The Dinner Table: A Short Story

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“Baba (Father)….. The tea is ready.”
“Shhhh… Maa (Mother) is sleeping. She could not sleep last night.”
“Nice tea by the way!”
Maturity is a gift to the responsible. Ansh is a grown up boy now. Waking up early he would always help his father in all the households. He often wonders about the time when his maa would drag him out of the bed at six in the morning to get ready for school. A man’s life is not the same always. Maa is sick now. Depression and anxiety along with the medications is gradually taking away her health, feelings and emotions. Ansh would never miss a chance to make his mother happy. “Maa.. Do you remember your favorite actress? She was saying that Yoga and meditation is a perfect path to fitness” said Ansh with an expectation to motivate her. At times when we are hurdled by the enormous unsatisfactory outcomes, we still need to have faith on the Supreme Soul. We just need to accept.

” Keya.. Have you taken your medicine?”
” Ansh… can you go to the market and bring me this medicine? Tell Baba that he did not notice that the medicine is out of stock.”
“Ansh… Tell your mother that she never tells me when a medicine is out of stock.”
Last night, Keya and Praaveen had a fight over Keya’s lifestyle. Praveen expects Keya to be the perfect wife again. They are married for twenty five years now. Keya got married at the age of twenty which led to some unfulfilled desires even after being educated. She always wanted a perfect life. A job, a perfect husband and a nice family with a progressive thought is what she wanted, but her mother’s early demise and an uncaring father led to her marriage at such an early age. With time, she was gradually engulfed in depressions.

“Maa…. I was thinking if I could make some evening snacks. There are a lots of recipes in YouTube.”

“No Aishee! You don’t know how to operate the gas cylinder. Stay away from it”
“How will I learn if I always stay away from it? Please teach me Maa.”
Aishee , the younger of the two children of Keya and Praveen, is the wisest of them all. She is a brilliant student and also a brilliant soul. She knows how to handle Maa and how to bring up ways to motivate her. She stays at home, unlike Ansh who stays away from home due to work. She wishes to become a stand up comedian so that she can spread happiness. “The funniest people know what it is like to be happy”. This thought had inspired her.

Praveen had been a banker all his life. His day would start from six in the morning and end at eleven in the night. He would never expect anything from his children as he knew that unfulfilled expectations lead to grief. He grew up in a very poor family. He knows what it is like to be poor. He never let his children feel less privileged.
Everyday, Praveen would make breakfast for the family and take some of it as lunch for his office. After coming back he would make some tea, watch some television shows and then sit at the dinner table along with his wife and children for dinner. This was the time when this small family would actually come together. Conversation about different topics would overflow the scene which would help Keya forget about her depressions, may be for a certain time, but enough for the family to start the next day with refilled energy.

“Maa.. you don’t have to cook today.. Aishee and I want to make some nice curry for lunch and Baba can have it at the dinner table”
“Okay, but don’t put potatoes. Your Baba has diabetes”
Ansh with a smile in his face understood that we should look for small acts of love to be happy.

The puzzle of Life is sometimes harsh to start with and sometimes harsh to end with, but in the end when we look back we find the cubes of the puzzle are rightly matched.

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