Stories for and about
Robin’s The little
new best pox
friend 1 prince 4
8 of babies
Help Dennis! The
The orange Turtle
kiss me cake power
The evil The
ROBIN’S NEW BEST FRIEND
It was Sunday. Robin usually liked
Sundays. It was the one day of the week his
whole family stayed at home to play with
him. Though it had been over a month since
his whole family had been at home together,
Sunday was still his best day of the week.
This Sunday seemed different. There
was a palpable sense of excitement in the air. Robin looked around.
Thatha was fiddling with his camera and Ajji was running around
making sure everything was in order. Even Vani Akka was busy. She
was trying to remove all his hair from the sofa. An impossible task,
but he figured she would realize it sooner or later.
He watched them for five minutes before he realized that no one
was playing with him! This would not do! Spotting Akku on the sofa,
he ran up to her and swiped her with his paw. “Akku, Akku, come play
with me!”, he said. “Not now, Robin. I have to check that the water
has been properly boiled”. “Boiled water? Bah!”, thought Robin.
“That’s not interesting”. Seeing Sandeepu near the stairs, he
bounded up to him and swiped him with his paw. “Sandeepu,
Sandeepu, let’s go to the garden”, said Robin. “Not now, Robin. I have
to get ready before they come.” “Who’s coming!?”, said Robin and ran
to look out the window in the drawing room.
He couldn’t see anyone, but he heard Ajji’s phone ringing in the
background. Nothing new there, so he didn’t bother turning around.
But Ajji seemed excited about this phone call. “They’re here!”, she
cried, and everyone rushed to the front door. “Who is here!?”, asked
Robin and ran to the front door as well.
A familiar car pulled up and his brother, Baba and Baba’s wife, Aai
got out of the car. “They’re here”, exclaimed Robin and jumped about
excitedly. He was thrilled to have his whole family home again, and
rushed to the gate to meet them. “Robin!”, they cried, but did not
immediately rush in to hug and pet him, as expected. “We have
someone here to meet you?”. “Who?”, asked Robin, because he could
only see Baba and Aai coming in through the gate.
Too excited to wait any longer, he ran to Baba and grabbed his
hand. “Not now Robin. Don’t you want to see who is here to meet
you?”, Baba said, pointing to Aai’s arms. Robin went over to
investigate. There was that strange smell coming from Aai’s arms.
Robin remembered that smell. Akku had given him some clothes with
that smell earlier this week. What was that smell? Aai sat down so
that Robin could investigate the smell. Just as Robin was coming to
take a closer look, the smell gave a sharp cry and started moving
“Aaahhh!” yelled Robin, “It’s alive! I must protect my family!”
Robin grabbed Baba’s hand and dragged him to the garden, where it
was safe. He ran back in to save Sandeepu. The smelly, noisy creature
had already captured Aai; he had to save the rest. He tried to drag
Sandeepu away and saw that Baba was walking back in. “No, no!”,
barked Robin. “Stay back! Save yourself!”
But Baba continued to come forward. “Don’t worry, Robin”, he
said. “It’s safe. Come meet your new best friend.” “New best friend?”,
thought Robin. “My best friend is Dennis. I must save Dennis!” But
Dennis was happily sleeping upstairs, unaware of this new smelly,
noisy creature invading his house.
“Come Robin”, said Baba, and gently guided Robin to the new
smelly, noisy creature.
Little Aditya opened his
eyes and looked at
Robin. As Robin
him, Aditya put out a tiny
hand and patted Robin
on the head. “Why! The
smelly, noisy creature is a tiny human!”, thought Robin. As he
watched the tiny human drool, he thought, “Maybe a new friend
would be nice after all.”
THE LITTLE POX PRINCE
The Land of Lavella was blessed indeed. Their Little Prince Aditya
was hailed as the kindest, cutest, fairest and most friendly prince of
them all. Prince Aditya had the gift of spreading happiness, wherever
he went. Every evening he would walk the streets, smiling at one and
all and filling their hearts with hope and cheer. All the people loved
All? Well, maybe not. Prince Jaloux of the Land of Evilyn was
jealous of Prince Aditya. He couldn’t understand why everyone loved
Prince Aditya and not him. He didn’t realize it was because he would
throw temper tantrums and yell at everyone. Prince Jaloux never
smiled at a person, unless they brought him a gift. The people feared
Prince Jaloux and tried to avoid him.
