Omy's Folly
Tirumal Mundargi

Omy and I gather tiny shells and put them in geometry boxes. The biology teacher talks about moluscans and conch shells. Omy says geometry and biology bore him. I think about the fried tapes made from Bengal gram flour: tasty, crunchy tapes. Even as the bumblebee dies in his matchbox, on a mulberry leaf bed, Omy takes me to the sweets stall where his father stuffs the masala into kneaded dough cones before frying. Then, on the bank of the stream, just by the side of the municipal jackwells, I wrestle Omy and his bulging belly to the ground. "Loser," I say.