“Again!” My mom screamed seeing my sad face as I entered the house.
“Please mom, don’t ask,” I took out my bag and slid it on the floor. There begin the thing happening since weeks, after returning to my house, my ruined mood.
My mom kneeled down on the floor and I sat on the sofa cupping my face with my hands.
“Ok Aarush, leave everything. Have you heard about the Giant man’s story that grandma used to narrate?”
“No more grandmas’ stories! Please”. I pleaded.
“What about a story of a boy like you?” she asked.
My silence gave her a green signal so she began.
My mom stood up and with animated gestures begun, “Long back there was a boy named umm… Tomato.
I laughed because it was my nickname.
“Concentrate Aarush,” she said.
“So, the tomato was very sincere and studious boy who loved to study, to play and…
“To eat”, I added.
“Of course, to eat. Tomato’s school was very far so he had to walk a lot to reach the school”
“Tomato, the school was very nice and he loved going there but there was a problem”.
“He had a classmate who was dangerous and tried to harm him.”
“Like me? It’s my story mom. Stop making fun of me. I’ll never share anything with you.” I was furious.
I begin walking out of the room.
“First listen Aarush then decide”.
I sat again.
“There was a big deserted house on his way to school and in that house lived a big madman, a really huge man. Because of his madness and size, everyone was scared of him”.
“Did tomato stopped going to school?”
“Of course not, you know Tomato was very brave and he never quitted”. She said ruffling my hair.
“Tomato took a stone with him daily and whenever he saw him he threw one on him and the giant man ran into the house.”
“You are advising me to take stones and hit Paras?”
“No, No son. It’s just in the story. My advice will come soon.”
“One day he threw a stone at him but the giant man didn’t stop. He kept following him”.
“Then… Aarush, Tomato looked at him. He realized neither was he a monster nor he carried any weapon to harm. Why he was scared of him?”
“Maybe because the madman throw kids from stairs?”
“No Aarush, it was because he heard from everyone that madman was dangerous. So, he made an impression that he would harm him. When he looked at him he realized that he was just like him, same eyes, same two legs but just bigger. Probably you are feeling same for Paras.”
“But I don’t want to talk to him. Why does he want to talk to me? Ask him to go.”
“Why you don’t want to talk to him?”
“Because he is dangerous”
“And who told you this?”
“Preetika of our class. Her elder sister told her.”
“See, you are too believing others.”
“But mom, he pushed Bhairav from stairs. He is mad and dangerous. We should never talk to him.”
“Was it the first case when Bhairav fell from stairs?”
“No Mumma. He is always careless, he keeps falling off the stairs.”
“Exactly baby, it was his first fault, not of Paras. Paras is not mad, he is just slow. He is just like us. He looks bigger because he is two years old but that’s not a problem. Do you remember your superhero story where a geek kid like Paras became a superhero?
“Could Paras be a superhero?”
“Definitely, but you have to help him, not ignore him.”
“Okay, I’ll make him my best friend.”
“What happened now?”
“Paras will become a superhero. Not me.”
“You would become more. The kids who help other kids are super- superhero.”
“Yes, my Tomato super- superhero,” she said.