chakki’s gift

I opened the bundle and saw raw cashew nuts inside. I love cashew nuts. Although Ammachi sells the cashews, Chakki always save some for me. She would roast them in the fire and then use a rock to crush and remove the burnt shell and gives me freshly roasted cashew nut.
“Will you roast the cashew for me now?” I asked her.
“Not now Nina, I have to cook rice for lunch. We will roast the cashews in the evening”
Chakki took rice from the wooden rice box. She measured the rice using an old cigarette tin. We walked to well. I sat on the washing stone near the well while Chakki washed the rice.
“Chakki, did you ever manage to catch the fish in the well with the bucket ? ”
“Of course Nina, few days ago we caught the catfish Ammachi had placed in the well last year. It was this big”. She gestured using her hand.
“How did you catch the fish?”
“I let the bucket sink to the bottom and wait. When the fish is swimming over the bucket, I quickly pull the bucket up and the fish will get trapped inside the bucket”
“Chakki, will you teach me how to catch the fish with the bucket?”
“Just now your mother punished you for playing with the water, and now you want to learn how to catch fish with a bucket?”
“If you don’t want to teach why don’t you tell so, I don’t like you anymore Chakki” and I walked off.
Ammachi and Appa were walking around the farm. Ammachi was showing Appa the new coconut trees saplings.
Then I remembered the candies I hid near the jackfruit tree, I quickly walked to the tree to collect them. Red ants were already eating my candies. I tried to rub the ants off and the ants started to run all over my hands and bite me. I shook my hands hoping to dislodge them from my hands. Finally I got rid of the ants, still few of them were stuck on the candies. I didn’t want Amma to catch me with the candies, so I walked quietly to the brook. There brook was dry. I climbed down slowly and sat at the bottom of the brook. I knew Amma wouldn’t be able to find me there. I used my dress and cleaned the ants off the candies. There were so many smooth glistening rocks around me. I collected 5 similar looking ones and started playing jumping jacks. I must have sat there for a long time, because I heard Amma calling out my name. I quickly climbed out of the brook and walked to the house.

Ammachi was in the kitchen frying the pappadam and Chakki was busy draining the water from the rice. After draining all the hot water from the boiled rice, Chakki used a scoop and placed the rice in to glass serving bowl. She placed the steaming hot rice on the kitchen table. Amma set the table and filled water in the glasses. Everyone except me gets water in a glass. She always gives me a stainless steel tumbler.
“Amma can you give me water in a glass?”
She gave me one look and I knew the answer is NO and i shouldn’t discuss any further. I climbed on the bench near the table in order to see what Ammachi cooked for me. I saw right away that Ammachi made my favourite payaru thoran (spicy green gram curry). Ammachi makes the best payaru thoran in the world and she knows it is my favourite dish. When no one was looking at me I quickly grabbed a handful of payaru thoran and put in my mouth. I ran out of the kitchen to the veranda. Appa was lying down on the lazy chair and reading th news paper. I climbed on the lazy chair next to Appa. He didn’t say anything and continued to read his paper.

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