How about a little trip down the memory-lane today? Don't worry I am not going to turn pages from my high-school history book - it is about an incident (somewhat funny incident) of my childhood days.
I must have been 6 or 7. And Sharlie (my sister) 4 or 5. We used to play for hours after coming back from school - especially on Saturdays when there was no homework-pressure.
It must have been one of those Satuday afternoons. Ma was out for some time, so we both were 'in charge' of the house. Especially me - the big brother. We had friends playing in the common varandah - I forget what it was but must have been the game of 'Stapu' or 'Pitthu'. When we were playing together, we used to play more 'gender neutral' games as opposed to street-Cricket or park-soccer (this is not to say that I was good at any of these sports, but I've played them just enough to have some memories)
Whatever the game was, that day was something special - firstly, Ma was out for a while, and secondly there was a bottle-full of 'Calcium Sandoz'. We still remember that white dog-shaped plastic bottle - the dog with a blue-nose..
That was our favorite. Well, what was not? Cookies, Cake, Candies, Chocolate and if nothing else, Sugar. For those who can't picture someone popping spoonful of sugar in mouth, sugar in India is crystals - as compared to granular in the U.S. And when eaten a mouthful, it melts gradually down your throat while you can still feel the crystals in your whole mouth (slrupp!)
The Sandoz used to be sweet and flavored, but still not sticky. I as a child, used to think they were perfect for someone to get addicted to. So, anyway - the calcium pills were in. And that too a brand new bottleful! Moreover, I was incharge!
Every once in a while me and Shy (Sharlie) used to have an eye-contact. We'd decide to go in the house, grab one calcium pill each, and come back to play. I would make sure the bottle is re-placed where it was..
I was very good at this. And also with hiding the whole incident. With transparent jars, after stealing stuff (Cookies, Cake etc), I used to tilt the jar sideways, and gradually put it back upright - this would give an impression that the jar was still filled up to the brim!!
So it was my duty to put the bottle back carefully, closing the closet and closing the doors. Here, I have a little confession to make, which even Shy is not aware of to date. I used to pop an extra pill in my mouth before closing the bottle. I think I accounted for that in my mind as a 'tax' for being the 'in charge' that day. Afterall, Ma was out for a while, right?
And after this little 'episode' we both used to join back the game, and pretend nothing happened. This went on for i don't know, 10-20 times, or may be more.
Now a standard 'Calcium Sandoz' used to be what, 50 tablets...60 max? So in every other 'trip', we used to be considerate and took half-tablet each. We had a code-word "हो जाये?" (hindi, for "what do you think?") and we hopped in the house, closed doors, stole the tablets, and came back. With those 'considerate' trips we had "half-half हो जाये?" ("a half-each this time?")
I don't think those other kids could have had a slightest idea what we were doing. Poor innocent lads, might not even have known what calcium-pills tasted like....
So, there came a moment when I opened the bottle and it only had 3 pills left! So, as usual we popped one pill each in our mouths. I took the last one as 'my tax' and closed the bottle. I even re-placed the bottle in its original place, and we came out, again, as nothing had happened.
The 60-pill bottle was being digested in our 4-year and 6-year old bellies. Still, nothing had happened!
Eventually Ma came, and the game ended. We all kids dispersed and we both joined Ma back to home.
Now, as a habit, Ma used to give us one pill each every evening. Of course, she wanted her kids to be strong and healthy...so, she opened the closet. This was always the moment I used to dread! I mean, why do moms have to open your case in front of you?
But she did. And to her surprise (not ours, although we pretended to be shocked at the sight), the bottle was empty. Ma had a hard time finding out what had happened, none of us (and we both were very good at it) assumed the responsibility. Nor, did we blame each other. The standard line was "I don't know!"
Finally when we confessed that we were in the process of digesting approximately 30 calcium-pills each (officially, since I never admitted I took that 'tax' pill each time) Ma got very worried. I mean really worried. She didn't know what to do when your kids wash a whole bottle of calcium down their throats.
She immediately rushed us to the doctor. The doctor, I am sure must have felt like rolling on the floor - laughing, but somehow he resisted that and assured us that nothing was terribly wrong with an act like this. And suggested some first-aid solutions for Ma to do.
We all came back home and lived happily everafter. Although I don't think we got any calcium 'suppliments' in the house again. I guess, Ma must have thought we two got supplies enough for a lifetime...