Saturday, February 2, 2013

The missing egg

Raju's house was close to the maidan abutting the market. An eight year old boy, he heard the beats of a drum and ran out to see where the sound came from. A lean and lanky man was setting up in the ground a tripod with bamboo poles and a woman, presumably his wife, was playing on the drum loudly and at great speed to attract attention. There was a young girl in colorful dress and a monkey with a cap on its head held in tight leash by her. There were assorted things near the tripod, a couple of steel rings, black cloth, a skull, a mud flower pot and a few other things that Raju could not decipher. People started coming one by one and stood there forming a large circle
The magic show did not start waiting for the crowd to swell. Meanwhile the girl danced with the monkey aping her with its own dance movements sending the watching crowd into splits. The monkey did some acrobatic tricks including jumping through a burning ring. Raju was sitting in the front row watching with keen interest the tricks. With enough crowd assembled, the magician got into a ring that was hardly a foot in diameter and extricated himself with great difficulty and dexterity. He planted a mango seed in the mud inside the flower pot and covered it with a basket promising to show a mango plant with mango fruit a little while later.
He called a short man from the crowd and hypnotized him after making him lie down on the ground. He covered the man’s face with a red cloth and asked the man to tell whatever he was indicating. He touched a bald man's head and asked what it was and the short guy correctly said "vazhukkai Thalai"(bald head).He touched a police man's shirt and asked who he was. The short guy said a policeman. The magician held a woman's hand and asked whether the man is wearing white shirt or blue one. Flash came the correct reply that it is a woman in green sari to the great merriment and applause of the crowd.
The magician lifted the basket that covered the flower pot and lo there was a tiny mango plant with a small mango hanging. The crowd clapped its hands in utter disbelief. The magician called any one from the crowd who would volunteer to be part of magic. Raju who always wanted to be the cynosure of all eyes  stood up and lifted his hand. The man led him near the tripod. Meanwhile the girl and the monkey in tow with a tin container in hand went around collecting the coins and notes that the onlookers offered.
The woman beat the drum with gusto for a minute or two. The magician announced that the boy will soon lay eggs to the great amusement of the crowd and embarrassment of Raju. He wished to return to the crowd but was shy of backing out. The magician lifted his bare hands for the crowd to see and patted the shorts of Raju to show there was nothing inside. He uttered some mumbo jumbo as he walked around Raju to the great anticipation of the onlookers. He then passed his hands on the back of the boy and lingered at his bum for a few seconds more as if he was pulling out something. When he opened his hands there was an egg! The crowd broke into raptures as they witnessed Raju with a shy smile on his face. In deference to the wishes of the crowd he retrieved another egg and said that he was not taking out the third egg. Raju started crying pleading with him to remove it too but the magician smilingly refused. Meanwhile the girl and the monkey had completed the round collecting the money. The crowd slowly dispersed. Raju lingered longer and the magician told him to go home and not to worry. Raju was not convinced and was still sobbing.
When he returned home later, he narrated the events to his mom and asked her to feel his stomach and bum for any egg. She laughed hysterically after passing her hand and said how gullible he was in believing such nonsense. She said it was all some illusion created by the magician turning the attention of the crowd to something else. But he was not convinced.
Raju wished to make sure and went into the toilet. As he sat on the WC, he heard a plop sound. Anxiously he looked down and found a white egg floating. He screamed for his mom who came rushing that something was amiss. He said “Look here. I told you but you didn’t believe me. It is there See the egg. "  She looked into WC and said "You are imagining. There is no egg .Do not go to such magic shows and offer yourself. Go to the dining table and drink the drinking chocolate. It is getting cold."
Raju stood confused when he saw no egg this time in the WC but ran his hands over his tummy.

16 comments:

  1. interesting! very different from the stories that you usually write. :)

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  2. Have to say that this is a bit different from what you write, more details in the narration taking the reader to the place where the story is happening.strange is the human mind, so vulnerable, it is ready to hallucinate with slightest provocation , liked the subtle humor in this one.

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  3. great story...
    and this is a welcome change in plot n narration

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  4. That was a simple but well thought plot.

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  5. A different story with different imagination as ever. Nice :)

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  6. This is a believable story, well narrated. It can happen with young children, Partha Sir!

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  7. Raju is such a believable character in this short but sweet story.

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  8. hahhaha you have narrated so when the confusion in kids :D even we used to undergo such things when ever we saw magic show until we were matured enough to decode the tricks :D

    Superb one KP :D

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  9. nice story and i enjoyed it

    thanks

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  10. HI KP! Good to see you're packed well with great stories to tell. Keep them coming! All the best to you and your family.

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  11. Some times these street shows are really entertaining.

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  12. Hahahhaa...cute little story. Children and their world. How i wish i was a part of it :(

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  13. A very interesting story. It is so easy for children to believe in such things.

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  14. Splendid..as someone said very different from your other stories...

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