Image by Leo Chane

The Forgotten Toothbrush!


It's mid May, and summer vacations just started. I rearranged my desk and put my emptied out school bag in the cupboard. Everyone's delighted and are packing their things enthusiastically. I too pack a few of my clothes and my slippers in a bag, almost forgetting my toothbrush, which my mother reminds me a few minutes later as she put hers in a bag.

Next morning, I wake on my mother's very first call. We get ready and leave for Nani's (maternal-grandmother) place.

After receiving a warm welcome, we are assigned an old cupboard to keep our clothes by Nani. The cupboard's door creaks everytime I open it. Then, I reunite with my cousin and we went out to play in the huge courtyard of the house, under the broiling sun. The courtyard is old and reeks of my mother's childhood. Nana (maternal-grandfather) has put some water in an earthen pot around one corner of the courtyard. In the evening, everyday, he comes out and spreads some millet seeds as well for the birds.

Sometimes, the kids of the colony would scratch our car with little wooden sticks and fight with us, and Nana would come out shouting at them and shooing them away. After Maghrib, he comes back from the mosque with some candies and distributes them to all of us. It was a daily ritual. And we spend the rest of the days likewise.

It has been ten years, Nana has passed away.

Nani's house has been renovated, there's no courtyard anymore nor the water, millet and birds. I still visit Nani in vacations, for a few days, but no one gives us candies. Nani shows me a new cupboard to put my things there, it's door opens smoothly and doesn't creak. The children outside are scratching our car and creating chaos but no one stops them. My cousin is busy studying, for she has to attend extra classes in vacations and exams afterwards.

So, I just sit there, eating Sewai that Nani just made for us. Soon, I get bored and fall asleep,

The next morning, I wake up and realize that I forgot my toothbrush, for my mother didn't remind me to take it with me this time.

 

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