Dinesh and Sudeep were Laira’s classmates. All were teenagers between 13 and 16 years of age. Laira was eating her breakfast when suddenly the phone rang. She picked it up and she said in her usual sweet voice “Helloooo, I am Laira.”
The voice at the other end was of her classmate Dinesh’s. “Hi Lirry (nickname) it’s me Dinesh. How about going to the fun-fair at noon today?.”
Laira asked him “Dinu, who all are going?”
Dinesh said “Five have already okayed i.e. I, Sudeep, Sushmita, Gopal, and Gayatri. You will be the sixth and last one if you say yes. So tell me, r u coming?.. do say yes Lirry.”
Laira smiled and said “Sure I will join you all.. give me the details please.”
So the plan was made and all of them met at Dinesh’s house and by 4:00 noon, they started off on their bicycles. The fair was around 8 kms far from their place.
They stopped every now and then on the way admiring the beautiful scenes, the hills, the flowers on the trees, the swarm of bees, the green grass fields. They also saw bullock carts, buffaloes, dogs, hens, and little village children yelling, screaming with joy running around. As they moved further on they saw a poor man wearing dirty old clothes with an axe in his hand walking slowly. The man walked up to a big banyan tree, kept a dirty bundle under the tree, removed his old worn out shoes, wiped out the sweat from his forehead, and proceeded further down with the axe in his hand.
The kids got curious and followed him without him being aware of it. The poor man went to a pile of logs and straightening the position of a big long log, he began striking it with his axe. Every time the axe came down he muttered a “curse” and kept on at his work. Dinesh and Gopal were enjoying the “mutterings” of the poor man and imitated the same making everyone laugh. Sushmita and Gayatri laughed and laughed at their funny imitation.
Suddenly, Sudeep nudged Dinesh and he whispered loud enough for all the others to hear too “Hey Dinu, how about playing a little prank on this fellow. Look, he is busy cutting log. Let us go and pick up his dirty bundle which I believe is his food, and hide it somewhere. When he comes back we can hear some really great muttering CURSES. Hahaha..it will be lots of fun to enjoy THAT.”
Everyone laughed and nodded except Laira. She at once said “Sudeep, you want to ENJOY this…hmm.. we will do it with a little difference though. Let me give you some REAL ENJOYMENT to watch.”
They said “okay Lirry, we are with you. Come on!!!.. Let us see what FUN you have on mind.” Laira said “all of you give me 5 Rs each. I assure you this FUN will be worth more than this petty amount.”
Everyone handed over a 5 Re note to Laira. Laira counted it to Rs 30 from the 6 of them. She then slowly but cautiously sneaked up to the old man’s “dirty bundle” and untied it. She squeezed the Rs 30 inside and tied back the knot carefully. She retraced her steps back to the others.
Gopal asked “Lirry where is the fun?” what did you do?”.
Laira said “let us just wait and watch now.”
The poor man came wiping his sweat, looking very tired and sad, as he moved to the tree. He took a water bottle from somewhere, washed his hands, and still muttering something, sat down and pulled the “bundle” near to him. He looked so worried and thoughtful about something. Laira told everyone “everyone be silent and watch. We might see the FUN now.”
As the poor man opened the knot, he could not believe what he saw. He just stared and stared at the six 5 Re notes lying there. His face wore a big question mark. He looked around and saw no one. His tired and sad face suddenly lit up brightly. He smiled now. He threw up his hands to the sky and said “God, you must have sent your angels to help me. I needed 30 Rs badly to buy medicine for my wife and LORD!!! YOU have found some way to help me though I know not HOW.”
So saying he just folded his hands, knelt down on this knees, said a silent prayer for a minute, then he pocketed the 30 Rs and finished his meal with a happy look on his face. That moment gave him so much happiness that he even whistled a soft tune to express it, then slowly picking up his axe, he walked away down the narrow lance, out from their sight.
Dinu broke the silence “Wow!!! I felt so happy when the poor man’s face lit up.”
Gopal said “me too. His surprise was so good to see.”
Sushmita and Gayatri wiped tears from their eyes. They said “we truly enjoyed every minute of this event Laira. We realize after watching this as to how much happiness it would give us to make others happy with such “noble pranks” rather than “ugly ones.”
Sudeep gave Laira a warm hug and said to her “Laira, I promise to buy you an ice cream for this “enjoyable moment you created.” Honestly, I realize how bad “my prank” would have been. Rather than blessings we would have ended up with being cursed making God unhappy with our behaviour. Thank you for saving me from this sin Laira. You are THE BEST GIRL I ever met. I am proud of you my friend.”
Laira went RED in the face. She said “Friends, I did only what I thought was the right thing to do. I believe in the saying “the happiness that you share always multiplies and brings you back more. Thank you trusting me. We all have contributed to this happy moment.”
They all knew Laira was being very modest and loved her more for it. What she believed was good made perfect sense and she was practicing it too. They all felt lucky that they had a lovely friend like Laira.
With this happy event on their mind, they proceeded to the FUN-FAIR, had a great time there and returned home with joy in their heart and “do good be good” on their minds. They soon forgot what they did at the Fun-Fair but they NEVER ever forgot Laira’s FUN prank on the poor old man.
MORAL: We sometimes “enjoy” to play pranks that “hurt” others and make them “mad.” This is really a “very bad” thing to do isn’t it?. Moreover, when we play “good and helpful pranks” we can always get much more enjoyment like the above story. :)