Ammu was a bright
girl of 9 years of age. She was a lively kid full of laughter and
her charm could melt anyone’s heart. She was the pet of not only
her parents but of the entire neighbourhood. She lived in Bangalore
with her parents. The only complaint in her life was that she was
not able to meet her grandparents as much as she wanted to.
She always looked
forward to her vacations when she could go and stay with her grand
parents in the far away village. There were so many things to do
there. Bathing in the pristine clear river, playing with the cows
and calves, racing with the village kids, flying kites, plucking
flowers for worship from the vast gardens ,climbing trees…wow the
list was endless and thinking about it made Ammu really long for
the vacation. “Oh god” she prayed “let the vacations start fast
so that I can go to the village and play.”
Like all the things
in life, when we want time to go fast it crawls. So was it with
her also. Finally her exams were over and parents dropped her off
at the village house. Her grandma and grandpa were delighted to
see her. Grandma had cooked all her favourite dishes and Ammu couldn’t
stop eating. She spent the rest of the evening flying kites with
her neighbour and friend Seetha.
When she slept that
night she dreamt of the river, boats, cows and the butterflies.
She was as fresh as a flower when she woke up and couldn’t wait
to run to the river.
Grandma didn’t let
her go till she had her fill of delicious idlys and chutney. After
the yummy breakfast she ran to the river and plunged in to the water.
The water was clear and she swam with the fishes. She played with
the tortoises and had a very good time. When she came back she was
surprised to see the angry face of her grandma.
“What happened grandma?
Are you angry with me? No No Ammu, why should I be angry with you?
It is your grandpa. He loves his money so much that he doesn’t even
let me make sweets for you.”Ammu said “Don’t worry granny. Being
here makes me so happy. There is no need of any sweets.” Grandme
responded “you are a good girl Ammu but I am fed up with this trait
of your grandpa. Why doesn’t he understand that people are more
important than his money?”
Then came the most
awaited time of the year - Utsav at the local temple. Ammu was so
excited that she could barely sleep the whole night. She planned
to go to the festival with her friend and neighbour Seetha. She
was a simple yet bright girl of Ammu’s age. Her eyes shone with
brilliance, innocence and kindness. No wonder then that Seetha was
her best chum at the village. They woke up early, took bath, got
ready and ran to the temple. Both were wearing beautiful long skirt
and blouse and were looking radiant with happiness. They both enjoyed
the drums, the elephants, the kathakali and also the small pavement
shops set up for the festival.
The best of them was
a bangle shop which had different colours of glass bangles. All
the girls were looking at the bangles with longing and fascination.
Ammu loved the green bangles and was dying to buy them. But alas!
The price was more than her pocket money. She went home planning
to request money from her grandpa. But as you guess he straight
away refused to give her any money for the bangles. “What do you
need bangles for? You already have some”. Ammu went to sleep slightly
Each day went by with
lots of excitement and finally the last week of the vacation arrived.
Ammu was already feeling sad that she has to leave the village and
go back soon.
It surprised her when she found Seeta
sitting and crying near the river. “My dear friend, why are you
so sad? Tell me whatever it is.” Seeta told her that she wanted
to study but her parents didn’t have the money to send her to school.
So instead of going to school she had to start working in the neighbouring
Ammu was heartbroken to hear this.
She knew that Seetha was very good in her studies. Ammu was determined
to find a solution to her friend’s problem. She had an idea. “Seetha
please tell your parents to borrow money from my grandpa. I know
that he is rich. Somehow we should convince him to help you. Of
course you can return the money when you start earning.” Seetha’s
parents were workers at Ammu’s grandpa’s paddy fields. With lots
of hesitation Seetha’s parents approached him for money.
his reply. “How can you even think that I would lend you money?
Shameless people!” Hearing his response Ammu was shattered. She
always had a glimmer of hope that her grandpa would help when it
was really needed. But here he was ruining the future of a small
girl. That night Ammu couldn’t sleep. The next morning she went
to her grandpa and said “Congrats grandpa” “Why?” he asked. “I understand
that you have achieved something no one has ever been able to. You
have discovered how to take your money with you when you die”.
Grandpa realized she
was making fun of him. He was angry but slowly the truth of her
words sank in. He hugged Ammu and apologised for his behaviour.
He finally realized that money is for helping others. He gladly
lent money to Seetha and derived happiness from her success. Ammu
went back home with a happy heart.
Story Teller: Ms. Nithya
Dilip, [email protected]