The Clapping Hands
“Papa! When are we going to the restaurant?” is what I always asked my
dad. Since I was a child, I had this unbridled appetite for tasting new
food; Chinese Manchurian, sushi, biryani and ice cream were at the top of
my list. “We will go if you promise to behave yourself!” he replied in a
harsh tone with a poker face hiding the passes for the 2005 New Year
buffet, thinking that I didn’t notice them. I had always loved the lavish
New Year buffet because of the delicious and mouthwatering food they
served. I told all of my friends about it too, so that they would also
compel their dads to take them. I was so excited that I began dreaming of
it in my sleep. My dream would start with my mom scolding me for my love of
food. “It’s not healthy to eat that much Rohit” she would always say. Her
voice slowly evaporated, and I saw before me, an endless table of food.
Succulent tandoori chicken, steaming naan bread, and all sorts of deserts
that made my head spin. All of a sudden, I heard the harsh ringing of my
alarm, and I came back to reality. I just needed to quell my anticipation
for another week, but at the time, it seemed ages away.
Since I was a child, I enjoyed people praising me; I was eager to answer
every question asked in class as the teacher made the entire class clap. I
would perform small skits and puppet shows for my little brother, not only
for the claps that I got from his tiny hands, but also the praise from my
parents. I loved the limelight. But, I never thought that people clapping
at me could become the most embarrassing moment of my life, until this
happened. It had changed every aspect of my life, my behavior, and my
attitude; I almost became a new person in the same soul. What was supposed
to be one of the best days of my life, turned into the worst.
It was December 31st, 2004; I was a fun-filled and over-excited 12 year old
school kid running out of the car to enter my most anticipated event. The...