• Thursday, March 05, 2015



Rumman R Kalam

Jamal Nawar stared at his child of seven. Sarah was just released from one of her chemo sessions and things weren't looking up for the child. Jamal always thought his daughter was unique. Well, she had to be since you don't often find single fathers in the country. Her mother eloped with another man when she was just two years old. Oh, the Big Bangladeshi Dream of moving to a country where your medical bills cost more than your life. This had Jamal raising Sarah in the most unorthodox of ways. She saw a sock puppet DIY on TV one day and wanted to do it. Her health didn't allow her to make the sock puppets, so Jamal did it for her. One thing led to another and now Sarah enjoys watching Jamal do sock puppet shows for her. It's the only thing that makes her laugh.
“Yes, love?” Jamal cursed at himself for trailing away. He forgot what they were supposed to talk about.
“I wish it was possible for you to have more sock puppets apart from Mr. Twisty and Aunt Guttermist. But it's okay.” It was Sarah wishing yet again in that shy manner of hers.
“Don't worry, I will think of something,” promised a worried Jamal.
When it comes to his daughter, Jamal never says no.
Jamal was done making the third sock puppet, Lady Nutcase. Except he didn't know what to do with it. He didn't have three hands.

Mr. Twisty was the crazy sock puppet who punctuated his conversations with physical violence. Aunt Guttermist, an old lady who was thoroughly abused by her only nephew, retaliated to each hit with creative forms of punishment like making Mr. Twisty eat scones and holding a conversation in the British way. This bored Mr. Twisty to seven layers of hell. All of this was possible because there was an unspoken agreement between the two puppets; each always did what the other asked it to.
Lady Nutcase, on the other hand would be the sane one who refuses to agree to their unspoken vow. She would do what she wanted to and that would make the aunt-nephew duo rage. Everything was set. Except… Well, Jamal would have to wing it.
A mustard yellow sock puppet wearing a Bangladeshi tupi appeared over the edge of the bed's foot stead. Little Sarah let out a cry of joy at the sight of her favourite character: Mr. Twisty had pinkish-red eyes with which he stared intently at Sarah and his aunt. Speaking of the aunt, Guttermist had a brownish tinge to her black body, added with hastily painted white hair and red lipstick. She had eyes edged with navy blue circles that signified the stress her nephew put her through. And thus began the puppet drama.
“Chachi, there's a friend I'd like you to meet. She's from my university,” said Mr. Twisty while throwing a punch at his aunt.
“Who is it? You have friends? Let me see this charitable human being,” replied a surprised Aunt Guttermist while dodging the punch.
“Here goes nothing,” thought Jamal and lifted his right foot up.
Sarah let out a squeal of pure joy at the sight of the white sock puppet with lips as red as wine and eyes that were coloured to (near) perfection with the whole package: eyelashes, eyeliner and blue eyes. She even wore a yellow summer dress topped off with a straw hat. The puppet would be considered hot and classy in the sock puppet world.
“You must be the selfless girl the boy speaks of. What is your name?” -- asked Aunt Guttermist.
Mr. Twisty and the female sock puppet stared at each other for a while until Mr. Twisty decided to take the matter into his own hands. Literally.
To the delight of Sarah, Mr. Twisty threw a punch at the female sock puppet and from the edge of the “screen” it would seem as if Mr. Twisty was the one on top winning the fight. After a few good insults and worried words from the aunt, the two sock puppets got up. The hat was missing and a bit of Jamal's toe was poking out of it. Sarah let out another streak of childish laughter at the scene.
“The name's Lady Basketcase, woman,” said the ruffled, former Lady Nutcase with a bit of her brains showing. Yes, Jamal did paint his toe to make it look like blood.

Published: 12:00 am Thursday, January 23, 2014

Last modified: 8:42 pm Thursday, January 23, 2014

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