Pebble #2 : R-O-S-E… Rose

‘R-O-S-E… Rose”

Did you find it hard to spell the word above?? Certainly you didn’t, but I did when I was in my Upper Kinder Gardens.

Yeah, a small flashback. 18 years ago.


A fine evening in the year 1995. In my home.

We were a joint family by then; a family of 10. Including 4 of my uncles (Chithappas and Mamas). The privilege of being the only boy baby didn’t work well for me. I was the target of all those angry people in my home. Whenever, somebody was angry, they quenched their anger by beating me off 😦 .

I could still remember that particular evening. I was doing something in my home and I could see one of my uncles, in fact an angry uncle entering the house with so much anger. The moment he entered the house, my elder sister sensed something was gonna happen. But poor ‘Me’ didn’t know that i was gonna be the victim.

He was so angry, and unfortunately his eyes laid on me. The next moment he asked me to bring my English four lines notebook. I struggled finding it from my clumsy bag, but somehow my sister managed to find it for me. He received the notebook in his hands, and turned a few pages looking for something. Finally, he found what he looked for i guess.

He commanded, “Come here..”


“Spell.. Rose”, this was him.

“…” I was simply blinking. Imagine a 4 years old kid in his half trousers standing with the very shudders sent by the commanding  tone of a ferocious uncle.

“Spell it, I say..”

“R… R…” i was looking at my sister helplessly.

The next moment, the room was filled with the noise of a boy being slapped and beat like anything. I was shouting, crying, pleasing… nothing helped at all. The Gods were cruel that day. My sister stood helpless, watching it all. When he had transcended a portion of his anger on me, he left the house saying, “I will come back in an hour… be prepared to spell it you bloody. Else, it is gonna be your last day in the earth”.

I was crying, rolling on the floors. My sister came closer to me, who was just 2 years elder than me doing her second standard.

She tried consoling me, but nothing worked with me. A few minutes rolled on, and she remembered that the uncle will be back in an hour or so. She thought of preparing me for the second battle. She consoled me and started teaching me to spell the word ‘Rose’.

I was sitting in the staircase along with my sister and practicing the spelling with tears trickling down my cheeks and chin. I was reading loudly, “R…O…S…E… Rose.., R…O…S…E… Rose.., ” and it continued for sometime, till I was thorough with it.

As said, the uncle returned in sometime, and he saw me with the same angry eyes and asked me to bring the same notebook again.

By then, i was ready spelling the word within my mouth…

He went through the pages of the note, and asked me,

“Spell it…”

“R… O… S…E… Rose”

“Spell again..” (with so much anger)

“R… O… S… E… Rose”.. oh man i made it.

He looked deep into my eyes and uttered those most terrible words.. “Now spell it in the reverse order…”

I looked at my sister with the same expression on my face and the room was filled with the noise again.