I hear the rain gently knock on the roof; it’s a reminder of the arrival of yet another monsoon. It’s the 1st of June and school reopens on the 4th. Mamma, Didi and I are off to buy uniforms and shoes for the new academic year. We enter the rickshaw and as usual, since I’m the youngest, I’m made to sit on Mamma’s lap. We’re stuck at the signal on the bridge and I think to myself, “If I was to jump out of the rickshaw right now, I can go and live like a city-Mowgli. Mowgli doesn’t have to sit crammed up in a rickshaw on Mamma’s lap. He has freedom. He only wears a chaddi and swings from tree to tree. I could also just wear a chaddi and swing from wire to wire hanging from the poles.” Interrupting my thoughts, Mamma says, “Nitya! We’ve reached! Come on, get up. We need to hurry, there’s already so much rush.” I get up grumpily; my plan to live like a city-Mowgli had been ruined. We enter the store just to be packed like sardines. I’m given firm instructions to hold on tightly to Mamma’s hand because me-being-me, would easily get distracted by literally anything, and would end up getting lost in the crowd. After a long waiting line, it’s finally our turn with the store attendant. He looks at me and guesses my size before even asking Mamma or me, and if I’m being fully honest, I was awestruck. “How is this man so smart, how does he know my size? Is he a magician?,” I think to myself. We quickly make the payment for three sets of uniforms and shoes for Didi and me respectively, and we’re soon on our way to our favourite eatery. I know I’m only seven, but let me tell you – the cheeseburgers at this café are the best cheeseburgers I’ve eaten in my whole life, and trust me, I’ve eaten cheeseburgers at every place I’ve been to in my seven long years on this planet. I’m somewhat of a cheeseburger conno-, cheeseburger connoso-, (what is the word? Never mind, I’m only seven), cheeseburger EXPERT myself. As usual, I make a mess while eating which results in more cheese on my face and on my hands than in my mouth and oh no, Mamma is angry.
I’m back, I got scolded in public which led to an outburst of crocodile tears just to pretend as if I’m scared of being scolded, when in reality, I couldn’t stop thinking about my cheeseburger. I’m back home now, and I’m so excited to enter second grade! I have new books, a new bag, new sets of uniforms and shoes and I’m thrilled to start a new school year. It’s bedtime for me now, I’ll catch you in the morning. Good night!
Author: Nitya Binu
Editor: Zoyah Virani