The story so far:
[Urmila and Sharmila were sisters. The elder one Sharmila was in love with Vinod, her neighbour even when she passed through the school-age. Father 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.]
“Sharmi, eat this piece too, eat fast, it is time you finished eating,” Amma was scurrying for the scuttling Sharmila to make her eat a piece of idly lying in her hand. Sharmila reversed her mouth at 1800 from the direction of the victual.
“This child does not eat anything properly, ho! How can I give her food?”Amma walked away in make-believe frowns. Suddenly Sharmila tried to win Amma’s heart by opening her mouth for the ‘idly’ piece and she gobbled all the ‘idlies’. By the time Urmila landed in sit-out ready with her school-bag.
The escorting gang was edgily lurking on the road-side for the sisters, for they were being late. The venue for the tryst was under a tree-branch hanging to the roadside. The sisters somehow joined them.
Their village and the ones in the immediacy were remote, more remote for about twenty five years than the distant ones. But the town in the proximity of it had an English medium school. Its buses plied to various villages for benefiting the future citizens of India. Anand, Akhil, George, Vinod Urmila and Sharmila assembled under that particular branch and proceeded to the bus stop somewhat half a kilometer far from there.
“I have a special thing with me, come I’ll show you,” Anand while walking to their havens after alighting from the bus after the school.
All the friends loped to Anand, when he opened one of his textbooks and showed a pretty peacock feather. He handled it carefully in a sacred manner.
“Mini chechchi(elder sister)gave me this. She says I have to keep it in my book secretly and also sacredly. Then the plumules(strands) will give birth to young ones. So I have kept it in my book. Chechi’s friend, Neena gave her a few feathers. Neena has a lot. Her uncle brought her a bunch.”
Mini was Anand’s eighth grade sister whose high school wing was a bit distant from the primary one. And hence she had her own company.
All glanced at the feather pryingly and stretched gleefully their right hand in demand of a strand each from the feather. Anand wrenched off a few ones from the quill and distributed among the friends, who with utmost care and devotion placed them in their books. Every day after the school they unfurled their books nosily to watch the young ones coming out. Many a day nothing rolled out in their favour. But one day the books of Urmila and Akhil had little ones in them. All the visages expanded in thrill and bliss.
“Show me, show me,” all gathering around the two. “O! How lucky you are. My plumules didn't deliver little ones,” forlornly George.
“Hey, listen, listen,I saw Vinod chettan taking their books. He cut the strands and kept the pieces in the book itself. Yesterday we kept the bags on the ground, no, to pick ‘Kalampotti’ fruit? Then he did it” Sharmila.
The petite girl Sharmila had height nix to attain the fruit from the hedge row. The bush stood proudly at a level high on the muddy wall. She didn't try to pick fruit.So she saw Vinod execute all that impishness.
“Eda Kuttappa!(expletives) You played mockery with us,” all of them together. And soon a loud mirth took its birth among the companions.
Still they expectantly went on watching for young ones with the feather-plumules. One of them eventually got it clarified from the teacher.
[to be contd.]