The handsome array of general, light-hearted articles called 'middles', the kind published in Spice of Life, is a prize possession of Babli. Once in a while, she takes out one of the pieces from her collection and goes through it to cheer herself up. Sometime back her two college-going children, over-burdened, what with their assignments and oncoming exams, were grumbling about their workload. Babli told them to take a break and read one of the write-ups.
The children's immediate reaction was that of amazement and disbelief that their own mother could make such a bizarre suggestion, just when they were in the thick of their academic pursuits. But the conviction with which she insisted on their doing so, made them do her bidding. If their lit-up faces were any indication, the item had done its job and they could not stop laughing! Along with giving them the desired break, it invigorated them too.
Older of the two siblings, Babli's daughter suddenly commented, "Mamma, you seem to have become a 'middle' connoisseur. Isn't it time you wrote one yourself?"
"It is easier to evaluate than create. Have you not heard that people who cannot write become critics? This statement might be true of me as well but seriously I stand no chance of getting a 'middle' published in a newspaper."
Now it was the offspring's turn to be surprised, "But why do you say so?"
"Beta, you have to be some kind of a higher up like a senior police or army officer, doctor, educationist, lawyer, civil servant or perhaps a wizard at words, to get that coveted place in the newspaper. And your mother is no such 'thing'!"
"You should have taken up some such job when you finished studying. Or at least you should have tried your hand at writing to become an expert." Regret was apparent in her son's voice.
The thoughtful daughter was quick to add, "Why don't you give it a try now?"
"Oh! Only if wishes were horses…you know children, one has to work consistently for years to achieve a desired target. I don't think I stand a chance of even nearing the goal, much less achieve it." The children were all sympathy for their mother.
"Moreover, getting your own middle published is not such a big deal as to be able to read and enjoy some impeccable pieces written by others," Babli added.
"Now I understand all the more why that fox in the story called the grapes sour," the son chipped in, unable to contain his humorous streak. But at once getting serious he asked in a worried tone, "You mean mamma that you will never be able to get a middle published?"
Seeing the dejected look on her children's faces made Babli disclose cheerfully, "Beta, I am, in fact looking forward to your middles seeing the light of the day in the coming years. My dream of becoming a middle writer shall be fulfilled through you!"
"Rest assured mamma, we will work hard and positively take up such a job as will enable us to occupy the prize place on the editorial page once in a while," affirmed the children in concord.