Padmaja's hurt

'Ei, ei, shon...'
(You ..you...listen...)
Padmaja was trying to call her grandson Gablu.
Her joys of life. The bubbly spirited one.
Always running around.
And then she heard a sound.
The way a football bounces and hits something.
Then something falling onto the floor and breaking.

'Ei re...'(now you see...)
Padmaja tried to go to the spot.
Her hipbone aches nowadays if she tries to move fast.
Still she tried to walk up to the spot.

Gablu's mother Sruti rushed out of her kitchen where she was trying to arrange the utensils which the maid had left spread.
'O this Malati di, how many times have I told her to keep things tidy...but who listens...'
Saying all these she rushed out.
Morning.
Office time.
Sruti's husband would go out soon.
Now Gablu.
'Must've kicked that football into the tea table...'
Rushing out, she saw Gablu standing there.
Sruti couldn't hold back her angst.
'Khali dhustumi?'(always running and playing?)
She gave a hard slap to Gablu. Right on his cheek.
Gablu was more shocked than surprised.
He looked at his father.
Tathagata was tying his shoelace.
He looked up.
'What? Who slapped Gablu?'

Hearing his father's voice Gablu started crying.
Sruti got more angry.
She was about to give another slap to Gablu when Padmaja intervened and the slap, instead of falling on Gablu, hit Padmaja's arm.

Tathagata stood up.
Padmaja felt her arm to be aching severely.
The muscles were getting numb.

'Oh! I am terribly sorry! Apnar laglo?
Ki je kori?(you got hurt? What now could I do?)
Sruti was highly embarrassed.

Tathagata said nothing.
He took his bag and went out.
Gablu's cries had turned into sobbing.
Sruti  got busy tending her mother in law's arm.
Padmaja sat down on a chair.

Gablu was trying to fathom his mother's and granny's reactions.

While Sruti was attending Padmaja, Padmaja just said,
'Have you noticed those fruits at our garden?'

Padmaja was amused.
'Why talking about garden now?'

'Na...just wanted to say, I and your father in law planted a small tree...it had got grown and now borne a fruit after so many years...now if someone would hit the fruit before it would ripen, or try to malign it by using external force, like poking it...I would feel hurt...'

Saying this Padmaja stood up slowly and started walking to her room.
Gablu silently came and held the end of Padmaja's saree.

Sruti stood there, stupefied, for awhile.
Then she smiled.
She realised how anger could only cause hurt to people, to trees, to the whole house.

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