Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Winged horses and Peacock Feathers

Parking his cycle he tried to sneak into his class line at the morning assembly unnoticed, and hoped no one would notice him, for he is not the tallest, to stand at the back. He would come somewhere between Ashish and Gangadhar, and of course there was an unsettled quarrel between him and Aparna, on which of them is taller.

Sister Vinitha, his class teacher, saw all this and Ravi being her favorite student was torn between admonishing him and remaining silent. She caught his eye and rased one of her eyebrows which clearly meant this is the last warning. Ravi gave a barely noticeable nod, which meant I swear I'd never be late again.

Except for a couple of Ravi's friends no one noticed this exchange of warnings and apologies, for all of them are still trying their voices at the prayer song lazily, while the more lazier bunch were just moving their lips giving an impression of singing.
Their nascent minds still lingering in the fair their family had gone to over the weekend, that awesome roundabout, the pink cotton candy; and the Scooby Doo show that morning, which was granted after so many protests and pleadings with mom, “I can watch the show and still can get ready in time, please ma.”

These implorations were a daily happening, each hoping the other would eventually get used to it. Kids hoping their mothers would realize how important the show is to them, mothers hoping their kids would come out of it so that they can get them ready to school in time for school bus / rickshaw. But neither of their hopes seem to be fulfilled, ever.


Once inside, sharing his bench with Sireesha, Ravi brought out his pencil and gave it a contemptuous look. He hoped that he can use a pen that year, but to his utter melancholy they were told that students of grades one, two, and three are only to use pencil. The crest fallen Ravi counted on his fingers and said to himself, “that's three more years of waiting to write with a pen.”

His only consolation was the thought that his brother, elder to him by two years, would also not be allowed to use a pen yet, somehow this news seemed to lessen his grief. But then with a shock he had realized his brother was born in the first half of the year and he in the second half of the year, making the difference in their academic years three.
So his brother was in fourth grade, and sure enough their dad has gifted him a nice Parker pen for a new and auspicious beginning. All this came to his mind whenever Ravi brought out his pencil from his bag.

Just two years and 10 months more, he whispered to himself. He whispered something in Siri’s ears and she left for a back bench when the sister was not watching. And upon the cue Rakesh came and occupied the place. Best friends.

They talked in suppressed tones.

“So did you catch the winged horses?” Ravi asked Rakesh.

“I tried, but they are very fast.”

“No, you are just being lazy, that's all.”

A little incensed Rakesh said, “Then why don't you catch yourselves?”

“You know why.”

Sure enough Rakesh knows why. Ravi hated insects, though actually he feared them, he would never admit that he was afraid of anything.

There were these little thorny trees near their school, beside the big banyan tree. Those thorny trees had no fruits, and do they flower? No one was sure. Their sole purpose seemed to provide shelter for some queer looking insect sorta things that colonized only on those trees. Everyone knew as a fact that those grew into winged horses if properly fed and cared for. Those trees were always crowded with boys and few tomboyish girls of lower grades, usually in their initial years of primary school.

Did anyone ever succeed in feeding one properly and making a beautiful winged horse from those? No one was sure, but when asked almost everyone said with a strong certainty that he / she knew a certain someone near their house who actually groomed one, but alas, in the end, all their enchanting narratives ended with the horse being flown away as soon as they sprouted big enough wings.

And to have their own winged horses and proudly showcase it to all others, Ravi and Rakesh decided to catch one, feed it and groom it.

“Tomorrow you’re going to catch one, at any cost, ok? Or else I’ll, Dishkyoon,” he said, making a killing gesture with his finger gun.


  1. Thanx bro for sharing ur memories. I want u to share more of ur memories from our school days. It means a lot to me.

  2. Wow to this nostalgic feeling
    eagerly waiting for the third part


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