Fourty two

We first heard it’s noise. And then when we looked up to the sky, the 70 year old standing next to me and I saw the helicopter moving towards East. While the old man stood still in the middle of the road, squinting at the sun, I continued walking, my head up to the sky, at the little fly. Sometime later I heard a voice of a little girl running after me ‘Aunty! Aunty!’. ‘Aunty?’ I asked to myself, of course in embarrassment. The girl was the daughter of the Muslim lady whose house I was just coming out from, after giving bottle of milk for this evening, after listening to her stories of how her mother in law isn’t supportive to her, that she alone has to do all the chores at home. Having delivered four children already, she’s now going to give birth to the fifth one. She wears a scarf over her head and hides her 5 months bulged tummy with a shawl running down from her shoulder.
Her second daughter, this cute little girl who calls me Aunty, was listening to her mother, trying to understand what was being said by once looking up at her mother’s face and then down at me standing on their front yard.
I had asked her ‘Didn’t go to school today?’
‘No’
‘Why?’
‘Exams’
‘Which class are you in?’
‘English Medium class’
‘Haha! The class. Which class? 1st, 2nd, 3rd.. which one?’
She was thinking and then began indicating the number with her fingers.
Now this little girl, sent by her mom, was coming towards me with the large cover, filled with empty milk bottles from weeks long that were forgotten to collect from our end. She held the blue plastic cover as high as possible, so it wouldn’t touch the ground. With the other hand she kept pulling her curly hairs from the small round face to the back of her head. I bent down to grab the cover from her hand said ‘Thank you’. Cupping her beautiful face, I showed her the helicopter which was now over a coconut tree. But she couldn’t spot it as a two storeyed house was covering the view from her. While she moved, hopped and hurdled to get it, I lifted her up. ‘Whoaa!’ she reacted, her tiny forefinger drawing trails on the sky, following the little fly.

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