The mustard box mum to turn to

I crept into the kitchen slyly to check the amount of money available in the mustard box. I was looking through all the tiny boxes neatly arrayed on the kitchen cupboard. My mom’s mustard box was a favourite of all the family members. At month-end, whenever we were in need of money, to pay our bus fees or for evening snacks, myself and my brother did not approach father. Knowing well that his meagre salary will see us through only for half the month, at the end of every month we will be behind our mother for our daily expenses. The smoke-shaded tiny blue-lid box was the saviour of the last ten days of the month, and the sight of the box brought a smile on our faces. Whenever we saw the box we regained our hopes and it would appear to assure us, “why do you worry when I am here”? It also asserted a feeling in me and my brother that we are no more poor, but rich like others. I scanned the box. It contained lots of coins and many 10, 20 and 50 rupee notes. My heart thumped with joy. With no hesitation I can now ask mom for my lollypops and sugar-coated honey sweet. Even in the dead-end of the month we were thus able to taste hot bondas and bajjis from her savings. As I cannot stand disappointments, I made it a habit to check the mustard box every now and then before approaching mother. If she refused to give the money, I would tell her about the amount available in the box, with evidence, and coax her into giving in. My brother being my mother’s favourite, I did suspect that she was always being extra-generous with him. And many a times I saw both of them conspiring in the kitchen and upon seeing me they would pretend as if nothing was happening. I always made sure funds were available in the mustard bank for my purchases.

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