Venkat's Moustache

venkat moustache May 22, 2022

The illustrations for this story are by Ashvita. Aren't her sketches wonderful? I love how she captured sleeping Venkat and naughty Pragya.

Eight year old Ashvita is a kind,soft spoken and an energetic kid. She is an avid reader, enthusiastic speller and has a flair in making creative arts and crafts.she enjoys  practicing yoga, dance and reciting slokas.

If you'd like to illustrate a story too, you can join the story preview program. Just sign up on the website (it's free) and send a WhatsApp message to The Purple Bean at +91 8925728880 or an email to expressing your interest to illustrate. Any number of children can illustrate a story and all the art will be put up.

Nine-year-old Venkat was taking a nap. He hated naps and thought they were a waste of time. But Venkat had been out for a movie the night before. Early this morning, he'd gone for skating class in the park. After a great lunch followed by two large mangoes, Venkat had settled down on the sofa with his favourite book. He'd fallen asleep while reading.

Four-and-a-half-year-old Pragya, Venkat's little sister, had spread out her art supplies on the living room floor. She was trying to think of something to draw. Pragya looked at her brother and giggled. Venkat looked quite funny, with one leg on the sofa and the other foot on the floor. He had a cushion under his head, and his mouth was slightly open. A half-open book was balanced on his chest. It had an image of a ferocious Asura on the cover. Naughty little Pragya took a couple of sketch pens and drew a colourful moustache on Venkat to match the Asura's. She then opened her drawing book and started to copy the drawing on the book cover.

Venkat woke up at four-thirty. He looked at the clock and jumped. He'd promised his friends that he'd be down to play at that time. Venkat praised Pragya's drawing, put on his shoes, grabbed his Kerf gun and raced down the stairs to meet his friends. Everyone except Ravi was back. John, Vijay and Vidya, Arhaan, and Aakash were marking the space for the evening's bullet battle. They all looked at Venkat's moustache and laughed.

"Hello, Venkat Uncle. I'm glad you could make it at last", said Vidya. Venkat didn't understand why Vidya was calling him Uncle.

"Don't make Venkat Uncle angry", said John, giving Venkat a friendly pat on the back.

"I don't think he's Venkat Uncle. He might actually be a dangerous Asura named Venkasur", Aakash said seriously. He could see how Pragya had copied the Asura's moustache since he had read the book too.

"Well, whoever he is, I'm glad he's here. I want to play now. My cousins don't have kerf guns, and I missed our game", said Arhaan.

Venkat didn't understand why his friends were making jokes about him. So he changed the topic and said, "Arhaan, Aakash and me against Vijay, Vidya and John". The others agreed.

Soon, the children were loading their Kerf guns with sponge bullets and shooting each other. The game didn't really have any rules. As all the children were forbidden from shooting the sponge bullets at home, they would gather in the parking space of the apartment building in the evenings to play together. The children played with all sorts of games till it was time to go home. Venkat's friends kept making silly jokes all evening, and Venkat got a little annoyed. But he was a good sport about it.

Venkat was sweaty and hot when he got home. He went straight for a bath. When Venkat entered the bathroom, he saw his reflection in the mirror. Finally, he understood why his friends had been joking all evening. "Pragya!" he yelled.

"What's the matter, Venkat? Why are you yelling for Pragya?" Taatha asked. He took one look at Venkat and understood what was going on. "Never mind, go on", he added with a smile.

Pragya was in the kitchen chatting with Amma, who was making pasta for the children as a treat. Lakshmi Aunty, their cook, was making rotis for the grown-ups.

"What happened, Venkat Babu? Why are you yelling so much? Pragya is right here in the kitchen", said Lakshmi Aunty.

Amma looked at Pragya suspiciously. "What mischief have you been up to now, young lady?" she asked. Pragya squealed and ran out of the kitchen and out of the door of their flat. A bewildered Amma chased after her. She took one look at Venkat and said with a smile, "I think you should get the honour of chasing after your little sister".

"Yes! I'm going to catch her", Venkat yelled and chased after Pragya. Venkat wasn't very angry at Pragya's harmless prank, but he was determined to catch her and take revenge.

Pragya was squealing and running towards the stairs. Aakash opened the door to see what the fuss was all about. Candy, the cat, ran away as usual. Aakash groaned and went in search of Candy.

Pragya ran up the stairs towards Arhaan and Aisha's house. "Aisha! Open the door! Quick" she yelled and knocked on her friend's house. Fatima Aunty, Arhaan and Aisha's mother, opened the door in surprise.

"What happened, Beta? Are you hurt?" Aunty asked with concern. Then she saw Venkat running up the stairs with a colourful moustache on his face. Fatima Aunty immediately guessed what might have happened.

"Arhaan, I think your friend needs your help to catch a little culprit!" Aunty said with a laugh.

Arhaan came to the door, and Venkat stopped to catch his breath. "Why didn't any of you tell me what was on my face?" Venkat demanded.

"It was more fun not to!" said Arhaan simply.

"Well, that's not cool! Help me catch Pragya now", said Venkat.

While the two boys were talking, Pragya had slipped out from behind Fatima Aunty. She ran towards the stairs again. Venkat and Arhaan chased after her.

Vijay and Vidya lived on the same floor. They were playing with Fluffy, their pet mouse. Fluffy was startled by the commotion, and he ran away too.

"Catch Fluffy! Candy is out loose!" shouted Venkat as he ran up the stairs behind Pragya. Arhaan was right behind him.

"Oh no!" cried the twins as they saw Fluffy sneak into the open lift.

Venkat and Arhaan chased Pragya up to the fifth floor. She ran towards the end of the corridor where John's family lived. John heard the sound of people running and came out to see what was happening.

"John Anna! Hide me!" squealed Pragya.

"John! Stop her!" said Venkat.

John was very fond of Pragya because they went to the same art class. He blocked the door so Pragya couldn't go inside. "This is not what Shankar sir taught us to do in class, Chinnu", he said, addressing Pragya by her nickname. Pragya giggled.

Venkat grabbed Pragya and tickled her.

Vijay and Vidya came out of the lift holding Fluffy. Aakash had also come up the stairs after locking Candy in the house. He didn't want to miss any of the fun either.

"You know, there's only one thing left to do", Venkat said to his friends.

"What is that?" asked everyone.

Venkat pulled a brown sketch pen out of his pocket. Laughing, Venkat drew a moustache on Pragya.

"Pragya will have to keep me company till the ink wears off", he said.

"Come to think of it, you should keep me company too. You didn't tell me what was going on", said Venkat and swiftly drew a moustache onto Arhaan's face.

"Hey! That's not fair. None of the others told you either!" said Arhaan. He grabbed Venkat's sketch pen to draw a moustache on Vijay's face.

"Wait! Let me get my colours. If I have to get a moustache, I want it to be in a colour I like", said John.

Soon, all the children were sporting colourful moustaches on their faces. John's mother laughed to see them all. "What a funny looking bunch! I'm not sure what everyone will say when we go to your cousin's wedding tomorrow!" Aunty said to John. She took a photo of the group and posted it on the group chat of the building.

When Venkat and Pragya came home, Amma said with a laugh, "Your photo came home before you did!"

Venkat tried his best to wash the ink off whenever he could, but it still took a few days for the colours to fade completely. As for Pragya, Amma hid her sketch pens until the moustaches wore off.

What other adventures do you Venkat and his friends will be up to during the summer? How about you? What have you been up to? Send in your stories, facts, puzzles, art, or any other creative work and they'll be published on the website!

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