TODAY -

E-Pao! Wathi Jugai - Origin of Yaoshang

Pumpkin Pie and Other Stories
By: Pumpkin *



"..."My name is Monica",she says her big eyes shining "and my mommy won't buy me gum". I look down at Monica, Monica of the big brown eyes and shiny dark curls.

It takes me a minute to register to get what she is implying. When it sinks in, I push my half packed of Winterfresh across the counter. Monica is undoubtedly well trained in the niceties of human interaction. She takes only one.

I watch her as the blue strip disappears into her mouth. Little brother wails from the stroller. He looks at Monica, then he looks at me. I give him one too. Monica swoops down and snatches it. Ever the protective little big sis, she unwraps it for him. Little Brother beams as he chews it with his toothless gum.

Monica's face is close to Little Brother's. They look strikingly similar, with the same big brown eyes. I remember Benjy. Benjy of the teddy bear. The one he won but which he insists is not his. Benjy with his fishing pole. Benjy and his flounder which he insists is a baby shark.

Sue comes with her lunch. The usual as becomes Sue. I can't help thinking that childre are like Mac Donald's. They are the same wherever you go..."

[From 'Pumpkin Pie' by Pumpkin]



"...Nineteen to four. His mouth went dry and he felt his heart skip a beat. Silently he prayed to all the gods he could remember for a thunderstorm, from the terrorists to drop another bomb, for God to part the clouds and give a sermon from the heavens above to the frightened multitude below.

He tried to remember the prayers he learned as a child but couldn't recall any after the first line or two. Then he fell to cursing the gods. This was something he was good at, he knew. Like the time he caught God red-handed at a mean trick. But neither curse nor praised helped to ease his mind.

Relax, he told himself. Think of something pleasant. He closed his eyes and let his mind take him back to his childhood--the only time he had been truly, utterly, abandonedly happy. He thougt of his best friend, Jerry the Squirrel and how at one time they had signed a pact to run away from the tyrannies of home and school and to that effect had signed their name in blood.

Fifteen years is a long time. Where was Jerry now? Snap out of it, Ted, He reprimanded. You are supposed to think of pleasant things. He forced himself to think of his first date, a blind date a friend of a friend had fixed for him at fifteen. She turned out to be a freckled faced, gawky girl with braces and not the rosy lipped, dimpled chinned, curly haired girl he had envisioned.

But he was proud nonetheless. he had a date. he was a man. Later, for the lack of a better audience, he had told Moe, the immigrant ice-cream vendor about his blind date. Moe had looked up at him and had said "This is a land of plenty. Why do you need a blind girl for?"

His reverie ended here. The cuckoo clock struck four. And the cuckoo came out of its nest and cuckooed with all his might. He made a mental note to strangle the cuckoo at the earliest.."

[From 'The Gremlins are Coming']


* The Authour is a Manipuri whose works are going to be published soon. Its a collection of short stories titled "Pumpkin Pie and other stories".
Here are the excerpts from two of the stories form her book. Watch out this space for more information ...
.


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