“What is it that Prince Aditya has that I don't?”, demanded Prince
Jaloux. “He is such a bonny child”, replied his nurse. “With his fair skin,
curly hair, big grin and giving spirit, you can’t help but be attracted to
him and fall in love with him.”
Prince Jaloux turned green with jealousy. “I smile at people as
well! It is just because he is fairer than me and his hair is curlier than
mine, that people love him more! Well, I’ll take care of that!”
With malice in his heart, Prince Jaloux went to visit the famed
sorcerer, Merlin. “Give me something that will make people cringe in
horror when they see Prince Aditya,” he ordered Merlin.
“Are you sure?”, asked Merlin. “Magic is a powerful thing, and
always comes with consequences. Are you willing to take that risk?”
“I will show everyone that I am fairer than Prince Aditya,
whatever it costs!”, stated Prince Jaloux.
“Very well”, said Merlin. “But don’t forget I warned you.” So
saying, Merlin handed Prince Jaloux a
vial. “This vial contains a deadly curse.
Release it on your enemy and utter
this chant three times ‘Pox on you’.
Your enemy will be covered with pox
marks that will mar his fair skin and
make people recoil in horror. But be warned, the curse is contagious!
If Prince Aditya defeats the curse, by getting people to love him
despite his pox marked face, then the curse will infect you!”
“That will never happen”, declared Prince Jaloux and happily took
The next morning Prince Jaloux went to pay Prince Aditya a visit.
“Welcome!”, said Prince Aditya. “I am so happy to have someone to
play with today morning. I just got a fresh supply of Exo boxes!”
“I am very happy to be here as well,” said Prince Jaloux. As Prince
Aditya turned away to get some toys for them to play with, Prince
Jaloux opened the vial. As soon as Prince Aditya turned back, Prince
Jaloux threw the contents of the vial on him and yelled “Pox on you!
Pox on you! Pox on you!”. Cackling with glee, Prince Jaloux ran away.
Prince Aditya sat there, looking mystified. What had just
happened? Shrugging it off, he continued on with his day. But the
worst was yet to come. As the day passed, angry looking red boils
started covering Prince Aditya face and body. The boils were itchy
and irritable and Prince Aditya was in a great deal of pain. Doctors
from the four corners of the kingdom were summoned to treat him,
but all failed.
By the next morning, Prince Aditya was covered from head to toe
in angry, red boils. The people were horrified when they saw him!
“Poor Prince Aditya!”. “What do we do?”, they cried.
Prince Aditya was miserable.
The boils itched and burned. He
longed to sit and howl all day. But
seeing the anxious expressions
on everyone’s faces, he gathered
himself and gave them a smile.
“Don’t worry about me”, he said.
“They just look bad, but I will be
Seeing his brave smile, the
people’s hearts melted. They had
initially been afraid of how scary he looked and had kept their
distance. But now they flocked around him again, offering to help in
any way and telling him how much they loved him.
Prince Jaloux had been rejoicing in his castle at the successful
execution of his plan. “Now everyone will shun Prince Aditya and love
me!” he exclaimed in glee. Suddenly, he noticed an angry, red boil on
his nose. “What is this!?” Soon he was covered in angry, red boils. “No,
no!”, he yelled in horror. “This can’t be happening!” Prince Jaloux was
paying the price for his jealousy.
Over time, Prince Aditya’s red boils disappeared, leaving only a
scar or two to remind people of what a brave and wonderful prince
The Polar Bear
I have lost count of the number of times I have been
admonished by the nurses and doctors of Columbia
Asia, the watchmen of Casa Lavelle and even Panji
for not covering Aditya with a cap, mittens and socks.
What they don't realise is that he is a Polar Bear!
Aditya thrives in the cold and dislikes anything
covering him. So much so that we live in fear of
putting a blanket on him at night, because he
immediately wakes up.
Children are supposed to be mischievous, for where is the fun in
having a prim and proper child?
Everyone said Aditya was an angel. But that didn’t stop the 11-
month old from having a mischievous streak! His antics could bring a
smile on the face of even the grumpiest of watchmen.
