The regular readers of my blog already know about Sikku. She was my mom’s foster daughter. My mom loved her more than she loved me. One day, my mom washed clothes and brought them out of the house to dry them. It was one of the rare sunny days in Gangtok and Ma found it perfect to do some cleaning work. Those of you are aware of the climatic condition of Central Himalayas would know that getting a rain-free dry day in those places is as rare as founding an oyster with a pearl inside.
Ma happily brought all the clothes outside and started spreading them on the clothesline. Madam Sikku was busy playing inside the house but when she saw Ma was spreading the clothes, she excitedly came running out of the house. She came and gave her cute toothless grin and my ma’s heart melted like a molten chocolate. She said in her childish voice “main bhi kapla sukhaoo?” (Should I also dry the clothes). After that amazing smile and cute words, no human being on earth would have the heart to refuse her. So Sikku Madam picked up one cloth from the basket with her tiny hand and with the other hand she grabbed the rope on which Ma was spreading the clothes. Very neatly she spread the cloth on the rope and looked proudly at Ma. My Ma was already under an overdose of cuteness and this proud achievement by her daughter further melted her heart. She flashed a wider grin at her cute bundle of joy and nodded.
However, picture abhi bhi baki hain mere dost(This is not the end of story). The moment she left the rope, following the rule of elasticity the rope sprang up dislodging most of the clothes that were hanging from it. Half of the clothes fell on the grass beneath.
The previous day, it had rained heavily and the grass was still wet and muddy. Most of the freshly washed clothes now resembled kabbadi players who had just concluded their match on a muddy field. In those days there was no washing machine and Ma had hand-washed all of them. Looking at her hard work going literally down the drain Ma must have gone into some kind of trauma-induced trance.
Sikku understood something was wrong. She tried to salvage the situation. She started picking up the clothes and hanging on the rope. However, her little hands were not enough for the job. So, while she was picking up one cloth, the other was falling down. The more she was trying to put the clothes stubbornly the more those clothes were being adamant about not staying on the rope. By the time all clothes were looking identical brown in colour and slimy in appearance.
I guess this was enough for Ma; she ran and took all clothes from her hands. Sikku in her desperation had also put few clothes in the basket. As a result, the few clean clothes that were lying unperturbed in the basket had also turned muddy. Ma went inside cursing her bad luck. By the time Ma finished washing the clothes once again Gangtok Sun had gone on a sabbatical. Thus, for the remaining few days our living room resembled a Dhobi Talao and Ma kept uttering “ei meyetar janya” (for this girl). However more than anger, I guess there were love and indulgence in her tone.
This was written for #WriteTribeFestivalOfWords #writebravely based on the following image prompt.