I am going to tell you a story, a story about four cherubs. They were not descended from heaven as in the case of fairy tales. They came from northern India with their father. They reached Malabar in a very early age. Now they can speak Malayalam, the language spoken in Malabar, fluently. They were poor and have difficulty in affording their schooling expenses. So they go to the Government School where they got free tuition.
The first day when I met them I smiled. The second day, I asked their names. Arjun was the youngest, Lakshmi was the second, Sasi the third and Ravi was the eldest of the four.
The third day I became their friend, and we played 'the smiling game', which I usually play with them now. We might be the only ones who play this game in the world. It is nothing but smiling at each other, without a break. The one who stopped first will be the loser. It was Arjun who wins every time. I wondered how he could do that! It usually takes hours to end the contest and Arjun would be smiling ever charmingly from the beginning to the end. People who possess love in their hearts can only smile so beautifully. I know.
The fourth day they were my enemies. What happened was, Sasi and Lakshmi ran inside the veranda in my house with their naked feet, full of dirt and soot. The white tiled veranda looked like a painting now. Figures were painted on the floor in dirt with their tiny feet. My mother fired me, on seeing what had happened. And I fired the four in return...
And they ran like a rocket!