Aditya’s favourite game was to take away a person’s spectacles,
secretly hand them over to the closest person and then crawl away at
top speed. Watching the blinded person desperately running after the
crawling baby, while coaxing and
pleading the return of their spectacles,
never failed to make the spectators
Aditya’s favourite victim was his
Aai. Aai always wore her spectacles
and was quite blind without them.
Whenever she caught him, she would
tug on his nose and ruffle his hair,
looking for her spectacles, which
would make him giggle uncontrollably.
One day, as Aditya and Aai were walking up the stairs to their
apartment, Aditya saw his chance. Quickly he grabbed Aai’s
spectacles, with a warrior cry of victory. But alas! The spectacles
slipped from his fingers and fell down, down, down straight into the
Fat Cat’s lair!
Fat Cat was notorious amongst the residents of Casa Lavelle 6.
He would sneak about at night, emptying garbage cans and streak
past unsuspecting victims, often causing them to lose balance and
fall. He made deals with all the rats around and provided them
protection in exchange for half the tasty morsels they would
scavenge. Nobody dared cross Fat Cat.
Aditya and Aai were in a fix! What
were they to do? Aai couldn’t even see
the Fat Cat’s lair, much less fit into the
little pipe where it was located. Aditya
decided it was all up to him to save the
He told Aai to keep a look out for the
Fat Cat, while he decided to sneak into the lair and retrieve the
spectacles. Aai positioned herself at the entrance, squinting about, in
the hope of seeing something, anything... other than Fat Cat!
Aditya quickly crawled into Fat Cat’s lair and started feeling
around for his Aai’s spectacles. He found all sorts of rubbish there.
Buttons, pens, shiny objects, even a little torch… Fat Cat was quite
the hoarder! Finally, Aditya stumbled upon the spectacles! Hurriedly
he picked them up, and turned to crawl back. But how was he to
crawl? If he held the spectacles in his hand, they were sure to scratch.
Thinking quickly, Aditya put the spectacles in his mouth. He had often
seen Robin carrying around his toys this way. Quickly Aditya crawled
Aai was waiting anxiously at the entrance. Suddenly she could
make out some blurry movement. Oh no! Was it Fat Cat? No, it was
Aditya returning victorious!
Hurrah! Aai scooped up Aditya and hugged him. “Here Aai”, he
babbled. “I got back your spectacles.” Aai put them back on, so that
she could clearly see her hero.
The hero gave a big, toothless grin and tried to pull off the
One of Aditya's favourite past times is to 'Bop a
light'. He takes endless pleasure in flicking the
switch and seeing the light go on and off. What he
hasn't realised as yet is that some of those
switches are dummy switches. His Dhruv Mama
realized it though, when he got a nice slap from
Aditya for tricking him into flicking a switch, that
has no light!
BEWARE OF BABIES
Baby Aditya and baby Inika sat by the bay window, playing with
their toys. Occasionally they would look up to see the cars passing by
or nibble on each other’s toes. They felt very grown up indeed.
Everyone else was busy in their own work, and had left the babies to
watch over the house.
Ini looked up, as the gate latch clicked open. A strangely dressed
man was approaching the house. He was barefoot and didn’t make a
sound, as he slowly walked up the steps, looking over his shoulder
ever so often.
Tugging on Aditya’s hair to get his attention, Ini pointed out the
intruder. “Who do you suppose that is?”
“I don’t know”, said Aditya. “But he
certainly looks suspicious.”
“You don’t think he’s a thief, do
you!?”, asked Ini in alarm.
“Let’s wait and see what he does”,
Instead of going back down to ring
the doorbell, the Intruder quietly pushed
open the front door.
“It must be a thief!”, exclaimed Ini.
“Let’s unleash Robin on him”, suggested Aditya, nudging the
sleeping guard dog.
“Robin! Wake up!”, screeched Ini, as the golden retriever slept on.
“Robin!”, she shouted, reaching down to tug on his tail hair. Robin
woke up with a howl, as Ini’s hand came away, still clutching some of
As soon as Robin spotted the Intruder, he rushed towards him,
barking loudly. But the Intruder turned out to be a wily chap! He lured
Robin to the garden and quickly locked the door behind him.
