Sotang Kal

It is the lunch interval.
Seven of us,
seventh graders
make a circle.

Leela draws out the marbles.
She starts the game with seven
marbles, violet, indigo, blue, green
yellow, orange and red.
Off she goes.

She throws up the red marble.
Picks the green one.
Both at the same time.
She is in perfect form.

Next, picks two, three, four
five. Winds  up with a scramble of six.
We watch her with fascination.
A splendid performance.

Charu follows. She begins well.
Glides through the first, struggles in the second. As she goes to the third
there is a pause, a break.
She falters.

It is my turn.  I try to play with a focus.
The red marble rises.
lands on the ground
before I could take the green.

The first instalment holds me at bay.
The rest laugh and taunt  me.
I run in angst.

The game progresses .
I watch from afar.
I sulk.

I go back to the classroom.
My lunch remains uneaten.
I turn my face when the six return.
I am vanquished.