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A story about a boy who is eagerly waiting for a very special gift.
Aryan could see through his classroom window; the sky was almost orange in colour with tints of pink and purple. He was unable to decide which shade looked better. Pondering over the matter for sometime, he finally cleared his confusion by convincing himself that the colour of the sky didn’t matter as much as the ringing of the school bell. It was the last period of the day and Aryan was eagerly waiting for the day to get over. After all, he had something very important to look forward to.
Just then, Miss Sheetal noticed Aryan getting up from his seat and clapping his hands gleefully as soon as the school bell rang. Miss Sheetal with her brows raised gave Aryan a stunned look and continued with her last instruction for the day.
As Miss Sheetal was leaving the classroom she was thinking of Aryan. He was a smart kid with the trail of mischievousness that a normal child of third grade class should have. But for the past few days she had observed that Aryan seemed to be engrossed in something else and today she knew that his mind was not at all in the classroom. She decided to have a word with him the next day.
As Aryan was rushing out of the classroom, Ritesh stopped him and asked, “Why are you in such a hurry?” Ritesh was Aryan’s classmate and a good friend who lived a few blocks away from his home. Aryan replied hurriedly, “Hey, I won’t be coming to your home today for playing.”
“But…why not?” asked Ritesh
“I have to go somewhere else. It’s a surprise. You’ll anyway know by tomorrow,” sighed Aryan almost feeling a bit disappointed that he would not be able to conceal his surprise from Ritesh later than that.
Everyday Ritesh and Aryan would wait for the bus, but today Aryan told his friend he is walking home by taking the shorter route. Ritesh warned Aryan, “You know it very well that path is lonely. Why don’t you wait for the bus for sometime?” Aryan was in no mood to listen or wait any longer. He had to reach home fast even though it meant taking the less traveled route.
As Aryan started walking on his chosen road, he noticed the weather was changing drastically. From all the shades of pink and purple the sky was turning very dark. It was a sign that it could pour any moment. Aryan decided he had to walk faster.
Suddenly it started raining heavily and Aryan began to desperately search for a shade to cover himself. Through the rains he managed to see the thatched roof of a hut from a distance.
Suddenly it started raining heavily and Aryan began to desperately search for a shade to cover himself. Through the rains he managed to see the thatched roof of a hut from a distance. He had already covered his head with his bag but it was of no use. Drenched from top to bottom, Aryan went slowly near the hut to find a safe corner.
On moving closer he saw a woman in her mid thirties opening the door of the unevenly built hut. Seeing the little boy getting drenched she asked him to come inside. Aryan hesitated to enter the stranger’s home but he had little choice.
As he stepped inside he heard someone gesturing to come inside as quietly as possible. A young boy was putting an infant to sleep. Aryan stepped closer near the cloth cradle in which the baby was sleeping peacefully. Meanwhile the woman asked Aryan if he would like to have a cup of milk. Aryan replied that she need not take trouble for him but definitely he would like to sit there for a while until the rain stops. The woman smiled and asked him to sit on a small chair.
Soon Aryan’s attention got diverted to the young boy who was gently cradling the baby. Aryan wanted to do the same when he went back home. His granny had given him the happy news this morning that finally he could see the baby when he comes back from school.
Aryan had seen his mummy’s tummy grow bigger month after month and he kept asking her everyday when the baby would come home. Aryan’s mom had only one answer “soon my dear”.
This morning when Aryan woke up, he realized by the commotion in the house that his mummy had finally gone to the hospital to get the baby. Since the last one week he could hear the elders talking about new clothes, new toys for the baby and Aryan was excited to share his personal belongings with someone he waited for so long. Everyone in the house seemed to be sharing the same excitement on the arrival of the new baby.
It was almost half an hour since Aryan was waiting for the rain to stop and he never realized the time pass by. In a hurry Aryan got up from his seat and asked the woman who was busy doing her chores, “The rain must have stopped right?” Before she could answer, Aryan thanked her for letting him in and excitedly told the young boy “My granny has promised me that I am going to get my precious gift today.”
Aryan then hurriedly made his way home. On reaching home he found that his uncle was waiting for him at the door.
“Aryan, where were you all this while?” asked his uncle. “I was getting worried; I was planning to go to your school now. Even Ritesh called me to find out if you had reached home.”
Aryan stopped him mid conversation and said, “I am fine; it was because of the rains that I got stuck somewhere. By the way has the baby come home?”
Aryan’s uncle was smiling at the question. “Well it’s not that easy to get a baby. But everyone’s at the hospital and we’ll join others to get the little one. Now quickly on the count of five change your clothes and we’ll move from here.”
As Aryan was changing his clothes he faintly heard his uncle asking him to have something to eat but Aryan’s mind was somewhere else. He was thrilled about the idea of a new baby coming home. He had already planned to show off the new baby to all his friends. To please his mom he had even cleaned his room after a long time only for the baby.
Another shout out from his uncle disturbed his thoughts and Aryan was rushing to the living area to go with his uncle. All through the way to the hospital, Aryan was humming a poem that he had specially written for the baby.
Aryan finally reached the hospital and was now very eager to see the little one. He found that everyone at the hospital were busy in their own talks. From what the elders spoke he gathered that the operation had gone well and the mother and the newborn was healthy and safe. Just then Aryan saw his granny come out of a room in which his mommy was there. On seeing her he gestured to take him in her arms, but Aryan’s granny immediately brushed his away,“Oh common Aryan, now you are a big boy! You have a little sister, so stop being a baby yourself.”
All of eight years into the world, Aryan couldn’t figure out how suddenly he had become a big boy once a new baby arrived. He thought probably his granny was in a bad mood. But her words had pinched him. He didn’t feel like entering the room to have a look at the baby. Then he saw his dad walking towards his uncle. To have a clear understanding on how suddenly he had grown up, Aryan decided to first have a talk with his dad. “Dad, I want to see the baby,” said Aryan in a sarcastic tone. But Aryan’s dad was in no mood to listen to Aryan. He was busy with his conversation with Aryan’s uncle.
Aryan couldn’t bear it anymore but he decided to control his anger instead of letting it out. And there he saw his grandpa and cousins coming towards the main room where his mother and the baby was kept. Aryan was standing with a half smile hoping someone would come and talk to him. Everyone looked at Aryan standing but no one spoke to him. The visitors were busy asking Aryan’s dad about the baby.
Aryan could not understand how a piece of flesh who has not even stepped inside their house had managed to take all the attention. Until yesterday everyone cuddled him and told him he was the darling of the house because he was a little boy, so how did it change overnight? There was no one to answer his questions. Everyone went inside the room to see the baby. Aryan was no longer interested. He just walked over towards the window of the long stretch outside the room. He saw it was raining again. Tears flowed on Aryan’s cheeks. His precious gift had taken all the attention from him. He was not happy with the new gift in his life.
Image via Shutterstock.