Flight of a dragonfly

Written by : Abhisek Pattnaik
image Courtesy : Shutterstock.com

Chiku never liked his afternoon naps. But Lakshmi, his mother, made sure that he doesn’t leave his bed after lunch. She had her own reasons for this of course. After a toil with household chores that stretches from taking shower and fetching water from the village tube-well before the sun rises to eating lunch after everyone else is taken care of; she deserved a good long sound nap after lunch. But if Chiku is up playing, she of course can’t even have this small luxury in her life. Hence, she made sure that Chiku also sleeps post his lunch, making it a routine for him. But Chiku always managed to sneak past her despite her regular warnings. Usually the signal to leave the bed comes in the form of light snores from Lakshmi. He loved spending time playing with his ball or car or doing something fidgety or simply he would search the shelves in the TV room to find any piece of metal or plastic good enough to give flight to his imaginations.

This was like any other day. After the light snores started coming from Lakshmi, Chiku snuck out of the bedroom and started looking for his ball. He had persuaded Lakshmi last month to buy it from the ‘harek mal bhaiya’ (the man who visits each house in the village with his little mobile shop on his cycle) while Lakshmi was buying some ‘bindis’ for herself.
“Maybe Maa hid it somewhere”, he thought.
Then he looked up for his car and failed to find that either he thought of venturing into the top shelf of the TV room. He climbed up on the armrest of the chair next to the shelves and stepped on the lowermost shelf. His eyes hardly went above it. Hanging from it with one hand he let the other explore the shelf with hope to find something interesting. Last time he had found the cap of a coconut oil bottle that had helped him make cylindrical clay moulds from it. A few disused keys, unattended papers and some dusted old books later, his hand met something made of plastic with blades. He drew it out.
It was sheer joy for him. He stood astounded in disbelief for what he had found was a “dragonfly helicopter flying toy!” The same one that he thought to have lost last winter. He straight went running to the photo of Lord Shiva, that was  hanging from the wall and kneeled before it for this gracious surprise. He got up keeping his prayer fast and short; too excited to make the dragonfly fly. Holding it between both his palms, he gave it the hardest churn that his little hands allowed him.
“Shoosh….” And it flew, in a grandest of style possible; almost reaching the wooden ceiling of their mud house. Chiku dived to not let it touch the ground.
“Touchdown means game over”, the game he just invented.
Flights after flights, the dragonfly flew and Chiku was acing the game.
“Maybe they should introduce this game in the Olympics. I can certainly bring a medal for India then.” He let his mind run its course of imagination before the clock in the room rang.
“Tong, tong….” It rang four times! “How come it is four already!”
It was time for Lakshmi to leave her nap. He crept back to his bed next to Lakshmi with his prized possession. Lakshmi was yet to wake up. He covered himself up with a bed-sheet and kept the dragonfly in front of his eyes inside his little tent; slowly falling asleep with a smile on his face.

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