Candy Floss

**Tantantantanatantan!!!!** “Gudiya ke baal wala aaya, aao bachcho gulabi gulabi gudiya ke baal lelo.” A candy floss vendor passes by Tina’s door, a six year old girl.

Laxmi nagar – a prominent residential locality, adjacent to the river Yamuna, is heavily populated. The narrow streets, multi-storeyed buildings and ever-crowded footpath markets lead to hell lot of a noise causing irritation among the residents. 

Laila an IT professional lives on the third floor of Shri Durga Nivas with her cute little naive daughter Tina and husband Naveen, a happy small family, like any other middle class ones staying there.

“Tinaaaaa!! Tinaaaa!! Naveen, where’s Tina?” Laila asked in a loud worried voice.

“Calm down Laila! She must in the neighbour’s house”, replied Naveen. She ran across the hall, banging the neighbor’s door. But Tina was not there. Both came down to the busy street.

**Trring trrringgg!!** The cycler crossed.  **whrooom….whroom whroom!!!** 

The rattling bikes running through on the roads.

**Peeep!! Peeep!!** the toy seller was blowing the whistle..

**Tantantantan!!!**

The candy floss seller standing at the corner of the street, playing with Tina, and that cute little girl, licking the floss from his hand.

“Tina!” screamed Laila,  took her in her arms and shouted at the candy seller. 

“How dare you touch my daughter? You leechers think that no one would see you abducting my daughter. I’ll sue you to  the court, you pervert. You dirty minded people are a burden on earth, you don’t deserve to be alive. Blah blah blah.” Laila kept on abusing the seller as if something pinched her past aback, as if this incident triggered whatever she had been collecting.

After a while, Naveen calmed her and brought both of them back home.

Naveen knew the Laila he married, generous and ground to earth, NEVER the kind who would shout at someone making her daughter happy. She loved playing with kids she’d see around too, there had to be something that disturbed her. Humble by heart Laila, had never behaved that rude, with anyone in her life. 

When Tina went in deep sleep, Naveen relaxed Laila and asked for her behaviour with the street vendor.

Laila was extremely stressed with what happened in the afternoon, and flinched to share something that was residing deep in her subconscious mind, from her childhood. 

Sensing the fearsome gestures on her face Naveen insisted to know what it was that she was trying to hide.

“I hate these sounds!!!”

“Sounds??!! What sounds?” Naveen got active.

“Trrriiinnggg!!!triiinnggg!!!

Tantantantantan!!!” lost Laila sighs deep.

Naveen comes closer to comfort her and know more about what she had to say.

“I was in 6th standard and was always very loving to all. It was pre winter season, while coming back home, one day, I saw a candy floss seller, yelling gudiya ke bal lelo, bachcho gudiya ke bal lelo tantantanatan!!! ringing the call bell of his vehicle. He called me, asking if I wanted to taste his candy. I refused in one call, but the pink colour pulled me towards him” she replied with shivering hands.

“Okay, then?” Naveen got furious.

“That was the day that I realised the difference between a boy and a girl”

**Phoooooow** she took deep breaths. 

**Silence**

Naveen hugs Laila in his arms and consoles her. 

“I know there are a few people in this world who are the worst, but that doesn’t mean it’s all of them. You should have let the poor man speak Laila. Don’t let your past haunt you so much, throw away the burdens from the present.”

Laila understood what Naveen said, and apologized to the vendor the next day, who confessed to have a daughter of the same age, and just wanted to spread some love and happiness.
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