The story so far:
[Urmila and Sharmila were sisters. Urmila was a PG final student. Their parents talked about a good proposal for Urmila, who straight away disallowed it to be carried on. She wanted her babyhood pal,Vinod to be her soul-mate. Her father would be agreeable or not, she was not much sure about. When she informed Vinod about it, he consoled her. She turns herself unconvinced because her father wouldn’t step out of his decision.]
Vinod was Urmila’s neighbour. Though the residences were not so close in their village, in villages as a whole, the residents were close at heart. Vinod stayed somewhat three hundred metres away from Urmila’s haven. And this distance never distanced their families from each other, since the friendship band kept both the parties well-bound. Urmila's parents belonged to families affluent much,but Vinod's family was from a below average background. Not only these two families but an acquaintance-string threaded all the people or all the families together there to form a chain.
Vinod and Urmila belonged to medium middle class families. Those families held high scrupulousness in dealing with other people. Personal reputation was always a matter of concern for them. And so they could earn respect from others.
Urmila travelled down from the college days and embarked on her babyhood. She gradually unleashed the collection of memories from the age of eight. Vinod was ten years old then.
A small squad of four boys remained ever ready to guard the two girls, Urmila and Sharmila. Their range of age was between six years to ten years. Vinod had enthroned himself as the leader. It was a holiday in March. The group was engaged in games.
Suddenly a screech emerged from Urmila,“ Oh! I lost my ear-ring, Amma will scold me."
"eeee…eee,” went on she lamenting. Everybody's legs reached the spot.
“We all will search for it, it will be somewhere here itself,” Vinod began rummaging hither-thither as if he was an elderly person.
“It …was.. new.. uuu ..uuu..”continued she screeching and sobbing.
“Uh! Amma will scold her,” the six-year old Sharmila poured oil to the fire.
Vinod and his comrades raided the grounds and compounds all around. The ring hid itself from their view and did not loom before them. They collected a hundred play things in between, but not the ring.
“Do you have any money with you? Vinod.
“No, I don’t have,” Akhil Chacko, “Dad won’t give cash to me.”
“I have five rupees with me; Mamma gave me yesterday to have food from school canteen. I was late to finish the notes. So I didn’t go to the canteen,” George.
“I have six rupees. Yesterday was our PT day. I didn’t spend the money Amma gave for snacks. But why are you asking?” Anand.
“Wait, I’ll tell you. I have fifteen rupees with me, we’ll put this money together and ask Tarun Chattan( addressing an elderly male) to buy her an ear-ring. ”
Tarun was the next-door neighbour of Vinod. He was a college-boy, who sometimes enjoyed games with the team of those little men.
“But Vinod how did you get fifteen rupees? Who gave you?” Anand was nosy about it.
“I collect cashew-nuts from under the tree early morning. Amma tells me to sell them in Rajan Uncle’s shop. A good quantity will be there. Sometimes Amma allows me to buy ‘Milky bar .Yesterday I didn’t buy it. So the money is with me,” Vinod
“Next week is our exam. Amma tells me to sit and study. So in our house the maid- aunt only collects cashew-nuts,” Anand.
“After the exam long vacation! No studies, no home work; Aha! We all will enjoy our holidays, no?” Vinod.
They all were reading in various classes of the same school. The school had a canteen which always exerted a pull on children. The parents had to sometimes succumb to their progeny for their obstinacy
The team approached Tarun and presented their demand before him. He burst out into a loud laughter and then, “Listen, you won’t get gold for this much amount. She lost only one ring. Same type we won’t get. If we buy new, again her mother will scold her. So go and tell Aunt Urmila lost her ring. She will not scold you. Or come I’ll tell her.”
The info about the event evoked the same type of laughter in her also. Soon the atmosphere jingled with laughter and hilarity.