ಅಷ್ಟು ದೊಡ್ಡ ಮೊಲವೆ? (ಕಿರುಗತೆ)

ಅಮ್ಮ ಮೊರದಲ್ಲಿ ಅಕ್ಕಿಯಿಟ್ಟುಕೊಂಡು ಆರಿಸುತ್ತ ಕಟ್ಟೆಯ ಮೇಲೆ ಕುಳಿತಿದ್ದಳು. ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ದೂರದಲ್ಲಿ ಕುಳಿತು, ಲಂಗದಲ್ಲಿ ಸಣ್ಣ ಕಲ್ಲುಗಳನ್ನಿಟ್ಟುಕೊಂಡು ಒಂದೊಂದನ್ನೇ ಹಾರಿಸಿ ಹಿಡಿಯುತ್ತಾ ರಾಮನಿಗಾಗಿ ಕಾಯುತ್ತಿದ್ದಳು ಧನ್ಯಾ. ಅವಳು ಬರುವ ಹೊತ್ತಿಗೆ ಅವನು ಎಲ್ಲಿಗೋ ಹೋಗಿದ್ದ. ಹಿಂದಿನ ದಿನ ಇಬ್ಬರೂ ಹೋಗಿ ಹಳ್ಳದ ದಂಡೆಯ ಬಳಿ ಹರಡಿ ಬಿದ್ದಿದ್ದ ಬಿಳಿ ಕಲ್ಲು ಹರಳುಗಳನ್ನು ಆಯ್ದುಕೊಂಡು ಬಂದಿದ್ದರು. ಆಗಿನಿಂದ ಅವುಗಳನ್ನು ಧನ್ಯಾ ಒಮ್ಮೆಯೋ ಕೈಬಿಟ್ಟಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಮಲಗುವಾಗಲೂ ತನ್ನ ಪುಟ್ಟ ದಿಂಬಿನ ಕೆಳಗೇ ಇಟ್ಟುಕೊಂಡು ಮಲಗಿದ್ದಳು. ರಾಮನೊಂದಿಗೆ ಎಲ್ಲಿಗಾದರೂ ಹೋಗಬಹುದು ಅನ್ನುವ ಭಾವದಲ್ಲಿ ಬೆಳಿಗ್ಗೆಯೇ ತನ್ನ ಮನೆಯಿಂದ ಓಡಿ ಬಂದಿದ್ದಳು. ಬಂದು ನೋಡಿದರೆ ಅವನು ಮನೆಯಲ್ಲಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಹೊತ್ತಿನಲ್ಲಿ ರಾಮ ಮನೆಗೆ ಬಂದ.

ಅವನನ್ನು ನೋಡುತ್ತಿದಂತೆ ಧನ್ಯಾ ಕಲ್ಲುಗಳನ್ನು ಮುಷ್ಟಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹಿಡಿದುಕೊಂಡು ಎದ್ದಳು. ಆದರೆ ರಾಮ ಅವಳನ್ನು ನೋಡದೇ ನೇರವಾಗಿ ಮನೆಯ ಪಕ್ಕದಲ್ಲಿದ್ದ ಕೈತೋಟಕ್ಕೆ ನಡೆದ. ಅವಳಿಗೆ ಬೇಸರವಾಗಿ ಸುಮ್ಮನೇ ಅಲ್ಲಿಯೇ ಕುಳಿತಳು. ಹೋದವನು ಮಡಿ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದ ನೆಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಏನನ್ನೋ ಹುಡುಕುವವನಂತೆ ಕೆದಕತೊಡಗಿದ. ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಹೊತ್ತಾದ ಮೇಲೆ ಬಂದು ಅಮ್ಮನನ್ನು ಕೇಳಿದ, “ಇನ್ನು ಎಷ್ಟು ದಿನ ಬೇಕು ಹುಟ್ಟೋದಕ್ಕೆ?”

“ನೀನು ದಿನಾ ಕೆದುಕ್ತಿದ್ರೆ ಹೆಂಗೆ ಹುಟ್ಟುತವೆ?”

