When Bean and I decided to start a blog together, my writing was rusty (to say the very least). To get our brains and hearts back into the swing of things, we decided to have little challenges, and we critiqued each other’s work. This was one of my first pieces. The memory is still crystal clear to me.
The dishcloth incident
As far as childhood memories go, this one is laughably dull. Meet Div, a chatty five year-old, spoiled rotten by everyone in her small town. A brother, Yadav, had appeared six months before, and the little creature had stolen her thunder somewhat. She loved him to pieces, but also wondered what on Earth he had to cry about when there were people fawning over him all the time.
The creature in question had just learnt how to roll over. Div’s mother, Nirvani, laid him carefully in the middle of a double bed at the children’s grandma’s house. She gave Div strict instructions to watch Yadav while she prepared his bath water. Ever the obedient one, the little girl stood at the edge of the bed, watching her younger brother. The seconds ticked by, and the little guy didn’t do a thing. No movement, no sounds. No fun. Div soon started thinking of a simpler time, before the sibling, and wandered away from the bedside.
Her imagination got the better of her, and she was soon lost in a thrilling daydream. A daydream that came to an abrupt, screeching halt, when she heard a muffled thud. Yadav had decided to get some exercise, and had succeeded in rolling right off the bed and onto the floor. He regained “creature” status once he started screaming. Div turned to see her mum and grandma hurtling toward her. She moved aside for them, and her grandma whacked her with the dishcloth she’d been carrying while busy cooking in the kitchen. It didn’t hurt all that much, just a little sting, but Div was devastated.
Tears streaming dramatically down her face (something that was to happen frequently and irrationally throughout her life), she darted into her grandma’s bedroom, to her favourite hiding spot. Right in between her grandparents’ cupboard and bed. This was her haven. It was also where she would disappear to when a certain family friend, whom she found dreamy, would visit.
Div lay there for quite some time, while the creature was checked for and cleared of injuries and then bathed. She’d forgotten all about crying, and was inspecting the carpet she had curled up on. After what seemed like hours (but what were actually just a few minutes) her grandma came to find her, Div’s secret hiding spot having not been a secret for quite some time. She apologised for the dishcloth incident, but also scolded Div for getting distracted. Yadav was brought into the room soon after, clean and smelling of baby powder. He really was quite cute. Too cute for Div to be angry at for getting her into trouble.
It has been 21 years since that obscure event. Div still gets lost in her imagination, although she is now more vigilant if there are infants around. Yadav has achieved much in his young life: he is intelligent, artistic and athletic. Div takes full credit for this, on account of Yadav knocking his head when he fell off the bed that day.
Featured image: Div