The breeze was blowing softly on her face. Strands of hair fell over her cheeks and she slowly tucked it under her ears. Her little brother tugged her pretty skirt filled with bright floral patterns. Awa..he called loudly making faces. She giggled and stroked his head. “Why are you making faces at me?” She asked, smiling at him. “Oh! so you saw that too? Nowadays, I can’t even do anything without your knowledge! We poor things have only 2 eyes. I guess God gave you 10 eyes instead!” He lamented nodding his head in disapproval. She laughed loudly, her laughter filling the air like musical notes to the rhythm of wind.
” Ok! Stop grumbling, what do you want now? “She asked with an amused expression on her face.” I want to know which colour to give for this flower I drew just now. Hmm..she pondered and reached out to take his colour pencil set. There it was! The red pencil had broken its nib last day and she had sharpened it for him. So she immediately touched the sharpest pencil of the lot and stretched it out to him. ” Colour it red Alan. Red flowers are always the most gorgeous ones!” Is it? Ok! Will colour it red then. He nodded in agreement and started colouring the flower he drew. Somewhere a cuckoo was singing melodious song. The leaves seemed to sway to the music.” Do you see any cuckoo nearby Alan? “She asked. He lifted up his head and looked around. No! There is no cuckoo over here. You must be imagining things. But, I hear it well! She stood up and walked in direction of the sound. Indeed there was a cuckoo perched on a tree branch. She stood silently listening to the music taking extra care not to make any noise. If she interrupted the cuckoo, it will get frightened and fly away. Hence, she maintained a safe distance from it.
Hey! Someone called to her. The cuckoo stopped singing and flew away in a hurry. Visibly irritated as to who would have disturbed the cuckoo, she turned around to the sound that called her. We are a gang of boys, just roaming around. Heard there is a lake nearby. Do you know where it is? He asked. He had a voice as low as the summer tunes of a brook. She stood there quietly pondering over something in her head. Hey! Are you deaf? Where are you looking? Didn’t you hear me? He asked this time loudly. She looked towards him and slowly said, but there is no gang of friends over here. Only you are here! Oh, yes! They are resting near the carnations down the garden. I just came up seeing you. He replied. Ok! Just go straight, There are some steps over there. Fifteen steps . Be careful with the steps though. It is made of stones and is a bit slippery after the summer rains. Algae is all over it. You might slip down. He gazed in amusement at this girl. Am I a little boy to be told in detail about the number of steps, algae and slippery steps? He laughed out loud! She stood there listening to his laughter and thought, oh, well, if you want to fall down fifteen steps, then let it be so! Who cares!
Sorry! Yes please madam, continue. After those fifteen steps? She looked haughtily at him and said, then just walk forward, turn right and you will see the lake. That is it! Hey, you are angry at me? He asked gazing at her. That is when he noticed she was indeed gorgeous as the blooming carnations! But she was not looking at him. Maybe angry that I made fun of her. He thought. Ok dear, thank you. He said, hoping to catch a glimpse of her face again. But she had started walking back to her home. She shouted back at him without even turning around, keep that ‘dear’ with you. Just call me Awa. He smiled at her luscious jet black hair disappearing inside the caramel coloured bamboos with pale green leaves.
To be Continued..