Chandru was thrilled. His mother had permitted him to visit the neighbouring village on the other side of the stream to attend a feast. His aunt had invited him. Chandru loved to attend a feast where he could eat to his heart’s content.
It was a long walk to the neighbouring village. Chandru did not mind it at all. No gain without pain, he said to himself as he trudged along. He waded through the stream and reached the other bank. It was a short walk from there. He was just in time for the feast.
“Meals are served,” said his aunt, “Wash your feet and hands and join us.”
Chandru poured water on his feet, splashed water on his face, and joined friends and relatives who had already taken their seats.
They all sat in a row on the floor. Dishes were served on green banana leaves. They muttered a prayer hurriedly and started eating.
Chandru relished every item served. The one he enjoyed most was a crescent shaped, puffed-up sweet dish. He liked it so much he asked for one more. “What’s this dish called, aunt?” he asked.
“This is Kadubu, Chandru,” said the aunt helpfully.
I see. Kadubu. I must ask mom to make some Kadubus for me tomorrow, he said to himself.
The next moment, he forgot its name. So, he asked his aunt again. “KADUBU. Can’t you remember one simple word?” his aunt said impatiently.
Chandru did not want to ask her again. So, to make sure he remembered the name of the new dish, he started saying to himself “Kadubu, Kadubu …”
He took leave of his aunt and started walking back to his village. All the time, he kept muttering the word “Kadubu, Kadubu, Kadubu…”
While crossing the stream, he slipped and almost fell into the water. For a moment, he stopped thinking of Kadubu and managed to regain his balance. As he crossed over, he tried to recall the name of the dish. To his dismay, he had forgotten it!
“What was it? Dubu, dubu… No, it’s not dubu. Ah, I got it! It’s Dubuku!” exclaimed Chandru. He started saying “Dubuku, Dubuku” to himself repeatedly as he walked home.
Mother greeted him with a hug.
“How was the feast?” asked his mother.
“It was very nice, Amma,” said Chandru enthusiastically, “I liked one dish, which I had never tasted before. I want you to make it for me.”
“Sure. What’s that dish called?” asked the mother.
“It’s called… it’s called… Ah, yes, it is called Dubuku!” he said in delight.
“Dubuku? I’ve not heard of this dish. Have you got the name right?” asked the mother.
Chandru insisted it was called ‘Dubuku’, and mother maintained there was no such dish.
“It’s Dubuku, Dubuku, Dubuku…” shouted Chandru.
“Don’t shout,” snapped his mother who was quite annoyed with him now. As she yelled at him, she also slapped him. The next moment, she was sorry that she had lost her cool and slapped her darling Chandru.
“Oh, Chandru, sorry. I shouldn’t have hit you. Poor child, your face has puffed up like a Kadubu,” said the mother.
Chandru jumped in joy. “Kadubu! Yes, that’s the name of the dish,” he said, “Will you make some Kadubu for me, Amma?” he asked.
“Of course, I’ll do anything for you, Chandru,” said his mother as she hugged him.