“ಇಲ್ಲ ಇವತ್ತಷ್ಟೇ ನೋಡಿದ್ದು. ಆದ್ರೆ ಬೀಜನೂ ಇಲ್ಲ ಅದ್ರಲ್ಲಿ. ಗಿಡಾನೂ ಹುಟ್ಟಿಲ್ಲ”
ಅಮ್ಮ ಧನ್ಯಾಳ ಕಡೆ ನೋಡಿದಳು. ಇವರ ಮಾತಿನ ಕಡೆ ಲಕ್ಷ್ಯ ಇರಲಿಲ್ಲ ಅವಳಿಗೆ. ಮಳೆ ಬಂದು ನೆಲ ಹಸಿಯಾಗಿತ್ತು. ನಾಲ್ಕೈದು ದಿನಗಳ ಹಿಂದೆ ರಾಮ ಶೇಂಗಾ ಬೀಜಗಳನ್ನು ಮುಷ್ಟಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಒಯ್ದು, ಕೈತೋಟದ ನೆಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಮೂರು ನಾಲ್ಕು-ಕಡೆ ಗುಂಡಿ ಮಾಡಿ ಹಾಕಿದ್ದನ್ನು ಅಮ್ಮ ಬಟ್ಟೆ ತೊಳೆಯುತ್ತಾ ನೋಡಿದ್ದಳು. ಜೊತೆಗೆ ಇವನು ಮಾಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ಕೆಲಸವನ್ನು ತಮ್ಮ ಮನೆಯ ಬೇಲಿಯಂಚಿನಲ್ಲಿ ನಿಂತು ಧನ್ಯಾ ನೋಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದಳು. ರಾಮ ಬೀಜ ಹಾಕಿ ಮನೆಯೊಳಗೆ ಹೋಗುತ್ತಿದ್ದಂತೇ ಬಂದವಳು, ಆ ಬೀಜಗಳನ್ನು ತೆಗೆದು, ನಲ್ಲಿ ನೀರಲ್ಲಿ ತೊಳೆದು, ತನ್ನ ಲಂಗದಲ್ಲಿ ಒರೆಸಿಕೊಂಡು ತಿನ್ನುವುದನ್ನೂ ಅಮ್ಮ ಗಮನಿಸಿದ್ದಳು. ಈಗ ನೋಡಿದರೆ ಅವಳಿಗೆ ಏನೂ ನೆನಪಿದ್ದಂತಿಲ್ಲ.

“ಬೀಜಗಳನ್ನ ಎಲ್ಲ ಮೊಲ ತಿಂದಿದೆ” ಅಂದಳು ಅಮ್ಮ, ಧನ್ಯಾಳ ಕಡೆ ನೋಡುತ್ತಾ. ಧನ್ಯಾ ಏನೋ ನೆನಪಿಗೆ ಬಂದ ಭಾವದಲ್ಲಿ ತಿರುಗಿ ನೋಡಿದಳು.

“ಮೊಲ ತಿಂದು ಹೋಯ್ತಾ? ಇನ್ನೊಂದು ಸಾರಿ ಬಂದರೆ ಅದನ್ನ ಹೊಡೆದು ಹಾಕುತ್ತೇನೆ,ಅದನ್ನ ನಾನು ತಿಂತೇನೆ.”

“ಅದು ನಿನ್ನನ್ನೇ ತಿನ್ನುವಷ್ಟು ದೊಡ್ಡ ಮೊಲ. ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಕೋರೆ ಹಲ್ಲಿವೆ” ಅಂದಳು ಅಮ್ಮ. ತನ್ನ ಮೇಲ್ದುಟಿಯಂಚಿನ ಕೋರೆ ಹಲ್ಲುಗಳನ್ನು ನಾಲಿಗೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸವರಿಕೊಂಡಳು ಧನ್ಯಾ. ರಾಮನ ಅಮ್ಮ ಇನ್ನೇನು ತನ್ನ ಹೆಸರು ಹೇಳಿಬಿಡುತ್ತಾಳೆ ಅನ್ನಿಸಿತು. ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದ ಎದ್ದು, “ನಾನು ಮನೆಗೆ ಹೋಗುತ್ತೇನೆ” ಅನ್ನುತ್ತ ಓಡಿದಳು.

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