THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE MISSING COCONUT

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“Where has it vanished away?” I exclaimed in all bewilderment.

“It wasn’t there at all in the first place!” My mother tried to reason and calm me down.

“It was! I saw it! I saw it for real!”

“Oh, you must have mistaken a brinjal for it!”

“What!” I thought, “Is that even possible? Did I really hallucinate?”  

No, I had not. Papa backed me up. He had really brought a fresh coconut just two days back. He had duly picked it up from the market on his way back from office. You see, it was a crucial ingredient for Neer Dosa, a typical Mangalorean Dosa he had developed a special liking for. This dosa was supposed to be our breakfast today. A perfect breakfast for a perfect sunday morning; and it also happened to be the Father’s Day (Oh! Was the father’s day breakfast pre-planned by my father himself… aah… fishy… the plot thickens!)

This Sunday too, like any other day, began on our usual lazy yet happy note- rising late and then sipping tea in the balcony, accompanied by a gentle breeze in the ambience. For breakfast, everything was already in place. The rice for the dosa had been soaked overnight. By default, it is my duty to prepare the chutney and I was all ready for it. The only problem arising was that the coconut was missing! The coconut which my sister and mother thought wasn’t there at all! They never saw it! Papa and I were the only witnesses to it. And now it had vanished in thin air! The clock was ticking. It was 10:30 am already- too late to consider any other option for breakfast. Thus began a frantic search about the entire house to look for the missing coconut. 

After having looked in every feasible corner of the house- from the shoe rack to all the drawers of all the almirahs and tables in the house- and after some soul searching as well- “Nevermind, some things to get lost in Life for no reason at all. One should let go and move on.”- something clicked my mother. She casually went up to the corner in the kitchen where the onions are kept abandoned, fumbled a bit, and took out a big fresh handsome coconut! 

“There’s your brinjal, mumma!” I exclaimed both in astonishment and in relief, feeling victorious at last.

“Oh, poor me! Had kept it here and totally forgot about it. Now, hurry up, it is getting late for breakfast.” Mumma said as she tried to curb her laughter.

Preparations began thus. Mumma was all set to make the dosa. I took the responsibility of the chutney.

Shortly after, Papa peeped into the kitchen and asked if we had found the lost coconut. Mumma and I laughed as we told him what had taken place. I waited to see what he had to say of this little lost-and-found episode. He let out a little laughter and said, as a matter-of-factly, “If a Mughal Emperor could hide the Koh-i-Noor diamond in his turban to save it from Nader Shah, your mumma can surely hide a coconut among the onions!” A seemingly out-of-place correlation but funny still, and that too based on a historical myth!

Nevertheless, breakfast was soon prepared. By soon, I mean, quite late. It was 12:00 pm now. Everybody ate to their hearts’ fill. Tired, first by the frenzied search and then by the cooking, we were too exhausted to move another inch. A very lazy Sunday, indeed. But surely the delicious chutney and the dosa alleviated us of our weariness. However, 12:00 pm was too late a time to have a meal which can be called breakfast and too early for it to be called lunch. So we called it brunch, and thus excused ourselves from preparing yet another meal shortly.

All this delay and later relief (for we substituted two meals for one) caused by one single seemingly innocent coconut! It did drive us all nuts!

Now, the dirty dishes and the utensils, occupying not one but two sinks, beckon me to wash them!

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