This email was sent to me and I think it’s amazing! It shows us how kids can think in such a simplistic, selfless way and how it can be more effective than any grand ideas we may have!
My wife called, ‘How long will you be with that newspaper? Will you come here & make your darling daughter eat her food?’
I tossed the paper away & 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 & 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 & 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, & 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 & painfully, she finished eating the whole quantity. I was silently angry with my wife & 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 TV. Our culture is getting totally spoiled with this TV programs!’
‘Sindu, darling, why don’t you ask for something else? We’ll 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. ‘& 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, 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 & wife. ‘No. If we go back on our promises, she will never learn to honour her own. Sindu, your wish will be fulfilled.’
With her head clean-shaven, Sindu had a round-face & her eyes looked big & 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 & waved.
I waved back with a smile. Just then, a boy alighted from a car & 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, & 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 & 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 & your wife are blessed to have such a noble soul as your daughter..’
I stood transfixed & then, I wept.. ‘My little Angel, you are teaching me how selfless real love is!’