“May I have this sweet?” Eight-year-old Bantu looked up at his mother with hope simmering in his eyes.
He envisaged a smile on her lips and a slight nod of her head gesturing to him that he could have his fill. He only needed her acquiescence and then he would hog on those mouth-watering Mysore paks.
Bantu’s face fell and hopes of relishing the lip-smacking sweet came crashing down like a pack of cards as his mother threw a threatening glance at him. Vehemently shaking her head she dragged Bantu.
“Come let us go home. I have made Besan ladoos for you,” she tried enticing the sulking boy.
Bantu tried in vain to wriggle himself away from her hold.
He hated the tastes of all the sweets his mother made of late. Bantu could never decipher why an excellent cook like her had started preparing tasteless sweets and forced him to eat only those. They lacked the aroma of ghee and tasted weird.
Bantu was still grappling to come to terms with the erratic behaviour of his mother. She would not allow him to go to any birthday parties of his friends. She wouldn’t allow him to eat as before.
“I told you not to take him along for your friend’s son’s engagement.” Bantu’s father brandished his pointer at Bantu’s mother when they returned home, and he found out the reason for Bantu’s sobbing.
“He is a kid and will ask for sweets and you are well aware that there would be sweets in an engagement ceremony.”
Bantu felt that his father was justified. Why did mom have to take him along if she wasn’t going to allow him to eat any sweets? There was a variety of them decorated, and he had asked for only one of them though he liked them all.
Bantu refused to eat the besan laddoos his mom brought on a plate.
He noticed that his mother’s eyes had turned misty.
Was it because dad shouted at her or was it because he refused to eat the ladoos? Bantu was confused. He felt sad to see his mother cry.
“Don’t cry ma, I will have the ladoos,” he said wiping her tears.
“But tell me ma, why don’t these ladoos taste the same as before? Why do you stop me from having those cakes I used to relish?”
The next moment he regretted having questioned her for she almost broke into a wail.
Bantu generally found it amusing when elders cried. According to his postulate, crying was something that only children did. His grandma would start shedding tears at the drop of a hat and he enjoyed a hearty chuckle seeing her shed tears.
Today however he felt remorseful for having made his mother cry.
He didn’t coax her further to give her the reason for the change in her cuisine and even if he had how was a poor mother going to explain to him what juvenile diabetes meant?
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One thought on “The Forbidden Delicacy”
Ahh! The pain of a child suffering from a juvenile disease is so hard to cope up with. My heart melted at this beautiful narration. Beautifully penned!