I was feeling a bit hungry. Then I remembered I had bought a loaf of bread from the bakery across my house. I opened the cupboard took the bread out.
“Hey anyone wants to eat some bread and jam?” I asked
“Yeah sure” Aparna and Shylaja answered
“What jam do you have?” Anitha asked
“Kissan mixed fruit” I took the bottle out and showed her.
“I prefer Kissan’s pineapple jam. It is really good, have you tried that?” Anitha asked
Pineapple jam? A floodgate of memories burst open suddenly.
‘I hate you Amma; you are the worst mother on planet earth. How can you make us eat bread and jam every single day? I wish Appa was here. He would have given you two tight slaps for making his children eat onakka rotti and Pineapple jam’ I heard little Nina screaming.
“Yeah I have tried it, it is very nice” I replied.
Very nice? I said the pineapple jam is very nice when my friend said she liked it?
Am I not the one who said, pineapple jam is the worst jam on earth few years ago? Am I not the one who accused my mother of trying to save money by buying the cheapest jam on earth? Now all of a sudden pineapple jam is very nice?
I remembered all those times I used to fight with Amma for making me eat bread and jam.
Amma used to buy a huge tin of pineapple jam and expected us to eat bread and jam for breakfast and for evening snack every single day. I used to hate her for not caring enough. I felt my Amma was a lazy bone unlike the loving mother’s of all my friends who would wake up early in the morning and make puttu or Dosai or things like that for breakfast!
I knew my Amma was a nasty mean Amma, that is why she bought bread and jam. She didn’t even have to waste her precious time and spread the jam on the bread. Her kids were old enough to do that chore all by themselves.
I used to think that, If Amma had loved us a little bit, then she would have cooked something for us for breakfast. I used to wonder why she gave birth to us if she didn’t want to raise us!
And now, when I was hungry I had no trouble eating bread and jam.
gathi kettal puli pullum thinnum. I tried to laugh it off by saying that desperate situations calls for desperate measures. But there was an itsy bitsy ache somewhere in my heart. An ache of regrets.(erinja kallum paranja vakkum!!)
I made jam sandwiches for all of us.
I folded the bread cover back and wrapped a rubber band around it. I didn’t want the bread to get mouldy. I won’t be able to buy another loaf of bread till I go back home.
I remembered Arjun. I knew he was hungry and I knew instead of going to the canteen to eat something, he would be sitting in the room and sulk. I took the rest of the bread and the jam and was just about to open the door when I heard Shylaja ask
“Where are you going?” Shylaja asked. She was looking at the bread in my hand
“Oh!Arjun wouldn’t have got anything to eat, so I thought I will send him some food through Gangamma” I regretted the moment those words came out of my mouth. It was nothing but the truth. But it had more implications than a simple gesture of feeding the hungry.
“Oh that is so romantic!” Shylaja cooed
Was it romantic?
Sending food to your classmate because you know he is hungry (and you are the reason he is hungry) is not romantic.
I looked at Shylaja to tell her that it wasn’t a romantic gesture.
But sometimes you just know you are wasting your time trying to change someone’s convictions, especially when you are holding half a loaf of bread and a nearly full bottle of Kissan jam in your hand.
I turned and walked out of the room.
It didn’t take too long to find Gangamma and enlist her help to deliver the bread and jam to Arjun. I went back to my room and proceeded to revise microbiology.
I felt good knowing that I was a nice person. At least I send bread to someone who was hungry.
I waited for Gangamma to come back and bring the Thank you note from Arjun. That is the least he could do No?
I waited and waited. Sometime later I heard Gangamma talking loudly to Siddamma outside the corridor. I checked the time. 4.30 pm. It took Gangamma this long to come back?
I opened the door and went out
“Gangamma did you give the bread?” I asked
“Yes Ma. I gave it almost 2 hours ago” She answered
I thought of snapping and asking her, then why didn’t you come and tell me? Then I remembered, I didn’t ask her to come and tell me that she delivered the bread. I had simply expected Arjun to send a note through Gangamma.
“Did he say anything?”
“No ma. He didn’t say anything.
“You gave the bread to Arjun sir, No?” I wanted to reconfirm.”Yes Nina ma, I gave it to Arjun sir”JERK. That is all I could think at that moment. I regretted even bothering to send the bread.

2 thoughts on “

  1. Great post. Till date I thought that my mom was the only one who fed me, her only child with B&J. That lesson is pretty useful now staying all alone in this freezing country..

  2. zgxqInteresting narrative….you should try MY pineapple jam…next to my aunt’s home-made version, i think it’s the best. My home-baked coconut bread is also the best! So…you see? Bread and jam is not all THAT bad if it’s quality stuff…commercial ones, yes….YUK! Somehow, I think your mom and i have to have a chat about quality foods. Go to the Food Channel for more inspiration, k? And enjoy eating well…even on a student budget it’s possible.

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