“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson
This Quote by Ralph Waldo perfectly explains the moments I spent with my childhood friend , correction , my best friend Pragya Sharma. What days !! Simple & affectionate villagers , Cool breeze of wheat fields, fruit laden guavava trees & berry bushes , dusty yet familiar lanes , large houses & larger hearts . Those were the golden days of my life . Carefree, gullible , innocent . I had the privilege to spend a couple of years in the small town of Rajasthan where My dad was posted for a brief period.
Me and Pragya was in the same class & neighbors too. We were like soul sisters . We have been inseparable since the day we met . She was an introvert , shy girl whereas I have been a bit tomboyish always ready for some mischief . At the beginning she used to be reluctant but I always managed to involve her in every ‘mission’ I ever planned . That’s what I loved about her . She was always my partner in crime & readily took all bashing on my behalf . I felt loved & protected with her. Because of our close friendship we earned moniker ‘ Seeta & Geeta ‘ & I couldn’t agree more . I was the naughty Geeta & she was soft spoken , loving Seeta :).
I have so many loving memories of our time together . I can go on & on about it . But this one in particular is EPIC . Trust me when I say EPIC . We had a large farmhouse adjacent to our building compound . We use to sneak in at afternoon & steal sugarcanes , fruits & tomatoes from there. Then we used to climb some try & used to relish it . It was a daily ritual . We got caught many times , got a nice scolding , threatened to be sent to hostels SEPERATELY but nothing deterred us .
” Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.” – Aristotle
One such afternoon when we sneaked again in the farm house , we saw a new cow & calf in the barn . He tied the cow & the calf together , fed them & walked away . The calf was not older than a few days . It was a beautiful milky white creature with most innocent eyes in the world . We were extremely thrilled .This was the first time we saw such a young calf . I looked at Pragya & she instantly read my mind.
“NO , we were not going there .”
“But why .Don’t you want to see this beautiful baby ?”
” I think you forget what Bhola Kaka (caretaker ) said last time . HE is going to take us straight to our parents & than you know what is going to happen .”
” You are such a timid soul . Nothing will happen to us . Let’s go & touch the cutie .”
My curiosity got better of me . As always she accompanied me . We ran towards the barn . We thought Bola Kaka was away doing some work but actually he has been just behind the barn mending the shed . When he heard our noises , he shouted ” You two again . This time I am not going to spare you two . Just wait .”
He ran behind us with a thin neem stick . We ran with our full might . I Stopped for a second . There was a dead & decayed mouse lying on the floor . I picked it & threw in Kaka’s direction . Bingo .It hit right on the spot , his face :D . He was a brahmin . This really enraged him . His face was blood red . He ran even faster but got entangled in his dhoti & fell badly . Thank God , we escaped . You think this is the incidence I was talking about . Nope . This is just the start BABE :D.
Pragya was damn scared . She yelled at the top of her voice.
” S#&^, S%$@, S@#$ , you are completely mad . What are we going to do now . I am sure Kaka is going to complain to our parents . ”
” You are such a chicken .Nothing will happen . And I am not going back. We will come in the evening when Kaka goes home to have his dinner .”
” You are going to get us killed ”
“ No sweetheart, NO kill just some Thrill. Ha Ha. Let’s go back home. Meet me at the back entrance at 7.30 .OK ?”
” OK!! ”
Like always she had no choice . The caretaker cursed us some more & left . At around 7.30 Pragya & I again sneaked in . As predicted , Bhola Kaka had left for dinner . We slowly went closer to cow & calf . The baby was tied at some distance .They looked so lovable .
” I think the baby is hungry . Look how he is trying to come closer to its mother .” I said
” Yes, You know what ? Kaka takes away all the milk . I have seen him milking the cow in the morning. He didn’t let the baby have any milk.”
“What ? He is such a devil . I should have thrown a dead pig on him . How can he be so cruel . Look at this poor calf . He looks starved .”
” Yes, But what can we do . It’s so young that he can’t eat anything but milk.”
” Ok . This is it . I am going to untie the baby . Come help me .”
” You are mad or what . Kaka will kill us this time for sure .”
” I don’t care . Get some light here & help me .” I shouted.
Pragya ran back to a small hut where Kaka used to keep his stuff . She quickly came back with an oil lamp .
” Good , Come here & show me some light .”
She kept the oil lamp on the floor & both of us untied the baby calf . It instantly ran to its mother . We two were elated. We kept looking at the two with affection for a few minutes .
” Kaka is going to come back anytime .Let’s tie the baby back .”
” Yeah you are right. Let’s do it fast .”
I went ahead & tried to pull away the baby. But I couldn’t . The baby was far stronger than it appeared .
” Pragya come help me . I can’t even move it a bit .”
We two frantically tried to pull away the little one but no luck . No matter how hard we tried but it just won’t buzz.
It was getting darker . Now even I started to worry . Sweat was dripping down from my temple . My arms started aching . More we tried to separate the cow & calf , stronger the calf clung on to its mother .
” Pragya , it’s not moving . Let’s stop pulling it . Look for a stick . We are going to scare the baby away from mother .”
” Whatever you say . My brain is dead & my body is aching .”
Pragya gave me a dirty look & went away to look for a stick . I was still holding the rope . It is another story that instead of me dragging the calf , it was the other way round .
” Hurry up Pragya !! It’s killing me !!”
She rushed towards me & kicked the oil lamp unknowingly . The dried hay bail lying in the bran instantly caught fire .
“Oh god , What have you done .” Pragya started crying
Things went horribly wrong . What a sight it was . We two trying to pull the calf . Cow got agitated seeing the fire & started jumping and ruining everything close to it. A major portion of the barn was on fire. We were in serious trouble :/
Someone from the adjacent building saw the fire . Within a few minutes a couple of people rushed towards the barn. They stared throwing water & sand to dodge the fire . The main entrance of the barn was completely engulfed in fire . We had no way to get out .
By this time Kaka also reached the spot . He shouted ” Throw mix of mud & water .Smother the fire with whatever you find to hand”
And the next thing we knew was we were smeared with mud and possibly dung mixture .
Needless to say we were shouted upon , given left , right & Centre . We were made to apologize to Kaka for umpteen times . Pragya shifted to some other city as her father was transferred . We lost touch . This incidence is etched in my memory forever . I think I had awesome childhood & an even more awesome friend. I hope i get to meet her some day .Amen !! :)
This is my childhood adventure .Unaltered & uncensored :D. Hope you find it, Well , INNOCENT :D.
( Images by Google search)