Excerpts(4)

From the book `A Morsel of Different Shades’

“Sumi, in her cogitative mood, was relaxing in her inclined cane chair and viewing the purple and maroon bougainvillaea and, as if ordained, the squirrels were running about and chasing the sparrows. Sitting on one branch, a sparrow was pecking at an almost ripe pomegranate hanging precariously by a thin loose offshoot of another branch. The pomegranate started swinging like a pendulum. Every time the pomegranate came within its reach, the sparrow pecked at almost the same spot. It was not long before Sumi noticed an irregular hole appearing over the smooth, shiny surface of the fruit and lo! Behold, the squirrel came in one swift movement, chased the sparrow away, caught the pomegranate in one hand and nibbled at it with an over-eager, unquenchable appetite. The sparrow looked at it from a distance. Sumi, distressed at the girl trafficking being carried out, at once became conscious of the sparrows in the school doing the preparatory work for the royal dignitary squirrels. She raised her arms over the back of her head in utter helplessness and shuddered at the fate of Helen Smith, a mystery that would remain a mystery. Through the disappearance of Helen, a message as if was conveyed to her to not poke her bloody nose in such affairs. Let the sparrows do their work.

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