Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Magpie Tales - Building home - 02/03/2010

(This post is my entry for the weekly photo prompt writing for The Magpie Tales)

 
By 11 A.M , Lisa, 6 , and Adi , 7, had bathed , eaten and were excited to begin work on their camping plans that were hatched in their room last night. Their mother was happy to oblige them with the old double bed sheet they needed to start. Once out of the back door, into the garden , the kids ran to the spot they had in mind. The mother called out loving warnings of "Don't soil yourselves" and "stay in the shade" and went back indoors to enjoy making lunch in the rarely , hopefully for 2 hours, quiet and peaceful house.

Adi had a rough picture in mind. He had only seen people setting up tents on TV and thought the portion of the rope mother uses to hang wash clothes, directly under the mango tree would be an ideal spot to hang their tent. Before that, the clothes already drying had to be pulled and crumpled in one half of the rope so the bed sheet could be spread on the other. Using the maximum stretch of arms and legs that their little bodies allowed, they succeeded in throwing one half of the bed sheet over the rope to catch it on the other side. Their tent now hung on the rope, with its edges making strange patterns in the mud. Lisa dutifully followed Adi's instructions to tie one corner of the tent to the pole, while he tied the second one to the stem of the lemon tree. The third one was tied to the neck of the tap used to water the lawns. They looked around for a fourth something to tie their tent to. Their sweating bodies already longed to sit in the shade but there was work to be done still.

Adi assured Lisa he'll get a heavy stone that they would tie the corner to, to keep their tent from flying. Meanwhile, Lisa made several trips to the tap, to fill her cupped hands with water and sprinkled it on the ground inside the tent to settle the dust. She loved the smell of wet earth and would always find ways to get it. Adi embarked on his hunt in the wild. He looked all around the huge garden , the kitchen garden for a big stone. Without realizing he crossed  over the boundary into Mrs.Sharma's lawn. Owing to the friendly relations between the two families, the break in the boundary hedge was not only deliberate, it saw more traffic than the front doors of the two houses. He spotted a dark colored stone across the lawn on approaching which he realized it was a 1 kilogram iron weight. It was cold to touch and covered with wet soil. He dusted it with his hands and cradled it in his arms to his tent. He tied the fourth end of the tent through the loop of the weight and looked at their sky blue colored camp proudly.


Now he hadn't thought of an agenda after this. He just imagined the setting-up part and didn't know what are they going to do with it now. He saw Lisa struggling to drag the second of the three empty terracotta pots into their tent. She pushed back her pigtail from her temple to explain they'd use them as stools and a table for their tent. Adi was pleased at being provided with a vision again. Once the furniture was placed, they both sat on their stools with the third pot in the center. Adi thought of placing something on the their center table, perhaps food.

They ran to the kitchen garden and forayed into the various soil partitions in their hunt for food. Their shoes were sticky with the freshly watered mud and their mother's latest warnings replayed in their minds. They plucked the small and only bottle gourd, 2 reddish green tomatoes and a dark-green lemon. They then plucked a few coriander leaves, Adi wasn't sure what its called but knew mother used it to make chutney served with poppadoms. Back in their tent, on top of their table, they made a bed of coriander leaves and placed the bottle gourd, the lemon and the tomatoes on top. They looked at the otherwise pleasant sight in dismay. None of their food, they figured could be eaten raw. It was all a failure they thought. None of them said it aloud but in their bored and tired hearts,  they both vowed not to mention this camping game for the rest of their summer vacation.

They wanted to go indoors, but having put in so much commitment in the project, none of them took the lead. Just then, they heard the front door bell ring followed by their mother's voice calling them inside. This was their father, home for lunch. The next thing, they were both running towards the back door, never more pleased at being called indoors. Just at the entrance, Lisa stopped and said "Can we ask Mommy to cook something out of our camp food?". They knew then they are going to be back inside the tent tomorrow.

That night, when mother tucked both of them in bed, the lights switched off, Adi wondered if he should have asked Mrs.Sharma before taking the 1 kilo weight from her garden.



11 comments:

willow said...

This brings back memories of my own childhood and snitching some veggies from an elderly neighhor lady's garden. Well done.

♥ Braja said...

Good one :)

Uma Gowrishankar said...

Childhood beautifully captured, Geetly. Children rarely go with a large overview, they build little something over little something, just the way Lisa and Adi do. How many such tents I have put up under the mango and lime trees! Thanks for bringing back memories from so so far away.

Vicki Lane said...

Love the glimpse into childhood in another land -- so similar, but with those little differences. (We too had a much used path in the hedge between our house and that of our neighbors.)

steviewren said...

When I was a child we had a big crabapple tree in the back yard. We climbed it, dug wholes under it and played with the tiny apples that fell from it. It was our daily spot to gather. Your story encompasses so much of what childhood play is about...using your imagination.

Queenmothermamaw said...

Great story. Very descriptive and full of childrens' questions. We used huge cardboard boxes to make space ships and drew dials and numbers and this took me back to some of the things we used to snitch to make our playhouse look real.
QMM

Selma said...

I did a similar thing as a kid except I took Mrs. Macdonald's river stone that she had in her rockery. I used it as a stage for my dolls. I put it back afterwards but I'm sure she knew. Your story brought back some lovely memories. Thank you!

Brian Miller said...

yeah, i have memories unearthed by this one as well. great magpie...

Jennifer said...

When I was a kid, my favourite thing to do was to build a fort or a 'house' or a tent of some kind. It made me feel industrious and independent. Your story brought back those times!

Peter Goulding said...

Nicely written Geetly!
Forgive my disgusting mind, but the mother's warning for them not to soil themselves had me going in other directions!

Rob said...

It is fascinating, the universal experience that is childhood -- enjoyed this...
...rob
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