karma level 104098

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
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 Harish Chandra, 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!'

“The happiest people are not those who live on their own terms…………but
are those who change their terms for the ones whom they love”..

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