Somda arranged four rasagullas in a plate, fluffed up the sofa, and settled down to read a heavy, leather-bound book. Rajat watched these preparations from the doorway. His mouth watered. He had gulped down his share of the rasagullas as soon as the visitor who brought them had left. But this had only left him wanting more.
Rajat’s eyes caressed the rasagullas. So Soft. So succulent. So…round. Just like the big fat zero he had received in the English test. Troubled by this unwanted thought, Rajat’s eyes wandered to the heavy tome in Somda’s hands. That too reminded him of something. The three old leather-bound diaries Grandpa had given him yesterday. Why had Grandpa given his precious diaries to him rather than to Somda? Possibly, Grandpa believed the diaries would kindle a passion for reading and writing in him. That accounted for the matching new diary he had presented to Rajat to “record thoughts.” Well, the diaries did spark an idea in Rajat’s mind.
“Somda, look what Grandpa has given me!” Rajat thrust the diaries in front of his elder brother.
Intrigued, Somda opened the first diary. “Wow! Are these Grandpa’s own?”
“Yes,” replied Rajat. And he unobtrusively slipped a rasagulla into his mouth. Mmm…. heavenly!
“Look Rajat, what a cramped handwriting Grandpa’s got. He’s managed to squeeze in four years’ records in a single diary.”
“Ummm” was all Rajat could manage. He was busy gulping down the second rasagulla.
Somda started skimming the second diary’s index. “This one describes the years he was posted in Aligarh….and then Mizoram…”
Rajat devoured the third rasagulla silently.
Somda too was on to the index of the third diary. “Hey, here he describes the day of my birth… the naming ceremony…the party afterwards…”
Rajat discreetly reached out for the last rasagulla. Just as he polished it off, Somda picked up the last diary.
“Why, this one has nothing!” he said, turning the blank pages of Rajat’s new diary.
“Just like your plate,” said Rajat gleefully and dashed out of the house.
Leena T Pandey
I have been reading voraciously since the age of five when I first discovered the joys of reading. I would lap up anything in print. Unrolling an emptied newspaper cone with one hand, stuffing roasted peanuts in my mouth with the other, all the while devouring the printed content on the cone with my eyes, was one of my first experiences in hedonistic pleasure.
In fact, sometimes I feel that I am on an adventurous journey through the secret dreamworld of other people's imaginations, interspersed with occasional visits to my own life to attend events like graduation, first job, marriage, and so on.
As a true-blue reader, I think I am uniquely qualified to comment on and critique other people's works of labour. I can tell exactly what puts the average reader to sleep, what sets their pulse racing, and what has them salivating for more.
Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.