The story of an unknown man and a cup of tea

My grandfather was an unknown classical musician. He had run away from a comfortable home to pursue what he wanted. Which, of course, meant that he never had enough – or, any – money throughout his life. It was a particularly bad time for my grandparents, when one morning they realized they had absolutely no money. Not even for food. At the time, my grandmother was pregnant. So, she stayed home while my grandfather and another relative – who was staying with them for some time – went out to see if something could be arranged.

My grandmother, who loved tea – and was very particular about it : she’d had an affluent upbringing in the suburbs of Delhi, her father was a content employee of the British – stood on the balcony looking at one of the many tea-sellers, longing for at least a cup. She’d not had any since the morning. But there was no money. She stayed there for some time, then went inside. She once told me how desperately she’d wanted some tea at that time.

After a few minutes, a young boy – a tea-delivery boy – knocked at the door, and handed her a cup. Surprised, she told him she didn’t order any and that she couldn’t pay for it. The boy said it was already paid for, that a man had come to their little shop, asked them to deliver it to the woman standing on the balcony: he’d pointed at her. Assuming that it must have been my grandfather – evidently, he must have arranged something – , she took that cup of tea.

After a few hours, my grandfather – and the relative – returned home, tired and disappointed. Nothing could have been arranged. They said they’d not even had tea since morning. My grandmother, a little startled, asked them how did they manage to send her a cup?

They hadn’t.

In Yuriy Norshteyn’s short animated film, A Hedgehog in the Fog, the hedgehog receives help from someone just as he is about to drown. That someone is never seen, or named.

4 responses to “The story of an unknown man and a cup of tea”

  1. It’s a beautiful story 🙂 🙂 I’m getting to know more about you through your posts

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