Takes two to tango

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By 2018-01-21

By Priyangwada Perera

Sohan turned back and waved at his friends. His mother waited for him at the gate. He came down their hilly school road. However, it was not too difficult for his mother to figure out that his usual sun-shiney face was clouded. Sohan's mother wanted to ask him immediately what was wrong.

But on second thought, she waited. With Sohan she knew it was just a matter of time till all the stories come out. Several times he turned and looked at the school gate. Sohan looked more anxious and that was not usual. This disturbed his mother. "Sohan, are you troubled by something? You look scared," she wondered out loud. Sohan kept glancing at the gate. He decided that he might as well tell his mother.

"Mom, let me tell you a big secret. But you have to promise me not to shout at me," he looked at her with concern. Her son's words made her want to do exactly the same-shout at him. What has he done? Is this boy in trouble now? But she quickly calmed herself. "What is the use of shouting if something has already gone wrong, Sohan? Will you tell me?"

"It is regarding what happened after cricket practise yesterday," Sohan said. "There is this big old house down the school lane, you remember it, right?" She nodded her head. Of course she does, because she passes it every time she comes to pick him up. "Remember the huge old tree next to the house?" Sohan's mother could remember the Tamarind tree very well.

It was one of those big old trees that come in stories. "Yes, I saw it today and it is full of Tamarind. It reminded me of this big Tamarind tree that our Grandpa's house had when we were children. So, what happened?" asked the mother. "Kasun and I have been talking about the tree ever since the fruit was coming up. We have never eaten ripe Tamarind from a tree.
We badly wanted to taste some of it. But we were sure there would be some on the ground and we thought we would pick those up," Sohan paused. "As luck would have it, that day there was none." His mother could think what must have followed but she let her son come out with the story.
"We hit the tree with two sticks and our aim was not too good. One stick hit the window of the house." Before his mother could open her mouth to yell at him, he was quick to add, "No mom, nothing happened. No glass was broken, no Tamarind fell.
The only thing that happened was that the thud woke up some old aunty who appeared in the balcony". His mother was relieved. "That lady started shouting at us as if she was crazy. I am sure she fell down from her bed at the noise and she was angrier about that." As much as his mother wanted to laugh, she kept a serious face.

"We ran back home. Kasun went and told this to his mother and she was furious. She had said that she will complain to you. As if it was my fault. That is so unfair. Kasun should have spoken to his mother about it and made her understand. Both of us were interested in Tamarind and decided on the spot to do that. It was wrong, yes. But we are both to be blamed, right?" Sohan asked her. She knew her son was telling the truth. Boys did not do the right thing but it was just a childish fault.

"Well, I don't know why Kasun's mother reacts like this. It takes two to tango," she said. "Takes two to what? What do you mean mom?" Kasun was interested. "Two to tango. Tango is a dance which needs two people to dance. So without both parties, the dance is incomplete. It cannot be done. In this case, it is the same. Both of you contributed to the wrong. Kasun and you are both to be blamed, not one. Both should be held responsible. It has taken two to tango. I wish Kasun's mother understood it that way, instead of trying to blame one child."

Sohan was thrilled. "Maybe Kasun's mother did not know this. Two to tango, I should tell Kasun about it. It certainly took two to tango, Mom. I wish aunty knew that one cannot tango alone," laughed Sohan, finally relieved that his mother was in good humour.

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