Little Neeta walked towards the kitchen. She raised her glary eyes to her loving mother. Mother was fully equipped with the breakfast preparation and she knew mother had no time to care her. Neeta slowly stepped out of the kitchen and moved into her den. The room is small, with less furniture and is almost bare. But the four walls had an intense affection to Neeta. They have seen her weeping in agony, laughing at pranks, wondering at stars and shouting at herself. Nobody could have known Neeta better.
Little Neeta had tears ready to roll down her cheeks. As she entered the room, she could hear the loud horn of her school van. Neeta jumped onto the bed and draped herself with the blanket as if to hide. She could hear her classmate Rithika’s loud voice and a few other sounds from the van. “Neeta is not well. She has stomach pain,” Neeta’s dear Daddy said to the driver. Neeta looked helplessly up to the roof with her tearful eyes.
Neeta could sense the tears rolling down her cheeks faster than before. She knew it was uncontrollable. She kept the tip of the blanket at her mouth and bit it heavily so that the sound gets suppressed. Her tears could make her mother cry and that is something she really cannot bear.
The horn of a scooter awake Neeta from weeping. She got up and peeped out of the room to the sit out. The curtain prevented her view, but the wind occasionally moved it sideways for her to see. “That is Rajeev Uncle, Daddy’s friend. Why is he here?” thought Neeta for a moment and stood. She could hear Daddy talking on phone. He is asking somebody to bring money. It is sure that is to help Rajeev uncle.
Neeta moved nearer to the door. “Ah..You didn’t go to your school today? What happened?” Rajeev uncle bent to little Neeta and asked. “She is not feeling well, stomach pain,” her father replied as if he never wanted Neeta to answer. Neeta’s dull face supported her father’s lie.
Another bike entered the gate and a stout dark man walked towards the sit out. Neeta’s father and Rajeev uncle stood up with smiling faces and greeted the man. Neeta moved backward and watched them silently. He handed over a thick bundle of money to her father, who in turn passed it onto Rajeev uncle.
“Daddy could have taken five hundred rupees out of it and paid my fee”, thought Neeta. The thought made her broken and she wanted to cry aloud. Neeta ran into her room crying stronger, but silently. “You know to get money for others. You could have did the same and paid your daughter’s fee. Are you a father?” While pressing her head onto the pillow, mother’s voice banged her ears.