The Toy Thela

by Priyanka Tampi


“Amma, amma!” little Adi tugs at his mother’s duppatta, excitedly pointing at a nearby tree. “Not now Adi, can’t you see amma is busy?” she says, without looking up from her phone. “But he just landed from the sky!” he screams. “Adi, cut it out” she sighs, exasperated. Adi turns his attention from his uninterested mother to the curious looking man and his cartful of colourful toys. He had seen them descend from the clouds, strapped to purple helium balloons!  


Adi couldn’t sit still, “Can I atleast go play?” he asks. His mother nods and waves him away. Inquisitively, he inches closer and closer to the toy thela and the happy looking man. Adi takes a long look at all the vibrant wares. “Would you like to see a magic trick my child?” the man asks with a sparkle in his smile. Wide-eyed Adi nods, moments before being zapped back. 


“Hmm, Adi where did you get those sunglasses?” his mother asks, finally glancing up from her phone. Adi points at the tree, and through his funky new goggles, waves at the man in the green hat. The man waves back. Adi’s mother follows his gaze with furrowed brows. There was nothing there. “Silly little boy”, she thinks, shaking her head. 


Only Adi saw the man beneath the tree that day.

The Toy Thela