The sugarcane vendor went pass my window. I suddenly remembered my childhood days when I used to chew the sweet sugarcanes with my sister, sitting in the verandah. Quickly I put on my shirt and called him.
The van stopped. I choose one nice sugarcane piece, gave him five rupees. Before I move on, I saw the boy standing, holding the van. Looking like a glutton to the pieces. His dresses were shabby. He couldn’t afford to enjoy the sweet juices even if he was dyeing for it.
I felt it disgraceful to enjoy one without giving to somebody who deserves it the most. I offered him one. He violently shook his head, but later on agreed after some persuasion.
I gave him the choice to pick any piece he liked.
He grabbed one. Before I could pay, he pronounced, “I have got a sister, she likes sugarcanes.”
I nodded “sure, take one more.” His house was nearby, standing there he called her, “Jasmine come quickly, sugarcanes.”
The charming little girl ran out of the house along with a gang of ten to twelve.
She took one. I was shocked to discover the dozen pairs of expecting eyes piercing through my face.
I offered each of them one. Somebody, only to get sure, cross-checked “free?”
I did the mistake of saying “sure”.
Than the heaven broke loose, each member starting calling their friends and kins “akhtar, amina, jamal come come…sugarcane for free.”, somebody yelled, “fahad, shakila, anjum, what are you waiting for? come fast, sugarcanes for free.”
And there started the flood of children, coming from all the corner of the street. I never realised my neighbourhood hosts so many juvenile members.
The van started shaking violently, under the seize of this mughal army. I was also shaking, I could feel my bp rising.
I instructed them to form a line. They stood in a very unorganised queue. I started giving handing them one cane pieces, it went for long before I could discover that actually each little brat is again coming back to the line after depositing the last cane they got to a safe place.
The vendor was having a difficult time keeping an account of his fortune. I pulled out from the operation sugarcane after handing him rs 150. that’s the price he charged for all his cane stock.
Before leaving I ordered him to distribute the rest of the canes in a just manner.
I gave a sigh of relief. I realised how president bush would sigh after pulling out from iraq and save his arse.
For the last couple of days, I was wondering whether to move out from my present address to a place close to my office.
It is too far from my office and the scene of beef-stalls makes me violently sick. I just cannot stand seeing the huge bulk of yellow meat whenever I move out from my house.
But the children started disturbing me again. This time waking me up from my sleep to play cricket with them or to act as a judge in their petty (serious to them) disputes.
Rashid would not leave me without hearing me praising about his newly-acquired cycle. Shayra regularly pesters me to come to her house to see the new gold-fish in her aquarium. And during the last eid there was a competition as who could take me in his or her house for the biryani. I had to listen to the special quality of the biryani that was prepared in individual houses.
And that day anjumam with her gang and her little toddler sister stormed into my house and wake me up. “uncle uncle, utho aaj mere behen ka birthday hei.” The toddler turned three that day. Anju offered me toffies. I took one, she forced me to take two. i felt like I was in heaven. I was dwelling into w paradise with my little angels.
I dropped my stupid plan of leaving my place. My angels won’t let me go. They have trapped me in a very strong net. I cannot break-free.