Of Apples and Applesaas (III-B, Final Part)

...Continued from here.

Priya tried to conceal her anger behind a fake little smile. But everyone in the audience, and particularly Raman, knew that she was really unhappy with his answer.

Raman was obviously good in reading body language. "Ouch Adarsh, looks like you have certainly forgotten something. Think hard Adarsh, be an adarsh pati (ideal husband)!

Strangely, only the women in the audience laughed. 

Adarsh felt a bit nervous. Which man would like to be perceived as a not-so-good husband in the eyes of so many women... and all together for that matter!

"Maybe my mother gifted it to you when we got married. I am not sure. You know I don't remember all this woman stuff."

Raman was elated. He was hoping for that answer. He asked Priya, "Did your saas (mother-in-law) gift that gold or golden bangle to you Priya?"

Priya looked at Adarsh and said tauntingly, "I think Adarsh should be in a better position to tell us if my saas gifted me just a 'quite light' gold bangle with simple vertical lines design when we got married. Do you remember something Adarsh?"

Adarsh was wondering why Priya was behaving like this. She had always been very fond of her saas and always took her side instead of Adarsh's whenever there was an  argument between the mother and the son. Also, Priya was not into materialistic things like getting gold from in-laws, she had always preferred love of the family over expensive gifts.

He tried to end the discussion, "Perhaps my mother must have given it to you." He clearly looked uncomfortable in the situation.

This time Priya did not need Raman's nod to speak, "Perhaps. Can't you remember one thing?"

All the women in the audience booed Adarsh. One man stood up and said aloud, "C'mon Adarsh, husbands are better than wives."

And then, all the men stood up cheering in chorus, "C'mon Adarsh, remember the bangle...
C'mon Adarsh, remember the bangle..." 

The women stood and booed them. There was some laughter, some excitement amid this little battle of the sexes. At least it helped Adarsh feel comfortable as he realised people are not judging him, in fact it's all in a good spirit of having fun and maybe learning something while at it. 

Now as the focus temporarily shifted to the little arguments among the men and women in the audience, and as Raman tried to calm them down instead of probing Adarsh, he could think straight.

He spoke into the mike confidently, "I have to say something about this bangle."

Suddenly, everyone sat down, some murmured a bit and then there was quiet with all eyes on Adarsh. 

Raman smiled and said, "Alright Adarsh, we are all ears."

"So I thought and I am certain that my mother did not gift that bangle to my wife. In fact, Priya was not wearing this bangle in the morning. She matched some purple and white bangles in one hand and asked me how they looked with her dress today. She did not wear any gold bangle today. She wore a watch on the left hand..."

Raman interrupted, "Priya, can we see your hands?"

Priya was blushing. She stood up and showed off her bangles and the watch. The crowd clapped.

Raman asked Adarsh to continue.

"...yeah, so I am clear that this bangle does not belong to my lovely wife. I think that all this was a plan to confuse me. That said, I think since I haven't gifted her a gold bangle ever, we will be going jewellery shopping in the evening."

The women all went, "Awww..." and everyone, including Raman, clapped. 

Raman thanked Adarsh for being so cooperative and asked him to take his seat. He then spoke about the demonstration.

"So I hope you all had a great time. Now, let me make my point. Adarsh is a confident person who was all excited to volunteer. There were just two items on the plate. We started with an apple. He confidently described it fresh until someone doubted his description. Then, Adarsh looked for the minor flaws. He then said that the apple was not too fresh, it had a brownish tiny hole and the texture was not too good either. This is where the negativity seeped in and he started doubting himself."

"The next time, he was asked about the bangle. He went in specific negative details - the design being simple, the bangle being light. And after the previous 'apple' factor, we brought in the 'saas' bit. As Raman noticed that people, including his wife, were judging him, he got confused. There was a point when he thought that perhaps Priya's saas gifted the bangle to her. He thought so because we all led him to that thought of the bangle belonging to Priya without directly saying it. His confused mind, that a few minutes ago was subjected to doubts, said to him that maybe he doesn't remember that the bangle belonged to his wife. It also made him wonder what would people think about him. And then, though not sure, he admitted that perhaps Priya's saas gifted it to her."

