[Urmila and Sharmila are sisters. The elder one Sharmila was in love with Vinod, her neighbour, even when they passed through the school-age. Father had brought proposals which she resisted tooth and nail, though she knew not the result. She recalled her baby-hood memories in which Vinod always sided with her in all the activities. A squad of six used to engage themselves in kiddies’ amusements a lot. They played in and with water and sand, dawdled time in group games and fun during their babe-stage. And they reached their education-conclusive classes now. Whenever Urmila tried to retrieve her mind from the memories, it did not obey her. Again it went on a tour to the backyard of mind.]
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On a Sunday Urmila and Sharmila went to light the holy stone-lamp in their mini forest(sacred woods). After lighting the lamp in a hallowed way, closing the eyes both of them prayed to the snake-deity and turned to go back. At the expanse of the land in front at a corner stood a physique holding the open hands upside down in a blessing posture. “May you be first in the class, mole,” Vinod as if a sage. All the three burst into laughter.
“Why here?” Urmila.
“To pray to God,” Vinod.
“Did you pray for good results in Exams?” innocently Sharmila.
“Yea, I did! I prayed for many things.”
Waffling some mumbo jumbo just for fun sake, they reached home. And at the gate Vinod bade goodbye.
Academics as well as games stole their time and days one after another and they reached the door-sill of the last Exams for the year. All brooded on the books in the nest of studies. The exams of tenth and the smaller classes came to the conclusive days somewhat alike, as the schedule of the latter was sporadic. Eventually all heaved a sigh of relief and literally all of them together celebrated that day by running and jumping in the vacant land close to the girl’s safe haven.
The vacation had brought in frequency of their meeting again. Late dawns drew them out of bed and placed them on routines like brushing, bathing, breakfast etc. However play area regularly embraced them. The days rolled rather flew away with their amusing games, chat and talk about movie heroes, arguments and discussions about a little bit politics and the such, though the girls were many a time mere spectators in this course.
Climbing trees, eating mangoes, sucking cashew apples, biting Artocarp fruit etc were on full swing. Their hands spared not the small and big fruits of wild plants, hedge herbs etc. Kites also had their roll in their enchantment and entertainment.
One day when Achchan came home from office he saw both his daughters standing on the guava tree. Urmila was advancing to pluck a fruit from a top twig. As soon as did the girls see their father, both bustled to climb down and Sharmila got her skin peeled off on the hand.
Both the girls earned their reproof in a sizable quantity from Achchan with the fall of a stick on the thigh. As every starting has an end the vacation also ended throwing three, the girls and Akhil Chacko back to the school and the other boys on the look-out of their admissions in the nearby college. They had all accomplished their tenth grade without a wide difference in their scores. Still Anand had to undergo slightly a bitter time of rebuke from parents, as they weighed him against the other two.
Days performed their duty well and grew to months and years without fail. Urmila is in eleventh grade (by then the pre-degree course had been detached from the colleges and linked with the schools gifting it a new cloak named higher secondary) and Vinod in first year degree course. Their affection had attained density more and hence they had discovered means and spots for meeting more.
[To be contd.]