‘I wish I understood Mathematics more’
‘I wish Ma and Pa didn’t fight so much’
‘I wish I could play the flute’
‘If only I could..’
“So many wishes! If only I had a magic lamp like Aladdin!” Ananth thought out loud.
He was also worried, what if he himself forgot his wishes? How would he be able to say thank you to God for granting his wishes, if he did not even remember what he wished for?
Also, was it even correct, to make so many wishes? Wouldn’t God be angry if one person was so greedy with wishes?
He was worried as he made his way to school.
His friends asked him what the matter was. He told them, but they decided playing cricket before the school bell rang was a better use of precious time.
Now Ananth was a very nice boy, always polite to his teachers and friendly with all.
It was thus easy for everyone to see that something was bothering him.
Nisha ma’am called him to the staff room. “What is bothering you child?” She asked.
She was an adult, she might be able to answer his question right? So he told her.
She looked at him skeptically and said “What child! Why do you have such questions! Wish all you want! Now off you go and stop thinking so much!”.
Off he went, not at all satisfied with her answer. Why even adults didn’t seem to answer him satisfactorily! He decided not to ask anyone about it anymore.
On hearing what happened, Ananth’s Mathematics teacher, Mr.Prabhav decided to talk to him. He called Ananth and they went for a walk along the paddy fields next to the school.
They walked a long distance without talking, each lost in the scenery around and thoughts within.
“What are you thinking about?” Asked sir.
Ananth liked his sir a lot, so he decided he would tell him about his questions.
“Does God have wish quotas sir? Will God get mad if someone exceeds their daily or weekly quota of wishes?” He asked.
Prabhav sir looked at him and said “Hmm”, slipping into his thoughts.
Ananth knew from experience that sir thought a while before answering any questions, be it easy or hard.
He went on “Also sir, what about being grateful? I think we ought to be grateful for each and every wish that comes true. But sometimes I do not remember my wishes sir, so I’m afraid I haven’t been thankful to God for granting some of my wishes!”
Sir patted Ananth’s head, listening and thinking.
The kept walking.
Ananth found himself feeling a little better already. He knew he could rely on his teacher to make sense of the clutter in his head.
They now took the path through the fields back towards school. “Ananth” sir said.
Ananth turned towards his sir expectantly.
“I don’t think I can give correct answers. I can however tell you what I think.” said sir.
“To keep track of your wishes, maybe you could write them down and put in a box? Say today you wish for a lollipop. Write it in a piece of paper, fold it and put it into a box. Your wish box. Once in a month, open the box and say thank you for all the wishes that have come true. You’ll see that you did indeed get your lollipop when you don’t even remember asking for it. This way I think you can remember and be grateful for each wish come true”.
Ananth thought about it and nodded his head.
“Okay sir, I will try it this month and see. The answer to the other question sir?” He asked.
The school was just around the upcoming bend. Ananth did not want to get back to school without the question answered.
Sensing this unrest sir spoke, “I think there are no quotas for wishes Ananth. You can wish all you want, God won’t mind it. But .. Wish meaningful things. That way you will feel grateful instead of just mechanically saying ‘Thank you’. Alright?”
He liked the simple answer. So he could wish as much as he wanted, God wouldn’t get angry and he could be grateful for all his wishes.
“Oh and Ananth, you have to still work towards what you wish for. God is not always like the genie in Aladdin’s lamp! Getting a lollipop for you is easy-peasy for God. But some other wishes like – Topping in Maths? God needs your help there. You start taking steps towards it. . . And God will help you along your way. Only when you do something about it will God help you along. For example, You cannot do one sum a month and expect to top. You need to start practising regularly… Enough of a lecture for now? ” Sir asked.
They had reached the school’s back entrance.
Ananth grinned and hugged sir.
That day he understood something that would help him all his life.
Other short stories in chatterboxerr can found at https://www.chatterboxerr.wordpress.com/short-stories