“Uh… huh… this milk powder container out of my reach” I said in disgust in my mind looking at the milk container far away in the center of the table. I was hungry and it was my usual routine to take a full tea-spoon of milk powder and chew it. But this odd day my lovely mother had kept it away from my reach.
My grandma was the caretaker for the day and she had forgotten to prepare and feed me with porridge as she was engrossed in conversation with her son (my father) on the mobile.
Nevertheless I was already on my adventure: Adventure in the kitchen. I struggled hard to stand, got the grip of the thin slab wherein vegetables were kept; they were all like army men standing in line in ‘attention’. There were tomatoes, beetroots, onions and my favorite, sight sharpeners, the carrots, if I stole one, my mother would immediately come to know that a carrot is missing. Therefore I decided to go for something else. I sat down and thought hard but couldn’t think of any edible.
“shhh…..shhh…” the pressure cooker asked me to be silent. The baby mosquito in front of my eyes stood still, the lizard was making a slow move towards the prey, I saw it red-handed and as soon as it saw me, it scuttled into its shelter probably conceiving a thought in its mind that I was a cop.
I rolled myself on the ground playfully and hit a hard plastic bucket in the corner. Hearing the noise, my grandma inquired “who’s that?” from the outside, but continued her conversation on the cell phone. I slowly raised my hand and tried to open the hard bucket cover and peeped inside, I saw chocolate like tails and quickly without waiting for a second thought I grabbed in my fist whatever I could and sat on the floor. I opened my fist and saw a brown gem, immediately I put it into my mouth and started chewing.
“krr…rr..” the door made a screeching noise and I saw my grandma coming in as though entering a haunted house, slow and steady, “who’s that?” she queried again….
She saw me in the corner and questioned, “Naveen, are you hungry my boy?” I nodded my head from top to bottom and suddenly swallowed the hard gem. She saw the bucket lying open behind me and came running to see whether they are safe. I was innocently silent as though knowing nothing. She surely might have guessed that I ate it.
But in order to investigate she said, “Naveen, do you know the story of the tamarind seed”. I shook my head from left to right, and right to left meaning to say ‘no’. I didn’t know what a tamarind is either. She removed the chocolate-colored tail and said, “This is a tamarind” and splitting it open she showed the black gem and said, “This is the seed of the tamarind”. I now knew for sure that I had swallowed the seed of the tamarind. She further explained, “If one eats the seed, the seed will go inside the stomach and become a tree, so the seed mustn’t be eaten”. I was scared and immediately started shedding tears thereafter my grandma carried me on her shoulder and said, “Don’t worry son, you might have eaten the cover of the tamarind”. I was surprised at her prudence because she later revealed that the tamarind kept in the bucket was seedless and while demonstrating to me, she showed the black cover.
Thereafter, I never took on the kitchen adventure. Thank God, I didn’t eat the seed; I would have been a part of a tamarind tree.