Maya was drying the clothes out in the courtyard of their home when she noticed Aryan and Arjun, her 8 and 6 year old boys with hands on shoulder, walking together outside the home.
As if realising that their mom was watching them, but without turning behind, Aryan yelled — “Amma, we are going on an adventure.”
Maya shook her head in disbelief “ Yes.. an adventure it is. Why would you both let the summer sunshine go waste?
Arjun stopped to reply, “ We are supposed to go on adventures on sunshine days Amma? Did Winnie the Pooh not say that and do that all the time?
She was just about to call out to them to take their caps and water bottles along, but the boys had disappeared around the corner.
She was just in time to see both of them carrying small backpacks on their back. The cookie jar was lying open and all that was left was a few crumbs scattered on the kitchen platform. She understood they had packed their snack for the adventure.
“ Adventure” — recently, a word Maya was hearing often, since her sons started watching a television series about “The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.” Maya knew the kids loved watching it, and she watched it too with them, at times.
Maya lived with her sons in her in-laws place, a small town near Bangalore. The boys were very comfortable here as everyone in the neighbourhood knew them and looked out for them.
Maya went back to her work. She knew the boys would walk upto Ramu’s teashop at the end of the street and then come back when their “adventure” got over.
It was a regular schedule for the boys to walk over to Ramu’s teashop. What excited them was what the tea shop owner could do, along with serving the best chai in the neighbourhood.
Ramu was an expert in repairing cycles. If anyone walked over with a cycle with a flat tire, Ramu would rather fix that while requesting his other customers to help themselves to a cup of tea on their own.
Ramu had a bicycle puncture kit in his shop which he used to fix the tires and tubes. He would ensure that the bicycle got repaired as soon as possible.
The boys loved the way the air filled the tubes and tyres and it seemed so magical to them every single time.
The customers often spoke about Ramu’s helpful nature and when a customer asked him why he always rushed to help fix cycle tyres “, Ramu replied “ the person is definitely on an important job that needs to be done within a certain hour. All I do is save his time for him by fixing his cycle.”
Ramu also kept a set of books in his shop so that anyone could access and read them. There were books for kids as well as for adults.
He had very understanding and happy customers because he did not serve just tea. He could think of so many things to show — that he cared.
While watching all this, Arjun whispered.
I know exactly who Ramu is. He is Pooh, very good and helping everyone always.”
“ Yes only that he loves tea, while Pooh loves hunny” Aryan replied.
Aryan opened his bag, stook out a Winnie the Pooh sticker book and the boys huddled together while shushing each other.
Then, Arjun walked over to Ramu and asked him to stretch his hand out. He placed a Winnie the Pooh sticker that read, “ Some people care too much. I think it’s called love”. Ramu spelled out the words.
While Aryan offered cookies to Ramu, Arjun mimicked “ One special tea for Ramu”
Originally published at http://charukriti.org.