1985

Anjur

“Then what happened? Dadi!…” Poking her flabby arms I coax her to complete the story. “You always do this… who lives with her?…” 

But her snores ensured I will have to satisfy with an unfinished story tonight.

It’s almost like a routine. We, during summer nights always sleep on the terrace, while Ma and Baba sleep downstairs. She tells me stories of the moon, planets, stars. And I love listening to her.

Tonight the moon is glowing unnaturally. I don’t like moonless nights. It makes me gloomy. Dadi says there is another dadi, an old woman whom I don’t know, lives inside the moon. She is pretty old, feeble too. She sits and weaves. That’s why the moon appears with black spots. It’s her shadow… I wonder, who buys her clothes. 

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We live in a village and I love this place but I like towns also. Occasionally, when baba visits the town for a day or two, I accompany him, but my heart yearns for my Dadi. 

Previously, I was studying at the local school but now baba enrolled me in the municipal school outside our village. It’s a little far away but I don’t mind travelling considering its atmosphere. Ma thinks I am a kid, can’t travel but she forgets that I am in Std 3, big enough!

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“The moon and the sun are regarded as Stars…” Hanging a big image of the solar system Madamji show us the different celestial bodies.

 “Craters, holes… like cavities…” she continues.

Today is the third day, she is describing the moon, the planets but she never speaks of that old dadi? How’s it possible? Did she miss or forget her?

*****************

 My mind has so many queries. I hurry back home to clarify but dadi isn’t there. She has gone to see her friend in the neighbouring village.

Two days passed by. My stomach churned with unanswered questions and then finally, I decide to ask Ma. She is busy rolling the chappatis, when…

“Ma, why that dadi on the moon never comes down? What does she eat? Dadi says she stays alone, how she earns? Who buys her clothes?…”

Before I could finish my list of queries both Baba and Ma looking towards each other, burst into laughter… She had heard Dadi telling me this story umpteenth times but never thought I would ever ask her this stupid question. Now, I feel embarrassed…

“There isn’t any lady on the moon, Chandu. That’s a childhood tale dadi created to pacify you as a kid. Listen to your teacher. She is correct.” Baba answered but my doubts remained…

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Today in school, “Madamji, my Dadi never lies.” Defending her strongly I narrate my belief of years, “Dadi told me… She lives, weaves, cooks…”

But all I hear are giggles, chuckles and roaring laughs.

******************

On returning home…

“I felt ashamed, dadi. They were laughing at me… I believed a lie. Why did you…?” Annoyed but sobbing, I hid my tears in my dadi’s lap. 

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Photo By; Dave Webb

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This is an entry for #TheLie #Five00-8, a room8 writing event –in 500 words.
Check out the event guidelines here: https://artoonsinn.com/room8/thelie

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