Monday, May 23, 2016

Its Raining ...

"Kanna ... we will be back by 8.30, so take care and be a good boy" Amma gave Kannan the instructions with a smile.

It was for the first time, Kannan was alone at home late. Kannan smiled back and felt the pride in the fact that he is being given the responsibility to take care of the house. A bit of studies, bit of sun, and all the time all alone at home. Though it was not a home alone story, Kannan waved a happy bye to Appa Amma and Akka. 

"Don’t worry Amma.... I will take care" Kannan replied like a grown up.

Kannan went to the gate and saw them get into the car and drive away. Kannan ran back up home, locked the door and took the keys, started throwing and catching it in style and went straight to the TV room. 

"Will watch TV for some time and then study", Kannan thought

As Appa drove towards Swaminathan Mama's house Amma started her usual doubts

"Did I turn the gas off?”
"Did I switch the heater off?”
... and so on

Appa and Akka heard a half and left the rest for her to voice and not be heard, as they were used to her doubts wherever they went, be it a day at the movies or a long distance vacation. These were common doubts in every mother's mind for sure and Amma was not an exception.

"Amma ... Kannan is there and he will take care of it... can you stop worrying" said Pachai from the back seat.

"No... I think I left the gas main switch on"

Appa and Pachai remained silent.  

Meanwhile, Kannan switched the TV on and sat back in the chair like the boss of the house. In his Black shorts and favorite Blue and Brown Full sleeve T shirt, he went to the mirror and had a look at the boss of the house for the evening. Combed back his hair and smiled at himself. Went back to his chair and watched TV for some time and then felt the hunger creep up in his tummy. 

The kitchen shelf was smiling at him with the yummy sweets Amma had made at home for Diwali. He ran to the kitchen shelf and took the whole big boxful of sweets. For a 12 year old boy, the whole house to his wish was more of a fun arena. He took a bottle of ice cold water and kept it near the chair. Sat on it with folded legs and kept the box in his lap like a baby. Opened the lid and started helping himself. Yummy ladoos, Puran Poli and all the delicacies smiled at him. 

Each time he had a piece, he kept telling himself, "This is the last one" and had one more. 

After a while, having had too much sweets Kannan felt a bit high in his head. Sweets can do it to you too... He switched the TV off and went to his study. He opened the school bag and took out his note books and placed them in front of him.

"Homework", Kannan decided

He started with Maths, and then went on to English, and then Geography... As he was writing he saw his handwriting turn to wavy lines and not words. They made no sense to him; neither would it make any sense to the Arundhathi teacher, if she tries to read it the next day.

After the visit to Swaminathan Mama's house for a function Appa was driving back home, when Amma continued expressing her concerns...

"What would Kannan be doing...hope he does not lock the house from inside"
"He would be fine... will you please stop worrying" said Appa in a stern voice, tired of the incessant questions for the past three hours.

They reached home and saw the study on the first floor and were relieved. Appa locked the car and Amma and Pachai moved ahead. As Appa reached the door Amma was ringing the bell and already looking worried.

"Listen.... he is not opening the door...."

Appa looked slightly worried and rang the bell again. Akka's eyes started getting wet with tears, thinking what would have happened to her little brother. Amma was panicked and started calling out to the neighbors. People started gathering and the knocks started getting louder and louder. No one had a clue what was happening inside.

"Call Unni" Appa told Amma "He can climb the wall and reach out to the sunshade and open the window"

Amma ran to the next house to call Unni. Always ready to help, he was a darling of the colony, who would go any length to help others. Unni was having his dinner when Amma went to call him. Amma voice shuddered as she called Unni

"Unni... something has happened to Kannan. He is not opening the door"

He washed his hands and ran out with Amma in his lungi and a vest. He reached the door where almost the half of those who were awake in the colony to find out what had happened to the lovely little boy. Unni immediately jumped on the wall and climbed it. Swiftly he reached the sunshade. He tried to open the window and they were closed. 

"Someone get me a screwdriver" shouted Unni

Padmanabhan uncle who stayed in the next house sent his driver home to get the screwdriver from the tool box. Tool box was brought and the screwdriver was thrown to Unni, who was still on the sunshade near the window. He jagged the window open with a screwdriver and opened it.

"The fan is on, lights are on ..." Unni's commentary started
"I can see the table and chair... no Kannan is not on the chair" he continued

"Check the floor... is Kannan ok" Appa asked Unni with concern

"There he is... I think he is sleeping... he is on the books...." said Unni which sent waves of relief to all waiting there.

"Kannan... Kannan..."Unni called getting no response from him.

"Someone get me a hose and connect it to the tap in the garden pipe" instructed Unni.

A long green hose was reeled out in rescue. The hose was connected to the tap and the other end reached out to Unni. The tap was opened and there it was... an artificial rain.

Kannan was in a dream world, when he felt drops of water falling on him. He couldn’t understand what was happening or where he was, when he woke up from the sweet slumber all the sweets had given him. He ran to the door and took the keys from his pocket and opened it. He saw a whole lot of people standing there in front of the door. The little boy with surprise in his eyes and seeing Appa, Amma and Akka standing with a whole lot of people he said

"It's raining in the house ..."

Everyone laughed. Amma with tears in her eyes started laughing too. Appa was angry, and his anger fizzled out with the comment from Kannan. Akka was laughing out loud looking at the soaking wet Kannan. Kannan got a grip of what had happened. His head went down with a smile and the realization. For many years to come Kannan was taunted in fun by all who were there

"It's raining in the house ..."

Some memories are sweet and others sweeter.... Every time water drops fell on Kannan's face, he would remember the episode at home when it was raining inside the house.

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