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  • Writer's pictureAditi

Just Another Day


‘Mummaaa…. It's been raining cats and dogs since moooorning,’ Preeti whined as she stood, staring out the window. ‘And it’s already afternoon.’


‘Does that mean we can’t go and play in the park today?’ her younger sister, Devika, asked.


‘This is the worst summer vacation ever!’ Preeti exclaimed. ‘Hey! Can we take our umbrellas to the park and play?’


‘Mumma…. You’re not even listening to us!’ Devika exclaimed.


Their mother removed her reading glasses, placed them next to her laptop, and stared at her two daughters. Preeti was eight years old, and Devika had just turned five. Both were very different individuals. They each held big spaces in their small worlds in such different ways. However they were great companions, but their curious and fearless natures would cause many calamities in their home. The fact that they had each other’s company made their mother’s life much easier.


Mother sighed a long sigh. She was trying to shoot out some last-minute emails that needed her undivided attention. Being a work-from-home mom wasn’t as easy as it might seem. Even though the weather felt more like that of a hill station, she wasn’t too pleased with the idea of having her daughters home, grumbling, whinging, and interrupting her day. She hoped that they would finally be able to burn off their energy in the park later that evening.


‘Don’t you two have holiday homework?’ She asked.


‘Can’t we just watch TV?’ Devika asked, widening her big pleading brown eyes.


‘Certainly not!’


‘But wwhyy not?’ Devika sulked.


‘You have already had your screen time,’ Mother said. ‘Why can’t you do something useful? Like your homework or a puzzle or do some arts and crafts. You guys love making new things.’


‘I don’t feel like it,’ Preeti sighed.


‘I know, let’s bake a cake,’ Devika jumped up and down.


‘Oh, God!’ Mother sighed. ‘I don’t have the time to help you bake cakes! I have to finish my work and get dinner ready. I’ll tell you what. If it stops raining, we’ll go to the park to play. But for now…. Please, for the love of God, find something useful to do.’


Devika and Preeti exchanged looks and rolled their eyes. They headed to their bedroom to dig up some new mischief. As the two girls busied themselves in their room, their mother finished her work and quickly prepared the family dinner. Thankfully by then, it had stopped raining.


‘Do you guys still want to go to the park?’ Mother asked, standing at the door watching the girls playing with their toys. Hearing the word ‘park’ made them jump off the floor. They quickly got ready for their evening of fun.


‘Let’s not go too far,’ Mother suggested. ‘Look at the dark clouds. It might start raining again. I don’t want either of you to fall sick.’


The girls agreed and headed straight to the park closest to their home.


The park was empty. Not a single soul in sight. As the girls played on the swings, the seesaw, and the monkey bars, their mother walked around the park, hoping to complete her target of ten thousand steps a day.


Soon the youngsters picked up twigs and started drawing in the wet sand. They drew happy faces, clouds, trees, favorite cartoon characters, and whatever came to their inquisitive minds. By then, the park was filled with more children and mothers.


‘Devika!’ Preeti stated. ‘Do you want to build a snowman?’


Devika dropped her stick and looked at her elder sister with amazement. ‘YES!’


‘I mean a sandman,’ Preeti giggled. ‘Not a snowman!’


In due time the little kids were at it, collecting the sand and trying to form a round ball. Devika tried making the body, and Preeti made a smaller ball for the sandman's head.


‘This isn’t working. It isn’t staying,’ Preeti grumbled. ‘It keeps crumbling down.’


‘Let’s ask Mom to help,’ Devika suggested with a glimmer of hope in her eyes.


The girls called out for their mother, pleading for her undivided attention and support.


As their mother agreed, the family began rebuilding the sandman from scratch. Soon the other children circled the busy family as they made their sand model.


‘Can we help too?’ asked one of the children.


‘Sure,’ Mother smiled. ‘Why don’t you find me two twigs for the arms?’


Just then, a boy approached the busy family and wondered why so many children were gathered together. He squatted on the sand and made a tiny ball.


‘Don’t even think about it, Mohit,’ Preeti said disapprovingly.


‘What?’ I didn’t even do anything!’ Mohit exclaimed.


‘I know you’re going to throw that ball of wet sand at me!’ Preeti said.


Mohit laughed a naughty laugh as he continued making the sandball bigger.


‘Mom! Look what he’s going to do,’ Preeti said.


Mother looked at Mohit and smiled. ‘Do you want to help us build a sandman?’


Mohit’s smile disappeared, and looked puzzled. He then nodded excitedly and joined the group.


‘I’ll need your help to find me something for his hat. And maybe a long leaf for the scarf,’ Mother smiled.


As Mohit began his hunt, Preeti gave her mother a disapproving look. ‘What are you doing? I don’t like that boy. He’s mean, and he’s a big bully. He keeps pulling my hair and bugging me.’


‘Preeti, there’s no harm in giving him a chance. Every evening I always see him playing by himself. Maybe he’s just trying to become friends with you. Or maybe he’s just lonely. And it’s fun to work as a team.’


Soon, Mohit arrived with a long leaf and the perfect tiny pebble for the sandman’s hat. He even found big black seeds to make the eyes, the buttons, and the sandman’s smile.


In due time the so-called sandman was ready. Preeti and Mohit exchanged looks and smiled.


‘See, it’s always better to work as a team,’ Mother smiled. ‘Come on, girls. It’s home time.’


The girls got off the sand and dusted their clothes.


Mohit was still sitting on the sand, admiring the sandman.


‘Hey, Preeti,’ he called out. ‘Will you play with me tomorrow?’


Preeti looked over her shoulder and smiled. ‘Yes! Maybe we can build another sandman together. See you tomorrow!’


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