Born with a silver spoon

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By 2018-02-04

By Priyangwada Perera

Dihan was spending the evening leisurely. His elder brother had gone to a friend's birthday party, so there was nobody to play with. He kept switching channels of the television but no programme interested him. Had his brother been there, everything interesting would be airing and the two would want to watch two different channels. He was happy that there was no competition. He had the TV all to himself. But as luck would have it, there was nothing to watch.

It was then that his mother came into the room. "Dihan, we are going to aunty Devika's house. Thaththa will pick ayya from his friend's place after the party. So, he will come straight to aunty Devika's place. You and I will go before them." This was good news. Dihan knew this was to see aunty Devika's new baby. He went before the baby was born. Now he will get to see the new born. He was so excited because he has never seen a new born. "Amma, isn't he going to be very tiny? How old is he?" he asked with a lot of enthusiasm. "Three weeks, darling," she answered. Dihan was laughing. "It is so funny to hear of somebody's age being counted in weeks. Three weeks. Not even a month old, that is less than our holiday." Dihan was greatly amused about the new experience. "Do you think they have given the baby a name by now? Naming must be fun. Wonder what aunty Devika called the baby. Probably something that goes with her name, what do you think, amma?" Dihan was very excited and chatting non-stop. "I love the gifts amma. But do you know the best part of going to see the baby?" Amma was interested to know. "Well, tell me. What is the best part of seeing the new baby?" Dihan shouted in joy, "To see him with the silver spoon in his mouth. I have never seen such a thing."

Dihan's mother's mouth opened in surprise. She looked at her son with a feeling of curiosity and surprise. "What do you mean, putha? With a silver spoon in his mouth?" She was not too sure whether she heard her son correctly. Dihan was quick to respond. "Why, amma can't you remember? When we were thinking of what to buy for the new born baby, thaththa and you were discussing. It was difficult to decide what to buy and then thaththa said, 'It is hard to think of a gift to be given when the baby is born with a silver spoon in his mouth.' This is the first time I ever heard of somebody being born with a spoon in his mouth. That too, a silver spoon. Wow! How can that happen? And the baby was really born with one? What did the doctor say?" Dihan had a string of questions.

His mother realized what had happened and she even felt a little embarrassed about the use of words her husband and herself have used, without meaning harm. "No, putha. It is just an idiom we use. To be born with a silver spoon in his mouth, means the baby is born to a very rich family. Silver is valuable and expensive. To be in a home that uses silver spoons says something about their wealth or amount of money they must be having. When you are born to a very rich family they say you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth. In this case, you do know that aunty Devika belongs to a very rich family. So, the chance is that the baby might already have everything," she explained. "When we give a gift, we want it to be something useful, something they don't have. Therefore, in Devika aunty's case we could not imagine what we should do."

"Oh! I get it now. As long as there is no silver spoon stuck in the mouth of the baby, I think it is alright." Both Dihan and his mother laughed out loud. When they entered Devika aunty's house with the gifts for the baby, Dihan had to keep a straight face. He had been laughing too much. The baby was so adorable and surrounded with beautiful comforting pillows and cushions. But the baby had no trace of a silver spoon in his mouth.

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