The Milk


Childhood is a time filled with embarrassing moments and incidents that never fail to bring a smile in our adult life either through our memories or through the recollections by our near and dear ones. This is most prominent in times of a family get together.

One such incident that is often repeated by my parents is based on my habitual forgetfulness. At the age of twelve, I was given the responsibility of regularly going to the nearest grocery store to buy various goodies needed for our home.

I was more than happy to take up the chores as it filled me with pride to be given responsibilities of an adult and I would always agree to do a chore which involved going to the market.

The only problem was that I would always forget to collect change from the shopkeeper after paying him and would quickly hop back home as soon as he would hand over my items. This got me in trouble many times and I would have to go through extensive lecture sessions on the value of money.

I am sure all of you who have been through similar parental lectures know how it can go on and on and on. So one day I was determined to mend my ways and win back my honor in the next available mission to the moon– I mean, market.

The chore for the day was to buy milk. After being reminded three times by my mother to collect change, she finally sends me off with enough money. Each step that I took from home to the store, I kept reminding myself to collect the change to restore my honor.

Upon reaching the store, I picked up my bag of milk and walked straight up to the counter for billing and payment.  I put the milk on the counter and carefully counted the money to be handed over, taking a mental note of the change expected.

The shopkeeper quickly counted the money and handed me back the change. I collected the money, counted it to the very last penny and happily exited the store and headed back home.

As soon as I got back, I went straight to my mother and handed over the change with pride. With a smile on my face for having successfully managed to set things right, I turned towards my room when a quick question from my mother left me baffled and embarrassed for eternity.

“Son! Where is the milk?”

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