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Ami (I)

Published : Saturday, 23 September, 2023 at 12:00 AM  Count : 221
Leela Mazumder

Ami (I)

Ami (I)

Do you think it is a stick that I am carrying on my shoulder?  No not at all.   It is the handle of our helping hand Jogur's umbrella. Tucking it between his knees Jogu was going to the bazaar by tram. In the meantime, a rogue threw a half-burnt Biri (locally produced cigarettes) in it. So the clothes of his umbrella burnt into ashes.  On the spur of the moment, Jogu became furious. Returning home he threw it under the stairs.  Releasing the pokes of iron I have taken it.

Have you seen the packet tied at its head? It carries my Tiffin. I have taken it from Pisima's duli( bag).  They don't give me anything. So, I have to take myself.

Have you seen the animal that is accompanying me?  It is Chutukaka's little dog. Its name is Puki.  Nothing belongs to me except the shirt and pants. These shoes belong to Gontu and I have taken them without permission.

Do you know where am I going? I am going to search for a rainbow. It is said that there is a golden pitcher buried at the bottom of it. Do you know what will I do with the gold? I will buy a horned horse. Do I tell you, why? For, ridding on it I will go back to my Didiama.

Do you want to know the reason why will I go to her?  The reason is, she loves me much. She makes narkel naru for me, buys kites, and apples, allows me to keep late hours, she doesn't ask me to study, if anyone scolds me, she becomes angry, if someone accuses me, she adores me, if I break her sleep, she smiles, if I fall down at the mud and get mudded, she takes me in her lap.

I am a very bad boy, do you know? Ma, Baba, Pisima, Borodi, Mejodi, everyone said that they have not seen such a bad boy like me anywhere. I don't want to rise from bed, don't brush my teeth, don't want to study, don't find my khata and pencil, tear my books, do late in taking a bath, give reply to others on the counter, not abide by the elders.  You cannot find such a naughty boy like me. Do you know it is said that I took all the lozenge juice of Chordi without leaving a single one?

Do you know I don't want to take rice; I throw them here and there, go angry, and want to take green mangoes and Batasa (sweets). I am going to my Didima. In a neatly washed glass, Didima gives me water to drink and a reddened Batasa. As soon as I drop the Batasa in the water, it dips in the water in a blink. I need to drink the water immediately otherwise it melts into pieces.

During noon, under the Keshtchura tree, my Didima spreads out a mattress and lying beside me she tells stories. She tells me the story her Baba and Kaka saw a crocodile snatching their old Gethima in the Gorai river. The boatmen chased the crocodile and gave a stroke on its head, it released her. Rescuing the woman the boatmen took her in their boat.  The Buri said, "You have saved me, dear. My amsattva (mango bar) is yet to be dried up whereas I was snatched away by a crocodile!''

My Didima tells me these stories and gives amsattva from a small bag made of paper. I ate them licking and Didima cleans my face with her anchol.

They say when Baba and Kaka went to Katowa I had been with Didima for two months. She made me naughty then. My parents tell me so.    

One day Didmia and I ate Matka practically. We went to the bank of the dam. While coming back we could not walk. At last, both of us sat in a place. Didima caressed my ankle and within a moment all of my pain was released. Seeing the Matkawala she bought some and asked him to take the price the next day. The Matkawla was known to her. Then we came back home chewing Matka.  After coming home we ate luchi.  Every night Didima used to make luchi for me and asked me, 'Do not tell your Ma. She will mind if she hears you take luchi every day.'  I didn't tell anything to my Ma.

Didima allowed me to go to bed with my lap cat.  Keeping its head on my pillow Pushi used to sleep with me every night. And see, what a scolding I have to undergo today for I have just given it something to eat on my plate. So, I won't stay here any longer. Finding a rainbow and bringing out a golden pitcher from its bottom, I will buy a golden horse and reach for my Didima.  Won't she be utterly surprised? I know that Didima makes those stories of pitcher and water-pot and a one-horned horse. So, if I appear before her riding on a one-horned horse in reality, won't she be startled?

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