I have been writing my blog for about 5 months now and many of my posts have been well received by my current as well as ex-students, frontline, middle-level, and senior corporate executives, aspiring entrepreneurs, blogging fraternity, and many freelance professionals in consulting and other domains. I have generally been writing on various areas of interest to my target audiences mentioned above – like business planning, entrepreneurship, operational strategies, marketing, value addition, working towards profit and wealth creation. I have also written on the importance of leadership, team building, communication, coordination, customer centricity, building competitive advantage, and several other knowledge pieces of interest and importance to my readers.
But then, what I am going to offer all my readers this weekend is altogether different. It is a total shift from the usual business and management stuff.
How did I get the motivation to do it? A few days back, I received a WhatsApp forward that gave me a jolt. It is the story of a young school-going girl who goes out of her way and makes an unthinkable sacrifice for her classmate – identifying, understanding, and regulating her emotions for her friend. The story teaches us, grown-up people, the true meaning of selfless love. I am not sure whether the story is a real one or a piece of fiction. I also do not know who is the original creator of this story. However, I am reproducing the story verbatim with utmost respect to the original author– whom I do not know…
Here’s the 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, quiet and intelligent for her age.
I picked up the bowl. ‘Sindu, darling, why don’t you take a few mouthfuls 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 a 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 television. Our culture is getting 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 honour 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. ‘Maybe, that is the in stuff, I thought.
A lady got out of the 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… leukaemia’. 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 terms but are those who change their terms for others!”