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Dadi

DADI

 


 

It was an early spring. We had a long holiday of nearly a fortnight. It included two weekends, Holi and moreover our boarding was closed for some political agitations in the hills. We all went back to our homes. I was quite glad that after a long interval, I would be playing Holi with my friends and especially with Vinod, the 5 years old son of our driver. Driver uncle lived with his family in rented house near to ours. His wife died two years before. His grand mother was quite a strong woman and she took the charge of the entire family. Vinod was nearly brought up in our family only. Driver uncle dropped him in our house often in the morning. He spent most of the time with my mom .She used show and taught him many things.

 

But Holi brought for me the saddest colours in my life, that year. On the prior morning to Holi, Vinod opened his eyes and he became aware of the pandemonium pervading the house. His 'Dadi' – Girija Devi - was lying on a blanket spread on the floor, covered from head to foot with a piece of cloth and the rest of the household was piteously wailing round her.

When people started to carry Girija Devi away to the cremation grounds it was then that Vinod created a furor. Escaping from the hands of the people who were holding him back, he threw himself on grand mother and cried, "Dadi is fast asleep, where are you carrying her away in this manner? I will not let you go."

With great difficulty, people were able to hold him back. He was unable to participate in her last rites. Evoking god's assistance a maid managed to keep him in the house.

Although wise elders assured him that his Dadi had gone her native village house, truth could not stay hidden under the guise of untruth for long. The other innocent children of the neighbourhood revealed it to him. It could not be held back from him that Dadi had gone nowhere but to the Lord Krishna above. Having cried incessantly for many days his weeping abated but his grief was not allayed.

As within a day or two of rains the surface water disappears but the earth retains the moisture within it for a long period, so grief had settled deep within his heart. Often sitting lonely and passive he would gaze at the sky above.

One day seeing a kite flying over-head, a thought crossed his mind and gladdened his heart. Approaching his papa he asked, "Papa, get me a kite."

After the death of his mother, the only strength of the family, Ramlal was in a distracted stage. Saying "All right, I will get it" he moved away desolately.

Vinod was desperately keen for the kite. He just could not curb his desire to get hold of one. Ramlal’s coat was hanging on a peg. Casting a glance around him moved a stool near it and inspected its pockets. Discovering a five rupees coin in them he instantly ran away.

Guddu, his neighbour hood friend was of Vinod’s age. Giving the coin to him he said "Ask your elder sister to secretly get us some string and a kite. Tell her to get it quietly; no one should get to know of it."

The kite arrived. In a dark corner of the house the string was tied to it, Vinod said gently, "Guddu, if you will not disclose to anybody, I will tell you something."

Guddu shook his head and assured him, "No, I will not tell anybody."

Vinod then divulged his secret, "I will send this kite to Lord Krishna above. Dadi will descend to earth with its help. My hand writing is not so well, Kanha ji might not get understand my hand writing otherwise I could have written her name on it."

Guddu was wiser than Vinod. He said, "What you have thought is excellent but there is a snag in it. This string is too thin. Dadi cannot descend with its help. There is danger of its snapping. It will be dangerous if she gets her bones broken at this age!  If the kite had a thick rope than all would be well."

Vinod was now anxious. Clearly the suggestion was worth a million but the complication was how to get a thick rope. He had no money and the other members of the neighbour hood who had without any pity or consideration burnt his Dadi could not be expected to contribute for this work. That day the little boy could not sleep till late at night as he was terribly worried.

Resorting to the previous day's trick, he took out two rupees from Ramlal’s pocket. Giving it to Guddu he said, "Look Guddu, don't let anybody come to know of it. Get two strong ropes with this. One will not suffice. I will get Munna Bhaiya to write 'Dadi' on a piece of paper and keep it ready. If there is a 'name slip' on it then the kite will reach her directly. The address will be also clearly mentioned so that Kanha ji can understand her residence clearly and send her in haste "

Two hours later in a cheerful state of mind the two friends were tying the rope to the kite in a dingy small room. Suddenly Ramlal entered, mad with anger, and brought to a half the auspicious work. "Have you taken two rupees from my coat?" He enquired threateningly.

Taken aback, Guddu turned informer at the very first threat and said, "Vinod Bhaiya took it for a rope and kite." Ramlal smacked his son hard twice and declared, "Do you want to be jailed for robbery? All right, I will teach you a lesson." Saying this he again slapped him, pulled his ears and tore the kite. Looking at the ropes he asked, "Who asked for these? What are these for?" Guddu replied, "He asked for them, to fly the kite with, so that Dadi could descend to earth from Lord Krishna."

Shocked, Ramlal stood stock still and was dumbstruck in pain and wonder.. Picking up the torn kite he gazed at it. On a slip of paper pasted on the kite was written "Dadi” with their address.



 

 

 

                                                                            10.03.10//--\\16.00

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