Holi is the time to burn the old, and welcome the new; let go of the past regrets and guilt, and walk towards the future with hope. It is the time to play with colours; spread the colours of love, joy, and happiness in everyone’s life. Enjoy the festival without using harmful chemicals, and spoiling the fun.
If you think, childhood is the best part of life with no problems, you haven’t heard of Mimi. Mimi’s life starts with problems, every single morning. It begins, when Mimi is full of energy and hope after her bath, and her mom sets a big glass full of milk, in front of her.
Now, there are some children who love milk. Her classmate Dodo is one of those. Then there are some, who like to drink milk with added flavours like chocolate. Unfortunately, Mimi belongs to neither group.
She doesn’t hate everything about milk, she isn’t that intolerant. In fact, she loves the white colour, though the milk in front of her isn’t white at all. It is cocoa brown, and she still tolerates the colour. That goes to show her forgiving nature.
It is the smell, she finds offensive. Whatever is added to the milk, nothing can mask the hint of the odious smell. She twitches her nose, and complains to mom. Mom says her usual words, “hold your nose, and drink it.”
You see, how severe her mom is!
Mimi doesn’t give up, she has developed an ingenious technique (according to her) to get rid of the awful liquid, everyone calls milk. She sits, supporting her chin with one hand, and waits for mom to retire to the kitchen. There are two potted plants in the drawing-room, one in each window. Mimi decides to pour her milk in these plants. Considering milk is very healthy, and nourishing stuff (her mom’s words), the plants would surely grow well this year. She has observed, these plants haven’t grown much last year, when compared to the guava tree outside their building. This benevolent scheme makes her feel better.
However, there is a glitch in the plan. It is the presence of a minor obstacle in the form of her father. Her father, a very amiable man, and even Mimi in her unkind moods, would not call him a despot, is not an ally in this charade.
Every morning, when Mimi shuffles into the drawing-room, her papa is already present. He is settled in one of the cushioned chair, absorbed in his newspaper, oblivious to his surroundings. After her mom’s departure, Mimi tiptoes across the table, carrying her glass, towards the plants. He is still engrossed in reading. However, as soon as she raises the glass, he peeks over the top of his paper, and gives her such a look of distress, that Mimi can never complete the act. Mimi knows the action would lead him to disappointment. He would never report her to mom, but he would be hurt.
So, instead of getting rid of her milk, she twirls a lock of her jet black hair, and pretends to be interested in the plant. Then, she bestows upon him a sweet smile, revealing a dimple, takes a few sips of milk, and trots back to her chair. She waits till he is involved in his paper, and tries to repeat the act all over again. This continues, till she finishes her glass of milk.
This performance gives satisfaction to both the concerned parties; Mimi, the satisfaction of giving all her efforts to achieve success, though she does blame providence for her failure, and her father, the gratification of fulfilling his role as a good parent, and supervising his child’s nutrition. And as regards to the plants’ nutrition, that responsibility he feels ought to be his partner’s, and he does not lose his sleep over it.
Mimi does her best to avoid sharing, her table with papa. But, he arrivesthere before her, and much to her chagrin, never leaves the room till she finishes her milk. It has now progressed to the point, thatthe main aim of this routine for Mimi has becometo outwit papa. She wantsto get rid of the milk without his knowing, and in his presence, in which she hasn’t yet succeeded.
Now you see, children do have problems. But do they cry over it like adults? No, they face their problems with fortitude.
P.S. :- This is a modified extract of my novella, “Where’s Papa?” written in 2011. I decided to convert some parts of it, into a series involving Mimi, and her friends.
I need Beta readers for a middle grade fantasy novel, “Ruins of Doddakudla“. I already have two beta readers, but need a few more.
If you like reading middle grade fiction, or have an experience, beta reading children’s fiction, email me, or contact me through the contact form. The manuscript will be ready for beta reading at the end of February.
If you want to know more about beta reading, read “What is Beta reading?” The step 2 of the article explains, what feedback an author expects.
P.S. :- Thanks Ganga for finding me, middle grade Beta readers.
Swachh Bharat campaign is getting a momentum. It has become a trend talking about cleanliness and hygiene. That is about the only thing most of the people do. Sadly, everyone isn’t ready to act for the cause. Taking a broom for a day isn’t going to achieve clean India, or if it does achieve it, it’ll be for a day.
Maybe we should have a clean India day. On that day, we all can clean the streets, and the country will sparkle if only for a day. And the rest of the year we can go back to our regular irresponsible self.
If we want something permanent, we have to try and break the habit of considering the streets our personal trash can. After about three months of the campaign, the streets are still littered with trash, and the trash cans when present are still never maintained. :(
As to the stray animals, I personally feel it’s cruelty to animals letting them loose on the streets, prone to accidents. Many a times, poor dogs meet with a horrible fate under some fast moving wheels. But then, in a country which can’t care for half of its people, it’s useless to expect the authorities to bother about caring for stray animals.