Monday, September 1, 2008

Selfless Love

My wife called, 'How long will you be with that newspaper? Will you
come here and make your darling daughter eat her food?

I tossed the paper away and rushed to the scene. My only daughter,
Sindu, looked frightened; tears were welling up in her eyes. In front of
her was a bowl filled to its brim with curd rice. Sindu is a nice child, quite
intelligent for her age.

I cleared my throat and picked up the bowl. 'Sindu, darling, why don't
you take a few mouthful of this curd rice? Just for Dad's sake, dear'.

Sindu softened a bit and wiped her tears with the back of her hands.
'Ok, Dad. I will eat - not just a few mouthfuls, but the whole lot of this.
But, you should...' Sindu hesitated. 'Dad, if I eat this entire curd Rice,
will you give me whatever I ask for?'

'Promise'. I covered the pink soft hand extended by my daughter with
mine, and clinched the deal. Now I became a bit anxious. 'Sindu, dear,
you shouldn't insist on getting a computer or any such expensive items.
Dad does not have that kind of money right now. Ok?'

'No, Dad. I do not want anything expensive'. Slowly and painfully, she
finished eating the whole quantity. I was silently angry with my wife and
my mother for forcing my child to eat something that she detested.

After the ordeal was through, Sindu came to me with her eyes wide with
expectation. All our attention was on her.

'Dad, I want to have my head shaved off, this Sunday!' was her demand.

'Atrocious!' shouted my wife, 'A girl child having her head shaved off?
Impossible!'

'Never in our family!' My mother rasped. 'She has been watching too
much of television. Our culture is getting totally spoiled with these TV
programs!'

'Sindu, darling, why don't you ask for something else? We will be sad
seeing you with a clean-shaven head.'

'Please, Sindu, why don't you try to understand our feelings?' I tried
to plead with her.

'Dad, you saw how difficult it was for me to eat that Curd Rice'.
Sindu was in tears. 'And you promised to grant me whatever I ask for.
Now, you are going back on your words. Was it not you who told me the story of
King Harishchandra, and its moral that we should honor our promises no
matter what?'

It was time for me to call the shots. 'Our promise must be kept.'

'Are you out of your mind?' chorused my mother and wife.

'No. If we go back on ourpromises, she will never learn to honour her
own. Sindu, your wish will be fulfilled.'

With her head clean-shaven, Sindu had a round-face, and her eyes
looked big and beautiful.

On Monday morning, I dropped her at her school. It was a sight to
watch my hairless Sindu walking towards her classroom. She turned around
and waved. I waved back with a smile. Just then, a boy alighted from a car,
and shouted, 'Sinduja, please wait for me!' What struck me was the
hairless head of that boy. 'May be, that is the in-stuff', I thought.

'Sir, your daughter Sinduja is great indeed!' Without introducing herself,
a lady got out of the car, and continued, 'that boy who is walking
along with your daughter is my son Harish. He is suffering from...
leukemia'. She paused to muffle her sobs. 'Harish could not attend the
school for the whole of the last month. He lost all his hair due to the
side effects of the chemotherapy. He refused to come back to school fearing the
unintentional but cruel teasing of the schoolmates. Sinduja visited him last
week, and promised him that she will take care of the teasing issue. But, I
never imagined she would sacrifice her lovely hair for the sake of my son!
Sir, you and your wife are blessed to have such a noble soul as your daughter.'

I stood transfixed and then, I wept. 'My little Angel, you are teaching me how selfless real love is!'

The happiest people on this planet are not those who live on their own
terms but are those who change their terms for the ones whom they love !!

5 comments:

@sM@ said...

what a beautiful tale.

That too coming from YOU =P

teeB@ said...

:D Well...once in a blue moon, hikmat is important :)

M. Hassan M. said...

Its wonderful :D

teeB@ said...

thnkew :)

Fahim Akhter said...

If someone tells us something good about ourselves we pretend to be humble and act all weird. When deep inside we are fueling our ego in a weird way. We keep fueling it, until one day whatever we see the way we see it. The way we feel it, we think is the right way. Someone even pointing at something hurts us and our pride.

Whats easier than cleaning the window is keeping it clean in the first place.