It was a boring day, too hot and too sunny. Kolkata or Calcutta as it used to be called those days is not a place to roam around at midday especially in the summer months! Our parents are taking the afternoon naps in a different room. We are in an unknown city with no friends, just the two of us keeping company as usual. 11 and 12 year old girls inventing games to keep ourselves busy. Maybe it’s one of the reasons why as grownups also we are extra close. A lot of new experiences… first time out of our home town which we are old enough to remember! First time travelling by plane and getting to see the pretty ladies in blue sarees of Indian Airlines! Although, my mother never fails to remind me that this is not our first time travelling by flight, that we had traveled together in an airplane once before too. When I was in her womb! So technically it’s the second time!!
I look down and see a few vendors sitting on the pavement right outside our building. What better way to entertain ourselves than to do something “naughty”!! I call her out to the balcony and tell her my plan. We are curious. What happens when we sprinkle water from the fourth floor of the building on top of the vendor? Does it even reach down to the ground? Does the vendor notices such tiny drops of water? I convince her to do it. We do it together, in turns. Throwing small drops of water down and then ducking so that the vendor doesn’t see us, just in case he does realize someone is sprinkling water on him from above! We did it for a while, until the vendor got fed up and moved to a different location. We see other people walking by the building, but our sprinkles don’t reach them because they keep moving. So we decide to throw whole mug of water to ensure people know we are throwing water down!! We stare down for a little longer, but no one interesting is passing our building. After a while we see some girls our age approaching our building and we decide to throw our first mug of water on our first victims. But what happens next scares the hell out of us… By the time we are ready with the mug of water and throw it down to the pavement, the girls have moved away and in their place is an old man, whom we had forgotten, in our excitement at discovering potential victims, to notice before! He looks completely pissed off to find himself suddenly drenched in water from the heavens!!! We duck away as usual and wait, with thudding hearts, for him to come up and find us!! Of course it doesn’t happen. The old man doesn’t know who threw the water. But the guard at the gate does! He knows we are the only two kids in the building at present. And he has to unfortunately listen to the old man’s growling!!
We go out for our planned evening out at around 6pm and all the while, whenever we pass any building or tree, I am afraid God is going to punish me by dropping bird shit or water on me, a ”tit for tat” strategy which thankfully our Dear Lord does not follow!! As we return, we see the guard standing at the gate; I try to pass-him-by by hiding in between my parents, which sadly doesn’t works. He calls us out and scolds us for playing pranks on others. We hang our heads in shame but also thankful that it has come to nothing more.
Hence learning one of the lessons in life – Don’t do something to others which you wouldn’t want happening to yourself.