The Precious Gift

Posted: May 1, 2014 by Ankur in Contest, Writes...
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ContestSometimes in life, we love the horizon far away from us, but fail to realize that the point where we are standing can be the horizon for someone else.

Gifts and gifts all around me, wrapped in glittering paper. I was about to unwrap the most glittering one, I don’t remember what exactly happened. I realized that I was dreaming and soon that faded away.
While having my morning tea, many questions came to my mind, in a way that did not happened earlier. As if instead of tea, elixir mixed with questions is poured into the cup. The surface of the liquid acted like a mirror that reflected me; the questions tempted me to look into myself. With the dregs left in the cup, I found myself asking ‘What is the most precious gift to me?’ 
May be I dreamt of gifts and that is why this question came to my mind. Of all the questions that I answered, only this one was left unanswered.
My mind behaved in a peculiar way that day, it wasn’t a thing to ponder about the morning itself, but of all the activities I indulged myself in, this question nagged me.
Staring at every other thing, whether I was answering or asking to myself ‘My eyes to look into this beautiful world….’ and then remembering those hymns sung in primary classes ‘the flowers…the birds…the…the…’ and it went on. Turning my eyes on those opulent pieces kept in my house; but now these have become the hackneyed materialistic things for me.
The morning and afternoon passed like sand from my fist but I remained trapped in my own question.

The summer evening witnessed a pleasant breeze, the chirping of birds, the kites flying high in the sky and me in my solitude enjoying this beauty of nature. Suddenly, I caught sight of three little boys throwing stones to a mango tree, to make those mangoes fall onto the ground. I was listening to their conversation; their desire to get those mangoes reminded me of my childhood days, after all children are the nonchalant ones.
They did not seem to belong from well-to-do families; but their vibrant faces riveted me to their conversation.
The stone thrown by one of them surpassed the other, but it accidentally hit one of them. The little boy cried out “Mummy!” He boasted of his father “Wait what he will do to u!” and ran away collecting the mangoes. 
The remaining two boys continued with their endeavour.
Again the stone hit one of them and that too on his forehead. He muttered neither a single word, nor boasted of his father, stood still and looked down. Meanwhile, a woman started shouting at them. The other ran away with the remaining mangoes, while this child leaned against the wall. I rushed down to the boy, gave him few mangoes that had fallen on the terrace. He smiled at me. I asked “Has your forehead got swollen?” He said nothing. 
“Why are you so quiet? Scared of your dad? Will your father scold you?” – I asked.
He in his benign tone replied “My father does not live with me” pointing upwards “He lives there…..in heaven”. I felt sorry for asking such question. He was about to go, but then turned back at me and said “May I ask you one question?”
“Yes”- I replied.
“When people get hurt, why do they call out their mother? Does it reduce the pain?”
I smiled at him and said “Why? Haven’t yet called out to your mother when you fell down?”
He looked up at me “No….I don’t know how it feels. My mother does not live with me. She lives with my father…. in heaven. I don’t know why they left me”.
Looking around when he realized he is getting late “I need to go now. Bye!”
I had no word to speak. I was left lamenting. Tears came to my eyes, but they didn’t had any way to escape.
The buried pain of a three year child answered my question. He made me realize that the best gift to anyone is their parents.
Every time we had fallen, “Maa” was the only word that came out of our mouth. This word relieved the pain, helped us to stand again. 
Though “Maa” came out of my mouth hundred times, but I realized it that day.

Anisha Pal

Jabalpur Engineering College

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