“Close your eyes”, she squealed and continued flapping her hands while she jogged herself into a jump at the same spot. The one who was dressed in pink and girlish (PAG) shut her eyes promptly while the little one also in pink and boyish (PAB) leaned forward to make sure that her friend wasn’t peering through the cracks of her palm.
I couldn’t help smile at them and rekindled the long lost assurance that eyes shut gave to our plans. When what the child’s heart wanted most was a gleeful surprise in the face of her audience, the best way to effect that was to demand that all eyes were shut and eliciting a promise following a “No cheating, haan!”. Then the childish fervour worked on the elements which would make her proud of being clever enough to surprise the “bigger” people in spite of the latter’s size and power to put them off to sleep whenever they wanted that of their children. When eyes were shut, the world was lost in darkness and everyone ceased to exist. It was like a world turned off and back on. The possibilities were endless behind closed eyes, rather, in front of them. We would also love it when our favourite audience cheated on us and would be surprised at what was going to come. They would grab and hug us as we protested and pouted at being cheated of a chance to create the greatest surprise on earth. Then they would tickle us and apologise and promise not to open their eyes this time around. We would believe them and be so clear about the fact that all memory of the surprise would also be lost behind those closed eyes. We’d proceed to create the surprise all over again, of course, checking more often for cheaters!
PAB had to hide the small Kinley bottle somewhere. She looked around and spotted me. I widened my eyes in the direction of the grand pillar in the mall where this was staged. She liked the idea and thanked me with a smile. She rushed to the pillar and went down on her haunches with her left arm securely caught between her thigh and chest. She carefully placed the bottle behind the pillar and called out to her friend.
I shook my head and wanted to tell her to move out of the “spot” and go somewhere else before “readying” her friend. Decoy!
PAG emerged from her world of dark bliss and looked around. She spotted PAB and skipped towards her. PAB was afraid that her “spot” would be discovered and started waving PAG away in another direction asking her to check things near “that uncle’s bench”. The promise of discovery and the fruition of the game pushed her into hysterical giggles which when coupled with her frantic pointing towards other potential “spots” had me laughing and shaking my head. When PAG inched her way towards the pillar, PAB started pulling her away from there telling her that the bottle wasn’t there and it was elsewhere.
“I promise!” she shrieked.
PAG was growing more certain of finding it there and then pounced on the bottle as PAB covered her mouth and shrieked in excitement of a game going its normal course, thanks to her clever friend.
“Now my turn”, lisped PAG through her recently lost tooth.
PAB looked at me and shook her widened eyes. Of course, I wouldn’t help PAG and shred my loyalty towards PAB. But then, isn’t the world lost behind closed eyes?