Soham was busy doing his school project when the telephone rang. The phone kept on ringing for a while and then it stopped. Soham was in no mood to get up and answer the call.
He was sure his mom would do the needful. Or Smita, his elder sister, would. Suddenly it stopped. “Thank God it stopped,” Soham heaved a sigh of relief.
But not for long. Within minutes it again started ringing again. “Soham, where are you? Please pick up the phone. I am doing something important and can’t come,” Soham’s mother called for her son from her bedroom. “Mum, I am doing something now. Ask Smita, Soham retorted lazily.”
This was not for the first time. Soham had this bad habit of putting off things. He always had this one-liner ready “I will do it later”.
And that ‘later’ would never come. Soham’s careless attitude would often disturb his mother. He would use sauce, but never put the lid back, never close the biscuit tin after eating and most of the time would forget to put his messy plate back in the sink.
This was an everyday affair at Soham’s house. His mother would tell him nicely and at times even scold him, but Soham never listened. He would either run off to play or sit with his favourite video game and say “I will do it later”.
Soham’s birthday was near and he was very excited about it. Last year his dad had promised to throw a big party for all his friends. He was sure he would remember his promise. He asked: “Dad, my birthday is next week. I hope you remember the promise you made.”
“Yes dear, but there’s a condition to it. You have to promise me that you would be prompt and not say ‘I will do it later’,” his father said. Soham wasn’t expecting this, but was left with no choice. The other day only he had told his friends Rehman, Robby, Jamila, Asila, Aaliya, Jia and Matt about the great birthday bash that he had planned. He promised to be prompt.
Soham made cute birthday invitation cards for all his friends. He was quite happy on his birthday. He got his favourite storybook, some lovely shirts and a pen stand from his parents as birthday present and Smita made a cute little card. There was no end to Soham’s excitement. His mother called him to help him decorate the house, but Soham was as usual feeling quite lazy.
Mom, ask Smita now, I will do it “later,” he reluctantly said. Soham’s mother was annoyed at his behaviour, but didn’t want to scold him on his birthday. So she and Smita did all the work. She made some nice goodies and was sure that the kids would love them
The huge cake that his father ordered soon arrived. The next two hours were full of fun and frolic. The children played all the games and after a hearty treat went back home. As soon as they left Soham got busy with his gifts. “Oh wow, I have got the box of marbles that I wanted. And also a box of my favourite brownies.”
“Soham, please put the brownies and the gifts in the cupboard and help me clear the mess,” his mother pleaded.
Soham gave a big yawn in return. “Mom, I am sleepy, I will do it later,” saying this he went to his bedroom. Soham’s mother was extremely hurt at his attitude. His father saw Soham’s careless behaviour and thought it was time for Soham to learn a lesson.
The next morning Soham ran towards the hall thinking about the brownies. But he was shocked to see the empty table.
Mom must have kept it in the cupboard, he thought. But nowhere he could find them. He shouted: “Mom where are the brownies?
Soham’s mother, who was making tea gave a solemn look at him and said: “You left the brownies on the table. In the morning I saw a cat nibble on it. So I had to dispose them off.” Soham was almost in tears. He said in a complaining tone, “Mum, why you didn’t keep it safely?”
Soham’s mother said in a composed voice, “I would have dear, but you only said ‘I will do it later’. So I thought you had already done it.”
Oh no mom. Soham sobbed and continued: “I lost my brownies just because of my laziness. Wish I had picked them up. I’m sorry, mum. From now I promise to do things without delaying,” saying this Soham hugged his mother.
Since that day Soham became very prompt. He kept his things in place, and never said ‘I will do it later’. He picked up his plates and even got up to answer the telephone.
Few days later Soham was pleasantly surprised to see a box of brownies on the dining table. He was confused and before he could ask anything his mom said: “No cat had nibbled on these. I had put it away safely. We wanted you to learn a lesson and we are glad you really did. Now you can relish the brownies to your heart’s content.”
Soham gave a broad smile. He had indeed learnt his lesson.