Summer, reminiscent of the exhaustion of exams finally coming to an end and the bright, chirpy vacations to look forward to. The magic of mangoes and summer delights like reading, writing, playing and of course the trips.
Rohan is jumping with excitement on having heard about his father’s short visit from the cant. The letter from his father has him running around the neighborhood in his birdy pyjamas, broken speech and a big broad smile. But it’s not too long before this bubble of joy bursts owing to the mockery at the hands of the adults and children in his complex. He dawdles back home with a large frown.
The aroma of delicious pancakes doesn’t grab his attention. He quietly walks into his room, latches the door, and sniffles. After a few moments, he crawls to his vintage cabinet and pulls out a book. He adjusts his spectacles, and leafs through it. A smile appears. Right at that moment, there is a knock on the door. He quickly puts the book away and unlatches the door. Rohan’s mother walks in with a scrumptious breakfast for him. She figures he is upset and has an inkling as to what must have happened.
Kajal: Little Major Rohan Sinha, we are brave and wonderful, no one should have the power to bring a frown on our face.
Rohan: But Maa…Maa I dhon’t like it when dey make flun of me. (But Maa…Maa I don’t like it when they make fun of me.)
Kajal (looks at Rohan with love and tells him): Well, they don’t understand that you are such a bright, sensitive and a loving little gentleman. Now, don’t you want to make something for daddy?
Rohan: Ees! Ees! I want tu raith dadda a long latta. (Yes! Yes! I want to write Dadda a long letter.)
Kajal: Then you better get to it and tell him everything about your year at school, okay? And don’t forget to tell him about that lovely trip your school took you to in Dehradun.
Rohan gets busy penning down his letter and decorating it with some pretty snippets of nature. Excited to hand over the letter to his father, he tucks it into his favourite book and places it beneath his pillow.
A new day arrives and Rohan wakes up to see three new books ribboned up and placed next to him. He smiles and yells, “Dadda…Dadda!” and runs with his letter to the living room, but he overhears his parents arguing about him. The book slips from his hand and he runs back into his room.
Shekhar rushes towards Rohan’s room only to find it locked. He says. “Champ, please open the door?”
Rohan responds in a fit of anger and pain, “No..No..Nobady lavs me anymoh. Evyone sa..sa says I am lu..lusa.” (No…No…Nobody loves me anymore. Everyone says I am a loser.)
Shekhar tries his best to pacify Rohan, but his efforts don’t bear fruits. He hangs his head with disappointment and just says, “Champ, we all love you.”
There is just silence at the other end. Meanwhile, Kajal keeps the book before Shekhar and tells him about Rohan’s letter.
Shekhar, without any delay, starts reading it. After reading his innocent jibber-jabber, he finds an important P.s. at the bottom – “Dadda, remember you asked me what I want to become when I grow up? I’ve left my answer in your study room.”
Shekhar paces to his study room and sees a sweet scrapbook lying on his desk titled the ‘The Mountain Quill’
He opens the book and reads on
“Dadda, today I want to share with you about a very special person…”
Shekar reads on…
He is 86 years old and so wonderful.
He loves to write stories for children and has been writing for 70 years.
Yes Dadda, so many years.
I read about him on the internet also and picked the most interesting things about him to share with you. Mummah helped me and explained the big words and sentences. I am still learning, Dadda. Sorry Dadda, I wanted to write about him but my writing is not too good.
Dadda, meet my friend, Ruskin… when you are away his stories keep me company.
Like you, Ruskin’s dadda also used to be away, so Ruskin used to read books and enjoy stories like me.