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Thread: When Papa Scolded Me

          
   
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    When Papa Scolded Me

    Baby, come for breakfast. Your milk is getting
    cold," called Bhaiya, my elder brother.
    I quickly put on my slippers, picked up my
    favourite doll, Beeta, and rushed out into the
    verandah. It was a beautiful day. The morning
    air was most refreshing. "Ah, how lovely!" I said
    aloud, taking a deep breath. I ran across the
    verandah, with Beeta tucked under my arm.
    While I gulped down the milk, I heard Papa
    calling out to the driver.
    "Papa is still here, Bhaiya. He hasn't gone to
    the clinic, today," I said overwhelmed with joy.
    Being engrossed in a magazine, Bhaiya did
    not reply, but I could see Papa talking to someone
    in his room, which was opposite the dining hall
    facing the verandah.
    "Papa! Papa! I don't have to go to school, it's a
    holiday. Do you have a holiday, too? Look, Beeta
    has got fever," I said, all in one breath.
    "No, my dear child, I don't have a holiday today. You go and play while I talk to Mr. Singh.
    He is very ill. I'll ask the compounder to give
    your doll some medicine," Papa said lovingly

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    It was quite unusual to find my father at home
    at that time. Normally he was in his clinic before
    I woke up. So I was very happy. My father wiped
    his spectacles with the kerchief as he listened to
    his patient carefully.
    I was on the balcony when I heard, "Baby!
    Baby! Come here, see this." It was my brother
    from the verandah. He had spread himself on an
    easy chair and our dog, Tom, was dancing round
    on his hind legs. I burst out laughing.
    "Papa will give medicine to Beeta," I said,
    showing off.
    "And I'll ask Papa to give some medicine to his
    darling daughter, because. . . .because she laughs
    and laughs," said Bhaiya, tickling me and sending
    me into fits of laughter. Being the youngest child
    in the family I received everyone's attention and
    affection. Papa of course, was the most
    affectionate.
    I ran from one end of the verandah to the other
    and then onto the balcony, staying close to Papa's
    room to attract his attention while I played. I
    swung on the curtain, thumped on the door, tapped on the table, pulled and pushed the chair.
    "Look, Bhaiya, what a variety of sounds they
    make," I said, pulling the chair, then leaping up
    and rapping on the door, clapping my hands,
    jumping all the while.
    "Don't," pleaded Bhaiya, not taking his eyes off

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    the book in his hand.
    Racing back to the window of Papa's room, I
    saw him still busy with the patient. I loved to see
    him there before me, while I played. 'He must
    be liking it, too,' I thought, 'to see me play around
    in his room.'
    I dragged a chair and climbed onto the table.
    This at last drew Papa's attention.
    "Baby, be careful, you'll fall down," he said
    tenderly.
    "Look, Papa, I am taller than everyone," I grinned from ear to ear making my eyes disappear.
    All one could see was a set of white teeth and
    chubby cheeks.
    Both Mr. Singh and Papa smiled. Papa did not
    look convinced. So I said again raising my hands
    above my head. "Papa I'm a big girl, now."
    He nodded with a smile and continued talking
    to the patient.
    I touched all that I could reach with my hands
    till I got to the black switch. 'No, you should not
    touch it.' I was imagining what my mother would
    have said.
    'If you touch it, you'll get hurt,' Bhaiya had
    told me once. This was a 'forbidden' article for
    me, but how attractive it looked black against
    the light blue wall. Unable to resist the temptation to touch it, I pressed the switch and the light
    came on. I immediately switched it off. I was

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    scared, I looked at Papa with large anxious eyes,
    but he was busy writing. He did not see me. I
    looked at Papa again and then at the switch which
    begged my hands to touch it again.
    'I'll do it just once more, okay?' I said softly to
    myself. I repeated the mischief once more and
    was unable to stop myself from doing it again and
    again. I seemed to have disturbed Papa who was
    15 concentrating on the patient's problem. Without
    looking up from the book, he said in a serious
    voice, "Don't do that, you might get a shock."
    The klick-klack of the switch and the glowing
    bulb fascinated me, "Baby, come here, let Papa
    do his work," called my brother.
    I ignored everybody. This was the most fascinating game for me at the moment.
    TIow fantastic! I press the light is on, I push
    the light goes off', I muttered.
    The patient, obviously, had some serious problem. My father sat with four books open in front
    of him. My running around had certainly disturbed him. Completely exasperated, he put down his
    pen and spectacles and shouted at me, "You're not
    listening to me. GET DOWN FROM THERE!"
    His loud voice broke my trance. I gaped
    at him wide-eyed. He fixed his gaze on me, expecting to be obeyed instantly. I was shocked at
    being scolded so loudly by him scolded by
    Papa. Papa, a very soft spoken person, who was
    known never to raise his voice, had SHOUTED
    in anger at his darling daughter. I was very angry
    with him.
    I jumped down from the table with a loud thud
    and raced up and down the balcony. My breath
    quickened, my face went red with anger, and my
    eyes felt hot with unshed tears. Throwing my
    hands about, I raced up and down wanting to

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    and I ran towards him and pushed him. I
    felt like bursting into tears. I rushed and pulled
    at the curtain in Papa's room, which came down
    with the force. I saw Papa talking to the patient
    with his usual patience.
    How unthoughtful of him! He is not a bit
    bothered about my being so angry with him. 1
    was fuming all the more.
    I went back into the room, stamping my feet
    noisily in anger. Standing close to Papa, I raged
    vehemently, "Why couldn't you say it softly?
    Why did you speak so loudly to me?"
    The next moment I came out on the balcony
    and stood beside the money-plant pot. My eyes
    were now full of tears. I plucked a leaf and shredded it to pieces. The sound of a chair being pushed
    in Papa's room reached my ears and then I heard
    his footsteps coming closer to me. I tried to run
    away in annoyance, but Papa caught me. He pulled my face towards his and picked me up. Tears
    came rolling down my plump cheeks. He patted
    my head lovingly and wiped my tears.
    "Oh, you big cat!" said Papa, ruffling my hair.
    This affectionate gesture melted my wrath. A
    moment later I was once again happy playing
    round the house.

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