The Wait


 By Anindita Mondal

Kalu sat beside the stack of bricks that stood in a barren land. It was a chilly morning. The sun had chosen to hide itself behind some clouds. The air was heavy with fog. An eagle spread its majestic wings and glided through the sky.

Kalu shivered a little. He lifted one of his paws to scratch his ear and with twinkling black eyes he gazed around, hoping to find his mother somewhere.

It was one of those mundane mornings when people would pass by without noticing the peculiarities around them, too busy, too eager to make it through the day.

Kalu sat oblivious to the lack of attention. He did not care for the people, or the cars that moved on the dusty road. What did it matter? He was just a little black pup who knew his mother would feed him and hug him, when the day was done. He stuck his tongue out and licked his paw.  Then put his head down and closed his eyes for a bit.

The breeze brushed over the tiny white flowers that bloomed in the hedges around him. Few flies buzzed over them and over his sad, rickety body.  One of them sat at the corner of his closed eye and desperately tried to make its way into it.

Kalu didn’t mind. His few days into the world had taught him, that it did no good to bother oneself with trivialities. There were bigger things to be worried about. His mother had been gone all morning. There was no choice but to sit tucked beside the stack of red bricks and wait until she returned, if she would return at all.

Some children walked by, carrying a worn out cricket bat. One of them bounced a heavy, equally worn out ball in his hand. They seemed engrossed in some conversation. Playfully pushing and slapping each other on the back, they were absorbed in their own world.

Suddenly, the one with the ball threw it hard at Kalu.  The pup yelped. The ball had not hit him, maybe because the kid had not intended it. He had just wanted to startle the dog. The ball had hit the stack of bricks and fallen to the ground.

However, Kalu was alarmed. He stood up, ready to dodge the ball if it should come back at him. The kids picked up some pebbles and chips of red bricks. Kalu knew what was coming.

He desperately tried to save himself from the shower. However, unfortunately one of the pebbles hit him right between his eyes. The pup yelped again and this time it was out of excruciating pain.

Kalu dashed as fast as his limbs would carry him. One of the kids tried to chase but Kalu was determined not to let him catch his tail. He had safely tucked it between his hind legs.

Soon, the kids lost interest in Kalu. They collected their ball, dropped the pebbles, crossed the street and walked through the dust to their playground.

Kalu lay hidden behind a hedge. He sat waiting until he was very much convinced that the kids were gone. Then he crept out slowly and resumed his position beside the stack of bricks.

It began to drizzle. Kalu clung to himself and crept closer to the stack. His mother was still, nowhere to be seen. A lady crossed the street with an umbrella guarding her from the tears of heaven. Smell of freshly baked bread poured out from the windows of the old bakery. Kalu smacked his lips. Was he never going to see his mother? Time flew by. Hunger growled within Kalu. He was beginning to give up.

Just then, he saw her.

A slender bitch, as black as him, was crossing the street. The droplets on her coat shone like diamonds.  Kalu’s joys knew no bounds, as she walked towards him. He sprang and ran to her.

The drizzling had stopped. The breeze gushed past the hedges again making the little white flowers sway. Kalu’s mother sat on her hind legs and fondly licked his ears. Kalu rubbed his little snout to her chin.

The eagle glided by again, this time with a dead rat in its claws. An autorickshaw zoomed by, spilling a faint Bollywood number from its cheap speakers.


About the author:

Anindita Mondal

Anindita Mondal loves to write. It doesn’t matter to her what she is writing about or who she is writing for. Over the past few years, she has produced a range of published works which include newspaper articles, feature stories, blogs and columns for the likes of The Times of India and Youth ki Awaaz, an online magazine for the youth of India.  She also did a brief stint as a food critic for an online food website, ifood.tv.

That said, what Anindita really enjoys writing is short stories. Thus as a hobby she often engages in writing for children and has published several anthologies of the Arabian Nights, Adventures of Tenali Raman and Akbar and Birbal to her credit. A voracious reader, amateur painter and art critic, a foodie and a lover of music, Anindita is one of those muggles who believes that the world is brimming with magic. All it takes is to believe.

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