Every year during the summer vacations Sandhya brought her children, Sakaar six and Amiya three to her parents’ place in Agra . Though, Agra was scorching the kids loved it here. Obviously since everyone pampered them to the hilt and they had no home- work to do. All day long they ran around like crazy and had to be searched for, even during the meal times, the kids would be hard to find. The house was so big that if the kids decided not to be found the parents had a tuff time.
Now the vacations were nearly over and it was time to go back home, in two days’ time they would be on a train to Dehradoon. Sandhya knew that the kids were agitated and wanted to spend more time here with their cousins, but the kids were kids! So Sandhya didn’t force them to sleep in the afternoon and let them have their fun. Sandhya was proud of her children they were very well- behaved and had never let their mother down, they did become a little naughty in Agra, though but that was momentary.
Recently Sandhya had noticed that her little Amiya, who earlier was incredibly fond of her ‘Karan Bhaiya’ had started having small squabbles with him, the bone of contention between them, it seems, was a toy- small plastic panditji. Amiya, God knows why, had taken an instant liking to it and Karan who was the real owner of the panditji didn’t like sharing it with Amiya. And so a constant feud kept on erupting between the two children. Sandhya was not worried, though, she knew by the time, it was time to go, Amiya would have forgotten all about the plastic pandit!
The day of the departure came, packing was nearly done and both the kids were ready. Sandhya had allowed them to go and play at barey bhaiya’s place till she finished the remaining work. Suddenly hearing Karan’s cries Sandhya rushed out and saw poor Karan with his t- shirt up had a bleeding wound on his stomach.
“Bua look Amiya bit me!” he sobbed
“Amiya did this to you? Where is she?” Sandhya asked
Sandhya couldn’t believe it! Poor boy had quite a bite; in fact she could see the marks of the teeth. She saw Suman bhabhi, Karan’s mother, coming and got a fright. She knew that this would now aggravate into a big fight!
“Look Sandhya Jiji what your Amiya has done! And now she has gone and hidden somewhere.” Yelled Suman bhabhi
Sandhya just said- “I’m so sorry bhabhi! Please calm down. I will go and try to find Amiya.” Sandhya quietly left and started looking for Amiya, first she saw Sakaar, he was huddled in a corner in nani’s room.
Sandhya asked him- “Where is Amiya? And why are you sitting here like this?”
“Mummy” said Sakaar “It was all Karan’s fault, he was the one who snatched Bittu away.”
“Bittu! Now who is this Bittu? And where is Amiya first tell me that? Sandhya asked her voice rising.
Sakaar poited his finger behind the sofa! There hiding behind the sofa was little Amiya, the moment she saw her mother Amiya started crying- “Mamma I didn’t do a thing, it was that bully Karan who snatched Bittu away from me.”
Sandhya’s heart melted on seeing her tiny daughter crying, she picked her up and hugging her said- “But baby why did you bite him and why are you calling him Karan, he is older than you na! And who is Bittu?”
“He is Karan, I want call him Bhaiya and Bittu is my friend.” Sniveled Amiya
Sandhya gently asked- “Which friend is this?”
It was Sakaar who answered- “Mummy it is that punditji.”
Now Sandhya was angry- “I don’t believe it. It is for a toy that you bit your cousin! You will go now and say sorry to him. Is that clear?”
Amiya stubbornly kept crying but refused to say yes.
“Is that clear Amiya?” Sandhya repeated
Amiya shook her head. Sandhya asking Sakaar to follow held Amiya by hand and went out. In the chauk were standing crying Karan, Suman bhabhi and the others. Silently Sandhya urged Amiya to go ahead and apologize to Karan.
Reluctantly Amiya went ahead and said in a tearful voice- “Sorry Karan bhaiya!”
Karan just made a face and turned around and went back, Suman bhabhi too angrily looked at both Sandhya and Amiya and followed Karan.
It was time to go; the luggage was loaded in bare bhaiya’s red Zen. Everyone was now waiting for bhaiya to come so that they could go to the station. Sandhya was about to call bhaiya from her mobile when she saw him coming with Karan, surprisingly smiling, and Suman bhabhi, with a perpetual frown on her face.
Bhaiya said- “All set! Is my little Amiya ready?”
Amiya who was hiding behind her mother, peeped from behind. ”Arey! Won’t you come and give your mama a hug?” laughed bhaiya and Sandhya urged her daughter to go. Amiya slowly came out and ran straight into her mama’s arms.
Barey Bhaiya laughed aloud and told Amiya- “Look Karan has a small present for you.” Karan held out his hand, he was holding a gift wrapped in a pink wrapping paper with teddy bears on it. Amiya wriggled out of her mama’s grasp to get the gift and quickly took it.
Everyone laughed at her eagerness! “Don’t you want to see what’s inside? Said Karan!
Amiya gave her mother a pleading look and seeing her mother’s nod almost tore open her gift. On seeing her present Amiya almost screamed with pleasure and surprise! Wrapped inside was the plastic pundit that had caused such havoc!
“Bhaiya you shouldn’t have done this! Why did you force Karan to part with his toy?” Said Sandhya unhappily
“No Sandhya I did not force Karan to part with his toy, he did it on his own!” bare bhaiya said
And Karan looked at his bua and uttered “Yes bua Amiya is my sister and I want to give her my toy! When I come to Dehradoon I can play with it too! Yes na Amiya!”
Little Amiya ran to Karan and hugged him!