Saturday, April 6, 2013

Adventures of Tiny- A regular girl with irregular thoughts.

Adventure #1- Counting Cards



Tiny, as she was so named in a fit of humor by her elder brother, fancied herself as the daughter of a royal couple with her brother playing the role of a sibling cum bodyguard. She imagined herself having a grand room papered in pinks and blues, like she had seen in fairytales on the Disney channel. 

Tiny didn’t know her real age, or rather, she pretended she didn’t so when someone kneeled to get to her head level (she was really tiny you see) and asked her how old she was, she would start counting showing her small fingers, exceeding no 6 (where she should have stopped) till she had both her palms out and wriggling all her 10 fingers, she would run away.

10, she thought was a grand age. She imagined all the characters in her only famous five comics to be 10 (though they were much older); ten was such a grand age was what she thought.

Tiny loved going to school. All the Hindi, English and Bengali teachers asked her to read out the lessons and that used to please her immensely. Even when they would ask other kids to do the task, they would soon get impatient by their low voice or slow reading and tell her to read in the end. And she loved that; that impatient look on the teacher’s face as they would tell the other kid to sit down and say “Tiny, you read from where he/she finished” and she would continue the rest of the chapter.

Another reason she loved school was Rik, the guy she sat next to in her class. He was her best friend or rather the Prince of the Princess she was and they were inseparable. Once when their class teacher (Tiny imagined her as the evil witch) made them sit apart because they talked too much, they both cried so hard that the teacher had to put them back together (and they lived happily ever after as Tiny put it :D)

New Year was coming and Tiny along with everyone else was excited about stuff like cards which was the essential part of the day. It was sort of an unsaid rule that the girl/boy with maximum number of cards was the most popular. So there always used to be competition (mostly amongst girls, boys didn’t give a damn about these stuff even in that tender age :D ) which gave rise to cold wars, fits of jealousy, gossip and a general excitement in the air as the 1st of January neared every year.

Tiny, who had received the maximum no. of cards the previous year and became the ‘Popular Princess’ as she liked herself to be known, put on airs as the day came closer, sure like the day that her popularity would become evident that year as well.

“Everyone loves me. I am going to be the first person they give their cards to” Tiny assured a very amused mother and a very bored brother. 

Now, Tiny’s mother was tired of all the vanities she put up for the sake of a thing that wouldn't even last for a few weeks but end up making her arrogant and vain for the rest of her life. Also, she could see a tantrum for buying greeting cards coming up. The previous year they had to succumb to her tears and get her almost 30 cards, 20 for people in her class and 10 for ‘special friends’ in the other section.

Her mother had guessed right, for Tiny in her tiny handwriting had scribbled the list of names of her ‘card-receivers’ putting a ‘2’ against some, intending to give them 2 cards so that they remembered the special treatment in near future.

So with much tact and wit, her mother told Tiny “Why don’t you give handmade cards this time?”

“Handmade cards?” Tiny looked up from her game of shampoo-the-doll’s-hair-till-it-comes-off in surprise.

“Yes. Everyone gives cards bought from the market. Handmade cards are so special and unique”

“You-neeck?” Tiny asked. She loved playing with new words and phrases.

“U-n-i-q-u-e” her mother spelled slowly. “Doing something no-one else does. Standing appreciated in a whole crowd.”

“Ohhhh…” She pursed her pretty lips. “Like becoming a Popular Princess?” she asked, her eyes shining.

Her mother bit a smile. “Something like that”.

Tiny was about to jump and clap in joy but remembering her princess-dignity she said demurely. “OK mother. I will think about it.”

So, that weekend, Tiny could be seen cutting chart papers, shaving dozens of pencils, scattering a number of crayons everywhere, demanding for hundreds of sketch pens and creating a hullabaloo of everything in general.

“You could have just bought the cards this time as well na?” her Dadi observed.

“Let her be. At least her time is being used up in something creative”, her mother said, seeing little Tiny busy with something other than her princess fantasies.

So Tiny made dozens of colorful, creative cards for all her friends (admirers as she liked to think of them) and felt tired but happy and waited eagerly to see their reactions.

Now it so happened that Tiny, the little air-headed girl that she was, put on an important air and told a few people about her card making venture.

“What’s so special about handmade cards? They are plain and boring” said someone.

Tiny drew herself to her mightiest height and said “Of course there is. It shows the talent and the determeenashion of a true princess. You won’t understand it anyways, my cards are only for ‘special’ people” she said haughtily.

