Shirke had his distant cousin, Minok visiting him and they were having loads of fun tricking their classmates since they looked identical. It had been about four days now and the fun was wearing off a little. There was also something else bothering Shirke now that the novelty of having an identical cousin was wearing off.
Shirke, being an only child was used to lots of alone-time. Having working parents meant that he spent the time after school and before they got back, all by himself. There were a slew of activities that they had set up for him but he still had loads of free time – for unstructured play and plain fun or deep contemplation or simple blankness. He treasured this time as he really loved his own company and in fact, got offended if one or both of his parents were home some days when he got back from school.
With Minok in the picture, he never got that time for himself. Minok was not only there in his room, he was also all over the place – moving from one place to another, jumping from one topic to another and whizzing mentally around everywhere. After four days of this, Shirke was actually exhausted just looking at the energy Minok had.
He desperately needed that pocket of time and space where he could do nothing, speak nothing and think of nothing but it looked as if he was not likely to get it in the near future. In order to identify how much longer, he casually asked Lekni aunty details about the epidemic and what was the current status of its control and eradication. Aunt Lekni reported that it looked to be more formidable than expected and that they were really struggling there at Zeklum to tame it. Shirke’s heart sank just a little bit more on hearing this news as it looked as if Minok’s stay would be extended.
To be fair to Shirke, he didn’t mind sharing his room and toys with Minok – he was quite generous that way. But he did mind always having to converse with Minok. He started to think about possible solutions and all involved him acting rude towards Minok. That wasn’t an option at all since he knew that his mother would rip him if he behaved rudely. What was a child to do under these circumstances?
He applied what he had learnt in science that year and designed and built a 3-dimensional model of the planet Jupiter with its 59 natural moons and cyclonic storms and three rings. He spent a considerable amount of thought, time and energy building this contraption and then created a holograph and disassembled the structure after showing it to Minok.
The next day after school, he casually remarked to Minok if he thought he was capable to reproducing what Shirke had produced by looking at the holograph. He added in some conditions saying that Minok would need to time it and not ask for any help at all – any talk would be considered as breach of the help clause, whether it was relevant or not. Minok, loving any challenge, accepted gleefully and started his work. Minok took about an hour to get it up and going. You would have thought that Shirke was in heaven if you had seen him during this time. Shirke had his story book for company and his EarPods tuned in to his playlist with a look of complete bliss on his face.
Wonder what he would come up the next time he needs some peaceful, quiet me-time?