Irfananta: The Peanuts’ Life

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Charlie Brown can’t fly a kite.

He destroys the new neighbour’s (the red-haired girl) fence the day she is moving in.

He doesn’t get to perform his act at the school talent show as everyone else before him (he is the last in line) has taken up too much time. To make things worse, his sister, who precedes him, can’t get her act going. (He comes to her rescue, taking on the costume of the cow. The act’s a success, and so’s his sister, but not he.)

He leaves his book report till the last weekend, then decides to read ‘War and Peace’ (the same one by Leo Tolstoy), manages to finish it over the weekend (how?), manages to write a decent report (after one botched attempt), and then sees it sliced to smithereens by the still-loose model plane.

And when things seem to be turning around for him – he gets a perfect score in the test and becomes an overnight star – at the award ceremony, on receiving his paper and realizing it’s not his (in a mix-up during submission, he had written his name on the wrong sheet), he decides to own up. Much to everyone’s disappointment. Or maybe, expectation?

Seriously, Charlie Brown just can’t seem to get anything right.

So, when his name is picked up from the bowl for who’d want to be his summer pen-pal, why, when the rest of the class ignores him, does the red-haired girl, the girl of his kiddie dreams and sighs, choose him?

Charlie Brown wants to know this badly, and makes a dash for the bus – the girl is going to leave on it for the summer. He finally manages to fly the kite, or rather, the kite flies him. And reaches just when she puts her foot on the bus stoop.

“Why?” He quizzes her. “Why did you choose an insecure, wishy-washy failure?” (Have never before heard any words that depict a state of mind so perfectly.)

Her reply is sweet and simple. “I don’t see all that… I see someone who’s brave (brave enough to own up in front of the entire school)… Someone who’s compassionate (compassionate enough to forego his chance and help out his sister)…”

And Charlie Brown is sighing again.

Life should be a Peanuts’ movie.

Charlie Brown and Snoopy in a warm embrace

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