NO TOYS FOR BOYS
By Neel Anil Panicker
“It’s an improvised flour and rice mill on wheels,” said fifteen year old Vivek.
“It’s my Christmas gift from Santa Claus,” yelled little Ishan, eight years junior to his brother.
Their mother, who passed them by as she ducked under one of the low ceiling match box sized stretch of row houses that lined up against the outer perimeter wall of the football sized grounds simply said, “It’s God’s way of reminding us that life’s not always a bed of roses.”
Her husband of two decades let out a wry smile and merely winked at his children.
“Better go inside and placate your mother. Or else, there’s no dinner for us, folks”
“Can I ride it? take it to school?” pleaded Ishan as his fingers ran through the wheels, both the smaller rubber ones and two large wooden ones that between them held the centre___a large rectangular steel wooden stand on which rested an all metal giant funnel shaped receptacle.
A wire extended out of the electric motor that was welded to the stand and led to a single switch button.
Just as Ishan bent forward to touch it, Vivek rushed in and steered him away.
“Now listen, this is no toy. It’s a machine. We pound flour in this. It’s gives us our food. So, no playing with it, ok.”
Hearing that Ishan yelled out, “I hate this place. How did Daddy turn so poor suddenly?”
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