Hailstones

It started raining heavily, with fierce winds on the way back home. Hailstones as big as pebbles, all over the footpath. The umbrella couldn’t take the force and I’d to take shelter under a tree.

It was petrifying and in all honesty, I was really scared by the loudness of the thunders and the brightness of the lightening, and I’d to close the umbrella and drop it aside to prevent it from turning into a lightening arrestor! The streetlight meters away was hazily visible and it was turned off by the lightening.

There I was shaking, shivering, and waiting. Moments later, I was joined by this little adorable girl. She stood beside me, and after a while said she was too afraid to walk the rest of her way back home and started crying. I tried consoling, and asked if I could call her home. Sadly we couldn’t reach her home. In an effort to console her further, I picked up a few lines from a movie and said the lightening was just God taking pictures of us with his million megapixel camera, and the thunder was His drumbeat and she could pose for pictures and dance to the beats.

That seemed to have relaxed her and she stopped crying, while the rain continued.

Moments later, she started acting weird by picking up the hailstones and said she missed the last bus just so she could collect the hailstones from where we were waiting.

“These are special!”, she continued in a rather peculiar, and over excited tone, which to me was louder, and scarier than the downpour. “Special in the sense, they slipped off God’s refrigerator, just for me.”, with the thunder in chorus, frightening me even more. At this stage, although she seemed like an 8 year old kid, I’d all sorts of paranoid thoughts running through my mind vigorously. Could that be a ghost, or an alien, or even worse God’s messenger that was to punish my atheist soul?

I looked at her foot, and they were alright and confirmed she wasn’t a ghost. No, I’m not friends with ghosts, but that’s the one trait that sets ghosts apart I heard.

She’d a backpack full of books and a lunch box, and looked all cute. And given the fact that even the US president hasn’t made contact with Aliens yet,  it is a mistake on alien’s side to even think of considering me as the human to reach out to. Ruled out, in disappointment.(Or maybe, I stand chance!? Who’s the president now?)

God’s messenger? Nah, that contradicts my atheist belief to begin with.

As I kept pondering in paranoia as to who she was, ” and, you know”, she continued, “there has been study in my Chemistry lab, and our teacher said that we collect the hailstones and bring them to the lab to examine the effect of global warming.  I’ve not been able to collect any since weeks now because of unsupported circumstances, and the deadline for report submission is just days away.”

It was time for me to relax as it was just a kid that I was talking to, and I had nothing to be scared of.

“And you know”, she continued, “I’m passionate. And I will do everything I can to reduce the impact the human species is about to face because of global warming. And as I’ve to live on this planet for the years to come, I’ve taken it on me, sir, to study everything I could, and do anything I can.”, and continued collecting the hailstones into the little freezer-thing she’d, that I’d mistaken for lunchbox.

“Oh, I meant that these hailstones have fallen off God’s refrigerator metaphorically, to both complement your imagination about the thunder, and lightening, and to thank God for today. I’m glad that finally I’m able to collect some so that I can prepare for my thesis submission.”

I was flattered. At 8, not only was she funny, but extremely sensible, and considerate AND to top it all, preparing a thesis! How lucky her father must be, I thought. Father is more dearer to a daughter than mother. Hence the reason. And I would want a daughter. Sons are stupid.

She got enough of the supply for her research by then, and I was glad as much as she was that she missing the last bus didn’t go wasted.

It stopped raining, and I walked her to her home which was in the other direction to where I lived.  As she rang the doorbell on her home, I started walking back to my home. She didn’t thank me. I guess the excitement of hoping to fulfill the project made her forget formalities and hey, I’d just learnt to be sensible from her moments ago!

The next day at about 11 in the morning the phone rang. Some unknown number, and because my mobile subscription is under roaming at the moment, and it’s a bloody expensive one, I have my number shared only with my family, and I pick calls, and don’t care for roaming charges. I received the call, and it wasn’t anyone from my family. The person at the other end said “Thanks for caring for the little kid from yesterday.”

I was guessing this must be her father.

I went “Oh, yes. She was a wonderful kid. The best I’ve ever come across. I’m guessing that she’s your daughter?”

And the response was “No, but I understood how sensible, smart and responsible you hope your daughter should be.  And I promise you, not only do we care and understand your expectations with your ideal soulmate, the life partner, but also understand the qualities you hope your kid will have!”

I went “Who are you!?”

The response, “I’m calling from Matrimony service. Please use coupon code ‘WEDDiscount20’, with ‘WEDD’, both the ‘d’s in upper case, sir, and ‘twenty’ is numeric 20. This is for Wednesday’ discounts on the paid subscription using which you can view the complete details of the potential matches. And sir, we can help you get timely response from your potential matches! And, sir, ..”

I had to hang up on him before he completed the sentence, wondering how on earth did he come to know about that previous day.

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