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My Cousin Balaji (standard:Fan Fiction, 2945 words)
Author: JuggernautAdded: Nov 14 2010Views/Reads: 2106/971Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A story of a young man lost his way in life.

My Cousin Balaji 

Subba Rao 

My cousin Balaji's full name is Balarama Taraka Krishna. Since his
birth, his mother affectionately called him “Bala” (child). Since the 
name “Bala” is feminine, she later changed it to Balaji. The suffix 
“ji” was generally given to respected people or older folks like title 
“sir” but the name Balaji was just the opposite, the overwhelming 
affection towards the child rather than respect to an older person.It 
was sad that Balaji lost his father when he was only two years old. His 
father died of heart attack suddenly while he was playing with his son. 
With nobody in the vicinity, Balaji played around his father's body 
until his mother noticed the still body of her husband. 

Balaji grew with utmost love and care from his mother and other
relatives out of compassion and sympathy towards him for not having a 
father from his childhood. Balaji grew up like a daredevil. He climbed 
tress without fear of falling off; trees like mango, coconut or any 
tree for that matter. He had no fear of height either, once he climbed 
a 50-foot tall toddy palm tree without any shoulder and feet restraint 
made from jute or coconut coir that the professional tree climbers 
used. He climbed up and down like a cheetah, and jumped from branch to 
branch like a monkey. On his body, he always had one or two open wounds 
from the accidental fall from trees. While the open wounds were 
reminders of the recent fall from trees, several scars on his feet, 
legs or arms were the reminders of the past accidents when he fell from 
a tree or from a fight with the neighborhood kids. He earned the 
nickname “Bandage Balaji” for always having strips of bandages to cover 
open wounds somewhere on his body. He never appeared to have felt the 
physical pain from the wounds or the broken bones. He took it in stride 
as a cost of doing business, useless as it might be. 

Balaji's other passion was playing marbles with the boys who spent time
minding their cows and water buffaloes near his house. While the cows 
and buffaloes were resting comfortably on roadside chewing on hay or 
wastepaper, the boys played marbles on curbside. Balaji competed in 
playing marbles with them. Whenever he lost a game, he ran inside his 
house to avoid relinquishing his marbles as a penalty. When he won, he 
demanded every marble from his opponent as a reward; otherwise he 
pelted stones at them and got into fistfights. That's how he received 
some of the injuries. He nursed the wounds like his pets with love and 
care. He self medicated with aspirin as a painkiller for body pains and 
for the open wounds he applied boric powder or iodine as antiseptic, 
and covered them with the bandage. For every wound on his body, he had 
a story to tell like a war veteran. 

Balaji was a very skillful in kite flying. Most kids in his neighborhood
flew kites from their flat rooftops, and some from the open areas. 
During the kite-flying season of November, Balaji acted like a kamikaze 
to destroy his opponent's kite without fear of losing his own. He 
outperformed others by zapping the competitors' kites by cutting off 
the line with a special powder made from crushed glass pieces applied 
to his own kite-line, an un-sportly act but all competitors used 
anyway. When flying kites, his vocabulary used to take a deep dive. He 
used every imaginable cuss word, and challenged the opponents' kites to 
come closer to his own (his opponents could hardly hear his shouts 
since they were too far apart), then he would intertwine the opponents 
kite skillfully with his own kite-line, and brought it down to collect 
it - a skillful art at best in kite flying. All the neighborhood kids 
flew their kites at a far distance from Balaji's with fear of losing to 
him. At the end of kite flying season, Balaji would collect scores of 
kites, mostly pirated from his opponents by his skillful and ruthless 
techniques of flying kite, it was like a cutthroat business for him. 

He was quick-witted, and nobody would dare argue to win over him. His
friends and close relatives, both young and old, let him have his own 
opinion at the end. Arguing with him was like running on a treadmill, 
people would get tired, and conceived victory to him at the end. The 
easy way out was to agree with whatever he said and that made him 
speechless. Otherwise, whatever others would say was like fuel for 
further endless arguments with him. 

Balaji was an intelligent person in many ways but at the college where
rules were enforced, he couldn't keep his thought process in check, 

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