'What have you done today? At your artwork class?' Sudeshna asked.
Her daughter Jhilmil was then looking at the tree, just where the mother daughter duo stood.
'Let's hurry up...will have to go home quick...you know I will have to cook food...and then will have to wash those clothes...heaved as they are...on the washtub...'
Sudeshna said and tried to tug her daughter. But Jhilmil was not moving. 'Look mama, there's that beautiful bird...'
'Can't you see, right there, on that tamarind tree...'
Jhilmil pulled her mother's head down to her level as she pointed to a branch of the tree which spread its branches like wings, with new leaves sprouting. The tree appeared to be dressed new. The season of spring having arrived.
Sudeshna saw the bird. It looked like a parrot, with a red beak and long tail, but its feathers were different. It had yellow feathers.
Sudeshna herself had never seen such a bird. But there were works.
'Jhilmil, I have seen that...but you know, I got so many things to do...its already ten twenty...'
Sudeshna was getting impatient.
'Maa...what you did yesterday?'
'Well I cooked food and then prepared you for school and then we went out...I dropped you at school...from there I went to office...come on, you know all these... There's no way we can talk like that here...come quick...'
Sudeshna pulled Jhilmil.
Jhilmil started following her mother. Upon her shoulder there was that bag...it had her art works, pencils, erasers, drawing board, brushes, color tubes.
'Mamma...today the art teacher told us to draw anything we could...and you know what I drew?'
Jhilmil asked, dropping and opening her eyelids twice in quick succession.
'A flute? A mere flute? What a strange thing? But why? There are so many musical instruments...we have no flute even in our house...'
Sudeshna was amazed.
'Na...when the art teacher asked us to draw and paint, I was chewing the end of the pencil and thinking... Looking at my friend's copies I found they were all busy drawing sceneries...I also thought of doing so...but then I heard someone playing a flute down the road and going away...and I drew a flute...'
Returning home, she got busy with her works. Jhilmil finding her father Soumya busy doing some works of office on his computer, at the study, went there and sat on the sofa.
Soumya asked, his eyes on the computer.
Jhilmil said. She was trying to draw something on a picture of a car advert.
'It is today's paper Jhilmil...don't do that...'
Father said. He was still typing something on the key board.
Jhilmil went near his desk.
'Today is Sunday, papa...please...'
'Yes...but I need to do this work ...I will play with you after few minutes...'
Jhilmil went back to the sofa.
'Can I watch TV?'
'Go and ask your mother...'
Soumya said, without looking at his daughter.
Jhilmil went to the kitchen.
Sudeshna was stirring something on the kadai.
She was talking to someone over phone.
'Yes...the job would be done by tomorrow ...'
Jhilmil heard her mother saying that.
'Maa...can I watch TV?'
'Na... You got your exams from Wednesday...at the evening the dance teacher will come...have you practised the steps?'
'Na... I mean...will I have to practise that right now?'
It was already eleven thirty.
'Do practise for half and hour at least and then we will see...'
Sudeshna became busy with cooking.
Soumya had to submit the project report by the afternoon, through mail.
He once went upstairs and finding Jhilmil practising her dance steps, went back to his study.
Jhilmil was not at all finding any interest in the practice. Even on a Sunday, she had to wake up early, do practise pranayam, then take music lessons from seven to eight thirty. Then from nine she got this drawing class. Now this dance practice...
She stopped for awhile and went near the window.
She thought she saw the bird and the tamarind tree.
She thought she heard someone playing a flute and going away.