Darshan and Shyam shattered the piggy bank, then tore open their secret wallet, and recovered whatever money they had collected over the few months. It wasn’t much considering that they bought tennis rackets to play in school. They even got their one dollar bill and three dirham notes gifted to them by their uncle. They exchanged the currency for the Indian currency in the shopping complex near their house. This was the day they were waiting for. This was the time of the year their parents would go out-of-town to attend a family function which Darshan and Shyam always found boring.
They promised to their parents to keep the house clean in their absence and lock the door at nights before going to bed. To cut their burden their parents had cooked food for the boys that would last two days. At the shopping complex they bought the ingredients for their little kitchen adventure. They came back home and excitedly opened the recipe book but then decided against it. “If you know how what tastes like and if you know how much to add, you can play around and do anything”, Darshan had heard a cookery show host on the television say. He said the same thing to Shyam. “All we are doing is make some Maggi noodles”, answered Shyam. They diced the beans and the carrot, cut the onions. They took out all the masala their mother had stored away in the cabinet. They cut the Maggi packet and the tastemaker.
After fifteen minutes by the time the clock struck two in the afternoon the boys were done creating their magic. They had added every masala and taste maker they could find. The aroma was pungent. Darshan knew that it will be spicier than expected. He divided the content into two different plates. They put on the television on and ate their Maggi while watching Avatar on HBO. Shyam always liked his Maggi spicy while Darshan wanted it milder. While Darshan liked to use his fork to twirl his noodles into little bundle and eat it, Shyam liked to cut it and eat large spoonfuls. He liked to slurp while eating.
Among their relatives and their parent’s friends circle they were known as kids who can manage without their parents. The boys began their lunch with a sense of pride. They enjoyed while they ate but as the content in their plate reduced, it dawned on them that they got to get back to study. Shyam ended his meal first and looked into Darshan’s plate who still had a spoonful, and was chewing on the last morsel.
“Oye, you still have so much left?” asked Shyam.
“Ya so?” said Darshan.
“You always do this”, said Darshan almost in tears.
“What did I do?”
“You have more in your plate. I know you served me less. You do that every time.”
“I did not do any such thing”, said Darshan angrily.
“What? Take it from me if you have the guts.”
Shyam went on to grab the last morsel of Maggi from Darshan’s plate. By then Darshan spat on the last morsel of Maggi and smiled. “What are you going to do now?”
An enraged Shyam pulled at Darshan’s hair, slapped him on his face, went crying to his room and locked the door.
“Shyam you idiot. Come out and see what I will do to you”, Darshan screamed threatening Shyam of dire consequences.