Monday, June 12, 2006

Go fly a kite, bum.

Some people are born bums. This story is about one such character from my childhood. He was an ace kite flyer and I was absolutely fascinated by his skill at snaring other kites, cutting off their string and setting them adrift. He used to do it with such ease in the crowded kite flying day sky (Makarsankranti or Pongal). He was notorious for his pranks and was banished to a boarding school in Bordi, a coastal village near Mumbai, after his father's death and his mother's realisation that he was an incorrigible and irrepressible bum. His brother, though mild and controllable, was banished too (like Laxman with Rama). The prankster never turned a new leaf after he returned from the vanavasa. And, never held down a job. He used to drop in on and off at our house in Khetwadi and invariably on Makarsankranti. Always joking, always ready to fly a kite. Then, one fine day, he simply disappeared from my life. After a while, everybody stopped talking about him and I forgot him too. Till this morning, when I suddently looked up and saw a lonely kite flying up there.

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