The morning of January 6th, while my little cousins woke to the innocent excitement of anticipated gifts, I woke to the sharp pain that was relentlessly shooting up and down my leg, and a slightly dizzying headache–the aftermath of the previous night’s drunken debauchery. I struggled to hold back the tears as I stumbled up the stairs to the kitchen, where I raided the fridge for some water then curled up on the couch to read a book, while the older adults made breakfast. I think it was later, when I was doing the dishes that my aunt discovered her ruined cooking pot. She was furious and demanded reimbursement from the unknown culprit. Not wanting to carry the financial burden, I ratted out my uncle, who in turn shifted the blame to my cousin–the instigator of the previous night’s botched Paranda.
Soon after, that same uncle realized that his wallet was missing, and after several minutes of fruitlessly searching for it, decided that the neighboring uncle or my cousin must have taken it as a prank. (Because, there was no way on earth he was drunk enough to have misplaced it or taken it out of his jean pocket the night before, or so he said. 😉 )
Though my uncle was pretty stressed, I couldn’t help but laugh at the realization that my poor cousin was receiving the blame for not only the ruined pot, but also for a prank that seemed a bit juvenile, even for him.
In the end, as I suspected, no one but uncle himself was to blame for the missing wallet. That afternoon, while some of my family sat around the living room hypothesizing about the whereabouts of the missing wallet, I set off in search of it. I went down to his room and began looking on, underneath, and around the perimeter of the bed. Nothing! Eying the room, I thought to myself, “If I were drunk and in this unfamiliar room, where would I empty my pockets?” The obvious answer was the chair next to the bed. There was a pile of towels on it, so I started sifting through them, and “Voila!” there, tucked between a couple of towels, was said wallet. I hobbled out of the room as fast as I could and called out to the other house, waving the wallet, “Tell my uncle that his wallet has been found.” The lively crowd erupted in a chorus of cheers, and my flabbergasted uncle, not believing it to be true, insisted that I hold it up again as proof. The case of the missing wallet was solved, and my cousin spared yet another blame from the mounting list.
Oh, and I’ll sheepishly admit, that I didn’t mind when my uncle kissed my head and called me his “Hero” of the day. I sort of felt like a little kid who just earned a gold star in class for doing something right.