"Now when we all stood up and laughed and played the little battle of sexes, Adarsh felt a bit relaxed. In this relaxed state, he got a little time to think straight. He figured out that not only did the bangle not belong to Priya but that all this must have been a set-up to confuse him to prove a point. I must say Adarsh is a very smart man and you all are so cooperative, the best audience I ever had!"

The audience applauded loudly. Adarsh and Priya looked very happy. 

"So the point I am trying to make with the Apple and saas is very simple. Think about it. You are naturally confident about yourself. You are naturally confident about your every capability, be it being able to volunteer in presence of a huge audience, being able to remember some important or not-so-important things or being able to do whatever you dream of doing. Now, we all come across people who tend to judge us, who tend to doubt us. Sometimes, we are so surrounded by this web of doubts that we start doubting ourselves. The "what ifs" in our mind become more frequent. What if I can't do it, what will people think, what will people say if I fail? Do you agree?"

The audience nodded in complete agreement. Raman continued.

"I began the session with a question. I asked what stops you from knowing - as surely as you know the rising of the sun every morning - that you were built for mighty deeds and were born ready to do them? And I guess, this simple demonstration helped you find some answers. So let's hear it from you all. What stops you from knowing that you were born ready to do mighty deeds and what do you think about it after this demonstration?"

Many raised their hands. And the answers said a lot about the success of the session.

"The thought that my colleagues doubt me has often stopped me from suggesting some big ideas. But I will not think about them anymore."

"Oh I am always worried if my new family will like what I cook. I was always proud of my cooking before marriage. But my doubt has affected my cooking. I think I am realising things now, the problem with my cooking was in my way of thinking when I was under the pressure of expectations. Thank you."

"I always wanted to open a restaurant. But I do not come from a business family. Earning a monthly salary has always been the thing in our family. So even though I planned it out once, I never gave it a shot fearing what if I fail. Now I will pursue my dream after all."

Raman was happy to know he had  made his point and possibly someone will benefit in life. He told the audience that he too was stopped by such doubts once. But one fine day he gathered the courage and things changed for good. They too should know that they have it in them to make it big, follow their dreams and forget the doubts, the fears and the what-ifs.

Every member of the audience looked confident, happy and most importantly empowered with such knowledge. And there was a big surprise for Adarsh who had to endure some embarrassment. He won a 10% discount gift voucher of a leading jewellery store. Of course, Priya was elated. She was all set to attend every seminar she ever heard about!

Stop doubting yourself just because others might doubt you. A simple thing, but someone had to say it. It makes a difference when someone reminds you of what you are capable of. And if no one does, just think in a relaxed state of mind. Would you have done certain things, pursued your dreams if you were sure no one would doubt you? One more thing, once in a while, remember to make someone feel confident by telling them that they have it in them. It feels really good. To both of you.

I thank Dagny Sol who wrote the original Part 1 - Of Apples and Applesauce, Part II and Part III. We agreed we both will write the continuation separately and see how it turns ourt. I hope I have done some justice to her original post. It has been an awesome journey!

Also, since I took the liberty to get diverted from the original title and brought in my PJ style - Of Apples and Applesaas, let me treat you with this applesauce recipe I came across, it looks yummy.


  1. Anuradha, I am absolutely delighted! Your posts and mine compliment each other so perfectly. The things I missed out in my post are all covered in yours. I am absolutely thrilled that you have 'fleshed it' out so faultlessly. What a fit!

    Thank you! Thank you again and again for this treat. We must do it again sometimes, what say?

    Love your spirit, did I tell you that recently? :D Bless you..!

  2. Thank you so much Dagny! I tried my best and more than anyone else your opinion matters most in this case : ) And I am blushing right now with your compliments! I loved all three parts of your story, the way you build suspense is awesome!


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