Brighter than Diwali
Updated: Nov 10
Rahul, a bright and inquisitive 10-year-old boy from Chennai, was caught in the whirlwind of Diwali preparations with his parents. They had spent the day shopping for new clothes, delicious sweets, and a dazzling array of firecrackers, filling the air with anticipation and excitement.
As the sun began to set on the eve of Diwali, Rahul joined the chorus of joyous laughter and cheers, lighting firecrackers with his friends and family. The night sky lit up with a thousand colors, and the air was filled with the aroma of sweets and the crackling of fireworks.
Amid the celebrations, Rahul's mother called him over and asked him to run a short errand to the nearby provision shop. Eager to contribute to the festivities, he skipped out of the house, a smile on his face.
On his way back from the shop, clutching a bag filled with groceries, Rahul noticed something that stopped him in his tracks. In a dimly lit corner of a closed wayside shop, he saw two children, a girl and a boy, huddled together. They looked to be around his age, their eyes cast down in sadness.
His inquisitive nature kicked in, and he approached them. He asked, "Why are you sitting here like this? Everyone is celebrating Diwali, and you look so sad."
The children exchanged glances before the girl, her voice barely a whisper, replied, "We don't have any money for food."
Rahul was taken aback. He pressed further, "But where are your parents?"
The boy answered, "We are orphans. We don't have parents."
Rahul couldn't believe his ears. He persisted, "How do you manage to eat? What do you do for food?"
The children admitted, "We beg for food. It's the only way we survive."
Rahul's heart ached for them. He had been sheltered from the harsher realities of life, and he had never known that children his age were living in such dire circumstances. Determination welled up within him as he knew he had to do something.
He returned home and, without hesitating, gathered his new clothes and a few older ones. He also grabbed several boxes of sweets that had been laid out for guests, and the entire box of firecrackers he had been so excited about. With his arms full, he rushed back to the children and handed them his offerings, his eyes filled with compassion.
Back at home, Rahul's father was aghast when he saw his son returning with empty hands. He was on the verge of scolding Rahul, but his mother quickly intervened, standing between them. She calmly said, "You should be proud of our son, Rahul. He has learned something invaluable today, and he has shown maturity by finding a solution to a problem on his own. He has also displayed his kindness and empathy toward those less fortunate in our society."
Rahul's father, taken aback by the wisdom in his wife's words, thought for a moment. Then he picked up Rahul, holding him close, and whispered, "You've made us proud today, my son. Your heart is as bright as the Diwali lights, and your kindness shines even brighter."
- Suresh Menon