“I need money Mumma.” Hama-Guri said, a little impatiently.
“I have heard that quite a few times since morning, dear. But you have not told me why.”
His mother knew that her child had his reasons. But she wanted to know what it was. In fact, she did not mind giving him a little pocket money when he helped her with some chore in the house. But this sudden demand of his for money that he wanted to take to school sounded a little fishy.
“I can’t tell you Mumma.” Hama replied, just before he put a spoonful of porridge into his mouth.
She looked at him surprised. He had never said such a thing before. Why was he hiding? Rather, what was he hiding?
“In that case, my dear, I can’t give it to you. Don’t you remember that we are a team? We plan and strategise together?”
Hama sighed. “I know is Mumma. But…”
“Are you in trouble, kid? Has anyone been bullying you?”
“Oh no! No one bullies me. Don’t you remember how I dealt with that bully once?”
His mother couldn’t help but smile at the mention of that incident.
“Then what is it Hama?”
“Let’s go!” Ma-Door, Hama-Guri’s best friend and next door neighbour, said as he scampered into the room. “Dad’s waiting. We will get late.”
Hama had just finished his breakfast and was putting his bag over his shoulders when his friend barged in. Usually they went to school in a school bus. But today the driver had said that he would not be able to come. So Ma-Door’s father was dropping them.
“I’m ready Ma-Door. Just need a minute. Was asking Mumma for the money but she…”
“Oh that! You still think you can win them over with ice-cream?”
“What? What’s all this about?”
“Aunty, Hama….” Ma-Door started to say but was hushed by Hama. Ma-Door looked at Hama a little surprised. “You haven’t told her about the ice-cream?”
Hama-Guri shook his head.
His mother knew that she would need to find out more about this. There was surely some talking and some setting right that was needed. For now, though, it was time for the kids to go to school. So, putting a smile on her face, and giving a reassuring hug to her son, she said, “Off with you two now. Go to school.” Then looking at her son she said, “Don’t worry. We will have a chat in the evening and if the ‘team’ feels that you need the money, then you will get it in the evening.” Then with a wave, she sent them off to school.