One fine July morning, I was lying half asleep on bed. I was too unlucky to be awakened by half a dozen kids who screamed into my ear with a toy loudspeaker. I got up terrified, to see six kids, each holding a balloon, jumping up and down and clapping. Their shoes were squeaking, which was infinitely more menacing. On the lead was my cousin, an LKG graduate, who grinned at me with worm-eaten, half decayed teeth, while licking a lollypop. She handed me a beautifully bound big book, like Santa Claus giving away an extra large gift on Christmas.
A two minute chat made it clear that I am to make paper roses by following the instructions given in the book she just gave me. I examined the book. “The Art of Paper Folding, Level 8”, it read. I was happy that they found me eligible enough to handle a Level 8 book, instead of taking me through elementary levels. They gave me a box that contained the required materials, which I emptied to find coloured papers, a roll of cello tape, scissors and glue.
The picture of a colourful rose, printed along with the instructions lured me into making it. I started with a pink coloured paper, following the instructions. It took half an hour for me to fold the paper into desired shape. By the time I finished obeying the last instruction, I ended up with a homogenous ball of paper, wound with cello tape. I was reluctant to call this paper ball a flower, but my young counterparts were looking at this entangled mass of paper with rapt attention, thinking that a paper rose would sprout soon out of this shapeless material. When I was sure that I would fail in my attempt, I stuck upon an idea.
“Which of my sweeties want ice cream?” I asked in a fruity voice, imagining to turning their attention from paper rose to ice cream. “We want the flower first”, they shouted in unison.
Their refusal to accept my bribe annoyed me. Determined to make the rose, I took a fresh piece of paper and started working. Let me teach these little devils how wonderful craftsmanship I possessed. I ordered for a stapler pin to join the pieces of paper when they got detached from the rose. I cut down pieces of paper, without any regard for instructions. I had my eyes only on the final, made up rose while I used paper clips, pins, nails and anything I could lay my hands on. Sweat flowed freely from my temples as I worked violently. I had started realizing that this newly made object is no better than the first , when I unknowingly stapled deeply into my thumb.
A sense of pain rushed through my nerves which electrified me. I managed to give my young monsters a faint smile before I disappeared into the washroom to nurse my injured thumb. I spent almost an hour inside the washroom, being afraid of the kids. I was sure that they would knock the door of the washroom and catch me ‘red handed’, but nothing happened.
So, I opened the door by a fraction, just enough to put my dumb head out. To my amazement, I saw the little Einsteins playing with the fine faultless paper roses they made!!!!