Smiling at a bad memory

I was at a small eatery one Saturday evening when these three kids asked me for help. They didn’t seem needy, but they had the most adorable smiles and I genuinely believed they needed help. They asked me if I could drop them home and since I couldn’t take all three of them on my bike, I asked them if there was any other way I could help them, I thought they would ask me to call their parents. Instead, they asked for candy, with a smile.

Me being my generous self, I bought candies and cookies and treated them to masala puri and pani puri. In that half hour, the boys narrated their story.

I don’t remember their names, so lets just call them A,B,C for now. A was the eldest, B was smart and C was the youngest and the most adorable. A started narrating the story, saying his parents were out of town and the kids (who are brothers/ cousins) were asked to stay at their Aunt’s. They didn’t want to, so they thought they would take a stroll around the city, with nothing in their pockets.

Exhausted, they started to hitch hike, hoping someone will drop them home. I got curious, and started to ask questions like where his parents were, where they would stay, was their aunt informed, their mum’s phone number, stuff like that. The boys had the same answers and it seemed like they were really lost.

I asked my friend to drop them home, and since it was almost 7 pm, said we should drop them home right away. The boys then said they lived close by and would walk home. I got a little suspicious but the B and C just wanted to show off their math skills and started to loudly dictate tables and spell out big words. It was adorable! I just gave up, bought their story, made sure they would reach home safe and bought them a bag full of candies and baked goodies.

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Look at those cute smiles, hard to say no! Right?

The next weekend, I spotted the boys again from a distance. I remember thinking to myself ‘what a bunch of explorers’ because they were on the other side of the city. And then… there they were, asking for another ride. And as I got closer, their hands got lower and they turned the other way. I think… I.. got.. conned, by ten-year-olds!

But, hey, best conversation with kids I’ve had, ever. I remember those three faces everytime I have masala puri now.

On my plate this week, I have a spiced pea soup, served with layers of delicate pancakes and tomato mousse, garnished with store-bought sev. They were not so great individually but eaten together, they definitely complimented each other.

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