“Oh no! We must save Robin!”, said Ini, looking distressed.
“I have an idea”, declared Aditya. “Let’s pretend to be cute
babies. No one can resist cute babies. Once the Intruder comes close
enough, we’ll attack him and raise the alarm, so that he can’t escape.”
“Good idea!”, said Ini and promptly put on her most angelic face.
She and Aditya cooed and gurgled, looking, for all the world, like
two adorable little munchkins.
“Awwww”, said the Intruder. Unable to resist, he came closer to
cuddle the babies. Just as he bent down to pick up Aditya, the
gurgling turned into a tiger’s roar. “Attack!!”, yelled Aditya, while
grabbing the Intruder’s chest hair and pulling off his
“Aaaackkkk”, screeched Ini, as she hit the Intruder
over the head with a steel tumbler and chewed on his hair.
“Help! Help”, the Intruder cried, trying desperately to get away
from the munchkin brigade.
The commotion brought the
whole household down. “What on
earth is happening?”, asked Ajji,
looking upon the chaotic scene in
Aditya and Ini looked up, with
wide toothless grins of victory. They
had saved the day!
The poor attacked Pujari decided
this would be a good time to take a
vow of silence and retreated to the Puja Room to pray for
I always knew Aditya would grow up fond of
animals. What I never imagined is that he would
learn to growl like a tiger, even before saying his first
word; and I certainly never imagined that he would
start braying like a donkey soon after!
Baby Aditya and
baby Inika were
happily playing in the
toys, and seeing how
they taste, when
suddenly they heard
a howl for help.
“It’s Dennis!”, said Ini. “He must be stuck in the downstairs
bedroom again. We must help him!”
Aditya immediately took off, crawling at top speed. “Wait for
me!”, yelled Ini. She still had to get a hang of crawling. She went into
plank position, pushed and promptly went backwards a couple of
“Why are you going in reverse gear?”, asked Aditya, crawling
back to watch her.
“I’m still trying to figure out this crawling business.”, she replied.
“I only seem to know how to go backwards!”
“Well, why don’t you turn around and come then?”, suggested
Aditya. It seemed the obvious solution to him.
Ini turned around and started pushing herself backwards. It was
not easy. After a few minutes, she was still struggling on the grass.
“What’s wrong now?”, asked Aditya. He didn’t like crawling
“It’s these pants!”, said Ini, sounding thoroughly irritated.
“They’re too slippery. Every time I try to push myself, I slip back”.
“Well, take them off then.”, said the ever-practical Aditya.
“Papa said I’m not allowed to take my pants off in public.”, replied
“Grown-ups have the silliest of rules!”, declared Aditya. Another
piteous howl came from the poor trapped Dennis. “At this rate, we’ll
reach only by dinner!”, exclaimed Aditya.
“We need a new plan!”, declared Ini. “I know! Let’s get Robin to
take us there.”
“Robin thinks he’s too cool to play with us”, said a disgruntled
“We’ll just have to trick him into helping us!”, declared Ini, and
quickly told Aditya her plan in a squeal so high pitched, even Robin
didn’t hear it.
Robin was happily chasing butterflies in the garden, when he
heard Ini singing. He went to investigate and found Ini sitting,
seemingly alone on the grass, singing in her soprano voice. “What are
you up to?”, Robin asked suspiciously. Before he could figure out her
nefarious plot, a miniature hulk jumped on his back.
Aditya clutched on to Robin’s neck, pretending to be a jockey on
an unbroken horse. Robin spun around, trying to dislodge him. The
minute she spotted his tail, Ini grabbed hold, quickly getting pulled
“To Dennis, Robin!”, shouted Aditya, nudging him with his knees
and pointing towards the bedroom.
The disgruntled dog gave up trying to dislodge the mischievous
brats, and trotted off towards the bedroom, pulling a happily
squealing Ini along. “Wheeeee!
Poor Dennis had got his leash stuck under the bed and was sitting
morosely by the bedside. “Don’t worry Dennis. We’re here”, declared
the rescue party. As Robin licked his eye in sympathy, confident that
the munchkin squad wouldn’t rat him out
to the grown-ups, the two kids pushed
and pulled at the leash, trying to free
With one mighty tug, that landed
them both on their little diaper bottoms,
the leash pulled free.
