Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My little Angel, you are teaching me how selfless real love is!

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 Hari shchandra, 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

'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 Hari sh. He is suffering
from... leukemia'. She paused to muffle her sobs. ' Hari sh 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!'

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