Mention a car model to Rohit, and he’ll come out with all its technical specs, in detail. In addition to that, he’ll tell you about the competitive car models in that segment -which one of those ranks better in which parameter and given your budget, which one is the best buy for you.
He knows everything about cars, and many other things and he is just twelve.
Bespectacled and dreamy eyed, his score-cards are full of ‘A’s. He leads the junior quizzing team of his school, is already a darling among teachers and peers. And will be representing his school, next month, in the state level inter-school chess competition.
He lives with his parents, not very far from his school. Every morning he wakes up at six, gets ready for the school, eats the breakfast prepared by the maid, and walks a ten-minute distance to his school. He is almost never late.
Sometimes, though, it is difficult to open his eyes. Difficult to get ready. Difficult to be on time. When the memories are still fresh of the last night. Of the muffled sounds from behind the walls. Of the noises echoing in his parent’s room. Of the noises echoing in his head.
In the class, he sits behind Ipshita. A Bengali girl with almond eyes and luscious hair like waves of a river swelled with the monsoon rain. Sometimes, when she flicks her head to toss the hair back, they fall on his desk. He does not tell her that. Her hair smells nice. A fruity fragrance, from being shampooed and conditioned. A clean fragrance. Fragrance of being loved.
Rohit helps Ipshita out in Science and Mathematics. He lets her borrow his notes and assignments. He likes when she takes his notebooks, holds them with her soft tiny hands, and returns them with a thank-you note. He loves the way she writes his name, Rohit, with a heart on top of ‘i’ in his name, replacing the dot of ‘i’ with ‘♡’.
. . .
Today it is parent-teacher meeting day. Rohit’s mother is accompanying him to his school. He doesn’t remember when was the last time his father joined him for the same. He likes this day of the month, with his mother. His mother loves when teachers praise him, tell her how lucky she is to have Rohit as her son. And he’ll become ‘someone’ one day.
His mother always takes him to the mall after that. The only time when they go out together. They talk a lot that day. Go shopping together. Buy clothes. And she lets him buy his favorite ice-cream. He likes the way she ruffles his hair time and again, when she is telling him stories. At that moment he is not listening to her. He is trying to absorb the feeling of her hand ruffling his hair, absorb the feeling of being loved.
. . .
He is not able to sleep tonight. It is midnight, way beyond his sleeping time. But he can’t sleep. There are sounds from the kitchen. Of voices echoing. Of utensils clanking. Doors banging. Thumping sounds of feet. –hazy sounds that seemed to reach him from a doorway to the another world. Even inside his small room, shut behind the doors, he can feel the anger, the hatred emanating from there. He shuts his eyes tightly, hoping it all to go away, wishing it to be a dream.
After some time when the voices have died down, when the only sound he can hear is the faint whirling of the ceiling fan, he slips out of his bed and go outside to the porch. The sky is clear today. He can see the stars and constellations. He can see the full round moon pouring down the milky whiteness all over his house and porch.
He sits down on the steps and thinks of places far far away. Places with strange names and strange languages. He remembers such places from his geography book, with strange flags and customs. Places on the other side of the earth – in America and Europe. He likes the sound of Europe.
He imagines how it would be like living there. In a place away from all this. Away from the fear of waking up amidst the feeling that something is not right. He knows he’ll become someone one day. An astronaut. May be a doctor. Then he’ll move to such a place with Ipshita. Place with a night like this. Moonlit and full of stars. Filled with fruity smell of her shampooed hair. Filled with feeling of being loved. And without the noises of the night.
. . .
Tidbits -A place for stories, poems and a little bit of everything.