The gentle bull dog, gave a polite
‘wuff’, in thanks, and ambled towards the
kitchen to hunt out his next meal.
THE DANCING TIGER
The little tiger cub was
practicing his scary roar. Aditya had
seen his Baba and Thatha roar many
times and marveled at how
fearsome they were. Baba could
send all the forest creatures
scurrying away in fright, with one of his mighty roars; and when
Thatha roared, the ground shook and everyone cowered in fear.
Aditya was determined to be as fearsome and majestic as they were.
“Roooarrrr!” said Aditya, and watched happily as some birds flew
away at the sound of his voice. He continued on, intermittently
roaring to announce his presence. The sound carried far on the silent
But that was not the only sound in the forest. Aditya could hear
an alarm call, over by the clearing. “What a strange alarm call,” he
thought, having never heard anything like it before. Carefully, Aditya
approached the clearing. He was forbidden to visit there alone, during
the daytime, as there were always the two-legged animals milling
around this spot. The two-legged animals would come in big metallic
carriers and just sit at the clearing all day. As soon as one of his kin
was seen, they would get very excited and start staring at them
through some funny object that kept making a clicking noise. But
they never stayed, once the sun set.
Aditya crouched by the bushes, trying to find the animal making
the strange alarm call. “Shake,
shake, shake Senora, shake your
bodyline”, it said. “Shake, shake,
shake Senora, shake it all the
Aditya had located the Creature. It was small and round, with no
claws, no jaws and no tail. It didn’t move at all. “Easy prey”, he
thought. With the stealth only a tiger can achieve, Aditya stalked the
Creature. Before the Creature could utter a word, Aditya swiped at it
and the Creature went silent.
Thrilled at the successful hunt, Aditya went to examine the
Creature. He pawed it, to see if it looked tasty and, to his horror, the
Creature woke up! “Shake it all the time”, it said.
Aditya streaked back into the bushes and carefully looked out.
The Creature was not hunting him. In fact, it didn’t seem the least
impressed to have seen a tiger! A little piqued, Aditya moved in closer
again. The Creature blissfully continued telling Aditya about its girl,
Senora. Before he realized it, Aditya’s tail was swinging to the beat
and his head was swaying with the music.
The Creature urged Aditya to ‘rock his body in time’, and soon
Aditya was gleefully dancing with the Creature. “What fun!”, he
Like his Thatha, Aditya was making the ground shake. But
instead of everyone scurrying away in fright, the forest creatures
were moving in closer to see the sight of a dancing tiger.
“Aditya!” Baba’s voice cut through
the night, startling Aditya and making
him accidentally swipe the Creature.
In the deafening silence that
followed, Baba slowly walked towards
Aditya. “What are you doing out here?”
“Look Baba!”, Aditya said. “I made a
new friend. We’ve been dancing
“Dancing!?” His Baba said in horror. “Tigers don’t know how to
“But it’s easy”, said Aditya. “Look.” Aditya swiped at the Creature
and they both danced to the music. “You try, Baba”, Aditya said.
“Absolutely not!”, Baba declared. “Only peacocks dance. Now,
let’s go home, before someone else asks me to dance.”
“What’s going on here?”, the rumbling voice of Thatha could be
heard, before he stepped into the moonlight.
“I was dancing, Thatha”, declared Aditya.
“Dancing?”, said Thatha, disbelievingly.
“Yes, with my friend”, declared Aditya, as he started jumping
with the music again. Thatha looked at the Creature and said “Okay,
I believe you.”
The forest creatures watched silently, wondering what Thatha
would do to the little cub. They trembled, in anticipation of hearing
Thatha’s loud roar, admonishing the little cub. “Come here, Aditya”,
Thatha said in his booming voice. Aditya slowly walked up to him.
“What was that?”, Thatha demanded. “You called it dancing?”.
Before Aditya could explain, Thatha
“This is dancing!”, he declared. Thatha
started moving his legs, tail and head
energetically, to the music.
Baba watched on, in dismayed
fascination, as his fearsome father got all the
forest creatures to ‘jump in the line’.
Settling down to watch the fun (from a
corner, so that he wouldn’t be dragged in),
Baba shook his head in amusement. His father may be the life of the
party, but his son had everyone dancing to his tune.
