BANG! The door is slammed shut but with no retaliation from Mini. Wait. There is this Simon Go Back satyagraha, she is on. Not moving away from the window sill. Ignoring the door and finding escapades through the window. Absolute grumpiness! She is as daggers as the Bunny which has not been washed for months now. But he gives her the right warmth and comfort during those cold, harsh winter nights. And she offers him the best company with childish banter and miniscule details of her mundane life. ‘HE?’ You want me to address it as ‘IT’? A statutory warning to all those who wish to commit the offence of referring him as mortal, Mini will thrash you with the same Bunny even if it meant popping out of one of his eyes. He is living and a colossal part of her orphaned life. Is that all she has? Becoming Columbus, l am on my way to discover a New World within Mini. I occupy a small corner in this room as a piece of furniture, no movement and non judgemental. Today our Mini has been locked up in the study room for being the most mischievous child in the orphanage. Reprimand isn’t new to her but being all alone in a room is novel.
“One day I will take away all the cookies and not let a single bone touch it!” Ambitious and determined Mini knows what her heart wants. “Bunny, don’t worry I will treat you to some. After all you too must be missing the goodies. I have seen the matron hiding it in the storehouse like locking a bejeweled box. I will get it for us, don’t you fear my friend.” Awww..How generous she is! Must say the dare to perform comes when you care a damn.
“HOP HOP HOP… Mini is my friend on TOP. COOKIES! I can eat them all day long!” Hey, here the Bunny too can talk. This is getting really interesting! Am I the Alice in Wonderland? Or is this Mini’s Wonderland? Whatever it is, certainly it is going to be a rollercoaster ride in the amusement park. Yipeee.. Here I go all ears to this fairytale; a fair tale to tell.
“Yes funny Bunny, we will have all the cookies and eat them too. Just wait for me to grow up and then watch how I admonish the nuns with my stares and thrashing. You know what? I have sneaked this cane too from the storehouse.” My, my, how piously she has gathered her objects of revenge. Look at her warrior demeanor, the contractures of her pupil while she runs her hand on the smooth borders of the whacking weapon. That wicked smile slanting across the innocent face. Opposites attract and here the raw seed is trying to attract the ripeness of a seasonal fruit.
“I’m scared. Throw it away Mini! These are inhumanly things meant for revenge. Go for something strong yet subtle.” Years of carrot munching, has made our Bunny street- smart or must I say room smart? The furry mass is talking sense.
Ssshhh… he is continuing the wisdom, “In first place, Mini darling why do we need a revenge? So many marvelous creations to ask for, so many sublime emotions to seek for, then why chase a revenge? Go for the mushy cookie of love or the crunchy waffle of trust or sometimes wobble on to the crepes of respect; all this and more but not revenge, my friend. All a revenge makes is a smoothie of our wise senses with the sweet chocolate restored with bitter cocoa.” Hmm.. I too nod in agreement and hunger. Cookies, smoothies, waffles and crepes- its time I too shift to be the storehouse’s help.
“Who loves me Bunny? Who respects me? All that they care is to call me is a PROBLEMATIC CHILD. Im the leftover fed to the strays. I’m the slum dog who doesn’t have his own day. Sometimes they stick on me these labels of hyperactive, attention deficit, restless girl after hours of patient sitting in the counselor’s cabin, filling the obvious green in the trees and blue in the sky. I sit like this table, all quiet and straight in the cabin. Yet, yet Bunny they call me PROBLEMATIC! All they want me to do is show a perpendicular spine, tangentially to a closed oral orifice. Don’t sit here, don’t touch there are the perennial admonitions hurled not allowing even my seasonal bloom and spurts. ” Ouch! She bangs her curled fist aggressively on my top. Calm my baby, you can’t hear me but I can feel you. Be gentle with me. In a Wonderland, table too has sufferings.
“Mini they just want you to grow up as an amenable adult. The hammer is struck to buttress the hot iron. My iron lady, life is brutal to make a masterpiece out of you.” Is he the Dalai Lama’s Bunny? Profound sermons and simple way of life.
