Kanta aunty asked
“Theses are rotten, return it, mom will cook something else.”
“Hehe… ok” she pinched my cheek but I didn’t like it at all and gave me two coins of one rupee.
I have to think of getting one rupee or else mom will get angry very much. I don’t know how , instead of walking back I just kept on walking to the right and reached the main road. There were so many cars zooming speedily and making me confuse. There was big black dog too which was staring at me and trying to scare me. I am not afraid of dogs but I was afraid of mom.
I couldn’t understand the way back home and moved a few steps further and was convinced that I am lost. First of all I didn’t have the one rupee and secondly I lost the way home. Oh hell with being grown up!
“Uuaaaannnnnnn” I started crying . I was shocked to notice that nobody was paying attention whereas at my home evrybody use to come running when I cry (even chachu use to leave his Radha aunty business and first come to see me and then go back on the balcony)
My volume increased and I cried louder but still nobody was looking at me. People were coming and going so fast like the cars.
It was getting darker and I didn’t know what to do. I decide to stand there and cry. I couldn’t cry for long and my cries turned to sobs.
“God, I promise I will never lie to my mother. I will never eat that toffee without telling her. I am so sorry, pakka, I will tell her everything” I made a pact with God.
My God is a good God. He immediatley listened to my confession and I heard my mom’s voice ,”Cheeku”
I turned back and saw her running towards at me. Chachu was also with her. The moment I saw her I started to cry again, ” Uuuaannnnnn” and as she came near me I hugged her so tightly that I would never let her go. I missed the smell of her sari so much.
She was crying too and kissed me many times on my forehead and cheeks and it really helped me to calm down. I don’t know why she was crying but I decided to tell her what I promised to God.
“Mom I am sorry, I lied to you, I will never eat a toffee without asking you.”
“What toffee Cheeku? doesn’t matter baby, but never ever leave your mother.” she was still crying.
“The tomatoes were of two rupees and I ate a toffee of one rupee, so I have only two rupees to return to you.” I told her as I promised my God.
“Doesn’t matter Cheeku but from next time always come back to your Ma.”
“Oye! She was not angry! God is such a sweet God. He listened to my prayer.” I said to myself.
I don’t know why she was crying but I promise I will keep my promise and never lie to her again.Thank you so much God! “Good night.”