Sunil has a blue Saturday:
Sunil had wanted a little brother for a while- there was no one to play with on the hill. Every Saturday in temple, he would pass by an image of the blue skinned baby god Krishna and remember just how much he wanted a brother.
There was a peacock feather pearched jauntily in Krishna's soft curly hair. He smiled out from his picture with chubby cheeks and twinkly eyes.
Sunil had heard many stories about Krishna's mischievousness. Krishna loved to play naughty tricks on the girls tending the kingdom's cows. He broke the bowls for holding their butter. Krishna also played his flute very beautifully for these girls and so they did not really mind his little tricks.
Yes, Sunil definitely wanted a fun baby brother- one just like Krishna.
Saturday after temple Mammy asked
"Boy-chile, what you want for your birthday next week?"
Sunil saw his chance- now he would get a little brother to have fun with.
"Could I have a brother jus' like Krishna Mammy? Please?"
"Boy, what you talking 'bout?"
Sunil thought for a second
"Just not so blue please Mammy"
Mammy laughed, she laughed and laughed and laughed. She put one hand on Sunil's shoulder, the other across her stomach and folded forward laughing some more.
"Oh my little douxdoux- you so funny!"
Sunil did not like being laughed at. A tiny little tear rolled down his cheek. Mammy spotted it. She did something she had not done in a while- she lifted Sunil up entirely off the ground and gave him a big bear hug.
Mammy's soft skin soothed Sunil's flushed face. He felt a little better- but Sunil knew he would not be getting a little brother for his birthday.
Sunil and TomTom:
Gros michel bananna leaves does be so smooth. Beneath them is always so very cool- even on the hottest day Sunil never break a sweat in that grove.
The most fun is when it rain- boy! All you need to do is pull down one long broad big leaf, jus' a little, and you have no problems- dry as a bone- don' leh go of your leaf umbrella though- else is trouble for sure!
Pappy plant a grappe of those trees in the back garden behind the clothes lines. He say "Them gros michel is the sweetest banana you could find- after you eat one you don't need no sweetie at all at all"
When Sunil goes in the grois michel grove he does feel like he alone is alive. Like if all that cool green-ness he rest his forehead against was made just for him. He loves it in the grois michel grove.
Ash Wednesday, after Mammy come back from the mud 'mas fete, she send Sunil out of the house. She told him "Boy, you does make noise easier than you does breathe- go play and gimmeh a little chance to res' up- ah still have to make Pappy his dinner later"
So Sunil went to his grove. Something was different though- the grove had another visitor. "Ay, who's there?" Sunil asked.
No answer. "My Pappy plant them trees you know- who is you?"
Softly now "TomTom, meh name is TomTom"
"Why you crouch up under them banana trees- an' hiding your face too?"
Again, very softly "Ah cryin' "
TomTom looked up and Sunil saw him. Sunil saw the red eyes under thick eyebrows- they were not exactly slanty eyes but somehow they looked like if maybe they wanted to be.
Sunil saw the brown-ness of the other boy- his dark brown hair, his light brown skin, his kahki pants and his overall dustiness.
"Doh cry nah, come leh we play some football- I will be Maradonna and you could be Pele"
Every time family visits, Mammy fills up the huge decanter with grapefruit juice. Sunil takes a tiny sip of the juice and swirls it around his mouth- feeling little zings of sour and sweet until finally he lets it slip coolly down his throat.
He especially likes getting grapefruit pulp in his sip. If he bites down on it just so, it gives a 'pop' of extra strong grapefruit flavor- like a sparkly surprise for his taste buds. Having family over is the best!
It's a really big deal when it's Pappy's brother that comes to visit. Pappy's brother is a priest and everyone fusses over him. Pappy even lets Uncle-father sit in his big brown chair- and lets him have the TV remote too!
This time Mammy is making Uncle-father's favorite dish- sardines with onion and tomatoes. She bakes long loaves of crusty bread to eat with the sardines. Sunil wants TomTom to taste the grapefrit juice, the sardines, and the hot fresh bread.
He runs under the hanging laundry and through the grois michel. He hops across a little drain and stops at TomTom's back door.
"TomTom- oye TomTom! Mammy make some good food! Come over nah"
"OK...I'll race yuh there-ready, set, go!!"
The boys arrive panting at Sunil's home and run up the back stairs to the verandah. In between gasps TomTom says
"Sunil, boy you almost win meh- I frighten race you again!"
The smell of the baking bread as they enter the house is so good. This smell is like Christmas- warm and sweet and comfy all at once. TomTom takes a huge sniff.
Sunil grins widely,
"After we done eat I will win-you go be so full I'll have to roll you home!"