January 23, 2007

Sweet and Salty

There, once, was a little boy named Kabir.

Kabir was a very obedient boy; he thought he was but he could not understand why his parents were always finding one or the other fault with him. He just shrugged his shoulders at that and thought, “Well that is how parents are, I should be thankful that I don’t have an evil step mom or step dad.”

One day, some friends of his mother had come to visit them. He was on his best behavior, as he usually was when there were visitors. Kabir really loved it when someone told his parents, “Oh! Your son is an angel!”. On such occasions he just pretended that he had heard nothing, though inside he felt really, really happy.

He heard his mother say, “Let me go and make you some tea!”

One of her friends said, “ Don’t trouble yourself, we are meeting after so long, let us just talk.” These pleasantries continued for a while. One side was insisting on making tea and the other side was insisting that they didn’t want tea at all. Kabir was always bored with such pleasantries and was waiting for them to decide on making tea, so that he could ask his mom to make a cup for him too. He was not usually allowed tea but when there were visitors he was given a cup.

But no side seemed willing to let up. Then Kabir heard his mother say, “ Ok! I will not go, but we will have tea. Kabir, why don’t you be a good boy and make us all some tea.”

Kabir didn’t believe his ears. Yes, he had asked his mom to teach him how to make tea but that was for fun. He had never thought, in his wildest dreams, that she would ask him to make tea for her and her friends.

But, he had no choice. He cared for his image too much and he wouldn’t let it be spoiled for a few cups of tea. He dragged his feet to the kitchen, while his mother and her friends were busy talking and broke into laughter every now and then.

Now, there is a reason why the television is called an idiot Box. You watch it long enough and you will become an idiot. Kabir was guilty of watching the TV a tad too much, and in one of the shows he had seen a guy put salt in tea instead of sugar and how he had the last laugh because of that. Kabir knew now what he was going to do. They wanted tea; he would make them tea, like they had never had before.

He put the pan on the stove, boiled some water, added tea leaves and was pleased at the thought of watching the people sitting outside take their first sip of his tea. Almost at the same time he was hit by a wave of guilt. He pushed that to the back of his mind, but guilt having once raised his head is hard to put down.

Kabir didn’t want his mom to look bad but he didn’t want to lose the opportunity to pull a prank either. So, he decided to go ahead with the original plan of adding salt to the tea. And also make a second pot of tea where he would put sugar and thus he would be able to play his prank as well as not embarrass his parents.

Soon, the two sets of tea were ready. Kabir took the salty tea and poured it out in cups and took the cups to the intended drinkers. As, one by one, the cups were picked up Kabir could not help but smile. He sat there, looking at the faces of the tea-drinkers, expectantly. One after the other they sipped their tea but no said anything- they kept drinking the tea, and talking, as if nothing was wrong.

At every sip, Kabir thought that they would now notice that the tea was salty and not sweet. But, soon the tea was drunk and the empty cups were all put back in the tray and Kabir was asked to take them back into the kitchen.

As soon as he was out of hearing reach, someone said, “Was it me or was the tea salty?”

“It was” almost everyone said in unison.

“Thanks for not saying anything before. He is learning how to make it yet.” said the mother. Everyone said it was okay as they were not interested in the tea in the first place.

Mean while in the kitchen, Kabir had poured the good tea down the sink and with a tear gathering in his eye, he promised himself that he would never do something silly like that again and be a really good boy.


stev said...

interesting tale there
(was kinda hoping that he would pour the sweet tea for the guests & the salty tea for his mom :P)

reminds me of some other tale of sugar & salt, lovers & a lifetime. that was a good story too.

Blue Panther said...

Stev:Thanks for the comment!

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