AngMang ChowkChang

I hadnt been much into an attachment with my grandmother. I was her sixth grandson, not including any child of her daughters. I loved being awoken by her though, the chant of her morning songs and the besan chakkis made by her are still my favorite. At that little age i was willing to go lengths to have it, like convincing myself to stay inside during the day hours; sneaking into her room while she slept; and even gulping in the aam ras which i never liked. She had to hold up my arms and legs to make me drink it.

She lived in the village for half the year and with us for the another half, and i hated that period. Her staying with us period fell under the days when I had the least number of school holidays. She wont let me take leaves, and even my dramatic performance of stomach ache failed in front of her. She actually took me with her to some relative’s function when i once tried to pull it. Worse she wouldnt let me go out and play during study hours.

“Lets play Ang Mang Chowk Chang,” my grandmother said to me, chewing over her supari, asking me to play an Indian version of the ludo game. It were my playing hours and i stood right next to the door, looking for some friend to go out as fast as possible and play something. “We will play it tomorrow.” I replied to her, not in any mood to compromise with my playing time, even when playing with her would have been mote fun.

I was getting ready for the school the next day, applying oil to my short hairs.
“Better comb them.” My grand mother said from behind. One of my relative passed away a month back, and according to the rituals i gave my hair to him and went bald. “It looks so good to be bald.” I replied to her, ignoring her advice.

She was suffering from asthama, and a severe attack during the noon took her away from us. “Which one?” That was my first reply when i came to know about her death while coming back from school. It was harsh to belive it, she was so well in the morning. She was so well the previous day.

Every time the blade moved over my head, I couldn’t stop crying about what i said to her in the morning. And once i stood up and took a step towards the garage of my house, there lay the board to play ang mang chowk chang..


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