This is a story about a little girl who learnt about the value of money and the value of affection at the age of 7 when she was yet a toddler in the ROAD of life.
It was Diwali time and she and her two other friends were talking seriously about the new dress they are planning to get for the festival. All the three of various financial status planned to buy a “Salwar set” (too early for that age). This little girl when came home the family is ready to out for a shopping to buy Diwali dresses. Appa has just got his Diwali bonus. Amma selected a gorgeous chamki work Georgette skirt. Having the idea of the salwar kameez, the girl could not open her mouth and say no (actually she liked that skirt too :)) . Nice dresses for her younger sis and brother too were taken (why would kids ever worry about Diwali dresses for Amma and Appa) and the family came home happy, tired and sleepy.
As soon as they entered home, this little girl whispered into her Appa’s ears about her friends plan. She never knew that Appa and Amma were skipping new dresses for Diwali. Appa was not well and having a dry cough. He never bothered about anything and said to Amma that he’s taking me out and we will be back home soon. The puzzled Amma said yes.
Appa took this girl to a nice showroom in Pondy bazar and took her a red color salwar set with white flowers sprinkled. The little girl liked this dress more than the gorgeous skirt. Coming out he bought her favorite sweet “Soan Papdi”. Munching it she started walking to the bus stop happily slinging to her Appa’s hands. Appa was coughing hard but was talking to her joyously. Suddenly the little girl felt very sad instead of happy. She remembered Amma and Appa did not bu anything for themselves. Apart from her brother and sister, she is getting one more dress just for the sake of her rich friends. And Appa was coughing hard often smiling at her.
She felt very bad about herself. Why should she be very selfish? Why she never worry about her father coughing hard? She suddenly felt shameful to be so self centered and with that to show off her new dress to her friends. That moment she decided never to bother her loving Appa asking for anything. She decided to accept whatever he offered her with utmost affection. She decided to give her Amma and Appa all the luxuries she could when she grow up to a big girl.
And then she learnt the lesson of giving to loved ones from her dearest Appa.
This happened almost 37 years before but she could remember every moment so very perfectly. As today her dearest Appa is not with her she is lingering her good old memories.