two plus two

“Why is the sky so blue, papa?”

a 5 year old wondered out loud

her eyes fixed on the window frame

gazing at the passing cloud

she was sitting in class and, sure, that meant

the living room or the makeshift classroom-

slash-office, her father sitting beside

her said, “focus on what your teacher says on Zoom”

“hmm” she sighed and said to herself

“do you think I could reach the shelf?”

shifting her eyes back away from the screen

“if i could get so tall and my shoes, giant and clean”

“rhea, that’s enough, what is two plus two

your teacher just mentioned that

give me an answer, will you?”

rhea stared blankly at him, not the least bit

interested in answering his question

“right, you don’t know that, so sit,

quietly, pay close attention and listen.”

the doorbell rang and she ran right out

her father, annoyed, tapped on keys harder

a few minutes later she walked in, about

a few ten rupee notes in her fists, her dad eyed her

she laid them out one by one

and called out, “mumm! you got an extra one!”

you had to pay the mailman fifty, you gave a hundred

you should’ve gotten fifty, but you got sixty instead.”

Source of image: Times of India

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