"Someone's been stealing the colour from my roses", Pip squeaked. Pit pattered down the garden muttering to himself that he was sure Pip was being the drama queen she is. How could anyone possibly steal the colour out of one's roses? But for the sheer curiousity this complaint merited, Pit decided to find out what exactly qualified as roses whose colour had been stolen. So it came as some amount of surprise, an amount only the skeptics can even imagine, when he saw that some one had, indeed, been stealing the colour from Pip's roses. There they were, in full bloom, like show girls, yet sweet with the kiss of dew. But the colour of your whites when you mix them with your reds in the machine. "Darling," he said with some uncertainty, "pink roses sometimes pale a little." "But these aren't my pink roses, these are my RED roses!", she wailed. Some one had indeed stolen the colour from the roses, Pit thought for the second time, like a typical skeptic; like he would for the third, fourth. fifth and the sixth time. He would keep thinking that till he came to terms with it, which, probably would be never.
The colour stealer struck again that night. This time it stole the gold from the mango nectar. Pip sliced the mango with the insides of an apple. White, tawny but fibrous. Nectar that isn't gold tastes like life without laughter. Dull, flat, unsweet. Pip's face was sour as unripe mangoes and Pit hmm and hawed at the tree, who in turn basked unrepentantly, unconcernedly in the afternoon sun. Its fruit felt lighter and the flies left it alone. It rather enjoyed this detachment it felt from its own offspring. The children stopped throwing stones at it. They focused on the coconuts instead. There wasn't any colour to steal from it. By mid summer, the colour thief siphoned away the purple from the berries, the ocher from the marigolds and the crimson from the chethipoo*. The oranges that came from the plateaus and the apples that came from the hills looked like badly smudged watercolour productions. But nothing prepared them for the colour-bled konnas that flowered that awful faded summer. Golden shower cassia had petered down to an unenthusiastic drizzle. Bunches of bleached yellow hung like wasted hope from the threadbare trees. Pip swept off the fallen lacklustre sunshine petals from her courtyard with a face that grew greyer by the day. Their beloved konna suddenly became deserving of its ugly latin name. Cassia Fistula. Their beloved konna which used to be bright as children's laughter. Their beloved konna of elfin yellow. The colour thief had dulled their symbol of prosperity and wellbeing into a gutter yellow. And they knew for certain that they had been cursed.