Hooh! Hooh! Mini ran as fast as she could. She couldn’t get hold of her breath, though, but she had no other option. Thorns had clasped her parched throat from within. She gathered all her courage to check who was behind her, but her cold spine wouldn’t allow that. The gloomy surrounding added to the spookiness. She was trapped in a whirlwind of dense smoke. Amidst the cloud emerged two hands trying to engulf her when two bloody red eyes appeared to grill her.
Oh! How Mini wished she had asked Santa for wings on Christmas. At least she could fly her way out when her feet felt cold and stiff as concrete. A big thunder… the hands clutched her tight and…
“Mini! No Mini! Look Mamma’s here!” Mini’s horrendous dream couldn’t reach the climax. Mamma angel saved Mini yet again. Consoling her little pounding heart, Mamma held her tightly to her bosom.
Mother: Beta it’s just a dream and bad dreams never come true. Are you my brave heart na? Look Papa is here.
Papa: My Mini knows that Amita! I am sure our Supergirl must have fought a tough battle in her dream. Right Mini?
Both her parents were cheering Mini, just to boost her mental strength. But deep within they were fighting their own battle. A battle of worries as this wasn’t the first time Mini woke up terrified. Amita hummed a soothing tune and Mini slept like an angel. But it wasn’t the same for her parents. Their night of worries was back. It was happening the second time in a week and recurring since quite a few months. A reason good enough to think…
Such questions frequent every parent’s mind these days. But for Mini’s parents, it was tough. Reason being, Mini was way beyond her age. She was quite smart, intelligent, obedient, understanding, humble to name a few of her qualities. No doubt they couldn’t ask more from an 8-year-old kid. Being proud of their darling daughter, they left no chance to make her comfortable with sharing her thoughts.
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But Mini’s mind and heart were well-guarded by her. Her helpless parents wished Mini could overcome her self-claimed fear. They desperately wanted her to grant them entry to her deepest thoughts - which were frequently bothering her. She seemed to prove the saying, ‘God doesn’t make anyone perfect’.
But as it is famously known, ‘Every cloud has a silver lining’. God had His own plans for little Mini. Just a few days later Mini was turning 9 years old. To celebrate her birthday, her parents had planned a wonderful evening for Mini. It was scheduled as per her likings - Watch the latest animation movie, then proceed straight to the gaming zone at the mall. Finally, to make it perfect, dinner was planned at Mini’s favourite Chinese joint. On her birthday, after donning her pink floral frock, butterfly hairclip and new crocs, Mini looked just like a princess.
Unfortunately, though, their excitement was ruined as their car broke down. For sure their movie plan had gone for a toss. After all futile attempts of trying public transport, they waited at the garage. While the mechanic was mending, they sat upon a small bench. Suddenly Amita felt a cold hand tap on her lap. Startled she found a small girl running away to the nearby shack. Smiling at her, she held Mini and they followed her inside.
It was a small shack with basic necessities compacted in a single space. Amita found the small girl hiding behind her mother holding her ‘Pallu’. The lady offered for tea and Amita and Mini sat on the only cot in the shack. Meanwhile, Mini maintained a fake smile hiding her jealousy for the girl. Quite natural for little Mini, as Amita was being friendly with her. On the other hand, the girl was expressionless. “How rude she is!” thought Mini looking elsewhere. Amita understood Mini’s feelings and patted her lightly.
All of a sudden they heard the girl shout, “Ammmaaaaa!” She was crying bitterly and angrily she tried grabbing her mother’s hands saying, “Where were you? Why did you leave me alone?” Just a few feet away, her mother ran towards her. Both Amita and Mini were surprised looking at them. Consoling her daughter the lady spoke, “My daughter’s vision is slowly blurring due to a rare deficiency. The doctor said it will take time for her to be normal. Till then she can’t manage without me. Actually Didi, at the garage she mistook you for me, so she came running inside.
Dumbstruck, Mini’s inner sense had activated. Her mind was buzzing with so many realisations. She stood still thinking.
“Mini let's go Beta. We are getting late”, said Amita reviving Mini from her stand still. In return, Amita got a tight hug from Mini, much to her shock. Sitting in the car they bade goodbye to the girl and her mother. By the time they reached home, Mini was sorted with her thought process. And few days passed…
As Mini was doing her homework, she remembered something. She headed straight to the kitchen where Mamma was baking a cake.
Mini: Mamma are you busy? I want to tell you something.
Amita: No. Tell me Mini.
Mini: Nothing Mamma, just that..(pause)
Amita was disheartened as she had to struggle again with Mini to know what was bothering her. She hated to do that. But she gathered all her patience and spoke.
Amita: Mini come near. See I am baking your favourite chocolate cake. Won’t you have it? Okay then tell me fast what you want to tell, so that I can bake easily.
Mini: Hmm!! Mamma, today something happened in school. No, I mean..(pause) I think I shouldn’t have done it. But I don’t know…
Amita: Beta, Mamma will surely help you. You can tell me everything.
Mini: Actually today our M’am was very angry and really upset with us.
Amita: Oh! Why so?
Mini: No. Before she entered in class everyone was shouting and loitering around.
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Amita smiled at Mini. She understood today the secret door of Mini’s mind was slowly opening. She couldn’t afford to let this golden opportunity go at all. Drawing Mini close she held her hands in hers.
Amita: (Speaking softly) Were you also amongst them?
Raising her eyebrows in shock Mini thought, “How did Mamma know?”
Mini: (Shyly smiling) Yeees! I couldn’t control when everyone was playing around. But…I am really sorry Mamma. Please tell me, Am I wrong Mamma?
Amita: (Hugging Mini tightly) No Beta. Sometimes it’s okay to be naughty. But the next time, be smart enough to be seated at your place before Madam arrives.
Saying this Amita winked at Mini. Strangely Mini’s fear had vanished. And the secret door to Mini’s mind and heart had opened forever. Back here Amita was on cloud nine. She couldn’t wait to share this with her husband. Today’s day was historical as if the cake knew in advance it was meant for celebrating. Later that evening, the family celebrated together having the best chocolate cake Amita had ever baked. As they laughed, Mini’s mischievous laughter got archived in their memory forever.
Then onwards, the secret door to Mini’s heart never shut. As time passed she got more ensured that her parents were the best of friends she could ever have wished for. No doubt their mission was accomplished. But now Amita had to lend a patient ear to Mini’s questions. And she never got exhausted. After all who doesn’t love to hear new, real stories every day? And in the cutest possible way!