Children are always taught that good things happen to good people and wicked people will always be punished. We as children also believed in that. But we sometimes thought that if we come across some wicked people, it would be our duty to punish them.
I was very attached to my cousin brother Tinku, who was just a few months younger than me. We were the best of friends and he was the partner to all the mischiefs I did. I was the naughtier one and the mastermind and he gave me loyal support.
Once all the mashis (maternal aunt) , meshomoshais( mashi’s husband) and the cousins got together at our maternal Grandma’s house. Me and Tinku chanced to overhear a conversation between my Mashi, my Mom and Grandma. They were discussing about Grandma’s tenant, who used to stay with his family in the ground floor of the two storey building where my grand Ma, we called her Dida, lived. Dida came to know that the tenant was running some illegal business from home, so she was scared and had served them a notice to vacate her flat. But to her dismay, they refused. Those days people used to rent out flats on good faith without signing any contract.
We thought that we were the brave-heart grandchildren of our granny and had a responsibility to help her overcome her problems. “What else are grandchildren there for!” We discussed.
So we both thought it would be absolutely fair to teach those wicked people a lesson. But young minds of eight years old children cannot think anything beyond simple harassment. In the afternoon after lunch when the elders were busy chatting and taking rest, we both mixed detergent in a bucket full of water and came to a balcony which overlooked the courtyard on the ground floor. We upturned the bucket full of soap water on one of the family members of the tenant, who was sitting in an easy chair and comfortably basking in the sun of the winter afternoon.
The moment he got over the shock and tried to look up rubbing his burning eyes, we sat down instantly to hide ourselves behind the balcony balustrade. We realised that he would now probably come up and complain, so we crawled back to one of the bedrooms, pulled out a big quilt covered ourselves from head to toe and pretended to be fast asleep. We could hear footsteps climbing upstairs and knew what was awaiting us.
Next, there was a knock at the door, which meshomoshai went to answer. He was a cool and composed person and we hoped he would manage the situation. Ma and Mashima called our names and searched in each room and finally found us in the room where we were seemingly sleeping. We kept quiet with our eyes closed as if engaged in deep slumber and did not answer. What good actors we were! The tenant was given the information that the children were sleeping and were not to be blamed. We could hear him climbing down and grumbling to himself.
The elders knew quite well that in a two storied house, with no other small children, only we could be responsible for this. Later on , Meshomoshai lovingly talked to us and we brave-hearts came out with confessions justifying our points that wicket people should be taught a lesson.
More than cousins, we both are still the best of friends and we still keep laughing at the pranks we played during those days.