The soft early morning rays of the sun smiled sarcastically through the window on the grim faces of the father and son, sitting on the breakfast table. They both sat across the table avoiding eye contact or conversation. Veer had made up his mind, to earn it for himself if his father could not gift him one. All his friends had one. So why the hell did he have to wait to turn 18?  What was wrong in working for something you want to own? Wasn’t it better than begging or borrowing?

Last week only Veer had had a verbal combat with his principled father, over the breakfast table on this issue. Since then….the cold war had begun.

His father stole a glance at his son from the corner of his eyes and saw his sullen preoccupied face. He was subconsciously piercing the table mat with his fork, ignoring the food in his plate. “Where did I go wrong with this boy ?” he pondered.

The villain of the story, the wretched devil that had conspired to blow the father son relationship apart was ……. “THE MOBILE”!!!!

Some Smart Alec had tried to invent a masterpiece with the intention of bringing people closer through communication. But how ironic can life get? Here it was, the so called masterpiece, virtually closing all the doors of communication between Father and son.

Veer had been inspired by stories on dignity of labour and was determined to give up 5 hours after college, to work in a Pizza Hut as a waiter, to save and earn for his mobile. Today , was the day, he was supposed to join.

He sat in the car , and waited for his father to drop him to college. They drove in silence as usual. The college was just a kilometer away, but they had to stop at a signal.
The awkward silence in the car was broken by the sudden tapping on the window.

A bright eyed boy, with a smile on his face, that extended upto his ears, was gesturing enthusiastically to Veer, to open the window. He must have been half Veer’s age. Simple curiosity compelled Veer to wind down his window pane. Even before the window  could completely slide down, the little boy thrust in some colourful table mats and pleaded, “le lijiye na bhaisahab! Bus thode hi paise kum pad rahen hai …!”

Veer gave a triumphant look at his father and deliberately asked the boy, “pehle yeh bata , kaunsi cheez kharidne  ke liye kam kar raha hai ?”

The little street boy blurted out with great zeal and pride that he had been working since the last 5 months to save for a mobile to gift his father, who sold Wadaa Pau on the street. His father was working hard to educate him and he intended to reciprocate his love and care by surprising him with a mobile which he knew his father secretly wanted to possess!!!! So he had thought he would earn it for his father instead!

A dazed Veer , mechanically took the table mats from the street boy’s hands and his dad silently paid for them. A pang of shame shot through Veer’s veins, as the boy grabbed the money with a twinkle in his eyes. Veer felt sick and dizzy. Suddenly he felt his dad’s hand on his shoulder and his soft “are you okay son?” broke the ice. Before he realized what he was doing, Veer hugged his dad and they cried.

Veer didn’t attend his college, nor did his dad go to office that day. None of them had enjoyed the breakfast in the morning. They were seen having Wada Pau across the street.

Now, the soft morning rays of the sun that smile through the window, over the breakfast table, compliment Veer’s enlightened face. The new table mats on the dining table remind Veer every day of that little street smart boy who had unknowingly taught him 3 lessons:

1) There is greater joy in giving than in owning

2) Love earned is more rewarding than ‘things’ earned!

3) Love is the only priceless thing on earth that can be earned without any bank balance!!!!!!



Article Contribution :-  PREETI BHATT

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