|Mint flavoured Chewing Gum|
“What’s happening”, said Baba from his room. “Why is Mona crying and throwing tantrums?”
No one wanted to reply, but Ma had to say something. In all simplicity she said, “Nothing, nothing, this girl is up to her mischief again.”
Ma looked at Mona and said in a strict voice but the tone was soft, “Mona, stop crying, let me see what has happened.”
She pulled Mona near to her and looked at her messy hair.
All this shouting and crying had stated after the packet of chewing gum was opened and each one got their share. The three kids were chewing away their chewing gum and playing with the toys that had come to them as gifts from their Granny. Suddenly Dipu, the eldest among the three, who was nine years old started teasing his little sister. He started running after her shouting “I’ll take out the chewing gum and stick it to your hair”.
Mona, though a kid was not the one to keep quiet. She was her dad’s pet and knew she would get all the support from him even if she made a hue and cry out of nothing. She looked back at her brother and spoke, “Try it and see what will happen to you,” so saying she ran away from him.
Gopu, the second one triggered his brother saying, “Don’t spare her this time, run and stick the chewing gum to her hair. See the fun after that.”
Dipu ran, caught his little sister and taking out the chewing gum from his mouth, stuck it to Mona’s hair near the shoulder. The commotion started, Ma tried her best to clean the gum but it did not work.
At last it was decided to call the barber Bhola, who had his hair cutting saloon a couple of yards away from their home to help them out. Bhola said, “Ma, the chewing gum will not come out from the hair, the only way out is to crop her hair.”
“I’ll not cut my hair, I’ll not…” so saying Mona started sobbing. After much consolation and a bribe to buy her a new frock, she agreed. She got the haircut and it suited her face and she looked not only different but beautiful too. After the hair cut was done, she looked into the mirror and smiled. She knew this haircut suited her but was firm on getting her new frock.
When Baba came out of his room he looked at his little girl and said, “Mona, you look so pretty, how has this happened, something different?” He raised his eyebrow but couldn’t find out the “How” he was talking about.
Just at that moment Dipu ran up to his Baba and said, “Baba this is the magic of the chewing gum,” and everyone burst out into laughter.