written by ZeeHaaa (ZeeHaaa) on 30th July 2009
Kaku lived in a small village called Chhoti Dadi. The small village had a small school. Everyday Kaku had to walk from his little hut at one end of the village to the primary school near the village well. On his way to school, he passed through green paddy fields, the village lake and the old Ram Lila ground. All his friends, be it dreamy Jhunjhunu, colorful Pinaki or talkative Tachi, did not like walking to school.
But Kaku loved the long walk to school. He had made a new friend on his way. Sun or rain, Kaku would walk to school. Kaku’s mother was very happy that Kaku loved school so much. She did not know about her son's BIG new friend. Kaku had told no one. No one knew why he loved walking past the green paddy fields, the village lake and the old Ram Lila ground to reach school. No one knew Kaku’s little BIG secret on the way to school. Kaku wanted to keep this friend a secret. He thought his friends might make fun of him.
Every morning Kaku got up before the neighbour’s cock could bellow its loud and shrill cuck-a-doo-coo. Kaku would be ready in his neatly ironed blue and mustard-coloured school uniform, eagerly waiting for his tiffin box. As soon as he got his favorite rice idlis and coconut chutney, he would run out of the house. Kaku left home as early as 6:30 in the morning to meet his friend, whom he called Lal Hawa.
As he crossed the paddy fields, the soft chuk-chuk sound greeted Kaku. Kaku was happiest when he heard Lal Hawa coming. Kaku knew that he got the best view of Lal Hawa from a small mud hill near the village lake. As the chuk-chuk sound got louder Kaku walked faster. He knew the trick. He timed his running with the chuk-chuk sound of Lal Hawa. On every chuk-chuk of Lal Hawa, Kaku took a swift step forward through the paddy fields towards the lake.
Kaku knew the exact point when the red, speeding Lal Hawa would whistle. Now, with practice, he could match his whistle with the loud whistle of Lal Hawa. Kaku knew, Lal Hawa said, “Hello”, in her language when she whistled. Kaku whistled back, welcoming Lal Hawa.
He ran through the paddy field doing chuk-chuk-chuk-chuk-koooooooooooooo... As he reached the lake, in a moment, the huge engine came towards him. As Lal Hawa approached, a powerful wind started blowing. Kaku’s hair flew from his forehead into his eyes. His blue and mustard school dress fluttered, like a kite flying in the morning sky.
Standing on the small hill, Kaku saw Lal Hawa become bigger and bigger. In seconds, Lal Hawa covered the whole blue sky as it chugged towards Kaku. Kaku was jumping with joy. He clapped and waved as Lal Hawa chuk-chuk-ed past him. He waved till the very end. Small-unknown hands waved back from the windows of Lal Hawa. As Kaku eyes followed the red train, he saw small hands waving to him. He ran along with Lal Hawa waving back at the small hands.