"Gita, How many times do I have to tell you to be careful while cooking?” Shouted an agitated Vijay Kumar. “See, today also I found a strand of your hair in my soup.” Gita was irked up by such comments passed by Vijay. She retorted “I did not do it deliberately. Sometimes it does happen. Why can’t you be more considerate rather than losing your temper over such trivial matter?” Their children Arjun (10) and Riya (7) watched them in exasperation. Their parents could be so silly at times, squabbling with each other for no rhyme or reason.
Riya looked at her brother and shook her head in disgust. She said, “Parents are really strange, Bhaiyya. They advise us not to fight with each other but they quarrel like toddlers. What can we do now ?” Arjun replied, “You are right Riya but together we can do something to make them realize about their irresponsible behavior. I have devised a plan and I need your help to carry it out. Will you help me?’’ Riya grinned and said “Sure. I am always ready to assist you. I will do whatever you say.”
Arjun chuckled and whispered something in her ear. Riya could not control her laughter and showed thumbs up sign indicating her willingness to go ahead with their mischievous scheme. After coming back from school, the siblings went straight to their respective rooms and without creating much fuss, freshened up, changed their clothes and had their evening snacks with milk. Their grandmother was very surprised to see them in such a sober mood. She asked them lovingly, “What happened? Why are you two mischief mongers so quiet today?” Arjun replied, “Don’t worry, Grandma. We are fine. We have loads of homework to be done. We will see you after finishing our studies for the day.” Their grandmother nodded and smiled at them.
Their parents came back after finishing a hectic schedule. Arjun signaled Riya and both of them got into action. Arjun was shouting at the top of his voice, “Riya, I can’t find my pencil and I need it to complete my geometry homework. Have you seen it?” Riya retorted “No. I have not seen it and besides I am too busy to search for your silly little pencil.” Arjun appeared to be fuming in anger and said “Since I am your elder brother, you should not argue with me. In fact, you should be helping me out by lending one of your pencils.” Riya replied, “You are old enough to take care of your things. How can you depend on me to finish your work.” Their parents looked at each other in exasperation. Finally, Vijay intervened and said “Look children, you should not fight with each other over trivial matters. We have come home absolutely famished after finishing a busy day at the office and expect peaceful atmosphere at home. Your bickering gives us headache. So Arjun, try to be polite to your sister and Riya should also help your elder brother instead of answering back.”
“But Papa,” asked Arjun politely, “Is this advice meant only for us? Is not applicable to the elders?” “What do you mean?” asked his perplexed father.
“You advised us not to fight but every day you are arguing with Mama over silly issues. You are finding fault with her and chiding her. She gets scolded in spite of working hard both at home and in the office. She has to do lots of work with no one to share her burden. This is the reason why she gets frustrated and answers you back. Because of your daily incessant bickering, we are finding it hard to study at home.”said Arjun. He further added, “ I am sorry if I have hurt your feelings.” He left his father alone and went on to finish his home work.
Vijay was taken aback on hearing such strong words from his 10 year old son and realized the truth in them. He was seriously thinking about this issue when Gita came with a hot cup of coffee and gave it to him. She asked him “What is the matter?” He replied, “Today, Arjun taught me a good lesson.” He quickly filled in the details of the conversation that took place between the father and the son. He also apologized to her for his insensitivity. Gita smiled and she too asked for forgiveness for any harsh words spoken by her.
Arjun and Riya who were secretly watching this conversation from their room, hugged each other .