Apple Thieves

Sunita Giri 10:10 PM |

It was afternoon time, and today some thing special for children. The housemother, Kedar Shrestha, was sitting on the door of her room, in front of her was a big bucket, which was filled with clean water and to her right side, there was a big basket; full of chocolate apples.

First she started filling some apples in that bucket and then called the girls from her right hand side room and told them to pick one apple for each. Next she called the girls from her left hand side room, once they were also finished picking apples, she told them to call other boys and girls to have apples.

Children started coming one by one and each used to pick one apple and then left quietly as she is one of the most strict housemother out of four in that orphanage.

Still seeing plenty of apples in the baskets, she went towards the window, which face the front round shaped yard, and then started calling boys and girls to come for apple. She saw one nanny, so told her to call the boys or girls, who were busy playing in the back yards or lawn or they could be anywhere, to come and collect there shares of apples. When she returned from the window towards her door, where she was distributing apples to children, she was surprised to see the bucket was almost empty.

The girls in her left side was big girls room comparing to her right side room. When they heard her calling for the boys then they went and finished the applies from the buckets and some even from the basket just in a minute or so time.

There still left many children, specially boys who had not come to collect their share of weekly fruits. So she was angry with this kind of behaviour and did exactly what she does in this kind of situation.

“You beggars ! if you want to have more than we can provide you, you should better be with your parents home. May be they could provide you food up to your throats.”

The girls in the ‘Sukunda room’, listened quietly every words coming from her mouth. Nirmala Lama, had just taken a big bite of that juicy and succulent apple but upon hearing the words ‘you beggars’ ! she threw it immediately, both at the same time, what was on her mouth and her hand. Usha Gautam, her close friend watching her, rolled her half bitten apple on the floor, but swallowed what was on her mouth. Some girls just hide the apples to eat it later when the words that was targeted towards them will wears off, which obviously is going to van off, in an hour or two and definitely not more than that.

However, Kalpana Maharjan and Rita Manandhar kept on taking big bites of that enticingly juicy fruit, amid the showers of the words coming from outside. Kalpana, looked at the apple and talked with it, “why you are so tasty and juicy ? other wise I would not have picked you from the bucket”, then she took one real good bite of it. Rita, watching her was encouraged by Kalpana’s way of talking to the apple and said to her apple, “why are you so delicious, red and tempting and begged us pick you up ?”, and with that she also took one good bite of her apple.

Other girls watching them started laughing in muffles, fearing that it might irk the housemother, who was still angry with their behaviour.

Nirmala Lama, looked at them and thought, don't you have anything called dignity ? But instead she asked them, “how can you eat this, have not your heard, what she had just said to us, “Beggars ! if we have our parents, we would not be here, hearing such harsh words, which pierce our hearts, more than a sword has power to cut it into pieces.”

“Why take her words seriously ?, she did not pay for the apples, and if she could we would not get one to have it, so eat it” Kalpana, replied with ‘give it a damn’ attitude towards her harsh words and took one more good bite of her juicy apple.

“Yes, she did not pay for it to use such harsh words for us”, Rita, agreed with Kalpana, and other girls could only nod their head in agreement.

The girls also started calling the housemother by names in a hushed tone and started chuckling, because the two rooms wall was the same. So they knew she might hear it all.

At this point Kalpana, looked at her other apples, which she had hide under the blanket near the pillow, and said, “Stop staring at me”, and then she hide it deep under her blanket. Other girls just could not help but burst into big laughter, this time they could not help them self to burst out.

Parbati Karki, asked “how much you have taken Kalpana ?” with out saying a word, she raised her four fingers, with a grin on her face. “I only got two” Rita said with regret.

Nirmala and Usha, just watched them but did not say a word, then they left the room together. They walked quietly for some time but then Nirmala, broke the silence asking how come those words did not mean to them and went by their ears just like the water on a ducks body, its so hard to believe !”

Usha, looked at Nirmala, and nodded her head, a sign to agree with her yet some where down the line her heart felt that Kalpana and Rita, was not wrong either but she did not say a word to her friend.

when I look back, what surprise me is, the housemother used harsh words to make them feel inferior about their condition and background. Every body loves to have a bite of an apple and who does not like an extra bite of it ? Even if they have to steal it ? But what she never did was to make the group of teenage girls to realize that because of their behaviour the other children like them was deprived of their share of apple.

1 comment:

lava said...

so true, real, fantastic writeup!!

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