And this news spread like wild fire. Hidden from the fancies of the little kids was the fact that the card giving was a purely give and get-back-in-return business. So after hearing the ‘special people’ criteria of Tiny, X speculated that Y and Z might be those unfortunate ones as A had told her that Tiny had said so and so about them. Y told B and C that she didn’t care about it but didn’t D once say that Tiny had said so and so about B and C as well? S sighed and said that she always knew Tiny was choosy about friends and didn’t give them ‘respict’ as she should. And it went on like that.

Finally, on the very grand day, dressed in a pretty sapphire blue frock with her curly hair clipped in matching blue clips and ribbons and with a big bag containing all her cards, Tiny prepared to leave for her school which was just two steps away.

“Why such a big bag Tiny?” her Dadi enquired.

“Oh it’s to fit in all the cards I get in return Dadi”, Tiny replied in earnest. “I am afraid even this won’t hold them. I just hope I won’t have to borrow anyone else’s bag you know.” She said seriously before she bid her final goodbyes.

“The poor child is going to be hurt Anita” her Dadi said.

“If it does her any good, then wont that be worth it?” her mother countered looking at Tiny’s pig tails swinging merrily on her back.

Tiny entered the school gate with great enthusiasm, was immediately received by her class teacher as she had a poem to recite in the New Year’s children program. As she got down the stage to join her classmates sitting in a circle, she prepared herself to be surrounded by a horde of card givers instantly. But to her amazement, nothing of that sort happened.

Her friends were exclaiming over cards given by each other, comparing numbers but they ignored her completely.

“Hello”, Tiny said bravely, the hope that she had gone unnoticed still strong in her heart. But she got nothing but cold looks, none of the cards she had expected to overflow her bag came along.

“I made cards for you” she tried again in a small voice but no one heard her. Her eyes searched for Rik who after catching her look in his direction, got up from his chair and fled.

“We don’t want your cards.” A girl said cruelly “go and give them to your ‘special’ friends”

“But… but I made them for all of you!” Tiny stammered, two small tears trickling down her face.

No one paid her any attention anymore and she turned back, sobbing her little heart out, still unable to understand the sudden turn of events.

She cried all the way home, the bag with her cards trailing behind her sadly, with a few falling out of them at regular intervals. Her mother saw her coming earlier than expected and rushed outside, her apprehension getting confirmed as she a teary face enter through the gate.

But she slowed down her steps as she saw another tiny figure bobbing their way.

“Tiny, TINY!” Rik shouted, panting as he tried to catch up with her.

Tiny turned to see who it was and made to run inside feeling even more terrible about Rik’s betrayal when he finally caught up with her.

The confrontation was awkward, Tiny kept sniffing and Rik kept trying to make her look at him.

“You dropped these” he said and handed her the creations that had fallen from her bag. “And you forgot to take this” he said and handed her a small handmade card, with a “Happy New Year” written in pastel in uneven letters, as if scribbled in hurry.

Tiny looked up at him then, wonder in her eyes. 

“I don’t mind handmade cards at all so I made one for you immediately. And I am going to take all of these as well” he said, taking the bag of cards from her hand.

He smiled at her and she smiled back faintly, the tears still in her eyes.

Tiny’s mother who was looking on the scene smiling, intervened then with a “Rik, why don’t you come inside?”

“Happy new year Aunty” he said shyly.

Tiny’s mother smiled and said “Come Tiny. Bring your friend inside”

Tiny came and slipped her hand in Rik’s and said prettily “Come I will show you my Famous Five comics”and they went inside chattering happily.

The day started with tears and ended with small but happy smiles for our little girl but it taught her a lesson, however small. Friends can’t be bought by cards and friendship can’t be bought by popularity, it has to be earned, just the way Tiny earned Rik's friendship.

I wonder if any number of cards in the market could match the beauty of the single card Tiny got that day; there was friendship and concern sealed in every little corner of that hastily made card.

And at the end of the day, despite the harsh lesson, Tiny found a true friend but Tiny thought she had found her Prince at last :D

What do you think? :D

5 comments:

  1. sweet!!
    i wish smthng of dis sort ever happend with me!!

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    1. Welcome to my blog Eagerreader :) I am glad you liked this. And ah! Even I wish for the same thing! :D
      Thanks for the visit. :)

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  2. Good one.. and a cute story! loved the way you have narrated it :)

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    1. Thank you Gayathri. I am so glad you liked it :)

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  3. I couldn't refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!

    my homepage ... recommended you read

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