Mosaic Floors

I remember the first day I entered my new house. It still stands conspicuously out of the rest, aloof from the other blurred memories which will fade tomorrow. I remember that cold afternoon when we shifted in, and I remember the first thing about my house which fascinated me the most. Yes, I remember.

They were black, they were red, they were white. So many stones, small, medium-sized and big, and yet I couldn’t pick up even one of them. It seemed as if someone had painted the floors; whoever had done it would have taken months to complete such an intricate painting, something which looked almost like real stones. It was quite later that I learned that they were in fact, real stones.

There were many such big squares on the floor, all made up with the same stones. At a glance, all the squares looked the same, but when I would sit in the afternoons counting the black stones in each square, then the red,  and then the grey ones, I always ended up mixing the count of the boxes, they were all different. And then I would stop counting, and would start hopping on one leg over each square; we used to play a similar game in the evening; it was called kith-kith, and I had played the game for long until someone told me it was a game only girls played.

When my younger cousin came, he used to keep tapping the floor with his palm. I couldn’t comprehend his game, until I realized he thought the black stones were all ants. There were black ants in his house which ran on the floor, and which he killed; he was so happy that there were thousands of ants to kill on our floor, until he realized none of the ants moved, which made him stop playing his game.

Then one day my father announced he has upgraded to another flat. We shifted. This flat was bigger, it had three bedrooms, but the floors were of cement, black plain ones. I was dismayed, and when I told my parents about it, they laughed. I never talked about it since then.

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