“Adults? I don’t want to be like those monsters. If adults were so responsible, why did my ADULT PARENTS leave me at the responsibility of these howling adults called CARETAKERS? Why am I expected to be an adult even before the shell is hatched? This room, the hardest shell, has clogged up so many wailing chicks. Only to see them come out as dry as the stale bread given in the name of breakfast. Dry and hard as a stone they come out as DISCIPLINED KIDS. But I am not going to turn out like a brick of this weathered wall. I will harass them more, trouble even more. I will, one day find my parents and teach them to be CHILDREN; innocent children wanting only love and acceptance. I will.. I will..” Sniff Sniff… I just can’t hold back my despair as Mini spills her resentment. I need the therapy. Maybe it’s now time to be the counselor’s table, watching and receiving advice on expert living.
There is this eerie silence. It seems someone has announced the flat line on the ECG. Mini is staring at the flooring, probably searching for the scattered pieces or must I say broken, scattered pieces of her life, in the abstract design. Still, absolutely still, she resembles the rigid wall. A deep crack, and the plaster is about to give away. Hey, but what is our Bunny doing? Eyes closed, pondering? Maybe he is making a transcendental connection with his Master-The Dalai Lama; consulting him with juvenile matters of moksha and nirvana. Whatever he seems to be doing, he projects as if reflecting. So deep is the silence that a table like me can be heard sniffing and dripping its nasal belongings.
“MINI!” The Bunny’s voice literally scares me. He jumps as if the EUREKA moment has been achieved. Not to mention he too is all nude like the original benefactor of a similar inventing miracle. Just that this Archimedes has not seen the bathtub for ages. Nevertheless, the bounce in his paw is the same.
“Mini, I have an idea! My grey cells have just made new connections and synapses are flooded with innovative secretions.” Does he even assimilate what he expects others to digest? Children need to be spoken in a nursery language even after they reach the university. Sometimes the most obvious philosophies come from inanimate conversations with self. WOW! Now I could also be the Dalai Lama’s table.
“Bunny dear, no idea seems to penetrate through any matter of the adult brain. They have their own rigid barriers standing as tall as the Great Wall of China barring all intellectual intrusions.” Must say, Mini has her academic intellectual properties in place. The associations she is relating to speak volumes of her history. Very cruel to ask for but why was she not dumped here before for so long? Her brief appearances always made me too think of her as an angry, rebellious kid. How first impressions can be deceiving, this is a perfect example. The insignificant Bunny she carries always as a dangling toy now shows his firmly attached wisdom.
“Sit down and listen to me patiently.” He directs her towards me. Mini makes herself comfortable on my woody lap. Oh my baby, how I wish I had a pair of arms to cuddle you than four legs! Yet you are going to learn some solid lessons of life perched on my stable terrain, this itself is a comforting reality.
“Tell me Mini, why did you never complain about these realities when standing at doorway of heaven about to be dropped into your mother’s womb?” Bunny’s interrogations have begun.
“I was never asked or given a choice.” Tout de suite, the expected reply is here.
“Are you sure of it?” The Bunny is well prepared.
“Hmmm… maybe yes!” Mini replies reluctantly.
“What was God wearing the day he bid you a farewell?” Now is that a question, I need to ask the Bunny.
“How foolish is that? How will I remember what God was wearing? I don’t even remember seeing him.” Mini brings my emotions to words.
“Yet you believe and love God?” the Bunny is turning out to be the Almighty’s solicitor.
“Some what.” She doesn’t look into his probing eyes anymore. The stare shifts again to the scattered design of the abstract flooring, but somehow this time I see the pieces coming together. Or is it an illusion? Only Mini can tell.
