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In the Lap of Chail – 1

It was a chilly December morning in Delhi. A slender beam of sunlight peered into Kaisha’s room through the window above her bed. The sunbeam was warming up her feet which were indolently floating out of her blanket. Kaisha was fast asleep and the warmth of the sunbeam seemed to mollycoddle her in the cold.

“Kaisha”, called out her mother’s mellowed voice. Kaisha was lost in the world of her own, hardly being able to hear her mother calling her name. “Kaisha, do you hear me? Don’t make me walk all the way to your room again”, said her mother, this time the mellowness in her voice plummeting. Kaisha sneaked a look out of her blanket and was back to sleep. “Kaisha, will you get up now?” called out her mother, a little angry with Kaisha’s daily deferral.

The slender sunbeam had broadened now and bothering Kaisha’s face. She opened her dreamy eyes to see her mother near her bedstead. “It’s a weekend and its cold mumma. I need some sleep. Can I sleep now? ”, murmured Kaisha with her eyes closing back again. “Of course not”, her mother responded quickly. “Don’t you remember that you have to leave for Chail today and you have not even packed yet?” Kaisha opened her eyes and looked addled.

Drawing herself out of slumber she recollected that a week before a letter had arrived from ‘Chail wali Beeji’ saying that she was not keeping well. Kaisha’s parents had decided to send Kaisha to Chail to bring Beeji to Delhi and ask her to stay with them from then on.

Kaisha was apprehensive of going to Chail. She had never known Beeji well except for the fact that she was always referred as ‘Chail wali Beeji’, to identify her from the rest of the Beejis who lived all across the quaint towns of Himachal and Punjab.

Beeji was Khurana uncle’s mother, a distant kin of her father whom she had last seen at her cousin’s wedding at Dharamshala, seven years before. Kaisha had no grandparents and had never felt like having them either.

Being the sole child of her parents, she had been brought up with all the love and cossetting in the world. She had never been on a venture as this before. The thought that she had to visit a complete stranger as well as bring her back home kept making her edgy.

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