Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Winged horses and Peacock Feathers - 2

continued from part - 1

Just as he was finishing his conversation with Rakesh, Ashish came out of nowhere and suddenly touched him, no almost pushed him, announcing loudly, “Now Ravi has the drilla”

Ravi should have known better, everyday by the end of second period someone or other is in drilla, and the time in between two periods, the small slice of time available before the next teacher comes is the dangerous time when drilla is passed on to an unsuspecting person, if he/she had not saved themselves by making the protecting gesture with their two fingers, tip of index finger touching the pad of the middle finger, almost like crossing fingers. If you’ve made that gesture even if the drilla person touches you, it can't pass on to you.

Apparently that day Ashish was in drilla since Anusha saw and announced when Ashish, while yawning and stretching touched an old chewing gum sticking from the inside of the bench, and everyone else other than Ravi and Rakesh had made the protective drilla gesture.

“Great, now I’ve to find another idiot to pass it on to!!!”


Dejected that there is still a lot of waiting for the winged horse Ravi went home. Adding to his misery was the fight he had with Harika. He still didn’t understand why she was crying for such a trifle thing. He thought he should in fact be thanked for cleaning up the mess in her place. What’s worse all the girls seemed to understand and sympathize with Harika which was even more a mystery to Ravi and Gangadhar.

All he did was he threw away the pencil saw dust which for some reason was in abundance at Gangadhar’s place. And later mistaking Gangadhar to be the one who threw away the pencil dust, Harika knocked him and since Ravi is a good friend of Gangadhar he has no choice but to get involved in the fight.

All along Harika was crying that she has been amassing the pencil dust to feed her peacock feathers.

“Whaaaat?” Asked Ravi and Gangu together, surprise evident in their voices.

She opened a page in her notebook and sure enough, there was a small peacock feather amidst of a lot of pencil saw dust, which clearly puzzled most of the guys and they surrounded the bench where Harika, Gangu and Ravi were.

She explained, “If we feed these peacock feathers, they’ll grow into big beautiful peacock feathers”

“You’re kidding, right?” Said Ravi with a hint of uncertainty in his voice, since Harika was still crying a bit and Ravi didn’t know what to make of it.

“Why would I lie in a matter like this?”

“Then you’re being stupid, how can a feather which was detached from the bird regrow?”

This time she pushed both the guys out of the bench with the help of other girls who sided with Harika without a word, like it’s an obvious mistake of Ravi.

“Girls are stupid,” said Gangu to Ravi later in the playground.

“Guys are stupid,” said other girls to Harika, while religiously sharpening their pencils, to generate some pencil saw dust to compensate Harika’s loss.


Contended with the few little sips of tea, he has filched from his mother's cup, while she was in the kitchen (since tea for adults & hot chocolate for kids), Ravi went to the terrace. And just he came up, he saw a flock of cranes going across the sky.

He wanted to test the incantation Bangarraju has told earlier in the day to get that coveted mark on one of his nails.

He closed his fists and kept them in front of his chest and made little circles with his tiny fists, saying, 

"కొంగా కొంగా గుడ్డెట్టుదేవుడి గుడిలో పువ్వెట్టు" -

- Hey crane! Please give me the mark and offer a flower to the God in the temple.

He didn't know the second line of the incantation.

He kept doing that until the flock were mere tiny specks in the distant skies and sure enough his ring finger nail has got a fresh white mark which he can't wait to exhibit to his friends in the school the next day.

The folklore and fairy tales have lives, they just attend to one generation at a time and keep them submerged in a river of pleasant dreams and beliefs, playing with them, providing them with the fortresses, filling everything with colors, magic and life and adding a melody to the childhood.

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