Saturday, November 28, 2009

You were little….

You were little. Around ten years old? Probably. You had two pigtails and ribbons at their end, pale blue frock, soft and happy, till your knee.

There was a lot of gaiety around. You walked through a sky high arch. Music was loud. Four beats to perfectly suit the alternating footsteps, yours and his.

He was huge. His big warm hands held yours safe and tight. Everything else was alien. His elbow was your head’s reach. You needed to look up to see that beaming smile.

There were lots of people around. Hundreds of shirts, all of which you wanted to paint. Sari ends dangling down- some glittering, some beautiful, some fearful. You knew his shirt and its scent too.

There were watches on some hands and bangles on others. Some were just plain, like yours. But you always knew his hand. It was warm, a reassuring grip. You never had to cling.

Did you see the cone hat on the ice-man’s head? Oh! You could see only the counter. Perfectly your eye level! Wasn’t that scoop bowl pretty with the cones near it?

You were sure the cone he took was for you.

Now your other hand was occupied too. The ice-cream was smooth and fragrant. It had shadows and freckles that the scoop had made. Like Amma’s custard, it smiled at you.
Amma knew you were safe too, for his hands were big. They were warm, unlike the ice-cream. But, the ice-cream was nice too.

There were merry-go-rounds through which the sun smiled. He sat beside you. You were scared and hugged him tight. Even the tip of your fingers couldn’t find each-other, to complete the loop. He was huge.

Your hand was still inside his palm. You knew you were safe.

The ice-cream spilt on his clean green shirt. You cried. Its okay, you were little. He washed it off, the ice-cream, with a bottle-capful of water. He consoled you too.

He spoke big words. You knew none. You could only smile

You wanted the balloon. Nice and ink blue, splashed with white spots. He got it for you. Now that filled the ice-cream’s hand. You smiled. You laughed when he did, also at the puppets.

You laughed as the puppets jumped and at the bittersweet voice which sang for it.

You wanted to see the dance properly. The place was crowded. People brushed you aside. His warm hands were firm when it held you. You couldn’t see the stage. He lifted you up gently, placed you on his shoulder, over his soft cotton shirt. You looked down at people now. You smiled and cheered at the dance, clapped hands. His warm hand held you firm.

You thought it was time to go home. Everybody clapped merrily and were walking away randomly. You could see the sky high gate. His palm held yours firmly. You were carefree, for you knew he would take you home.

It was noon. The wind was happy and breezy. Some clouds began to play hopscotch with the sun. Then they began hide and seek. It was sun’s turn now.

You were feeling hungry. He gave you water. You drank greedily; still there was enough for him in the bottle.

The magician did strange things. They were nice. You liked the black hat with its red ribbon. You kept gazing at the rabbit, walking past it. It was white and had a pretty eye.

You clapped when it ate the carrot and jumped. You laughed and laughed. Your stomach hurt.

Did you know that you weren’t walking? The magic show was over. But why weren’t you walking?

You lifted your hands from the last clap.

Numerous waists were around. No hand. No green shirt. Everybody was huge.

You sang his song. That line, once, twice, tens of times. Each time was streakier and louder. It was no more music.

You were worried how he would get back home. Did you know that he knew his way back home?

He was huge too.

You wondered if he knew that you were small.

You wondered if he knew you could see no faces.

You wondered if he knew you couldn’t speak big words like huge people.

You did not know you were crying.

You yelled for him.

You cried no-more. You couldn’t.

Do you know your way back home?

He probably needed both his hands for himself now.