The year was 1940, the place was a remote village in Punjab.
Twelve year old Prakash was roaming around in his fields supposedly guarding them from the stealers of grain.
He loved riding horses and never gave up an opportunity to beg/borrow/steal a ride on any horse that he found unattended.
His father was sitting on a cot under a tree near the well (Khooh) in the middle of their fields.
Rak rode up on his newly purchased mare, a sprightly young animal with a shiny new rope. He got down to talk to Prakash’s father and to rest awhile. He tied the rope of the mare to the ‘paind ‘at the foot of the string bed to keep her close and safe. Soon he was lying stretched on the cot and fell asleep.
Prakash saw the opportunity to indulge his passion for speed, stole up to the cot and untied the mare from the paind at the risk of premature discovery and sure- shot thrashing. He tied a ‘khabbi’ to her mouth and jumped up onto its bare back, riding away even as the owner was startled awake and started shouting,” Pachha ghorhi le gaya” (Prakash has taken my horse away).
His father turned to see him streaking away at a break-neck speed. He shouted to ask him to get back pronto but to no avail.
Prakash rode the horse fast and furious over and across the fields till both he and the horse were breathless with exertion.
He rode back to the well (khooh), and jumped off before the mare had come to a stop.
He ran home and went straight to his grandmother and hid under her bed clothes.
She knew of his penchant to get into trouble and asked him what he had done this time (“ Namea nimia hun ki kar ke aaya hain?”.
He told her about his escapade and that father was hot on his heels to thrash him for having stolen the ride and embarrassed him in front of a village man.
The grandmother promised him protection from her son. She also told him that he should not have done it but now that he had he should tell her about the ride.
Proud grandmother and errant grandson then excitedly shared the story of this adventure, the beauty of the horse and its speed.
She made good her promise and did not let her son thrash him even though he warned her that this trouble maker who had scant respect for propriety will come to grief and it will be due to her encouragement and protection of his wild ways.
Thus ended one adventure filled day.