One day My wife called me ‚ Will you come here and make your darling daughter eat her food?
I picked up the bowl. ‚Sindu, darling, why don’t you take a few mouthful of this curd rice? Just for Dad’s sake, dear‘.
‚Ok, Dad. I will eat. But, will you give me whatever I ask for which is not expensive?
After taking food 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 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, 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.
A lady got out of car and came to me. She said ‚Sir, your daughter Sinduja is great indeed! 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 with tears ‚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 others!
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