Friday, August 25, 2006

Everything is Illuminated

Maathangy was very busy. She was watching Tom and Jerry and coloring her crayon book. From time to time she checked if Tom got outwitted by Jerry or not on her 25 inch Philips color TV. She could not change the channel as her parents had put a child lock on the rest of the channels. But then they thought that was the best they could do to protect their 7 year old daughter from watching something insane and vulgar on the idiot box.

"Maathu kutty" her dad Prakash came from office and kissed her on her cheeks. Seeing her grow fast Prakash wondered if the LIC policy that he had been paying annually would be enough to spend for her marital expenses or would go of in the air as Dowry for some stranger who may own her for life. He knocked those off his mind and realized that he had something more important to discuss with her.

"Maathu. I got a letter from your school today." told Prakash.

Maathu looked up from the elephant she had been coloring in green color and questioned him with her expressive eyes. Prakash continued "The letter says that you contributed Rs.500 to the UNICEF fund. Did you get the money from mummy?"

"No daddy. I took it from my savings." said Mathu.

Prakash remembered that it was the plan he and his wife Priya had taken to explain the power of saving money to Maathu. They would deposit Rs.5 daily in a piggy bank in her bed and she was instructed to spend the money on anything she liked after a period of time. 6 months before she had bought a small doll for her mom's birthday from that money and surprised them immensely. But this was something different.

"Maathu. Do you know how much Rs.500 means?" Prakash asked without raising his voice.

"Yes daddy. It is enough to buy a tap and install a part of the hand pump in poor countries. Malini miss told us in the presentation." replied Maathu.

"But Maathu. You cannot spend your money like this. We gave it to you to spend it for yourself."

"Daddy. Remember that day we were watching TV and an old uncle in the TV said that if we donate some part of our wealth, we will go to heaven". She was referring to a children’s program on Disney Channel and Prakash wondered how much of an impact it had made on her. Danm Disney he thought.

"Its still wrong Maathu. You cant just hand it over to somebody like this when they ask. 10 or 20 rupees is fine. But 500 is too much Maathu. Those people who ask money can be crooks and bad people. Remember next time, some one asks you money for something, you have to ask Mummy and Daddy" Prakash finished sternly.

Maathu seemed disappointed for a minute. She didn’t look at Tom and Jerry and was coloring in blue outside the border of elephant’s body. Everything seems illuminated in the light of life and Maathu may realize it sometime in her life.

"We are not going to heaven, are we daddy?" Maathu questioned Prakash.

He could not realize if he was wise or her. Prakash pretend not to hear her question in the rising volume of the Tom and Jerry show.


Krithika said...

it is extreeeemly meaningful! superb work! sumtimes life's pace is so maddening tht these small things get unnoticed

Aditi said...

It really had an impact, because I am sitting here wondering how much more honest and giving children are and also how impressionable they are. We have so much to learn from them.

Karthik B.S. said...

eppa eppadi ippadi?

nalla describe panni irukireenga!

very nice!

The child outwitted her father!

priya said...

How quickly a child preceives and gets to know things in younger age.

priya said...

How quickly a child preceives and gets to know things in younger age.

priya said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
prithz said...

Wooowww!!! Such a small incident, but very very written.. u really brought the feel of the ppl invovled... Amazing!!! :)

mystery said...

WOW..kalakals..well described...

Bindu said...

Great Piece, Harish. Chance illa.. Romba romba nallaa irukku.

I hope that some parent would read this.

Marutham said...

Lovely Work!!!!
Kalakureenga ponga!!!

Hm...As promised Bharathiyaar paatu post panirukken and another Fav song of mine... Hope u like them ? :)

S m i t h a said...

beautiful! wish i'd written this :)

ambi said...

Wow! nice written, how come all your posts can be taken as short films? or enakku thaan apdi thonuthaa? :)
me yosichufying whom to cast for the dad & child role.

raz said...

pul arikuthu!!!! engaiiooo poite..! :D

KK said...

Nice post harish...
Words mean a lot to children than for adults. Very nicely written!!!

Sangeeta said...

Beautifully written...
Being a parent myself, your post has given me different perspective.

Syam said...

karthik solrathu thaan naanum solren...epdiba ipdi ellam osikareenga... :-)

//would go of in the air as Dowry for some stranger who may own her for life//

well said....bestu kanna bestu :-)

Hell's Angel said...

well said abt the innocent nature of a child..:)

Arun Sriram said...

simply superb! u could not have presented this topic in a more matter of fact way!

Enigma said...

well narrated

Enigma said...

where in ahrtford are u?

Usha said...

moral of the story - kids are divine than elders, naamellam appadi nalavangala irundhudhane ippo ippadi irukom :)

Anupama Viswanathan said...

ah..the simplicity of a child's mind..! Good job! :)

Has to be me said...

This is just simply superb! Loved it! What insipired u to write this? It was such a nice gesture of the kid unfortunately curbed by the dad. Ofcourse he may have his own reasons to say so but only wish each parents realises the values in their kids.

Karthik B.S. said...


maathu maathu nu padikarappa innatha maatharadhunu dhaan keka thonudhu! :D

nice write up!

Karthik B.S. said...


thank u! :D

Ramya said...

well written story that depicts reality.this is where parents go wrong when bringing up a child.every parent must instill the thought of charity in their child's mind.

Harish said...

Yes Krithika...unfortunately it is

That is what makes children special :-)

Thanks yaar..

Amazing isnt it?

Harish said...

Thanks yaar

Back after a long time eh?

Thanks a ton yaar

Waiting for ur next post :-)

Harish said...

Thats the best compliment i got

Adigama padam paathu naanum anda effect la thaan ezhudaren :-)


The maathu at ur home can be happy then :-)

Harish said...

Nandri thalai

@Hells' angel
Thanks yaar

Welcome aboard boss. Thanks yaar

Thanks a ton yaar

Harish said...

namellam?Idula nee enga vanda? :-)

Thanks yaar :-)

@Has to be me
Actually i had been to a theatre and some ppl came asking money for charity. While we elders remained tight fisted, a kid ran towards them and put money in that box. Thats when i got my ILLUMINATION.

Harish said...


Namala naame thaan maathanum :-)

Wish...we cld be better :-)

Iniyaazh said...

Good one Harish. Romba nalla irukku.

KK said...

yenakku mattum reply pannave illai :(

Harish said...

Thanks yaar

Thalai..eppadi miss paninaen teriyala. Enna pannalaam?Thoppukaranam podatumma? :-)

KK said...

1 packet puliyotharai + 1 packet Thachi mammu pothum :)
Thopukaranamlam vendam... innoruthara thunpurutha koodathunu thiruvalluvar solli irukaaru :)

Harish said...

Unnai valluvar romba nallavan nu sollitaru nu ninaikiraen :-)