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The Boy From Standard III

Father Rebello sat in his study, his vast bulk filling the roomy revolving chair. ‘Swish, swish’, went his pen as he wrote. Tick-tock went the clock on top of the bookshelf. Otherwise, the room was very quiet. The windows were shut against the chill mountain air. The curtains were drawn. On the carpet below lay Father’s dog, Raja. In the daytime, Raja acted bone-lazy. Even his meals had to be …

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That Sunday Morning

My father was posted in Patna. On the first Sunday there, my brother and I decided to do a little exploring on our bikes. It was still very early in the morning, and only a few people were about. The roads were good and the trees lining them were shady. There were no imposing buildings or monuments as there are in Delhi, from where we had just come. After cycling …

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Outwitted

We were all very excited. This holiday was to be spent in Dindigul where Grandpa had decided to settle down, because the climate there was good for people with weak lungs. His doctor had said that the damp sea air of Madras would not suit Grandpa any more. Dindigul is near a hill station called Kodaika- nal, from where fruits and vegetables came to market every day by lorry and …

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At The Party

“I won’t, I won’t, I won’t. He’s a greedy glutton and I won’t take him to the party,” said Leeladidi* stamping her feet as she stormed out of the room. But she didn’t forget to hit me hard on the head with her knuckles when she swept past me. I screamed and began to cry. Amma** came out of the kitchen. “Leela, come here!” she shouted. Leeladidi didn’t stop. “Did …

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Hanuman And I

Preparations had begun for our school annual day. Two plays were to be staged. The senior section was to enact ‘Merchant of Venice’ and the junior section, ‘The Story of Rama’. I was hoping with all my heart that the drama teacher would include me in die cast. I had never acted in a play but was sure that once on stage I would give a brilliant performance. Radhika, the …

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Varunkaka’s Lemonade Pals

Not that I didn’t like my Uncle Varun. I was just a bit cross with him. Vanmkaka* that’s what I call him, is my father’s youngest cousin. He trained as a veterinary surgeon and went abroad for higher studies. On his return from America, Varunkaka accepted a post at the Veterinary Hospital in Jabalpore, where my parents, both Army doctors, were posted. Vamnkaka intended staying with us, until he got …

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The Unforgettable Journey

I jumped into the first coach of the train. My friends, Raman and Shyam, followed me into the compartment. I heaved a sigh of relief, when I saw they were safe. But the relief was shortlived. For, I was shocked to see Mr. Khanna, a Travelling Ticket Examiner, enter the coach from the other end. “Where the hell is he coming from?” whispered Raman. “Only he can answer that,” replied …

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The Pink Card

Ponni sat on the footpath in front of Berywood Girls Primary School. She sold knick-knacks for little girls. Besides pencils, rubbers, sharpners, rulers, shoelaces and ribbons, she had colourful sweets and pretty trinkets too. All these were spread out in front of her on a piece of gunny. The school bell rang. Ponni watched the girls hasten into the school. One of them stopped in front of her. “A pencil, …

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All Because Of My Hair

“You good for nothing fellow!” one slap. “You naughty boy!” another slap. “You rascal!” a shower of slaps. I could see stars dancing at midday! The portraits of Kabir, Ghalib and Einstein hanging on the wall started swinging. I lost count of the slaps raining down on my clean shaven head and face. I wondered if I really deserved them. I was in class VIII and a boarder in a …

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In A Guava Orchard

Safdar, Ajay and I dashed out of the classroom as the bell rang. It was the lunch break, and we had a whole hour to play. Safdar was the tallest, also the strongest amongst us. He was our leader. Ajay and I followed him meekly, like lambs! We frisked about cheerfully over a path that led to a guava orchard. There was a mud wall round it. Safdar who was …

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