Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Almost wasted

This is a story of my childhood that I can never forget. I was a small kid when my parents had thrown a party at home, which was attended by several guests. My mother used to work hard do all the housework herself, so the burden of washing all the used utensils would have fallen on her shoulders the next morning.

When I woke up the next morning, I found her asleep as she was very tired, having spent the previous day working hard and making preparations for the party. We used to get water in our home only upto 9 am, it was 8 am and my mother was still asleep. I panicked, knowing that she would have a terrible time if we run out of water with all the dirty utensils of previous day's party unwashed. I did not have the heart to wake her up as she looked so exhausted, even in her sleep.

I decided to wash some of the utensils myself, to take some of the burden off her shoulders. I started with the ones which I thought she would need that day for lunch & dinner. Then, I felt I should also do some others, which were the expensive ones, and which she used only when there were guests at home. Having finished those too, I thought I would do some more, so I washed as many as I could till the time I realized I had almost finished the whole lot. The only one left was a big greasy vessel which looked impossible to work on. Thinking how much my mother would appreciate it, I decided to wash that utensil as well. It was a lot of struggle before I could get all the grease of the vessel and it was shining bright.

I looked with satisfaction at the body of work I had done and was looking forward to the surprise and gratitude on my mother's face when she discovered I had finished all the chores in the kitchen for her. I waited for the moment when my mother would wake up and hug me with joy. I waited, and waited, and waited some more.

Finally, my tired mom woke up and headed for the kitchen. I held my breath in excitement for the big surprise and for that look in her eyes, and the hug that would follow, and maybe something special for lunch that day. She entered the kitchen, fumbled with a few things, washed her face in the sink, and walked out, leaving a very disappointed 7-year-old watching all his hard work go down the drain. No surprise, no appreciation, no hugs, no expressions of gratitude. I could not believe this was happening to me.

I saw her go to the bathroom, waited for her to come out, following her wherever she went. Finally, I could bear it no more, so I took her hand and led her into the kitchen once more, asked her to take a good look, and that's when she realized what I had done for her. She was too groggy with sleep to realize it when she had entered the kitchen earlier. She hugged me tight and ran her fingers through my hair. I had saved her a lot of work that day and it was worth all the effort, seeing her smile so bright.