Cheryl was the apple of her mother’s eye. She was a young girl, around seven or eight years old. One day, she came running to her mother. She wore a contorted visage. The face of the child appeared as complex as the story line of ‘Dr Zhivago’*.
The mother felt that her child was about to burst into tears. She expected Cheryl to cry but the little one did not even try. She asked her daughter, “My dear, is anything amiss?” Her intelligent daughter gave her statement a miss. The mother asked her daughter, if she was feeling sad or fearful. She then asked Cheryl if the latter was in a foul mood. Notwithstanding, her mother’s cajoling, Cheryl maintained an uneasy calm about her.
There seemed to be an eerie silence occupying the space between the duo of mother and daughter. The mother did not give up. She continued to bombard her child with questions. “Are you not feeling well, my dear flower? Does not my sweet bower wish to speak to me?” asked Sunana, the mother.
The mother was beginning to feel very worried. She recalled a large number of horrific instances of child abuse, which had been recently reported on the national media. The mother leaned closer to her child and spoke in a whisper. “Tell me, Cheryl, what is bothering you?” The child came closer to her mother. Fixing her needle eyes on her mother, she said in an eager voice, “Mama, will you stitch a frock for my doll?’ Her mother looked stunned, for a minute. She then got hold of the chair, nearest to her. She collapsed into it, happily.
As she looked at her daughter, she realised that the latter still had her contorted face, intact. It was the same complex face; as complex as ‘Dr. Zhivago’.
*Dr. Zhivago, as we all know is the protagonist of the famous novel, ‘Dr. Zhivago’ by Nobel laureate, Boris Pasternak. It is a long book; quite picturesque and a bit difficult to follow.