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Babil Kukil Wheeley

By Madhuri Yelamanchili Age: 44 Years Language: English

Babil Kukil Wheeley

Babil – Kukil – Wheeley
It was a stormy, dark night in the village of Thangjam Leikai, in Cachar, Assam.

It was a stormy, dark night in the village of Thangjam Leikai, in Cachar, Assam.

Thadda-Banda-Boom! Babil huddled in their straw hut. Little Kukil hugged granny ma Zeyo tight.

Suddenly, all went quiet. Whirr-whirr-whirr!

“Wheels,” said Babil, running out. “Those are wheels going round and round.”

On the ground, right outside the door, was a long something, not thick as a rope, not thick as a snake, it was thin as an earthworm. Granny ma Zeyo limped out with a lamp in her hand. It was

a rope alright, a long, long one. At the end of it was a round something.

“A wheel,” shouted Babil. “I was right. I was right. It’s a wheel.”

Wait! There was more! It had a long, green stick with two small, red sticks

Wait! There was more! It had a long, green stick with two small, red sticks to hold on to.

“Look granny ma, look, a bike! A green and red bike,” shouted Babil. “My bike.”

Kukil came out running and he clapped his hands. Babil picked up the green and red bike and

walked with it. It rolled smooth and nice. Babil walked faster. The bike rolled faster. Babil ran and

the bike rolled faster than faster.

Kukil was shouting, “Wait brother, wait for me.”

But Babil had no time for Kukil. He had no time to work in the paddy fields. He had no time to

weave the bamboo mats. He had no time to bring fish home for dinner. He had no time for any one.

When morning came, Babil was still running with the bike. So, Kukil went to work

When morning came, Babil was still running with the bike. So, Kukil went to work in the paddy fields with the other boys and girls.

That was when a strange thing happened. The long rope snapped and the bike was free. Babil

ran faster.

He was happy. But not for long.

Who will weave the bamboo mats? Granny ma Zeyo sat down with a groan to

Who will weave the bamboo mats? Granny ma Zeyo sat down with a groan to do it.

Now, another strange thing happened. The bike began rolling on its own. Babil ran with it. The

bike didn’t stop. So Babil couldn’t stop.

Soon, his smile was gone, his legs ached and he was tired. He tried stopping the bike, but he couldn’t. He tried taking his hands off, but they were stuck fast.

The bike rolled over roads and paddy fields. It was leaving Thangjam Leikai.

It went over the giant river Brahmaputra and it rolled over mountains. It reached the

It went over the giant river Brahmaputra and it rolled over mountains. It reached the sea and still, it didn’t stop.

“Stop,” cried Babil. “Stop. I’ll drown.”

Into the ocean the bike rolled. And then it did the most surprising thing. It rolled over the water. And it kept rolling over water and the lands that came after that. Babil was terrified.

It was evening. Who would bring the fish home for dinner? Kukil was tired, but

It was evening. Who would bring the fish home for dinner? Kukil was tired, but he went to the river to fish because Babil wasn’t around to do it.

Yet, another strange thing happened. The bike rolled into the air and Babil flew with it. Off they

flew up, up and up into space.

They rolled past the moon and the sun. They rolled past the stars.

Babil was terrified that he would never see his village, Thangjam Leikai.

Whirr-whirr-whirr! The sound came from far away. More bikes! Not one or two. Many, many

Whirr-whirr-whirr!

The sound came from far away.

More bikes! Not one or two. Many, many more. Little boys were running with their bikes towards Babil from all around, from the left and the right, from ahead and behind, from up and down.

Crash-Thunk-Spish!

Just before they crashed, Babil saw their faces. They were him! They were Babil! Each

Just before they crashed, Babil saw their faces. They were him! They were Babil! Each one looked just like him. One boy fell on his bottom. Another fell on his chin and his tooth broke.

Spoosh! Babil’s hands were free. He was free, free, free of the bike! But what will happen to

him? He’s up there in space and earth was far away.

A boy ran past him with his little brother on his back.

“Kukil,” whispered Babil.

The boy grinned and his little brother laughed.

Babil knew what he had done. When he had found the green and red bike,

Babil knew what he had done. When he had found the green and red bike, he forgot his brother.

“Kukil? Where are you?” he shouted. “Granny ma? Where are you? I want Thangjam Leikai!” he cried.

He landed with a splash in a paddy field full of water. Wet and muddy, but safe and sound. It was

evening and the workers had gone for the day.

The bike lay in the water. It wasn’t broken any more. Babil picked it up and ran home.

“Kukil,” he shouted. “Kukil, Come ride with me.”

Kukil ran out of the house. He sat on the bike and held on tight.

Around their house they ran in small loops and large circles. Around Granny ma Zeyo

Around their house they ran in small loops and large circles. Around Granny ma Zeyo they ran.

Kukil smiled his two-toothed smile. Babil gave his toothless grin. Granny ma Zeyo, she watched

them go round and round and she smiled too.

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