Sunday, February 1, 2009

THE MARBLE GAME



The blanket was torn at really odd places. Shantama could never let Tipu sleep with that blanket on especially during the morning hours, when the street is all crowded! Tipu wished he were Mani- Mittoo's dog- it slept all day long. No one dared go near Mani.

Tipu's morning was vapid and disgusting. Shantama had been quarrelling with Kamla mausi all morning. Why? Tipu never cared. They were always quarrelling. The asbestos sheet above was broken. So was the cot. Tipu stepped out of the house.

Mangoo and his asinine crony- Bhatti, were walking towards him. Tipu was in no mood to fight. They had had a fair deal, the day before. Tipu had won- and so he got Mangoo's four marbles. End of the story. But Mangoo was not happy. Besides, Mangoo was twelve, while Tipu, only nine.

"Give me back, my marbles"- Mangoo had a bossy tone. But Tipu was not scared. "They are mine, now. I won them", he said- a tone so true and as pure as truth, itself. Mangoo pushed him down while Bhatti caught hold of his hands, tight, Mangoo took out the four marbles Tipu had kept in his trouser pocket and spoke thus- "They are mine . And will always be mine. Get your own marbles if you wish to play today. Else, forget the game.." . He kicked Tipu hard on his ribs, and left along with Bhatti.

"..only ten rupees, ma. I need to buy marbles. If I don't have marbles, I can never play the game again with Sukhi or Hari and all those other big boys out there ma. Mangoo took all my marbles..". Shantama was worried. She hardly had any money to get rice for the dinner. But she could never be happy unless Tipu was happy. She said, "I'll ask 'Baiji'. If she could get me, I'll get you marbles".

Shantama- a single working parent. She was a house maid. She was not a very good one too. People who let her work, let her do it for they only pitied her. She was weak and always sick. But a very sweet woman. Soft, and one who can be trusted. "Baiji" - as Shantama called her, was the only person, whom Shantama could depend on. Thanks to " Baiji", Tipu attends the local school. “Baiji” was her only hope.

"Baiji" had left to Shirdi. And Shantama could not go anywhere else. Tipu was heart broken. Today's game was the most important one. It would change his life. If he wins today, he would get twenty one marbles- he'd be rich… RICH… And then, he'd be the leader. And Mangoo won’t be able to do anything about it.

Tipu could do nothing. The sun was in high spirits. The road seemed everlasting. Tipu could feel the void inside his heart. He was vexed. He cursed Mangoo. He cursed "Baiji". They had ruined his life. But suddenly, he saw something on the road. A piece of paper. An important piece of paper. Money- an end to all his miseries! Ten rupees!

Tipu was filled with life. All his hunger, anger and helplessness, vanished. Mamaji's shop was just around the corner. Full of life, he held one hand high up-in the air, a ten rupees note, tuck safely inside his fist, he ran. He ran past the quarrelling women, hungry children, past the lame beggar, toiling labourers. Finally, when he reached Mamaji's shop, he was sweating- it seemed as though he had bathed in sweat!

"Mamaji, four marbles.."

Mamaji was busy attending other customers. He took no notice of the panting Tipu.

"MAMAJI, FOUR MARBLES..."

Mamaji turned. He saw a shirtless little boy, drenched in sweat, a ten rupees note, clasped tight in his fist, dirty feet, dry hair, bright sparkling eyes.

"Who gave you the money?" Mamaji demanded.

"I found it", came the reply.

Mamaji seized the money and shouted, in anger and disgust-

"You thieving little brat! Get lost.. Never set foot inside my shop, again. For I would kill you if you do. Get lost.."

Tipu stood there, transfixed, seeing his dreams land safely into Mamaji's cash box..

51 comments:

G.S.Vasukumar said...

That was a very nice story...so close to reality..The climax was too good.So was the entire story...I felt as if it was happening before me...like a movie in front of my eyes.

I request you to post it in the short stories community.

Take care and keep smiling.:):)

Matangi Mawley said...

@ vasu..

:) thnk u! will do tht..

Kartz said...

Hmmm... Ve said it before. Quite the raconteur!

:)

Peace.

The Rat... said...

