“Sundari, Sundari?” Sundari’s father searched for her inside every room.
“Where is she? It’s so unlikely for her to wake up this early on a Sunday morning,” he thought.
As he unfurled the curtains of the balcony, he saw little Sundari feeding grains to the pigeons.
“Oh, my princess! You are…feeding pigeons?! You usually drive them away. Hmm!”
“Good Morning Appa! Being kind to everyone around us is important.” Sundari’s round almond eyes twinkled with delight.
“Oh yes! You are absolutely right, dear.”
“Look Appa! I also watered the plants today and sang to them. They also need our compassion.”
“Appa! Can I prepare coffee for you?”
“So sweet of you. Sure!” Sundari’s father seemed flattered by his daughter’s gesture.
Sundari prepared coffee and brought the mug along with a few muffins to the dining table.
By then her brother Gopal had also woken up.
“Appa! I’m hungry,” he whined.
“Gopal, I have prepared your favourite drink too,” exclaimed Sundari.
“Wow! Thank you Akka,” said Gopal.
The three had an animated conversation about the week’s happenings.
As Sundari was about to munch her share of muffins Gopal stared at her plate longingly. He had finished his share in a jiffy.
“Gopal! You can have my share too,” said Sundari and transferred all her muffins to his plate.
“Are you sure, Akka?” asked Gopal, seeming surprised.
“Absolutely, my dear brother. I’ll have a banana instead,” replied Sundari without any hesitation.
Gopal stared at her in disbelief.
Sundari then switched on the TV to watch her favourite cartoon ‘Dora’. Gopal sat next to her with a frown.
“Gopal! You can watch ‘Mickey Mouse’. I know your preference,” said Sundari.
“Really, Akka? You usually fight if I play my favourite cartoon instead of yours.”
“All I wish for is peace and happiness today.”
Gopal imagined a halo around her head.
“Sundari, my doll! I’m impressed by your new avatar. You are kind, calm, compassionate, and have made my Sunday morning peaceful,” declared her father and wondered if he was still dreaming.
“Mission Accomplished,” screamed Sundari.
“What mission?” He was confused.
“We were given a school assignment. Our teacher explained animal symbolism last week and asked us to symbolize an animal or bird to our parents. I chose to symbolize the dove. She said that the assignment would be considered complete once our parents gave it in writing that we did well.”
“Awesome. You did extremely well.”
“Will you give that in writing, Appa?” asked Sundari.
Sundari rushed in to bring a paper.
“Appa! Please write whatever you said and include your signature too,” urged Sundari.
Her father followed her instructions and handed the paper to her.
“GOPAL…! Change the channel now. I want ‘Dora’,” yelled Sundari, the next moment.
“But Akka…you wished for peace,” stammered Gopal.
“Game over! No more peace. Only WAR,” shouted Sundari and grabbed the remote from his hand.
Sundari’s dad felt as if he had crash-landed from the sky.
This winning story was written for the monthly contest held by Penmancy in February 2023
The prompt required us to use symbolism as a literary tool in portraying a character. It was first published here;