“Balu! Come and have your breakfast. It’s getting late…” called out Balu’s mother from the kitchen.
Balu was in his bedroom, standing before a full-length mirror and knotting his tie. He polished his black shoes until they sparkled.
“Coming, Ma!” Balu replied loudly.
He then arranged his textbooks and notebooks according to the day’s timetable. He looked at his wristwatch and hurried his packing. He never wanted to be late to school.
Balu’s Grandma observed Balu getting ready for school. She liked Balu in his school uniform - navy blue trousers, short-sleeved white shirt, red tie, black leather shoes and a shining, golden-coloured badge with the emblem of a lion and an eagle. She asked, “Is the young man ready?”
“Yes, Grandma,” said Balu and ran to the kitchen where his mother had placed a plate of steaming moon-shaped idlis and coconut chutney on the dining table.
His Grandma called out, “Young man, it’s time to say good morning to God! Have you forgotten?”
Balu raised his eyebrows and smiled. “Sorry Grandma. I keep forgetting. I am really sorry.” He went inside the little prayer room, which was next to the kitchen, and recited a sacred verse. He recited a few lines and rushed to the dining table.
He finished his breakfast, drank a glass of hot almond milk and dashed to the compound. His Grandma said, “Balu, don’t be in such a hurry. There’s plenty of time.”