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aut me aut nihil

aut me aut nihil = Either me or nothing. no,no... me not boosting. me have an inferiority complex and trying to compensate :D 

Monday, April 04, 2005 - 22:00

12 - 13

Caution: Short story ahead! I resorted to a monologue script for lack of better way.

My name is Raj. I am twelve years old. Well, not any more. Today is my birthday and i turn thirteen! I know that turning teen is a big thing: after all, the western culture allows for dating after one turns teen. But i hope i get the Play Station or the Desktop as my b'day gift from my parents. Or both..yayyy! Because mom said she has a surprise for me when i was leaving for school in the morning. Being the only child helps in these matters. You get all the attention and you dont have to share your gifts with your siblings. My dad might pop into my room any moment now and give me my present.

"Hey Kiddo! Happy Birthday!!"
Whats with the out stretched arms dad? A hug? Handshake is more appropriate, thank you. Hugs are so over dad.
"Well, thanks dad...and stop calling me kiddo. Im not a kid anymore.", for good measures.
"Ok ok, i wont. My dad used to call me kiddo all the time...anyways, i have your present for the day, but before that i need to talk to you about something. Sit down."
Oh no! Not the sit-down-talk. Anything but the talk.
"Actually, i just want to tell a story. It's kind of a moral story that i have been waiting to tell you."
"oookay...", Moral lines? You have always been the jolly fun dad. Why change now?
"Right. You have always been getting what you want son. I have never said `no` to anything you have asked for. But it is not always going to be like that in your life. Thats why i want you to listen to this story and i want you to think about it. Okay?"
"OK" Some thing is really up with my dad.
"hmmmm...here goes...Some time ago there was a very poor man who lived with his wife and four children. He was a woodcutter and to support his big family he worked really hard."
oh no, is he going through the "woodcutter and the golden axe" story and ask for the moral?
"He cut wood all day and since it didnt pay very well he was barely making ends meet. He sent his children to the public school because he knew that education would give them a better chance. It also worked out to his advantage since the public school served lunches, which meant he had four less mouths to feed in the afternoon."
"mmm hmmm", okay! i can forget about the golden axe and its moral.
"His daily wage was 12 rupees and even if he managed to cut with all his might he only got as much as 13 rupees. He came home with that money everyday and gave it to his eldest son. His son would then set out to the grocery store that was a few miles away and would get all the rice he could get for Rs.12 . Only then it was enough to feed the entire family. They cannot afford to buy any vegetables, so they grew some on their backyard."
Dad please dont ask me for a moral of the story.
"The mother then cooked the rice and served it to everybody. She also saved some rice for breakfast the next morning. Nobody knew how much she saved but they knew that they would get some in the morning."
I have no clue where my father is going with this sad story!
"One day, the father returned and like always his son set out with the Rs.12 to get the rice. But when he got to the store and reached into his pockets, the money wasnt there. He lost it on his way. He got really panicky and started frantically going over the footpath in search of the money. He searched and searched for he forgot all sense of time."
Now, he is just freaking me out...
"Only when it began to get dark he realised that his family was waiting and the truth stared at him. He was not going find that money and his family has to go to sleep starving that night. He returned home empty handed. And when he told his father about the money, he got so furious that he started beating his son."
Why is dad getting all emotional, and is that a drop of tear i see in his eyes?
"After all, it was all his day's work."
........thats it? thats the end of the story? Not a fairy tale ending..
"Not a fairy tale ending huh? But that how it is son."
"Yeah, It was a sad story."
"Well, you think about it....Your present is waiting in the hall."
i dont have to tell you how glad im for the story to end and to hear them magic words. Into the hall and the three big letter `DELL` on the box seems so beautiful, Mom standing next to it with a huge smile.
"Thanks dad, and thanks mom"
Dinner with my favorite sweet(rashagulla!) and soon its time to bed. Everybody off to sleep while i try to unpack the computer. Mom comes to my room to say good night.
"Raj, you can complete assembling it tomorrow. Go to sleep now."
"Ok mom, i'll in two minutes."
"Alright."
"Mom wait, I have a question for you....Dad today told me a story and i didnt understand why he was was so emotional about it."
"What story?"
"A poor woodcutter's story."
"Your grandfather was a woodcutter. Maybe thats why. Now, off to sleep. Good night!"

I switched the lights off and waited for a good ten-fifteen minutes. I went to my dad's room.
He was sleeping, but i gave him a hug anyway.


Dedication: To my cute little twin, Danny, who helped me write this story.

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