T3 ক্যাফে হোলি স্পেশাল এ Rudrapriya Sen

The Joy of Colours

Tia looked down at the street, she had been lying on bed since morning and did not feel like walking at all. Her only means of communication with the outside world now was the bedside window. She peered down from the window and saw her friends playing with colours, for it was Holi, and Tia knew that only a few moments later each and every one of them would be dripping wet and covered in various colours.
“Lucky them, lucky them…” she sighed. If she had not been feeling so weak because of her sore throat and mild fever she would have surely joined them, but that wasn’t the case now, so it was clearly no use thinking about what she would have done if she hadn’t been ill.

She saw that Veer, one of her friends, had brought a huge box which was filled with different packets of colours. Tia squinted her eyes and could make out some of the common colours like -pink, blue, yellow, green, but the rest she couldn’t see. Seema, on the other hand had brought three of her water guns and Manish had two bags which were stuffed with water balloons. Other children from the neighborhood had also joined the trio, but she couldn’t see them as the strong rays of the sun were making Tia feel slightly dizzy. She accepted defeat and gave up looking. But the shrieks and laughter of her joyous peers below filled her with jealousy, she envied them and wanted to join them as fast as she could.

Slowly, Tia got down from her bed and headed towards the kitchen where her mother was busy working.
“Ma……” she said, “I feel much better now….”
Mother only replied with a firm nod, she seemed to realise where the conversation was heading.
“So can I please go and play with the others?”
Her mother sighed and shook her head, “Don’t lie Tia, you sound weak and there are dark circles under your eyes. You need rest and I am definitely not letting you play even if it’s Holi.”
Tia found it pointless to argue anymore. She knew her mother would not listen!

She walked back to her room, sat quietly on the bed and went back to staring at her friends who were playing on the road . The children seemed to be quite heartless now, they looked unaffected with her absence, couldn’t they even for once enquire about her? And ask how she was doing? Tia felt both helpless and angry at the same time. Everyone seemed to be so cruel now, but mostly she was angry upon herself. How could she fall ill right before the festival? Why it did it always have to be her?
This was a good thing however, her anger put an end to her sadness and she realised that Holi would come and go every year, it obviously wasn’t that much of a deal if she missed once.
Tia decided to go back to sleep, thinking that she would feel much better after waking up.

After a series of dreams which made no sense at all, Tia woke up feeling rather startled (it definitely must have been because of the mutton at lunch). She wasn’t as tired as before, but she didn’t think that she was completely fine either. Tia looked out of the window and saw the setting sun, it was nearly evening. She looked down and saw that the street looked like a huge canvas, as if someone had sprayed different colours on it hoping to achieve an abstract art. The road was wet. Tia knew that it was Seema’s water gun which did the deed.
“I wonder what it would have been like to be in that water battle,” thought Tia to herself.
However, now that Tia felt much she decided to go and sit outside in the living room. Her mother was in the garden, but Tia felt too lazy to join her. She sat in the sofa wondering how she would spend the next Holi.

Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. Tia stood up bolt upright, who on earth would come to visit at this hour? Tia looked out of the eyehole and was surprised to see that Manish was standing outside. She opened the door unable to say anything, why was he here? Had they not finished playing yet?
“Hello,” Manish said smiling broadly, he was carrying a packet of sweets.
“What are you doing here?” Tia asked, making way for him to come in.
“Well, aunty told us yesterday that you wouldn’t be joining us for the festivities, so we decided to pay you a visit…”
Tia stared blankly at Manish, “we?” She faltered.
“Oh yes! Veer and Seema are coming too, leave the door open for them,” Manish explained, “Besides that, I brought the sweets which my mother made this morning.”
Tia didn’t realise that her mouth was wide open until Manish asked her whether something was wrong.
She shook her head violently , and asked Manish about the time he had while playing with the colours. They chatted for some time, soon after which Veer and Seema joined, whose faces still had the impressions of the strong colors. All the four children, now huddled together in the room seemed to spread an aura of joy around.
Everybody, except Tia, was beaming and reminiscing about the wonderful time they had during the festivities. Tia, on the other hand, was too stunned to think of anything, she couldn’t believe that her friends had actually thought of her and visited her as she was ill. She felt grateful, obviously, but even after repeatedly reminding herself not to appear too surprised, she still couldn’t bring herself to close her mouth shut.

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