The tale of the homemade wheat pasta

Today was a special day. The house was abuzz with shuffling feet and high pitched summons. The air was energised with a current of excitement. And every one of his children and grandchildren had descended into his sprawling mansion. Because it was Dadaji day. It was her grandfather’s 110th birthday. And the old man was touched to see his children working on making it special. It was 4 hours till 12 am. And the entire family of three kids their spouses and their kids in turn found their seats around the marble dining table. The maid went around serving her employers with a silver spoon. And as the feast was spread, dadaji declined all the tempting, sizzling, steaming delicacies on the table. Except for one. He took a generous helping of the lightly glazed wheat penne pasta with spinach and juicy corn. And as his daughters-in-law fussed over him, he politely sat at the head of the table and played along. And then, he said. “As you all know, I have an announcement to make.” The kids looked up at him expectantly. There was silence amongst the elders but the kids continued to throw tissue papers at each other. “I am 110. Never thought I’d live this long, let alone living without your mother for so many years. But the truth is I have survived. And I know my family is doing well. I have faith in all your earning capabilities. And I know that my job is done. So I will be donating my entire estate, this mansion included to the Mother Theresa Fund.” There was complete silence on the table. Until one of the daughters-in-law hissed rather angrily and audibly to her husband—”I want to leave right now.” The sons sprung out of their chairs while the daughter tried to change dadaji’s mind. But nothing worked. And then, as they left, dadaji said “don’t leave on a bad note. It’s my birthday. You deserve a return gift.” they were each given a wrapped present and they accepted it grudgingly. They ripped open the wrapping paper as soon as they left and saw their conscience prick the heart. The old man had framed a picture of the mansion and at the back of the picture it read, “You’ll miss this more than me.”

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