On a rustic summer evening when the children were still contained in their refuges, the trio was busy transfusing life to their dream project, ‘Popular Comics Shop’. Summer vacations had just started and it enraged the ‘Rajpura Colony’ with the increased chaos in houses due to its young inmates. Mothers yelling on top of their voices, siblings bickering, the loud animated sound of cartoon channels shrieking through the closed window corners, the day came alive in parts. The hustle bustle of the ‘Rajpura Colony’ during these months faded off as the days sobered down by the end of it. The central park of the colony was outlined by single row of houses on all its four sides. Mornings and evenings wore the same swollen up look in the park. There were the usual morning walking club types, who showed up religiously 365 days and then there were these free souls uprooted temporarily from their morning anchor.
The blazing sun was trying to hit frivolously on the lamenting souls peeking occasionally through the dense clouds and the sky was groggy with a muddy demeanor. It felt dull and lifeless impregnating lethargy even down below. A sand storm might hit before it starts pouring. At least it will bring some respite from the raging temperatures. Sameer, stood in his usual grey shorts complimented with a bright yellow round neck T-Shirt and black loafers, examining the makeshift stall from a distance. Something was amiss. It didn’t appeal him much despite of their fastidious efforts since morning. The shop has to appeal to bring in business. The books collected from the three houses were neatly laid out on a wooden table covered with a plain white table cloth. The shop looked alluring with pierced inverted books on a thin rope flagged over the book stall, secured by the two wooden poles. The structure where the books were placed was assembled together employing spare furniture from Rishi’s backyard. The table was topped with a wooden bench resting in a metallic frame. The overall arrangement was sheathed in a flawless white bed sheet, pinned on edges and embellished with latest editions of the popular children books, comics. The idea of having a comic’s book rent shop was conceived to make some extra pocket money and invest it into buying the latest comics.
As the day progressed, the brand new shop started alluring its curious probable customers even before the entire stock was laid out. The hovering wide eyed children checked out the latest edition of their favourite comics characters. While some of them placed hands on their pick and reserved it, there were others who ran home to get money for their indulgence. And soon the word about the comics shop spread like a wild fire in the Rajpura colony and excited kids were seen rubbing against each other’s shoulders to pick the book of their choice.
The proud owners of the stall, Sameer, Rishi and Harsh were now having a tough time attending to their customer turned peers. The rates were reasonable. One book for ten rupees and that too for three days! The deal was good. Money started pouring in the tin money box and it certainly lifted up the spirits of the trio. The hustle bustle next to the grocery shop gained attention of the passing by people who tried to pierce through the thick blanket of kids who were still waiting for their turn. There were only few books left when the stall was approached by some unwanted visitors. They had a furious look on their faces which was accentuated by the raised brows and they tore through the crowd to face the much in demand trio.
“What is happening here?” One of them shouted without even giving reaction time and moved ahead to twist the ears of Rishi.