Double face

Writers Garden
Last Updated 25 March 2010, 11:10 IST

“How come she keeps doing this to me? She's SO mean!" Maya sobbed.  "Nobody will remember this tomorrow!" consoled Sheila, her best friend.

"It was so humiliating when everyone laughed" Maya whispered.

Bina, the  most popular girl in school, was also a bully picking on Maya, her classmate, since the school year began.

"Village freak!" Maya still remembered the first time Bina had taunted her. 

"So the little villager is crying?" Bina walked in with her friends.
"Haven't you done enough damage for one day?" Sheila burst out.
"You'd be so much more popular if you didn't hang out with a slob like Maya!" retorted Bina.

The next day when Maya met her friend, she could barely contain her excitement.
"Are you sure Maya? Why not forgive and forget?" Sheila said.

"If I don't do this I'll regret it for the rest of my life!" Maya said vehemently.
"What's that you have? Looks like a lunch box" Sheila looked curiously at the box that Maya had brought.

"It's a spring-loaded box. When you open it, whatever is inside will spring out and fall over you!" Maya couldn't suppress her smirk.

"This is Bina's lunch box,"
 Maya brought out a similar box. "I am going to swap it with this box!"
Maya opened it and put the lone chapatti and dhaal from it into the spring box.

"Aaaaaaaah! There's food all over my face!" Bina screamed, even as Maya laughed.
"You dirty litle village girl! How dare you do this to me?"
"It takes one to recognize another!" Maya sneered. Hadn't she practiced this line a million times?

 "Now, what will I eat? I don't have any lunch!" Bina sounded beaten. "After so many days I finally get lunch and now this!" 
For some reason Maya felt uncomfortable.

"But why would she have said that?" Maya asked Sheila.
"I don't know. You need to find out for yourself!" Sheila said.

After school Maya followed Bina home. She saw Bina going inside a small house off a dusty lane. When she peered inside, she saw a frail woman lying on the bed.
"Ma, ma! I'm back. How are you?" Bina went running to her side.

"I'm fine. How was your lunch, dear? I was so glad that I could actually cook something for you today."

"It doesn't matter, Ma. I just want you to get well soon. It's been nearly a year since you fell sick."

Maya learnt an important lesson that day. Never judge a person too harshly. Bina was going through a lot in her life. At the same time trying to stay Ms. Popular.
Aren't there always two sides to a coin?

Malini Srikrishna
VII-A, SKCH(CBSE), Bangalore

You must read this poem

The Cat

You need your Cat.
When you slump down
All tired and flat
With too much town
With too many lifts
Too many floors
Too many neon-lit
Too many people
Telling you what
You just must do
And what you must not
With too much headache
Video glow
Too many answers
You will never know
Then stroke the Cat
That warms your knee
You'll find her purr
Is a battery
For into your hands
Will flow the powers
Of the beast who ignore
These ways of ours
And you'll be refreshed
Through the Cat on your lap
With a Leopard's yawn
And a Tig er's nap.

Ted Hughes

(Published 25 March 2010, 11:07 IST)

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