THE ORANGE KISS ME CAKE
The Orange Kiss Me Cake sat innocently on the top shelf in the
kitchen. Aditya and Vimalmamama looked up at it, in dismay. This
was not part of The Plan.
When they had first spotted the
cake, before lunch, their mouths had
started salivating at just the thought of
eating it. Aditya had been drooling non-
stop, and had finally got to taste the cake
after he had finished his entire bowl of
ragi. Vimalmamama had quickly gulped
down her khichdi as well, to feast on the lovely cake.
Both were determined to have a second piece of that cake, and
had been very disappointed when they were informed that they could
only have one piece. Oh, the injustice of it all! It was all because of evil
Aai and Mamama who had refused to cave into Aditya’s tantrums and
Vimalmamama’s grumbling. That’s when they had hatched The
RenuAkka was pleasantly surprised that Aditya had fallen asleep
after only ten vigorous rocks in his rocker. “The poor baby must have
been so tired”, she thought.
Vimalmamama too had feigned exhaustion. “I was up most of the
night coughing. I think I’ll take my afternoon nap early today”, she
said. Soon gentle snores could be heard coming from the bedroom.
As soon as Mamama checked on her, and retired for her afternoon
siesta, one eye peeked open. Carefully, Vimalmamama climbed out
of the bed and sneaked into the drawing room, where RenuAkka was
sleeping next to the rocker.
“Pssstttt”, she said. Aditya promptly opened his eyes and tried to
climb out of the rocker. He kept hoping they would forget to strap him
in. No such luck, this time either. Vimalmamama carefully walked
around RenuAkka, and freed her partner in crime.
The two of them hurried to the kitchen, all ready to dig into the
lovely Orange Kiss Me Cake made by Sheelmamama. But alas! It was
out of reach. “What do we do now?”, asked Vimalmamama. “Maybe I
could reach the cake, if you lifted me up?”, suggested Aditya.“I might
have been able to do that, when you were younger. But even with my
fluid hand-thighs, you’re too heavy for me now”, Vimalmamama
“What about if we stood on a chair?”, Aditya suggested. They
both looked at the chair, doubtful that they could climb on, and
canned the idea.
“We could knock it down?”, suggested Aditya excitedly.
“But then it will just fall on the ground! What a waste!”, said
“Not if we make it fall into something soft, like pillows”, Aditya
Warming up to the idea, Vimalmamama said, “I can use Jan-Ajja’s
walking stick to knock it down. But we can’t use pillows. The others
will wake up, if we take the pillows from all the bedrooms. What else
can we use?”
“Leaves!”, Aditya declared. “That should break the fall. I’ll gather
the leaves, while you get the walking stick.” The slayer of leaves
immediately crawled away to slay as many leaves as he could reach.
In ten minutes the conspirators had reconvened, with their
respective loot. The leaves were strategically placed, to break the fall
of the Orange Kiss Me Cake. “Careful, Vimalmamama”, Aditya
“I never beat around the bush”, she retorted. “I’m always on
target”. With one mighty heave, she lifted the walking stick and
whacked the Orange Kiss Me Cake.
The cake tray went flying, flying straight towards the pile of
leaves. But the cake? The cake was so light and fluffy that it flew
straight off the cake tray….. and landed on the heads of the two
Hearing the soft thump of the cake tray landing into the leaves,
Baushri who had been diligently working in the study all this while,
rushed to the kitchen to find the two sheepish schemers with egg on
Baby Aditya and baby Inika loved
bubbles. They were fascinated by the
texture and colour. But mostly they
enjoyed trying to catch the bubbles
and burst them.
They were happily blowing
bubbles at each other in the garden
“Give me the Frozen Bubble
Water”, Ini asked Aditya. Aditya
stretched his hand to give it to her,
but at the last moment pulled away. “Stop that!”, said Ini, sticking
her tongue out at him.
“I’m playing with it”, said Aditya. “I’ll give it to you later.”
“But, it’s my turn to blow bubbles”, Ini complained and made a
lunge for it.
“No!”, said Aditya.
