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Lesson of persistence through Onions!


It is so easy to quit when we confront obstacles and opposition. It was a day when I was dispirited. I had gone through a day where known facts were easily murdered with words like “I am not aware” or “I don’t know” just to be at safer place. Circumstances had made me think, if I had taken a decision which would only make be feel dejected. Such thoughts occupied my mind. All these, while I was driving to pick kids back from school.

I parked the car and gathered them from the school gate. They jumped into the car. As usual, they were at their high spirits.

“Mom, can you buy us gobi munchurian today?” questioned my younger daughter, aged about 7 years.

“No. Not today. There is jack fruit that has been peeled and kept for you by ajji at home.” I asserted.

“How come you got the little one (My brother’s daughter) with you that too without ajji?” questioned my elder daughter, aged about 12 years.

“Ajji has gone to yoga class. That’s why I came with maami” exclaimed my niece, aged about 4 years.

As we passed through the lane which had full of gaadiwalas selling gobi manchurian, hot idlis, bhajjis, noodles, fried rice, and other roadside delicacies, “Can you please give us some junk today?” asked my younger one.

“Can you prepare bhel puri for us today?” added the elder one.

“Yes maami, please do bhel puri” joined the youngest.

I said ok as I convinced my mind that it would not take much time as I had sweet and spicy chatnis prepared and stored in the refrigerator. I also made a quick note that I need to buy puris (puffed rice) on the way for the bhel.

“Do you need O-nions, tomato and cucumber in them?” I asked.

“Amma its not O-nions. Its un-ions. And I need puris with sweet chatni alone.” declared my younger daughter.

“Maami, I want cucumber and tomatoes. I do not want O-nions.”  said my niece.

“It’s not O-nions, its un-ions.” corrected my younger.

“I need all of it along with a little spicy chatni” told my elder.

“Fine, everybody’s choices would be taken care of.” I said and drived home. On the way kids ensured that I picked the needed puri.

At home, while the kids changed their dress, I chopped the onions, cucumber and tomatoes. I kept each of them separately. I took out a big bowl and poured sufficient puris for 4 of us. By then kids were standing next to me asking if their bhel was ready.

I added the sweet chanti and mixed well. I tasted a small portion to check if the chatni was sufficient.

Kids were holding the plates in their hand waiting for me to serve.  “Here you go, bhel without O-nions, tomatoes and cucumber” I served my younger one.

“Meeema (my younger fondly calls me so at times), its not O-nions. Its un-ions.” She said confidently and got busy with her bhel.

I smiled at her patient continuous attempt to correct my pronunciation. Then I added some tomatoes and cucumber on to the mixing bowl and served my niece. With excitement she announced “My bhel with tomatoes and cucumber. No o-nions.” She immediately corrected, “No un-ions.”

Later I added onions to the mixing bowl and a little spicy chatni and served my elder. “And this is yours. With o-nions and spicy chatni.”

She shouted “Amma, its un-ions

“Phonetic of O is ‘O’, then how does it become ‘UN’ while saying un-ion” I said a little irritated by now. English is a funny language I thought.

I took the mixing bowl and started eating directly from it. I sat down with kids. “O-nions somehow make the food tastier” I said.

“Its not o-nions. Its un-ions” said all three of them unanimously looking at me. And we all chuckled.

Later at night while I was reading something on the net, I came across the word onion. Suddenly my attention went on its pronunciation. “Is it O-nions or un-ions?”, I had a doubt.  I googled and found that it was “un-ions.

Wow, my younger daughter had managed to teach me the lesson of persistence through onions. “The ability to persist in the face of adversities/oppositions/setbacks/disappointments is the measure of one’s belief in oneself.” It strangely had the answers or the guidance to my thoughts of dejection earlier that day. She simply managed to make me realize that even if the circumstances were not in my favor, I should be persistent on my decisions.

For a chance, onions had managed to elicit a smile from me instead of a tear. 😊

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