Kheer: A Recipe For Life

mother and son short story
Kheer: A Recipe For Life/Image Courtesy: Stuart Spivack
Dev, on that day, stormed in the home, throwing his shoes, bag, and water bottle. His school uniform was all muddled up, and so he was, covered with dirt from head to toe. Meera, his mother, thought there might be some sports event in the school and it’s during the game, he might have become such a mess. But Meera got the hint when she saw his face, redden in the anger.

Meera undoing his shoes and school uniform asks Dev, “So you have fun with your friends, today.”

Dev snapped, “I don’t have any friends.”

Meera, “So what about Kunal, Paras, and Aman”

Dev, “They are not friends. I am not friend with them anymore.”

Meera, “What happened”, while giving him an orange.

Dev, “Paras is better than me in studies, and Kunal and Aman in cricket. They all are better than me. I am nothing in front of them.”

Meera, “So you had a fight with them.”

Dev, looking below, in a lower tone said, “Yes.”

But he quickly adds in his defense that they started the fight by calling him nothing.

Meera cleaned him up and dressed him in fresh clothes.

Dev innocently asks her, “Mum, Am I not good in anything.”

Meera ignored the question, and then asked Dev, “You want some kheer.”

Dev loves the kheer, so he rushed toward the kitchen to find it. And when he hasn’t, he shouted, “Where is the kheer? Mum.”

Meera shouted back, “It’s there. Look carefully.”

Dev after trying a bit, shouted again, “I am not able to find it. Please Mom, tell where it is?”

Meera came to the Kitchen and gave him glass of milk and said, “Here it is.”

Dev looked at Meera, took a sip, and then said, “Mum. It’s Milk not Kheer.”

Meera, “Oops! I forgot” Then gave him a bowl of rice.

Dev, “its rice. Mum. It’s not kheer.”

Meera gave him sugar this time.

Dev looked at her, a little frustrated, and then put the sugar jar on the kitchen top.

Finally Meera handled him a jar of nuts, and again said, “Here, it is.” and Dev goes nuts by looking at the jar, though he gulped a handful of them, but after having them, he said “Mum, Please don’t fool me. If you have the kheer, tell me where is it or don’t play with me.”

Meera while playing with his hair said, “It is the kheer, Son. See, you have milk, rice, sugar and nuts. It’s the everything you have in kheer.”

Dev, “I know, but they are individual things.”

Meera lights the gas, and started preparing the kheer by adding each ingredient. After some time, kheer was ready. Dev saw everything.

Meera serves the kheer to Dev, and then said, “Here, it is.”

While Dev was eating the Kheer, Meera asked him, “Do you get anything?” Dev, “What, Mum?” Meera, “How thing works? How kheer is made?” Dev, “Yes. You light the gas. Put the container. Put all ingredients one by one. And after sometime, it’s ready.” Dev stops with a big smile.

Meera, “Good. And that’s how life works. You know, life is like making kheer. You start with the fire in your heart. You learn new things and use that learning in your life. Sometimes you get creative, and add handful of nuts. With time and dedication, your kheer is ready, the thing you always want to have. And who knows, you might be as good as Paras in academics or Kunal and Aman in sports.”

Dev, “Yeah….. But how?”

Meera, “If you study on daily basis, you learn things. And use your learning in your homework. You might be as good student as Paras or might be better than him. Similarly, if you want to be good sportsman like Kunal and Aman, learn the basics of the game, and use your learning in the game. And you can be also better than them.”

Dev smiled, “And what about life as you said?”

Meera undoing his hair, “You will get it someday, eventually”

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