The little girl stops at the army camp and talking to the soldiers,” have you seen Ponga crossing the street? Don’t lie to me. I am in a very serious mood. Have you guys seen him?”.
They laugh at the girl, “no, we have not seen Ponga crossing the road.” The girl took a deep breath,” thank you for saving my life, Babaji.”
The girl told the soldiers, “okay, make sure Ponga won’t cross the road. Stop him right away. Call me so I can come to get him. It is okay to shoot his cycle with the bullet, but make sure not to hurt him”.
One of the soldiers replied, “how we would know if Ponga is trying to sneak in the car or Jeep.”
The girl touched her forehead with her hand and told the soldiers, “Ponga hardly know how to ride a bicycle. He even doesn’t know how to get into the car”.
The other soldier teased the girl, “you are not our commander to give us the order.”
The girl told the soldier while tried to take her hair away from her face, “okay, don’t do it. I will lock that room”. The girl pointed to the water pump in her farmhouse, “how do you guys will drink water and take a shower. My chachu is gone to Delhi to bring my daddy home. The girl forgot for a while why she came to talk with the soldiers. Her face shined and become brighter when she said, “my baba coming home from Russia. He will bring a lot of things for me”.
The girl remembered when she saw the older soldier coming toward her, “Army uncle, can you tell your soldiers to stop Ponga crossing the road.”
The girl sat by the soldier who asked what if Ponga cross the road from another side”.
The girl laughed and said, “I am silly but do have a brain. My buddies are on the roads to catch Ponga. You guys use my play place and the water from my farmhouse so better help me to catch him”.
The girl tried to run away as she saw Abu coming, but it was too late. He had heard all the conversation sitting in the tent. Abu asked the girl, “what have you done with Ponga? Why have you not comb your hair yet?”
The girl did not have any options left except telling the reality, “Abu, chachu has gone to Delhi to bring my baba home. I will bring him over here to meet you. He will bring a lot of things for me”.
Abu said, “okay, answer to my question now.”
The girl said,” you are a mean boy. You are not good anymore, Abu. Oh, mum is gone to see her brother, and she took Baljit with her. Ponga supposed to cook and comb my hair. But he is missing since this morning. I need to find him before my mum comes home. Otherwise, I will be killed before my father come back. Help me to find Ponga”.
Abu asked the girl again, “what have you done with Ponga.”
The girl made her innocent face, ” I am sorry. I beat the shit out of him. He was trying to make breakfast without washing his hands. He always eats food while cooking. Chahcu has told him many times that it is not a good habit. He won’t let me play with the boys. Does this fault have a male cousin? I better need to find Ponga before my mum comes home. I could be in a big problem”.
The girl did not know when Abu already combed her hair. The girl told Abu,” Oh, you know well how to make ponytail.”
She heard Binu talking loudly, “Munna, we have found Ponga sleeping on somebody’s farmhouse, but he refuses to come.”
The girl told Binu and others, “I know how to bring him home.” The entire kids’ gang start walking to the farmhouse where Ponga was snoring”
The girl shouted, “Wake up, my good Ponga.” Ponga looked at the girl and said in his stuttering voice, “No, All of you are the demon. I will report to Biji( the girl’s mum)”
The girl said, “Okay, ponga, you can tell my mum, but I will also tell my chachu that you did not wash your hand. Believe me, Chachu is my chachu and won’t let you enter into the kitchen. I won’t hesitate to tell mum that you talk bad about her cousin. Believe me, and you will never step inside the house again”.
Ponga has returned right away home. He cleaned all the mess which girl and her little has made it. Everything looked clean. Ponga had fed the girl before mum arrived. Ponga was so scared, and the girl could feel his fear. Ponga never told mum anything, but the girl could not keep the secret for a long time. At bedtime, the half sleepy girl told her mum everything.
The next morning, mum has sat on the chair with a wooden stick in her hands. There was a long line of the children’s gang who was taking a turn to apologize from Ponga. You should have seen Ponga’s facial expression, which has shown the part of being treated with respect. He looked so happy. All children were thinking in the brain, “Okay, Ponga, you have won this time, but our time will come.” Neither Ponga not children had liked each other.
(I will write about Ponga. He was a great man, but his fate was not so great)