Lakki Luv's guardian angel

Guardian Angel

She studied herself to average marks. She was an average looker. She attended family functions and did not stand out or go out her way to flaunt her presence. She didn't possess any extraordinary sense of humour. She laughed politely at the jokes cracked by pot-bellied uncles and aunts.

No, on the surface there seemed nothing out-of-place about Lakki Luv. Except when class mates phoned; she was always out. She didn't talk much; only listened. She didn't eat hr lunch outdoors with friends. She always ate alone in the classroom, in spite of not being allowed to do so by school authorities. Her friends tried coaxing her to come with them but to no avail. So they left her alone. If she was so keen on getting scolded by the teachers then who were they to prevent her?

Lakki sometimes spent hours locked in her room. Doing what? Studying; most likely. Nobody wondered or wondered about wondering. After all there was nothing extraordinary about Lakki Luv. Except for a strange glint in her eyes that was there now and disappeared then. That is if anybody cared to notice.
When Lakki Luv's dog Lolly died, she didn't shed tears nor accept condolences. They dug a bit of earth in the backyard and buried him. She remained in her room. Everyone presumed she was upset. After all, she had grown up with Lolly for ten years.

A year later the house was all hustle-bustle as Lakki's elder sister was getting married. Lakki didn't help choose jewellery or go ga ga over saris. She seemed oblivious to all excitement and as usual remained in her room or went on solitary walks. And on the much awaited day she burned hot with fever. Everyone had to leave without her. Her sister was disappointed. But only for a little while. The neighbours tch- tched in sympathy, locked their houses and left to attend the function. Soon everyone forgot about Lakki Luv.
Some thieves passing by saw their chance. They planned to break into Lakki's house. The podgier of the two pulled a knife out and cut a panel of the back door. He gingerly put a leg in, drooling in anticipation of riches. Then he screamed like a banshee when someone sunk his jaws into his juicy leg. But who or what was it? It was too dark to see. The searing sunlight outside was blinding. His thin accomplice whacked him hard. This was no time to play the fool. With bold impertinence he thrust his sharp jawed face into the sawed panel. His howls joined those of his buddy's. His nose had been bitten! This house was haunted they decided. Both of them ran for dear life with something invisible barking and alternately snapping at their heels until they were off territory.
When Lakki luv's people returned, they were stupefied to see sunlight gushing from the neatly cut square panel in the door. They sprinted to Lakki's room. Lakki lay sleeping as she had when they had left her.
Nothing had been stolen. Their little girl was unharmed. It was everything daddy, mummy and sister Luv could have asked for and more. They lit an incense stick in God's chamber. Lakki woke up coughing. She was allergic to agarbatti fumes. She was sweating. The fever had let go. When they all embraced her with relief Lakki couldn't guess what the fuss was all about.
Lakki had slept through the entire episode. She had heard no foot- steps, barking, gnawing or agonized howls. The Luvs were convinced that Lakki's darling little doggie; Lolly- her guardian angel, still remained with her. The neighbours whispered something about the girl communicating with spirits; especially Lolly's, in the peace and quiet of her bolted room. These whispers were loud enough for the Luvs to hear. These speculations upset them for a while. 'Shame on these people, really! Attributing eerie tendencies on a child who is so innocent and studious!' they said.
The incident was soon forgotten and the whispers completely abated. After all, there was nothing weird about Lakki Luv. Nothing at all.
Lasya Shashimohan

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