By Gaurika Mehrotra , Class 7, Sishu Griha Montessori and High School, Bangalore
The floor was still dirty. Kanu Kaka scoured the floor with all his might. His emaciated self, consisted of only a couple of frail bones lined with a thin layer of wrinkly skin. His face was sallow, his eyes sunken and his hair as white as snow. Despite his age Kanu kaka spent his entire day taking care of the household, trying to ignore his arthritis and the Parkinson’s disease.
He had once started his career as a driver in Ramu’s house, but his limbs weren’t robust anymore. Now he took care of the garden, cleaned the house and ran a few errands whenever needed. Even though it was Kanu, whose eyes were dim, Ramu appeared to be blind, seeing past Kanu’s age and focusing only on his vocation; nearly always ordering him about. Kanu Kaka never protested, the fear of being fired and abandoned once again haunted him like a spirit.
As a result, Ramu took advantage of the impecunious, old man, seizing every opportunity to yell at him and often using violence too. Kaka endured it all, his gaze fixed upon the floor, his eloquent speech nearly always held back. He silently loathed every movement his employer made. His dignity had been mixed in the mud, his honour long gone and his confidence dwindling with each passing day. Ramu saw the floor and scornfully looked away. He was certain that Kanu Kaka hadn’t cleaned it.
He saw Kaka sitting on his haunches, a duster in his hand. "Why haven’t you begun yet?” he barked in his usual strident tone. "But I have sir, and have been for the last two hours” Kanu muttered, swallowing half the words. Ramu stood akimbo, contemptuously frowning at Kanu "Don’t lie old man! Now get to work before the mistress scolds you too!” He snarled, walking away in disgust. Kanu sighed. He had a long day ahead of him.
To be a man like Ramu, it sure takes a lot of arrogance! Kanu closed his eyes and began to imagine his life in a different way. What if Ramu would increase his pay? What if Ramu would take him to the doctor when he took ill? What if Ramu would give him solace when he was sad? What if Ramu would reduce his workload? But most importantly, and it is for you dear reader to think about too, what if Ramu would give him the respect that he deserved??? Kanu kaka built this wonderland in his head, placing his fancies one on top of the other as if they were bricks.
His heart pounded against his ribs, and he allowed himself a soft smile. It lingered on his lips for a while and he extracted all the pleasure he could from it, until he saw his reflection on the now polished floor and remembered who he was again.