Neeshant Srivastava’s short story peeks into the innocent hearts of children and shows how every battle can be won with love in your heart.
Father shook the morning paper lying in bed. A pair of reading glasses hung low on his nose. He quietly turned to the sports page when no one was around. India had won the test series played at home against England under the captainship of Sunil Gavaskar. The news gave him a nice stretch of his legs when his mother arrived with a hot cup of tea. He gently flipped the paper to the first page colored with the death and destruction of humanity.
“Cricket is such a dangerous game, my love. I don’t know why Mr. Gavaskar is so adamant, he never wears a helmet.” Mother smiled and adjusted her sari.
Their son Nakul required his customary help at tying the knot of his tie before heading for the school bus. Nakul’s elder brother was an expert at tying his shoelaces and a neat knot of his tie. Father could never understand why Nakul made strange faces, like in unbearable pain, whenever he touched him. Nakul, it seemed, was the most expressive in the family of four. He was the voice of the family, the youngest, most dear, and one could expect new sounds each time someone touched him. Father sometimes didn’t know what to do with Nakul. He wanted Nakul to grow up and not be involved in strange games like breaking cutlery on a Sunday when the family was warming up for some nice dosas, sambhar, and chutney, lovingly prepared by his mother. Nakul’s favorite pastime was trying to feel the spark plug of the scooter which invariably caused the scooter to turn cold even after handsome kicks. Father could never guess why his scooter would not start on a fresh morning. Nakul pushed his nose into the petrol tank of the scooter after removing its lid. He had never felt so good like he did after breathing in and out. The tales were endless and it seemed only Nakul was having fun in the family. His elder brother was turning out to be the lad all had wished for.