Nagpur Diaries-3

Meeting Kitty the Bulldog

Sometime in our second week, we got the chance to visit Dad’s office. After the initial tour of the plants in the company’s factory, we were directed towards the residential area nearby. As Dad finished up work for the day, we met with the family of one of his colleagues. There I met two young spirited sisters. Sisters in life, sisters in crime. Well, by crime I mean mischief mostly.

As we waited for the door to be opened, we could here peels of laughter coming from inside. The maid who opened the door scrambled to make order out of chaos as we stepped into the house. Two small figures rushed into an adjacent room stifling giggles. My brother and I exchanged glances and barely masked our own smiles.

As we settled down, the elder one came into view. Clad in a yellow flowery frock she stood in front of us and after a momentary assessment she confidently walked across the room to sit by her mother. A small head peeked into the room from the one where the owner hid. Just as quickly as she had peeked in she vanished and what was left was the sound of another stifled giggle.

The elder one soon took the initiative and after loads of coaxing she brought out her sibling. The smaller sister seemed to be very excited on seeing us for as soon as she settled in with her sister she could not wait to show us her pets (essentially soft toys). Among them was a huge bulldog and much to our surprise it was named Kitty. There were others of course- Max, another dog and Keto, a cat.

After the introductions, the elder one asked me if I would like to go out and see the gardens with her. I agreed. So, there under the sun the two sisters and I took a walk. Both were full of life, brimming with energy. We talked as we moved towards the gardens. It began with favorite subjects at school. Soon, I was being let into their deepest secrets- their crushes, their best friends, their enemies. I think they hardly noticed my presence as they took turns sharing incidents. As they talked about how evil someone was or how very funny that guy in their class was, I watched them wistfully. If ever I had stumbled upon an image of innocence, this was one. I can’t help but compare how I was at their age- no better and no smarter. Trusting a stranger with their deepest and darkest, however laughable, secrets! I can only long for such gullibility again, the ability to trust anyone. The ability to open up completely to people.

Sometimes, strangers who are good listeners come our way. Just because they listen, we find them extremely trustworthy in our naivety.  I was soon to know from my father that evening, that I had been a big hit among the sisters. That night I couldn’t help but wonder that all I had to do was smile at them appreciatively, listen to whatever they had to say and answer from time to time. My intentions were not malicious but people with bad intentions do come our way, and all they need to do is act as the friend who listens. I ended up having mixed feelings about my experience with the spirited sisters that day.

It was endearing to talk to them. They are such source of purity. On the other hand I am apprehensive of what awaits them in life. When I think about them, I see the both of them looking up to me talking so very very fast that I had difficulty to keep track, The younger one jumping up and down now and again to remind the elder one about something and instantly bursting into giggles. Happy for no reason at all. She actually reminded me a bit about the minions from the movie “Despicable Me”.

Sometimes, I wish I could go back to those days where I can be however mad and happy and no one would care more than an occasional eye roll or a wistful smile.

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