Teaching Story - Just like you
by Life Positive
His mind was crammed with the presents he would get and the lovely party his mother would throw for him and his friends. Her chocolate cake was to die for, with at least an inch of icing on it. The very thought of it made his mouth water. Why couldn’t his birthday come at least once a month?
Just then, his mother came to him, “Ashish, can we do something different for your birthday this year?” “What, mummy?” Ashish asked. “You know that the slum near our house has been broken, don’t you?” “Yah,” said Ashish vaguely. “They are having such a hard time, beta,” said mummy. They have no place to sleep but the footpath and the children are in such a bad state. I have been going every day with food for them and it would make me really happy if you would celebrate your birthday with them.” Ashish’s heart sank. Birthday with a whole lot of slum kids? Oh, God, how could she do this to me? “Trust me, you will cherish the memory,” his mother said.
On his birthday, he and his mother went to the pavement where the people were living in makeshift shelters. He spotted 10 children playing around. Some were building piles of stones, others were piggybacking on each other, one was singing a song as he doodled on the sand next to the footpath.
When they saw Ashish’s mother, they ran up delightedly, calling out “Aunty, aunty.”
A few women came and helped Ashish’s mother with the bags of food. With a broom they cleared a part of the pavement. Some old charpoys were brought. Sitting in a circle, they sang Happy Birthday as Ashish cut his cake. Then he went around and gave everyone a piece. No one jostled or asked for more. But their eyes shone as they tucked into the delicious cake, sandwiches, pizzas and laddoos his mother had made.
Then they played antakshari and an uproarious game of housie. How they laughed when one five-year-old got up every two minutes to say that he had got the full house. Only, he never did. When Ashish saw that despite their bony knees and ragged clothes, how jaunty their spirits were, his throat tightened. He had always thought in some way that they were a different species from him. They had never entered his mental space before. Now he saw that they were just like him. Ashish felt he had learnt a very important lesson today. One that he would never forget. On their way home, he slipped his hand into that of his mother. “Thank you, mom, for the best birthday of my life.”
See more articles on Teaching Story at:http://www.lifepositive.com/Articles/TeachingStory
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