We were taught to help around the house from a young age. While my sister was amma’s second in command, my brother used to bring the milk from the dairy farm which was a bit far away. He would take his cycle and pedal away. Sometimes he would even get vegetables. For this contribution of theirs they would get pocket-money, yes we had to work for our pocket-money.
But when they can earn, why not me, I asked. The age difference between them and me was quite a bit but I wanted my pocket money too. And for that the parents decided that my job was to prepare the dinner table, the only meal which we all had together except the days when Papa had second shift and would return home by 10.30p.m.
My mom was particular that the plates would be washed again and wiped before keeping them on the table. Owing allegiance to my butter fingers everyday one or the other plate would fall. Papa would call out, ‘What fell now?’. I would cry out, ‘The plate. But it is not my fault, it just happened‘. It was good that we ate on stainless steel plates. If not the regular intervals at which i dropped plates would make us bankrupt. It happened with such regularity that everyone else would come and sit on the chairs knowing that dinner was ready. The aunty living next door would send around some special dish which she had prepared just on hearing the sound of the plate crashing.
My specialty did not remain with crashing plates. I destroyed whatever I touched. Like my brother had a collection of pens which he would keep in a safe place. Once I had severe viral fever and did not go to school for some days, none of the pens survived. When he came to know he advanced toward me with flaming eyes and flaring nostrils. My excuse, ‘But it is not my fault, it just happened‘.
My husband loves glassware. Before my arrival he had beautiful vases, fruit bowl etc. None of them survived. When his favorite vase broke, he asked me almost teary eyed, ‘How did you manage to break this’. My reply, ‘But it is not my fault, it just happened‘. He never bought anything brittle from then on.
My niece is almost my copy both in looks as well as habits. The only difference being she is an extrovert, I was not. Nothing escapes her hand. Whether it is a glass or a CD. Her excuse, ‘But it is not my fault, it just happened‘.
My son is no better. While his things survive, ours do not. Pens, CDs, mobiles every thing is at risk when he is around. You guessed it right, his excuse. ‘But it is not my fault, it just happened’.
Traditions you see, in our family, are carried on. 😀