:-) u struck a chord somewr.. felt like hearing a real narration rather than reading a story...

Great going MM..

Srividya said...

wow, well written as usual! :)

Indrajit said...

Very good as usual.Very very good.
The ending was not something which i was expecting though.
Nevertheless it ended with the punch in it.

Go ahead with ur craftworks,,
All th best...

dheepikaa b said...

was too fast for a writing i thought. this speed could be used when you are story-telling to someone, the plot speed as well as the narration speed. while reading i feel it needs a little fleshing out.

and the story has not ended though you seem to think it has.

i love your characters' names and the setting from where the story originates.the poor setting is a good visual.

you could work on it.

Leo said...

i think it was brilliant! :)

do continue with the story if u can, it is not yet done according to me!

loved the ending of this one!

rampantheart said...

The character names and the plot were brilliant! Don't tell this to anyone but me! Do you keep a stock of stories piled up somewhere? :D LOL

Matangi Mawley said...

@kartz..

thnk u!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ the rat..

thnk u!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ srividya..

thnk u!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ indr..

thnk u!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ dheepika..

thnk u so much.. wll work on it..

Matangi Mawley said...

@ leo..

:) continue the story.. i cant promise u tht.. bt thnk u!

Matangi Mawley said...

@rampantheart..

:) thnk u! stories piled up.. ?? ya.. they r all around me..

Sheru said...

:)

Karthik Ramaswamy said...

excellent one..keep it up!! :)

mayz said...

awww me not likes sad endings...but this was really good...had me transfixed...beautiful narration!!!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ sheru..

thnk u!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ karthik..

thnk u!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ mayz..

thnk u!

C R D said...

damn..poor kid..some ppl have all the bad luck :(

lovely story...in some places u rushed witht he narrative, but nice concept

Cheers
CRD

C R D said...

..

Matangi Mawley said...

@ crd..

thnk u!

Cursed♪♫ said...

Hey. u have a lovely blog. nice story :)
Do check out my blog

Arv said...

Hi Matangi... I liked the way you brought out those little desires... enjoyed it...

take care da... cheers...

Matangi Mawley said...

@ cursed..

thnk u! ll do.. :)

Matangi Mawley said...

@ arv..

thnk u!

Sashu... said...

beautifully written! wow :)

Matangi Mawley said...

@ sashu..

thnk u!

Amber Light said...

I loved the story Matangi. Only one thing - I thought that Tipu finding the money was the turning point of the story. The narrative before the turning point carried a bit, but after that, it was very abrupt. All the same you have me wondering what it is that gives you these brilliant and totally heart wrenching stories.
Great going :)

Matangi Mawley said...

@ amber light...

thnk u! loved the comment.. bt i thought tht narrative suitd the plot..

Amber Light said...

Of course it suited the plot! But it ended too fast for me. You see I wanted more!! :)

Matangi Mawley said...

@ amber light..

:) ya.. bt i thought ne other end.. or a little of the drag wd spoil the plot!

buzzzzzzzzz... said...

gud one dere......m sry but i really dnt thnk much bout short stories....nice composition newayz!!

Resurgence said...

Gal.... good story... a very nice narrative.... :)

jayaram said...

Reminds me of one post on my blog-similiat theme. A good narration. Marbles -rewind 2 schooldays-vivid and nostalgic. Like 2 see more of ur poems.

Matangi Mawley said...

@ buzz..

thnk u!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ resurgence..

thnk u!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ jayram..

thnk u!

Gauri Mathur said...

Fabulous!!!
:)

Matangi Mawley said...

@ gauri..

thnk u!

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Thanks for your visit to my blog and for your valuable comments too. I appreciate that. God bless.

verbivorehere said...

hey that was very sweet story and a firm take on reality.. your blog truly rocks..

Matangi Mawley said...

@ mel..

welcome!

Matangi Mawley said...

@verbivorehere..

thnk u!

writerzblock said...

Very touching story. Captured the essence of childhood and poverty rolled into one.

Matangi Mawley said...

@ pallavi..

thnk u!

manisha said...

i could almost cry on tipu's behalf!! how it must feel to lose sucha simple dream!! marbles!
excellent matangi!!!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ manisha..

Thanks!!

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