It happened again, perhaps for the third time in two days. I was standing in front of the wall beside the entrance door , giving vent to that sudden surge of creativity  that had erupted within me, when I saw the half empty can of acrylic emulsion left behind by the workers recently . I had  very delicately, dipped my hands in the royal blue liquid , and then trotted up to the wall . Minutes later , I stepped back to admire my handiwork and waltzed off for some more colour , feeling pretty exhilarated . Now that is something only an artist will understand . Others will not . I had just about managed to dab  some red onto the blue pattern when it happened again. Something landed on my rear .Ouch ! That hurt . Before I could say anything , I was lifted off the ground . In Superman style , I was taken into the bathroom ( though I swear I didn’t feel like Superman ) and dumped in the bath tub . I was soaped and scrubbed and when I allowed my vocal chords to exercise themselves a little, I got a thwack too. I was whisked off to the bedroom thereafter and dressed up in a frock that  I intensely disliked . I protested vehemently and the elderly lady , next door called out to ask if everything was alright .

That day , Dad was welcomed home from office , with a volley of complaints . For the life of me, I couldn’t understand the reason . I had eaten my food , though , I admit , I did spit out a few morsels . I had  my afternoon nap and woke up exactly  half an hour later . I had , in fact done a lot more good than was expected of someone my age . I had swabbed the bedroom floorwith a handkerchief and I had tried to wash a few of my frocks . I certainly had not played football inside the house , like that devil of a cousin , Rishi.I had even helped in  preparing  dinner.Unfortunately , all my overtures were snubbed . I sat quietly on Dad’s lap ,wide eyed with wonder, as Mom’s harangue continued . For some reason , she kept telling Dad that I was his daughter . That got me thinking . Maybe I wasn’t her daughter . Or was I ? I pondered over the question . I mean , let’s face it , she did hug me and kiss me and buy me stuff . But then there were times when she acted so weird . I looked up at Dad . He bent his head and kissed me .

He then got up , and carrying me in his arms , walked up to Mom . He hugged her and said , “ She is a good child . Once she joins preschool , you will have more time to attend to things at home .”

I liked the first part of what he said , but I wasn’t sure I liked the second part . Nevertheless , I was bundled off to play school , a month later to  “channelize my energy .”

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