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Heavy Petting..continued

by Malavika Roy Singh
(Hyderabad)

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Arun’s mother looked dazed. “It is looking very nice dear”, she said softly, trying to figure out the change in her son’s attitude. “You cleaned all this yourself?”

“Of course, mom!” said Arun. “Wait till I show this to daddy”, and he hopped and jumped to only find his father heading towards the store room, in the backyard.

Arun froze. “Daddy stop!” shouted Arun.
But it was too late.

A sudden, deafening crash sounded from the store. Yelping sounds came from inside, making Arun dash into a run towards the backyard. His mother too came running down to find the cause of commotion.
Arun reached there on time, to find his pets, jumping everywhere and causing breakage.
“Stop it!” he scolded them. “He’s my daddy. He won’t hurt you!”

Arun’s dad looked at him and looked back at them.
“I knew they were in there!” said Arun’s father, as he glared at Arun and the two monkeys, who now hid behind him.

“Arun!” shrieked his mother. “Wh…what are those? Oh my god! How on earth did you get them?” She turned to her husband and said, “Aren’t they the same pair that eloped from Circus?”

“Circus?” “No wonder they are trained.” Arun thought in his mind.

“We will have to return them”, Arun’s father spoke sternly.

“Oh no daddy, please daddy!” Arun pleaded. “They like it here. I like them here. I promise they will never touch or break anything.”

“It’s not about that Arun. They are not ours, they are someone else’s. We should return it to them.”

In a response to his statement, the monkeys squealed and yelped in fright and hugged Arun’s trousers.

“They don’t want to go daddy. Can’t we have them here?”

“Have you gone mad Arun?” Arun’s mother spoke. “Who will look after them?”
“Oh mummy, I will! They have been here for the last one week and I took complete care of them. I promise I will do everything to keep them away from you.”

“What? You lied to us?” she asked accusingly.

“Just a moment”, interrupted Arun’s dad. He looked suspiciously at his son and then at the monkeys before he spoke “Were these two helping you do your homework and other stuff?”
Arun nodded embarrassingly. The monkeys knew he was being scolded and they hugged him around his knees all the more.

Arun’s mother looked shocked. She marched out of the store room, leaving Arun and her husband behind.

Arun cast sideways glance towards his dad, who too walked out without uttering a word.
Tears filled in Arun’s eyes as he spoke to his monkey friends. “I don’t think my dad will let you stay here” and with heavy footsteps, he walked out, leaving his pets teary eyed.
The monkeys followed him. They went and hid behind the window, from where they could see the entire family drama.

“Yes Mr. Kapoor, the deal is final,” Arun’s father’s voice boomed as he spoke to someone over the phone. “Yes, I will pay for the damages.”
After a quick conversation, he hung up and turned to face his son. Arun’s mother came from behind and sat next to his dad.

“What damages are you talking about dad?”

“Mr. Kapoor is a circus official. We kept his animals for a week and we have to pay for the charges for his loss of income that he gets from them.”

Arun remained quiet.

Suddenly his father smiled and said, “So now let me see, damages paid, deal closed, so now we’ll need to put them up somewhere.”

“Put them up means?” Arun asked with his ears perked up.

“Well, since I’ve had the deal finalized, they can be here.”

Arun did not know how to react.
“What deal are you talking about dad?”

The monkeys too straightened their backs near the windows.

His parents smiled at each other and then Arun’s dad said. “Well, you see the deal was to buy them from Mr. Kapoor, so that you could have pets for once.”

“Oh daddy”, and Arun hugged his father and cried bitterly.

His parents hugged him and picked him up.
“Come on in you monkeys,” said Arun beckoning his pets to join in and his pets came jumping and swinging into their living room. They had overheard the conversation and hugged Arun’s dad. Changu tried to hug Arun’s mother too, but she screamed and hid behind Arun.

Things changed thereafter. Suddenly, Arun had become the most envied boy on campus. And why not, he now had two pets to play with.

The End

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