The two promptly got into a scuffle. Ini pulled Aditya’s hair,
while he grabbed her foot and shook it hard. In the ensuing
scrimmage, the bubble water went flying from their hands and fell
all over the patio.
“On no! Look what you’ve done now!”, accused Ini.
“What a mess.”, said Aditya. “How do we clean it up, before we
“Coo”, suggested the spotted dove, which
had been sitting on the bird feed behind them,
watching them curiously.
Hearing the birdcall, Robin came running
out to catch it.
“Lookout Robin!”, the babies cried. But it was too late! The
retriever ran straight into the spilled soapy water and skid. They
watched in horror as Robin skid right into the pond, home of his arch
nemesis… the Turtle.
The Turtle was a slimy creature,
which took great pleasure in tormenting
Robin. He always cackled maliciously
every time Robin missed a catch, which
was every time. If Robin tried to get him
back, he would slip into the water and
Now, thanks to them, Robin was a sitting duck, floundering
deep in enemy territory. They could see the Turtle slowly making his
way to Robin.
“Don’t worry, Robin! We’ll save you”, the munchkins declared.
Aditya, the cavalry, put his head down and charged towards the
Turtle, crawling as quickly as he could. “Attack!”, he yelled.
Ini was in charge of the aerial strike. She flung all their toys, one
by one, towards the Turtle. “Bidoith!”, she yelled, every time she
Robin was just about reaching the
shore, thanks to the distractions caused
by the munchkin brigade, when the
Turtle attacked. With one deft move, he
snapped at Robin’s tail. The poor pup,
howled loudly, splashing water
everywhere, soaking Aditya, Ini and even
the inquisitive spotted dove.
“What’s that racket”, yelled Thatha. He stormed out to see what
the fuss was about and promptly slipped on the soapy bubble water,
skinning his knee!
“Oh my God!”, exclaimed Ajji, running out, thankfully missing
the soapy water.
“It’s his fault!”, “Wuff Wuff!”, said the soaked comrades,
pointing at the reptile.
The Turtle happily sunned himself on a rock, seemingly
oblivious to all the chaos around him.
THE EVIL RAT
The citizens of Casa Lavelle - 6 were being terrorized by a
creature so vile, a creature so evil, that it was simply called The
The Undira was master of the night.
He would spread plague and fear, and
leave a trail of destruction wherever he
went. Whoever crossed his path would be
struck with terror, so acute that they would
go mute for days and tremble at the very
thought of the encounter.
The citizens were at a loss as to how to deal with this monster.
They called a Council meeting, to strategize on how to free
themselves from the plague.
“We could feed him a poisoned sacrifice”, suggested one.
“We could trick him into walking the plank and drowning in a
bucket of water”, suggested another.
The suggestions got more ludicrous as time passed, but no
solution was found. “Let us offer a reward to any brave soul, who can
rid us of this menace. Until such time, we should arrange patrols to
protect the citizens at night”.
All able persons offered to patrol the compound. Baba
volunteered to take the early morning shift. He preferred the
mornings to the night, feeling he would be far more alert at that time.
At 5:30 a.m. every morning, Aditya would watch as his Baba
donned his armour and ventured forth to oversee the safety of the
people. He could hear his Baba stomping loudly in an attempt to
frighten away the Undira.
One morning, Aditya asked, “Baba, may I come with you today?”
“It’s a dangerous job, Aditya”, Baba said.
“I want to be just like you. Please let me come”, beseeched
“Very well. You can come with me. But only if you promise to take
shelter and run home, if we come across the Undira.”, Baba said.
“I promise.”, said Aditya.
The two set off, wrapped up warmly to ward off the morning chill.
Baba was pointing out a red whiskered bulbul to Aditya, when he
saw movement from the corner of his eye. Two bright red beady eyes
watched them maliciously from a corner.
“Aditya, run!”, ordered Baba. “It’s the Undira.”
Aditya ran, just as he had promised Baba, praying that his Baba
would be okay.
Baba didn’t take his eyes off the Undira, who had ventured forth
from the shadows. His foul stench and rotting fur were truly a scary
sight to behold. Baba was frightened, but stood his ground,
determined to protect Aditya from this despicable creature. The
Undira gave an evil smile and charged towards Baba.
