Collections of Dilip Prakash

The promise

Posted on: December 19, 2007

My wife called, 'How long will you be with that newspaper? Will you
com 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 abowl 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
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 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 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, 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 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 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.

Love, Touch and Inspire others.
Have a wonderful life Ahead...!!

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