Lallu always felt that she could not thank Suma and the family enough for the kindness and support they have been extending to her ever since her husband left them. She was more than just a maid in the household. Suma took care of the schooling expense and whenever she shopped for clothes or toys, she remembered to buy stuff for Gopu. She insisted that Lallu save the money she was paid as salary so that Gopu’s future is secured. A major portion of her salary was therefore directly deposited in the bank by Suma and Lallu would request to withdraw whenever there was a need. Suma would either shell it out herself most of the time and would withdraw from Lallu’s account rarely.
Lallu never disagreed with anything they said or any decisions they made on her behalf as she trusted them. She never felt the need to do so. Her life’s decisions were now made by Suma or Deepak. She had a little money in her purse but could not summon courage to buy, lest she offends her employers. It pained her to see Gopu’s small dream shattered and the feeling of servility that she’d called upon herself drove her mad.
She was still lost in thoughts when she heard Gopu calling out to her and this time he was almost pleading, “Amma, will you buy me one atleast now?”. “Gopu! Your mother is feeling tired already. Why do you keep pestering her like this? Didn’t uncle tell you that he’d buy one for you. You must wait and not yap continuously like this!” said Suma firmly! Lallu and Gopu’s eyes met for a few seconds and both looked away again. There was a lump in her throat while silent tears were rolling down Gopu’s cheeks. He wiped with the back of both his palms but they kept coming!
The stars shone in the dark sky and there were fewer kites. “Shall we start? Its late already and am sure you both are very hungry after all this play?” “Yes dad, am ravenous. We’ll go” said Sunil. Gopu remained silent and walked with his head low. Just as they were about to get into the car, the same girl selling the kites, came running to them and insisted that they buy a kite. Gopu hadn’t stirred. “Deepak, buy one for Gopu. He’s been pestering Lallu for quite some time!” said Suma.
The kite was bought but Gopu refused to take it. “C’mon Gopu! Take this. You wanted one, right?” said Suma. “Aunty, the only reason I love to come to beach is because I love to fly kites, like those kids out there. Just like Sunil wanted to shoot balloons. My grandpa used to buy me one without me having to ask. I thought amma would buy one too. Its of no use to me now. I don’t want one for adorning my home. You may have it”. Suma felt remorse for having ruined his evening and tears welled up. Lallu was blowing her nose in her pallu, no longer concealing her tears. If only there was control Z in life! They returned home in silence. Including the kite.