The Gathering at the Nursery

“It’s guest night at the Nursery tonight, so I’d better go.” I plant a kiss on my lover’s face before leaning away from his lean, suntanned body.

“Yes, sure. Say hi to the tiny tots, and wish them luck on clearing their public poise course!” He says, opening his arms, freeing me from his loving hold.

I ease my weight slowly onto my short legs. Walking out of the room and towards the coat-hanger, I wonder: should I wear the green / black tea leaf patterned silver scarf?

But then I recall that the black tea patterned scarf usually calms the frayed nerves of the tiny tots. The heavens alone know what godawful exercises they perform at the crack of a whip in that nursery. ‘They can probably even sniffle into the scarf, and the dark patterns will spare them the embarrassment of crying in front of the teachers.’ I think to myself, as I get the engine of my car running.

Walking into the nursery, I beam at the teachers sitting at the front of the class and walk confidently to the corner of the room. All the tiny tots turn their heads my way. A few of them still have the energy within them to break into a small smile. A few look downcast and broken, a few are playing with the flowers adorning their heads.

The office clerk enters the room a moment after this scene is set, and quickly rushes to me.

“Hello, Mrs. Teapot. Now that you’re here among the Teacups, let’s get this party started. The Tea-chers have been waiting for a long time.”

I invite you to reread this story again, after reading the twist at the end. Read into the subtle hints I’ve placed throughout the story, and see if you can relate the characters in my story to the human activity of preparing and serving tea. Once you’re done, do crosscheck your answers with the key I have provided at the end of the post And tell me how big of a genius I am. Thank you very much.

I did feel a bit rusty when I copied down the prompt that Sreesha @pepperstarfish on Twitter / @sreesha_diva on Instagram gave me from the book “The Glass Palace” by Amitav Ghosh. I’m no parent, I don’t have the slightest idea what happens in a nursery. But I do drink tea. And drinking tea has carried me through a rigorous study schedule of the past many months, and what better tribute could I give to those memories than to write this micro-fiction post?

And as I wondered about what idea I wanted to portray through my story, the dusty cogs of my brain fell back into place, after being derailed for months on end. Let’s just say, I’m happy that the writer’s block has been replaced by a writer’s clock (whazzat? Oh, it’s a (newly concocted term by yours truly) term to describe the ability of a writer to write at short notice / as per a specific schedule / on demand)

Let’s just hope this lasts.


Key: If you’re wondering who the suntanned lover is, hint: where do you store utensils, when not is use? Answer: shelf / cupboard.

And the scarf? A tea strainer. The coat hanger? The hook where the strainer and other spoons are usually hung up in the kitchen. The car? A tea tray. The office clerk? The person serving the tea. The nursery? The living room of a house. The Teachers? Of course, the guest who turn up uninvited at home!


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Haha I did not see that coming. And yeah I had to read it once again after knowing the twist 🙈

    Your writer’s block is on its way out and we’re back to producing masterful fiction again! 😍😘😘Yay!


  2. Haha that was a really trippy story. What a fun thing to write after a writer’s block! Kudos 😀


  3. Rajlakshmi says:

    Hhahaha that was totally unexpected. I reread the story and the hints perfectly fit the narrative. You creative devil 😀 Glad to see you back 😀


  4. Wow! I did not see that coming. I HAD to go back and read again. You’re amazing, Mithila! 🙂


  5. Okay, I had to read this more than twice to understand it. It sure was interesting, and since it came from you, it was super cute too 🙂
    Welcome back, lil one. Being you, it wouldn’t take a long time to get back to normalcy.


  6. shanayatales says:

    Wow! I read this thrice. Yes thrice. You are a genius. This was so masterfully done. Kudos!

    Welcome back, and here’s hoping the Writers Clock phase lasts for as long as you want it to. 🙂


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