Ruhela who lived in Bumthali, was staring at the neighbouring girl. She winked at Ganitha and whispered something in her ears and they convulsed with laughter. She picked up an orange and licked lustfully then peered at the girls’ breasts for some time and tried to study the direction where her gazed roamed. Ganditha licked her lips and laughed in her sleeves. It was part of her daily routine. Ayamma who was envious to them, sometimes wondered that this whole coterie that boasts day and night about culture and education rarely stopped being slushy. Rumours were rife that her cancer plan was going to be a huge success. Kuttu was the main player but everyone in the family quite liked the ploy. Ruhela was the smartest and the moment she was apprised of the heroic beating she quickly rustled up the plan.
“Dappu! O Dappu!” Ruhela called her brother who, after procuring the alibi, was lechering about, busy spreading the good news concerning girls who ‘watch’ boys instilling them with the fear of what he was capable of doing. His legs splayed when he danced. He watched a woman feeding her child and winked at Ruhela and she cackled. Eggs were hard boiled and the whole family was busy with their favourite work. The familial tradition and principles apparently seemed safe and protected. Bhatendra was groping at the sketches and lemons.
When Tisha bought red bananas, their eyes widened and brows raised. As they cared for everyone in the village they were worried that the neighbouring girl who gobbled up oranges might begin to sing hence, they were conferring about the gravity of the matter. Though they never invited Ruhela, she was a frequentor there with Phuppu. Ruhela used to convey her good news to everyone and made their day a lot better, a lot more joyous. She was intoxicated by the idea of taking care of them.
“Red bananas are the symbol of good health.” Ruhela declared.
” Yes, I have heard that they are good for vitality, skin and libido.” Tisha pulled a banana.
“NOOO! You can’t peel them off!” Ruhela gave a sharp howl.
Phuppu and Dappu snickered.
” Why? It’s not just a symbol. It’s a fruit! And I am going to have it.” Tisha snapped indignantly.
“NAKED BANANA????” Ruhela jumped on her feet grabbed a towel and lunged at the banana Tisha was holding. But the ‘naked’ banana popped out of the skin and vaulted towards Tommy and resorted underneath Tommy’s paw.
Ruhela smashed the showcase where she had neatly arranged her trophies and medals and eventually dropped on the floor.
Tisha stood giddy-headed tongue-tied. For a while completely at a loss for words!
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