Suddenly a bright light shone upon the Undira, stopping him in
his tracks. Baba turned around to see where the heavenly light was
It was Aditya! He had returned with the Miracle Torch to help his
The Miracle Torch had been
gifted to Aditya at his birth by a wise
old woman. “You are Aditya, the
sun, and so I give you this gift of
light. This torch will shine brightest
in your time of need”, she had said.
This was indeed a time of need!
The light of the Miracle Torch was so
bright that it blinded the Undira and
started burning his fur. In terror, the Undira fled, never to return to
Casa Lavelle - 6.
“Hurrah!”, cried the citizens. “You’ve saved us Aditya! May you
always shine in the light.”
THE MAGIC QUILT
Once upon a time there lived a little boy called Aditya. Aditya
loved to explore and would go on new adventures every day, to
discover fascinating new things. Aditya had already discovered where
Suresh, the squirrel, hid his chestnuts and where his golden retriever,
Robin, had hidden his polar bear. But today Aditya wanted to discover
what treasures were hidden in the tall, wooden cupboard in the spare
bedroom of his house.
Aditya examined the cupboard. The handle was too high up and
he could not reach it, even when he stood on the tip of his toes. Maybe
if he could stand on something, he might just be tall enough. But he
would have to be very careful, because his Aai
would be very upset if he fell down and hurt
himself. Aditya carefully dragged a dining room
chair to the cupboard and climbed onto it. Yes! He
could reach the handle! Feeling very excited,
Aditya opened the door and looked in curiously.
The cupboard was chock-a-block with all
sorts of interesting knick-knacks, but what
caught his eye was a beautiful brightly coloured
quilt. He pulled it out, and examined in delight the lovely red and
white pattern. “They look like stairs!”, he exclaimed, and promptly
put the quilt on the ground to pretend as
if he could climb the stairs.
The minute Aditya stepped on the
quilt, the most extraordinary thing
happened! Aditya suddenly had a vision
of a time when he was a baby and his
Bhaushri and Mamama, Aai and Baba
were laughing and playing with him on
the quilt. How extraordinary!
He stepped back on the quilt, and this time he saw how his
Sheelmamama was trying to
get him to turn on his stomach,
while his Mamama, Baushri,
Vimalmamama and Aai cheered
him on. “What are these visions
I am seeing?”, he wondered.
Aditya gathered up the quilt
and ran to his Aai. “Aai, Aai! Guess what? This quilt is showing me
visions of when I was a baby! ”
His Aai looked at the quilt and exclaimed, “Oh! You have found
the magic quilt your Vimalmamama made for you!”
“Magic quilt?”, he asked.
“Yes, your Vimalmamama makes such beautiful quilts, with so
much love, that there is always a little bit of magic in them. Whenever
anyone sits on a quilt she has made for them, they remember all the
lovely times they have had in their life with this quilt. The visions you
are seeing are your memories of when you played on this quilt as a
“Really!?”, Aditya said excitedly. “May I keep it?”
“Ofcourse!”, said his Aai. This quilt is yours. You only have to sit
on it and you will feel happy.
“Can we go and show Vimalmamama this quilt right now?”,
“Why not?” laughed his Aai, and they both put on their shoes and
headed towards Vimalamamama’s house, with the quilt held tightly
in Aditya’s hand.
First Restaurant Visit
On July 08, 2018 Aditya visited his first restaurant,
Chutney Chang on Museum Road. He was in the
restaurant for exactly one minute before he was
driven to tears by the 'dulcet' tones of the live
musician singing 'Kya Hua Tera Vada'. He spent
the rest of the lunch being entertained outside the
restaurant, where he convinced his Baushri to buy
him a pinwheel.
We have photos and videos of Aditya’s naming ceremony, of
the first time he crawled or walked. His first birthday. Indeed, the
But what about every day occurrences? All those mundane
events that are such a joy to remember: How Aditya would smile
at everyone on his evening walk, how Aditya and I would dance
to Shake Senora by Harry Belafonte, how Aditya loved playing
with an Exo box...
It's these small moments, these seemingly transient
moments, that often bring us greater joy.
How, then, does one ensure that
these precious moments don’t fade
away with time?
I have tried to capture such
moments through my short stories. I
have enjoyed creating these stories. I
hope you find them equally enjoyable to read.