Kiya-Ranveer: Yeh Dosti
"Look Ranveel, what I found in the garden!" a five year old Kiya Gujral exclaimed as she came running towards her best friend.
Ranveer looked up from his drawing book. Usually he would join Kiya in her garden adventures, but that day, he just wanted to sit inside the classroom and draw. Both Ranveer and Kiya were classmates in Senior KG B of Royal Pre-School.
"Look what a pretty flower!" Ranveer touched the purple flower she was holding out. It was buttery smooth, almost like jelly. "Yuck," he said, making a face. "It's like goo."
"It's not goo, it's a creeper," Kiya frowned. "Yeah well, whatever it is, I'm not interested."
Kiya sighed. "What is wrong with you Ranveel? You're so angry with me nowadays. Did I something wrong?"
"It's not you Kiya," Ranveer said sadly. "It's just that my Daddy is ill. Something is wrong with his heart."
Kiya was throughly puzzled. "Whaddya mean something is wrong with his heart? Is is that thing they show in the movies, where that old man presses a hand to his chest and falls?"
"My Daddy's not old," Ranveer frowned, "But yeah, he keeps saying his chest his hurting. and that he can't breathe at times."
"We should ask Ms. Sharma," Kiya opined. Ms. Sharma was their class teacher, and their most favourite adult in the entire universe. "Ms. Sharma knows everything. Yesterday she explained to us why fish can't breathe outside water. I'm sure she knows why your Daddy can't breathe either."
Ranveer lit up. "Why didn't I think of that before?" he said excitedly. "Gosh, Kiya you're the best!" he said, hugging her. Kiya smiled. "Anything for you Ranveel," she said innocently.
They went over to Ms. Sharma, who was busy clearing up the mess they'd made when they had been finger-painting. "Ms Sharma, Ms Sharma," they chanted in chorus.
Their teacher looked up, a beatific smile on her face. To them she was their angel, their source of knowledge. "Yes," she said.
"Ms. Sharma Ranveel's Daddy has chest pain and he can't breathe. Why does that happen?" Kiya piped up. Ms. Sharma frowned. "Ranveer," she said, turning to the boy, who was staring nervously at the floor. "Is this true?"
"I asked Mommy about it," he said fearfully, "But she just began crying in the middle and ran away."
Ms. Sharma sighed. "Look kids, right now, you just have coughs and colds. But when you grow up...the diseases a lot more dangerous." Kiya's eyes widened. "Like when doctors have to cut out body parts and stuff?"
"I don't want my Daddy to be cut open," Ranveer said fearfully. "Don't be silly Ranveel," Kiya giggled. "It doesn't hurt. They give you some weird stuff to put you into sleep. My mom had her nose cut out last week, and she came back just fine."
"Your mom had her nose cut out? Whatever for?" Ranveer was astounded by this new piece of information.
"Yeah, she said something was wrong with it. Maybe she had difficulty breathing too." Ms. Sharma had to resist herself from laughing. Poor Kiya. She decided the girl could wait a few more years before discovering the concept of plastic surgery.
"But my Daddy has something wrong with his heart."
"Ranveer, your Daddy's gonna be fine okay? A lot of new technology is coming into India nowadays.He'll surely find a surgery that will help him," Ms. Sharma assured.
"Technology...surgery...god such big words." Ranveer scratched his head. "Anyway, thank you Ms. Sharma. Come Kiya, let's go play."
Ms. Sharma watched as the two kids skipped away, and something in her heart constricted. To think that they would be separated next year! They always grew apart somehow, once they reached Primary. She shook her head. It was never good to get too attached to the kids. It only hurt you, and themselves when they left. She returned back to cleaning the class.
"Hi Ranveel!" Kiya chirped.
"Pssst..Can't talk. Daddy and Mommy are fighting right now," Ranveer whispered into the telephone. "Mommy says we should go to Pune because some famous heart doctor is there, but Daddy says that Mumbai is the best."
"It's okay. Even my Mom and Dad are katti right now. Mom wants to send Anya Di for singing classes, but Dad says it's a waste of time."
"Why can't they just hold their ears and say 'sorry' like we do?" Ranveer said, rolling his eyes.
"Seriously," Kiya giggled. "We're so smart na! Promise me, that when we grow up, we won't be katti for too long like our parents. We'll just hold our ears and say sorry."
"Ya, we'll do that only."
"So, they finally did go to Pune," Ranveer sighed, as he took his spot next to Kiya. There were five minutes to go before the bell rang.
"Really early," Ranveer yawned. "I'm so sleepy now, they must be snoring in the car by now." Kiya laughed.
"Moms always win the fight. Even my Dad had to send Anya Di for the classes after all."
"Your Anya Di is becoming really famous."
"She kind of scares me you know. I mean she's a fifth-grader. You know how they are!"
Ranveer shuddered. "Fifth-graders give me nightmares," he confided. "The way they ride their cycles, and the words they use!"
"Once Anya word used the S word in front of me. She called one of her guy friends Sissy on the phone."
Ranveer gasped. "Sissy!" his eyes flashed. "What does that mean?"
"Sshhh," Kiya admonished. "What if someone hears you?"
