The girls in my building got together to make beautiful ‘Rakhis’. They collected material like crepe, foam, stickers, glitter and wire. Then they made a team that would work on production, advertizing and sales. Once they had a sizeable number ready, they booked a hall in the clubhouse.
They placed a table in the center and displayed the wares in neat rows. They put up a board announcing the sale, the various categories and prices. Some of them were stationed outside. They walked up to ‘aunties’ and asked,
‘Aunty, will you buy a Rakhi? The money we collect will go to poor people’
Almost all aunties complied and one could see signs of a roaring business.
Three boys watched from outside, while sitting on the steps. Here is the conversation I heard.
‘Why can’t we also do something?’,
‘What can we sell?’
‘I don’t know.’
Silence. Kicking of stones.
‘Make some Rakhis?’, Boy 1 ventures, quite evidently constrained by a severe creative block.
Silence. Breaking of twigs.
‘I don’t know’
‘Some wool and stuff, I guess..’
‘You have any?’
‘We can make bouquets and sell’, ventures Boy 3.
‘But we’ll need books for that’.
‘No, yaar, its made with flowers.’
‘Ya, ask my mom if you want.’
‘Where will we get flowers from?’
Silence. They hop, trying to cover Step 2, 1 and then 3 in a patterned sequence.
‘There’s a flower..’, notices Boy 2
They look at a flower lying in the mud. The rain had brought down some flowers from the shrubs.
They pick it up and clean it with water that has accumulated in the drain next to the shrubs.
‘Puts some leaves around it.’
Some leaves, in varying stages of soggy decay are summoned.
Silence. They sit with the ‘bouquet’ for some time.
‘How do we sell this?’
‘I guess put a price first.’
‘Where do I write it?’
‘Behind, maybe on the leaf.’
‘The other leaf.’
Both leaves crumble.
Silence. They sit with the flower and the remaining 2 leaves for few minutes.
‘Shall we go and play?’
The flower resumes it place in the mud, after its brief tryst with potential redemption.
The boys sprint away as the girls count the money they have made, remove the sales board and pack their remaining wares for the next day.