10. HOT SAMOOSAS

The children pricked their ears when they heard the doorbell ring. A special visitor, Naana’s best friend, Uncle Ahmed had arrived. Naani had warned the children to be on their best behaviour and to keep their noise levels down. As Naana and his friend chatted and caught up with past events, Naani prepared tea and fried them some samoosas. She then set out a tea-tray for Naana and his guest, placing the tea and the freshly fried, hot samoosas on it too. She then called out to Naana to come and fetch the tray.

The children were curious about the guest and wished to meet him. Soon the youngest one smelt the samoosas frying and said “Naani is frying samoosas. Let’s go and ask her for some.” His brother chided him and said, “It’s for Naana’s guest. Naani will ask us to wait for the guest to finish first and only then can we help ourselves to some.”

“But I want to eat a hot samoosa. I don’t want to wait. Besides, she always fries extra. Can’t I help myself to one?” “You’re not the only one with a stomach,” said his elder brother. “If you are having a hot samoosa then so am I.” Just then the middle brother spoke up and suggested, “I have an idea. Let’s go and greet Naana’s guest. Then as we leave the room, we will each help ourselves to a samoosa.” All agreed with the plan.

Naana had just poured tea for his guest, when he heard the children whispering n shuffling in the passage. He passed the guest a plate and offered him the samoosas and some sauce. He then filled his own plate but before he could begin eating, he did a strange thing. He put a few samoosas on a plate and hid it on the small table, behind the sofa. The guest looked at him with curiosity, but he just winked and said, “Wait and see!”

Just then one grandchild entered, made salaam and introduced himself. He shook hands with the guest and then taking a samoosa left the room. He was followed by a trail of children. The second, third, fourth and fifth grandchild each mimicked the action of the first. When they had all left Naana turned to his guest and saw that he was really amused.

The guest chuckled and said, “They are all very charming and I must admit they did that with style.” Naana then removed the plate of hidden samoosas from behind the sofa and refilled the almost empty plate. He and his guest then finished their tea without further interruptions.

When Naani heard about the incident, she was not amused. She told the children that in future they could politely go meet any guest and make salaam. They should however, honour their guest and let him complete eating, before they themselves ate. They were to come straight to the kitchen in future if they wanted a “hot samoosa and were not to make a spectacle of themselves in front of a guest.

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