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Perfect camouflage to carry

People are a reflection of the self. It is said that we view people just the way we see ourselves in the eyes of others. I used to think that people actually meant what they said and said what they meant. I trusted their words as if they came truthfully from the heart. Until! One day when a young mother of a one year old daughter came to me in private and beseeched me to bake a huge cake for the grand birth day party of her daughter she had planned to celebrate with pomp and show. My baking skills were known to my close friends and so was my generosity.

I derive genuine happiness by helping others and I am a trustworthy person to all those who come to me in need. Like always, I was thrilled at the prospect of bringing joy to the face of this mother and her little daughter by complying with her request and promising to bake a huge decorative cake for the occasion. The efforts were arduous. The ingredients were expensive. And the cake took more of my time than I had imagined. But I have never betrayed any one so far and I never feel the pain of doing a favor for someone who has asked it of me.

I took tremendous pain to complete the cake with all its special icing and attractive decoration on it. I was full of self pride and joy as I began to find a perfect camouflage to carry it in, to the party much earlier than the arrival of any of the guests. Sharing happiness multiplies it and sharing sorrow divides it, I had heard and I had experienced it too. I felt immense pleasure driving down the long distance very carefully to the venue of the birth day party. When I reached, the courtyard was already filled with little children and their parents.

I was not late but maybe all had gathered a little early I thought. My little toddler tugged at me as I dodged through the curious crowd with the big box and the concealments on it. The hostess saw me and I thought she would be delighted to see that I had kept my promise. My enthusiastic expression got a tepid response from her as I thought if it because she was anxious about the cake. I tried to probe her face as I asked her where I should keep the huge cake. All the guests were now watching us and she was surrounded by curious onlookers from all corners of the world.

“Where do I keep this”? I repeated. “Oh what is it”? “What have you brought”? Why did you bother? She said audaciously. My smile fell. My heart sank. My eyes brimmed with a tear but I managed to say “oh did you not tell me to bake the cake for this occasion”? Oh no! She said bluntly. My neighbor Mrs. Julie has already brought such a nice cake she pointed. Taking my huge box to the store she just dumped it as an unwanted item for the day. The party became a mourning place for me. I mourned the death of innocence that day. The trust I had in people and their words was gone for ever.

The joy of believing them had vanished. The faith I had in my people skills had a fatal blow. It was indeed the death of honesty that day. The lady who had bestowed me the responsibility with so many ardors had refused to acknowledge it and had even denied her own words without feeling a moment of hitch about her public lie. She had not even had the courtesy to thank me for all that I had done and that too because she had requested it so fervently. A burnt child dreads the fire. A betrayed person can never believe anyone again! Alas!

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