“There you are my little munchkin! If you have never seen God and still happen to believe his love then what is the harm in trusting his plan? A plan for your happiness, a plan for your success, a plan for you to be a better person; all these plans have already been fabricated. And may be the nuns are only puppets in His hands dancing to make the show a hit; the performance of your destiny, a tour de force. Trust the happenings around and you will be the happiest. Doubt will only lead to despair.” Bunny’s words seem to have made Mini speechless. The red in the cheeky hue is going light but not pale. The forehead creases that were deepening like the Great Divide are dissolving to form the fertile Ganga Plain. The misty weather turning limpid and the stormy winds settling; the clime of moods changing themselves for greener pastures.
Suddenly, Mini jumps off from my lap and leaps to hug the Bunny.
“I miss my parents, Bunny. I terribly miss them. I lie in wait of the day when someone will say, pack your bag Mini your new mom and dad have arrived. I yearn for the matron to bid me goodbye and I never have to cast my shadows again on the worn out board of WELCOME TO M****R MARY ORPHANAGE. Aghhh..The word mother having lost its paint and emotion. I too fancy flaunting the frill frock and letting my hair loose with fairy band. I madly crave to be hugged and kissed on blowing the candles dug into creamy heaps of cake kept on this table for my soon approaching tenth birthday. I long to hear, ‘Mini my miracle’ than ‘Mini the monster’ while being called to the dinner table.” The haggard face is drained but not at loss of words.
“ I want the first and last meal to come from the warmth of a mother rather than the wrath of a petrified matron. I so badly wish…” Before Mini can go with her wish list, I silently but deeply make a wish that now I don’t want to be in the storehouse or counselor’s cabin, I desire to be Mini’s table on which her first legitimate birthday is celebrated. Decision is made, a firm one.
“Dreams do come true my fairy. Bingo! I have an idea! Let’s write a letter to God. Let’s make a written appeal asking bundles of happiness for you. Let’s place an order for new parents on the GOD-Line portal. Ask-Believe-Receive.” Whooo. .! On the snap of fingers, our Bunny makes Mini rush for a paper and pen. The writing expedition begins. Mini is scribbling something then erasing it; scratching her head with the rear end of the ballpoint pen. Again writing and this time tearing off the pages. Well, well, writing letters to God seems to be a Herculean task. She must be careful what she is asking for-the time, the form, the character, all crystal clear. Closing her eyes and taking few deep breaths, she quells her fluttering thoughts, steadies the mind with the paper on my lap and finally takes it off. No, no we are not peeping into her letter. After all it’s a personal treaty with God. Five. Ten. Fifteen. I wait all those minutes but just can’t refrain from poking my now dry nose into it. Don’t they say, everything is fair in love and war, so here I’m in love with our Mini. Yo! here I Go.
Dear God, hope you are in the pink of health and floating merrily in the blue skies. This is Mini from Mother Mary Orphanage on earth. Remember me. No? I know I have always sat in the last row during the Sunday Mass, thinking about the feast that followed rather than the prayer that was being conducted. I’m sorry. I promise to be a good girl now. Pray regularly, respect my elders, complete my homework on time, not pinch or punch anyone if they call my Bunny funny…..
Hmmm. .Mini is striking a good deal. Not only God but God’s father too will relent to this letter. Sorry. No nonsense, this is a spiritual communication.
I will share my cookies with the other kids and not steal a penny from any. If you say, I will not eat a single cookie but just send me my parents. A bond not of blood but at least with a heart for which I can give up being a child and be the groomed adult they want.
My baby, the last commitment is not needed. What a sacrifice for that luxury called parents! If he is the real Creator, he will definitely create a set of arms to behold this abandoned miracle. Wipes please. This time, I just can’t hold myself back. Bunny is smiling from ear to ear and I’m weeping from having tasted the sourness of raw fruit. I will wait for it to ripe sweetly.
The nuns will be coming here any moment. Generally they lock the brats here for two hours. Nothing less for this case too. Soon, they will be beaming with pride that the lock up therapy has worked. Mini, the mini brat will be walking out as a saint. Hats off to you Bunny, you are a mini Dalai Lama.
The bunny winks. Gosh! He has been evaesdropping our conversation. Or is he the God in disguise?
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