Picket Fences

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Pintu who is just a few months short of 8years, solemnly looked at his book. His teacher’s face loomed right infront of him...
"you don’t pay attention, I am going to have to talk to your mommy"
Her flat hair lay on her shoulders like a serpents head at rest, her brooding eyes twinkled , her thin lips which were cracked at all levels of pout made him think that she needed a broom badly on which she could fly and swat . He couldn’t speak, words seem to get glued to his tongue, his mouth felt like chewed bubble gum .If he moved, the table would topple, he gripped his fingers on the desk..“you are trying to topple the desk” she pointed at him- now Pintu froze to the ground , he thought of the tooth fairy, why didn’t she put his tooth back in the middle of his jaw?.
He really felt unattractive, ugly, good for nothing, ..Ms vanity scribbled lines in his class work, obviously Pintu’s heart flew off handle for a few seconds, mom would not let him watch his TV favourites..he has to say something to the teacher, he tried hard, all he could do was stare at her - which would double her anger..Pintu came back home.
While his mom kept triggering questions, he made sure to speak his mind“can I watch TV first and then do my home work mom”?Pintu limped towards her
‘mommy you know today I got a note from the teacher"

momy's eyes rolled in amber colors


“you know she doesn’t like me...mom”

he tried explaining the feelings of rejections but words always eluded him, besides mommy barked ‘

"We immigrants slog to bring up kids , this is what we get from you”.

Pintu wondered what’s emmy grant?

“Mommy.....who’s emmy grant?”

Nettled by his curiosity Pintu’s mom smiled tenderly, she pulled him to her, her hands stroked his bald back she counted his ribs one by one, kneaded his shoulders , took his hand up as if to read the fine lines..
"it’ s not emmy grant Raja it’s immigrant..“What’s tha?’ –

his mommy narrated how she had abandoned her roots back home in Asia... but by now Pintu yawned.. sure ..mommy had forgotten his follies, he didn’t care who emmy grant was...he would know, when he is big enough and got mustache like dad..Indian men always grew mustache when they grew up.Pintu’s 5 year old brother who was a stout little guy barged in to the house

"mom today we saw touco toucan in the class mom"

mom’s eyes followed tinku’s rounded bottoms and pintu’s eyes followed her's and they both halted on the same spot.Pintu thought why on earth Tinku had landed when he was having his private moments with mom...fat Ass...he cussed under his breath cause mommy wouldn’t hear it..

“mom you know what ?”

Pintu wanted to pick up the threads of conversation but Tinku almost flew over him

"mommy I got a sticker for reading, I am the best in my class mom"

Tinku was bursting with pride . Pintu’s little scrawney face twisted in earnest spite

"mommy I want a toy a big toy naw"-

mommy got annoyed by his unusual wants..

"Pintu what is that note from your class"..

Pintu became incoherent,

" Mommy give me Ice cream" ...(waaah) ...he tugged at her

"ice cream.. ooom"

he could whine untill Tinku for got all about his own triumphs and came to look at Pintu’s traumatised figure crawling to the refrigirator.. Tinku took charge..

"Pintu you cannot have Ice cream, but I can have it"’

he teased as he dangled the spoon over Pintu. Mommy jumped at the door , she had just done a load of laundry and didn’t have the patience to focus;

"if you ever touch that Ice cream I will break your legs"

Pintu advanced with his skinny little toes inching slowly ..as if attacking the unknown and determined to win the battle. Mommy pounced on his neck , she threw him down and pinned him hard but when she faced him, Pintu’s eyes were a well without depth , his nostrills were gasping for breath , beads of sweat ran over his temples, his frail body heaved and slumped, he had an attack ..the hundredth that came and went and took his breath away, mommy huddled Pintu ..Tinku looked at them with disgust and anger , he walked away to fix his own lunch with his tiny plump fingers ..pintu felt safe again in his mom’s arms..he wouldn’t have to worry about Ms Vanity, he would figure out tomorrow...his eyes closed slowly to his mommy’s tear stricken face , her face reminded him of rainbows... on sunny days!.


At 9:09 PM, Blogger Ardra said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9:11 PM, Blogger Ardra said...

touching...and very insightful- its amazing to notice how kids catch on to our sensitivities, moods- could relate to the "sibling sensibilities"- got 2 sons of my own...


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