Some two years ago, house-hunting had become a routine activity for my mother and me. We would visit the property dealer nearly every day, and then accompany him to the addresses we’d short-listed, hoping to convert those stone walls into our home.
During one of these visits, we came across a family which has been impossible to forget. In a building not far from our current residence, this family of five, including two children, lived in one of the two flats on the fourth floor. We’d gone to examine the other flat. On expressing our desire to know more about the area, they kindly invited us in.
It was nearing Diwali, and renovation work was in full flow in their home. The carpenters and painters were busy with their respective jobs, and so was the children’s mother in trying to prevent the naughty fellows from preventing the workers from going about their job. Finally, after a stern warning, they decided to sit down and play indoors.
So, they brought out their firecrackers and stated their intention to burn them inside the house. Thankfully, their mother’s intervention saved the house yet again. But on being denied the pleasure of seeing a massive fireworks display in the house, the angry elder son threatened to burn himself with the sole remaining matchstick inside the matchbox.
Even as the mother was reaching the end of her tether, her younger son innocently tried to comfort her with the words, “Mummy yeh nahi karega kuch bhi. Mazaak kar raha hai. (Mother, he won’t do it. He is only kidding.)”
By then, deciding to make our own safety an issue of priority, I prompted my mother to make a move. We fled before some other self-destructive plan came into the young minds.
Later, we decided against taking the flat. But I’m sure it would have been quite exciting to live next door to those kids and witness their ‘hidden talents’ as they grew up and became even more competent!