Saturday, 26 May 2012

The red circle


I love my dartboard. The darts are red and green. I also know the colours of the rings on the board. Mama taught me.
When Dadda makes me angry. 
   Digital sketch: Harjeet
I love my Mama very much.
She bought the dartboard for my sister and me. Papa and Mama are trying to teach me how to throw the darts. But I am very small. It is not easy.
I find it hard to make the darts stick to the board. They keep falling down to the grass. Sometimes they hit the boundary wall.
I have to run and gather them up, and start again. If I hit the board, Mama is happy and gives me a hug. But she does not hug me much. I wish I could hit that red circle. 
Whenever my big sister hits any place on the dartboard, Mama calls out, “five” or “eight” or “three”… If she hits the red circle, Mama claps a lot. She shouts, “ten!” and gives my sister a big, big hug.
Sometimes I get angry. That day in our play school, I was very, very upset with Nammu when he took away my pencil box. Teacher laughed when I told her. That made me very angry. When Mama came to pick me up, Teacher told her about Nammu and me. When we came back home, Mama said I should call my friend Manu. She does not understand. He is my friend, and his name is Nammu.
Aunty who comes to clean my room also does not know the right names. She calls me “Baba”. That is not my name. She also calls my sister “Baby”. That is not her right name. I think she would hug me if Mama lets her, but I want my mother to hug me, tightly, many times. I so much want to throw my dart into that red circle on the board.
Dadda, my grandfather, is very strict. He wants me to learn spellings and tables. I want to play, so I spell some words for him and then I want to go out. I do not want to learn “two twos are four”. When I cannot multiply, Dadda plays a game with me. He tells me to hide behind the car and learn my tables. When I say “Ready”, he asks me to recite them. Then he lets me go out to play.
My grandfather does not like it when I leave food in my bowl. One day he scolded me because I did not eat all the fruit he had cut for me. I did not want to eat it. Dadda said I must finish it. I was angry. I went and sat against the door, and put my head in my lap. Papa came home and saw me there. He picked me up in his arms and told me a story that made me laugh.
He goes to office. Mama also goes to office, but she tells me more stories. Sometimes Papa takes me to the market to buy toys. My sister likes to buy things to eat.
One day we went to a place called Zoo. We saw Ephelant there, but my sister calls it Elephant. I counted one and two and three and four Monkeys. My sister said they were Papa Monkey and Mama Monkey and their children. Papa said the green bird that went round and round was Parrot. It had a red mouth. My sister was afraid of the yellow Lion. He opened his mouth wide and gave a big red roar-r-rr, like this.
There was also a play school for Ducks. They were swimming in it. They can even fly. Now I want to swim and fly too. I will take Nammu with me to the new play school and we will swim together.
Mama showed me Bear. I went up to his big window to see what he was doing, but he did not look at me. I wanted to talk to it, but it had put its head in its lap. I told Mama his Dadda had scolded Bear for not eating his fruit. Now Bear was angry – just like I was that day at home.
I don’t know why Dadda, Papa and my sister laughed so much. Mama also laughed, but she picked me up and gave me a really big, big hug. Now it is okay if it takes a long time to hit the red circle on the dartboard. But I will keep trying. I want to make Mama very happy.

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