I'm a Goan woman, working in Mumbai as the founder of a studio called Totem Creative. I try to make the world happier, safer and more meaningful. I believe education, knowledge and awareness, art, writing and creating Social Impact are my means to achieve that end.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A Touching Story

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.She has just turned eight. She particularly detested Curd Rice. My
mother and my wife are orthodox, and believe firmly in the 'cooling effects'
of Curd Rice!

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?'...........Oh sure, darling'....'Promise?'.................

'Promise'. I covered the pink soft hand extended by my daughter with mine,
and clinched the deal.

'Ask Mom also to give a similar promise', my daughter insisted.
My wife put her hand on Sindu's, muttering 'Promise'.

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 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

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

'No, Dad. I do not want anything else', Sindu said with finality.

'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

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

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

'No. If we go back on our promises, she will never learn to honor 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

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
Sir, you and your wife are blessed to have such a noble soul as your

I stood transfixed. And then, I wept. 'My little Angel, you are teaching me
how self-less 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..*

1 comment:

*Sara* said...

Wow.. that brought me into tears! What a great daugter you have!!! My compliments too