Categories
Stories

Recipe for Disaster – Part 1


Where’s the bucket?

Bouquet Tarts
Anna* and I used to fight like cats and dogs as little kids. Our fights would often get physical, and we’d hurt each other pretty badly. Our mother would patch us up more frequently than she would have liked, and grudgingly we would apologise to each other.

To the outside world, though, the story was entirely different. We were extremely well behaved around guests, and even stood up for each other. In family photographs, we looked like the sweetest sibling combination.

Maybe there was something there that the photographs captured, that we couldn’t comprehend. It was perhaps due to our silly childish stubbornness, that we chose to ignore the obvious. Despite all the petty fights and bashing up, we made one heck of a team – if we wanted to.

It was a week before our parents’ anniversary. I was very small – maybe eight or nine years old. My brother had saved up a little money. I have no idea how,  but that was not of any concern to me. Anna and I went to a local florist, and we chose a beautiful bouquet for them.

On our way back, anna kept the bouquet a little further away from the staircase leading up to our apartment on the first floor. He asked me to go in first.

Our house was seldom locked at the time, and we went in and out of the house without having to disturb anyone to close the door.

My job was to enter first and distract my mother, while anna would come in later and hide the flowers somewhere inside the house. And then we had to wait – till one of them found the hidden gift. It was a perfect plan!

I did my part of the job, and anna did his. So good was the execution of the plan, that even I didn’t know when and how my brother hid the flowers. The hardest part was waiting for the bouquet to be discovered.

And we waited for a long time. I grew fidgety and restless. After what seemed like aeons, when I could no longer control my impatience, I pulled my brother into the kitchen, and asked where exactly he had hidden the gift. In my excitement, I blabbered ‘Where is the bucket?’. He gave me a bewildered look.

‘Where is it – where did you hide the bucket? They haven’t seen it yet!’ I continued, ignoring the strange looks.

He looked past me, and refused to answer. ‘What are you looking at?’

I turned around, and found our mother standing right behind me. She looked down at me, and unable to control herself any more, burst out laughing.

That day went down in our family’s history as the ‘bucket fiasco’ and the source of laughter for years to come.


* Anna is a Tamil word meaning elder brother.

Image based on Photo by Meg Zimbeck CC-BY-2.0

Categories
Hobbies

Portrait of a Bouquet


She was a gem. And to capture her beauty was not something that was easy for me. She could hardly stand still. She kept running and tripping over herself just to avoid me. And in the end I gave up trying to take her picture. And instead just admired her.

One Bouquet – Three Views (Two were simply not enough!)

Weekly Photo Challenge – One Shot, Two Ways

Categories
Hobbies Musings

The Bouquet


She had been uprooted from her home, decorated to highlight her appealing petals, and given away to indifferent people. In her new ‘home’, she sat quietly in a corner, waiting to be noticed.

Her new family did not appreciate her. They had seen many more like her, and like all the others, she would be abandoned. The garbage collector would pick her up, and she would spend the rest of her short life along with plastics and other alien creatures.

She looked absolutely beautiful. And at the same time, she looked sad. We noticed her head looking towards the ground. She was tired, and disappointed. We decided to adopt her.

We peeled away the pins and wires that surrounded her, and even as I offered her water, some of her delicate petals gave way.

Free from the shackles, and getting a little care, she felt lighter. Was there a hint of a smile? She still missed her home. Nothing could replace that, but now, she hoped she could spend the rest of her days in peace.

Categories
Hobbies Stories

Teacher’s Day Out


Today is Teachers’ Day in India – in honour of Dr S Radhakrishnan. In the small primary school that my mother volunteers, the children come from poor* families, and are often ill behaved. While most of the other teachers resort to beating the children into being quiet, she doesn’t believe in beating the kids. As a result, managing them, is a nightmare for my mother. Along with the politics of the management and back-biting from other teachers, the kids were at least partially responsible for my mother falling sick this past week.

After a prolonged absence from work, when she went back to school, the children greeted her with flowers and cards. One little present stood out. The most mischievous child had made a box out of paper. Coloured with crayons, decorated with ‘chamki‘ **, complete with a ‘ribbon’ – it was simple and charming.

When I was in school, one of my teacher’s  said,  “Every person I meet, is a teacher to me…”
Here’s wishing all my teachers, a happy Teachers’ Day!

*poor – the term poor here refers not merely to the financial status of the students.  Most of the families earn a decent income. They live in bad localities, and their behaviour is often unruly.

** chamki – sequins