Give me another mandir!


Today was a special treat. A visit to Utpal's school. Rishi was kind enough to set aside the rules to allow Xavier, Utpal's cyberDad, a few stolen moments with the one he calls pepere in spite of the fact that school examinations were on.

It was a warm afternoon just tempered by a cool wind. We reached the school at 4pm shortly after the mandatory afternoon nap. We sat quietly in the Directors room though our hearts were beating a tad faster as we held back the question we were dying to ask : where is Utpal?

A few moments later a quit knock of the forbidding door and our little fellow appeared squeaky clean, in his track suit his hair well oiled and combed to a T. We sat in silence as he tiptoed in and stood near us. To Xavier's how are you Utpal echoed a confident fine thank you Sir. Then after some time Utpal sought Rishi's permission to show Javire the school, and off we went dying to be in a spot where we could finally hug him.

After a while Xavier fished out a little key chain with an Eiffel Tower and gave it to him. Utpal kept it in his hand as we ambled around the school. Then it was time to leave. In a quiet voice Utpal said: can I have another mandir (temple) for my friend?

It took us a minute to realise that the mandir he was referring to was the Eiffel Tower? He got one and walked away, without looking back as I wiped a silent tear from the corner of my eye.