"Ranveer Shergill." Both of them went quiet. Naina Ma'am, the principal was standing in the doorway. "Oopsie. You couldn't have warned me before?" Ranveer hissed.
"Come with me for a minute," she said gently. "Ms. Sharma, if you would allow me." Ranveer walked out of class, feeling all the eyes trained on the back of his head. He gulped. This was the most embarassing moment of his life.
"I swear, I have no idea what sissy means!" he blurted out. Naina Ma'am looked at him confusedly, then shook her head. "Ranveer...it's about your parents..."
"Ranveel" Kiya asked in class the next day. "You alright? Where did you just poof away? I thought Naina Ma'am had kicked you out for using a bad word. I'm so sorry Ranveel, I should have never used that word. I wanted to call you yesterday, but Mummy was busy talking to her friends-."
"My parents died on the way to Pune," Ranveer interrupted coldly.
"What?" she yelped. "You mean-they went to heaven?"
"Well I don't know," he said. "Daddy was driving the car, and suddenly he had a really big pain in his chest, and he crashed the car. They brought them home. I had to hold a huge burning stick and burn them."
Kiya gasped. "You-you had to burn them? That's horrible. I'm so sorry for you Ranveel."
"I don't need your sorry!" Ranveer yelled. "I've been getting it all day from Chachi and Chacha and Dadi and everybody else. I don't need it from you too."
Kiya felt tears pricking her eyes. "Please-please don't be angry at me Ranveel," she said fearfully.
"Just leave me alone," Ranveer muttered. "But Ranveel-"
"Leave me alone!" he shouted. All the kids turned around to look at him. Kiya hesitantly scooted over to the next seat. On seeing the hatred in his eyes, she burst into tears.
"Ranveel, say sorry to Kiya," one kid demanded. "Yeah, you shouldn't talk to her like that."
Ranveer grimaced. "God, you're such a drama queen," he complained, giving her a disgusted look. That only made her cry harder.
For the rest of the class, there was a cold silence between them. In the break, Kiya went to play with a girl called Juhi, while Ranveer drew by himself in the class.
Kiya did leave Ranveer alone-and became part of the 'cool crowd.' As they both grew further and further apart, first grade came nearer and nearer. From Royal Pre-School, they were now going to take admission in Royal Primary School.
It was the first day of primary school. Ranveer had decided to stay as far away from Kiya as possible. While Kiya went to the last bench, he settled down on the front bench, where the 'nerds' where. He kept giving her furtive glances, but she ignored him.
"Hey, you're sitting on my bag." Ranveer turned around to see a chubby girl next to him, eating a packet of chips. "You're not supposed to eat in class," he lectured.
"I didn't have any breakfast, and besides the bell has not rung yet. You can have some too if you want," she said kindly. Ranveer narrowed his eyes. Something about the girl reminded him of Ms. Sharma. "No thanks," he said grumpily.
"Are you always this grumpy?" she asked quizically. "By the way, let me introduce myself. Panchi Rastogi. I'm kinda new to Mumbai."
"Good for you," he said snarkily. The girl rolled her eyes, and snatched Ranveer's ID card. "Hey! he exclaimed.
"Ran-veer Sher-gill. That's not very difficult. I wonder what took you so long to say it," she quipped.
Inspite of himself, Ranveer laughed. The girl had something about her, he didn't know what. "Sorry," he said, "I'm kinda scared."
"It happens to the best of us," the girl smiled.
"Let's be friends?"
"Provided you share my chips."
Kiya, on the other hand, was busy trying not to puke while Juhi described her Barbie Doll collection. "Indian Barbie is coming out next week! I'm so excited!" she said, clapping her hands.
A dark-skinned boy came and sat behind her. Kiya wrinkled her nose. Something about him marked him as different from the rest. Maybe it was the fact that his hair was not as neatly combed, and his shoes not as shiny as the others. Or it was the horrible way in which he spoke English, dropping Hindi along the way. Boys like him should be in a municipality school, she thought.
To her horror, she realized she had voiced her thoughts out aloud. Juhi stopped chattering. The boy in question was giving her a glare worse than her mother's when her afternoon beauty nap was interrupted.
"Well, just so you know, this school doesn't belong to rich kids like you, Chicklet," he spat. He then went to sit next to some weird kid with spiky hair, Kunj or Punj, whatever his name was.
For a moment, she was speechless. "If I'm Chicklet, you're a-you're a Stoneface!" she instantly retorted, and the entire class went into a tizzy before the teacher entered.
Kiya glared at the back of Ranveer's head. She had been humiliated by this chawl bug, and he was busy talking to the new girl. I'm so glad I stopped talking to you.
Even though Ranveer was enjoying his new-found camaraderie with Panchi, he couldn't help himself but look at Kiya wistfully, time to time. I wish I hadn't stopped talking to you.
Somehow, Kiya would always stay at the back of his head as an old friend. And one day, he promised himself, he would come to help his Chicklet against the Stoneface.
Yeh Dosti, hum nahin todenge
Todenge, hum magar, tera saath na chodenge
We will never break this friendship
And even if we break it, we will not leave each other's side
Another weird piece by me Hope you liked the OS! Please press the like button/comment. if you did!
Edited by IndigoBlues - 05 January 2013 at 9:46am