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Laxmi entered the kitchen to prepare tea. She had a glass of water in her hand when a lizard fell on her shoulder. She dropped the glass, spilling the content all over the floor, and screamed. Her husband, Kapil, was reading a newspaper in the living room. Her scream brought him rushing to the kitchen. He failed to notice the water and slipped and fell on her. His lips were just inches apart from hers when their daughter, Sanjana, 15, walked in.

” Oh, no!” she groaned, “Are you two conducting a free sex education class?” Laxmi winced at the reference to sex and said, ” Don’t talk rubbish. A lizard fell on me, and I screamed. Your father came to help me. He slipped and had a spill. I would prefer if you stop using vulgar language.”

Sanjana started laughing. She said, ” Mom, you are such a scarecrow. It’s only a lizard, after all. I thought a cobra entered our house to pay its respect to you. Well, I am going out. You two are alone and free to do whatever you want.” Laxmi got up and picked a rolling pin to scare her daughter.

Sanjana and Kapil laughed, leaving Laxmi mumbling to herself. After Sanjana left, Kapil kissed her cheek and said, ” Take care, dear. Please warn me if you spill something.” He winked at her and returned to reading his newspaper. Laxmi smiled and continued making tea. She had a devious plan forming in her head. Since it was Sunday, shops were closed in her vicinity. Laxmi couldn’t wait till Monday and put her plan into action.

The next day, Laxmi went to buy groceries and a toy shop to execute her plan. When Sanjana returned home, she flung her school bag on the couch and removed her shoes and socks. Her mom was in the kitchen speaking to someone. ” Mom,” yelled Sanjana, ” Get away from the gas stove and cylinder. Be quick.” Laxmi looked stunned and disconnected the call by saying, ” Rohini dear, I will talk to you later.” Sanju explained, ” You should never speak to anyone near gas stove because your gossip sets any household on fire. Since the gas cylinders are highly combustible, your inflammable tongue would have caused an explosion.” Sanju chuckled as Laxmi pinched her. She couldn’t help but grin at her daughter. Sanju finished her tea and a cheese sandwich and went to her room. Laxmi crept stealthily behind her. She had a catapult and a toy lizard made of rubber. Sanju’s room was open. She had changed into shorts and a T-shirt.

Sanju picked up her smartphone and started chatting with her best friend, Neeti. Laxmi used her catapult to hit Sanju with the toy lizard. The lizard landed exactly on her right hand, causing Sanjana to scream. Laxmi howled with laughter after her daughter dropped her phone on the bed. Sanju felt embarrassed. Laxmi chuckled and added, “Relax, Sanju! It’s just a harmless toy lizard. I wanted to see your reaction when a lizard suddenly fell on you. You were quick enough to laugh at me even though I had a real live lizard. What do you say now? Let’s be friends. Shall we?” Sanju smiled and hugged her mother.

She said, ” Mom, I love you. I never realized that you had a little girl hidden within you. Your trick was cool and awesome! I am proud of you.” Laxmi looked at her daughter affectionately. She felt lucky to have an adorable, crazy, but loving family.

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