Spice of life: In search of a boyhood hero

  • Parambir Kaur
  • Updated: Jul 13, 2015 09:14 IST

Writing stories for children is one of my favourite hobbies and by far the best method of becoming buoyant. It is akin to revisiting my childhood. A story idea had been doing rounds in my mind for quite some time. A few days ago, finding the perfect time, mood, and ambience for bringing it down on paper, I started writing. I was convinced that the outcome would match my expectations.

Just when the narration had begun to take shape, there was a soft knock at the door. A boy stood outside. Seeing me, he uttered: “Ma’am, is it you who writes stories about Sehaj?” The query surprised me but I confessed that I was the writer indeed. “That’s why I’ve come to you,” the visitor said, as his face lit up. I led him in. Telling him to take a seat, I asked the child his name.

“Mukul, ma’am,” he revealed, politely. The first impression was good to make one feel secure about the future of the nation. Mukul interrupted my chain of thoughts. “I came to see Sehaj. Where is he?” He looked around as if searching for the character. “You want to see Sehaj!” I could barely utter the words. It was an odd predicament after all. “Indeed, I want to be friends with him,” Mukul said excitedly, with a glow of hope in his eyes. I did not want to disappoint the child but I had to tell him the truth.

“But child, he does not stay here; you can meet him only in the stories; he’s very genial.” My answer disheartened the guest, to say the least; but I could not help asking him: “Mukul, why do you want to befriend Sehaj?” “Sehaj is an intelligent, mature, and responsible boy. My parents tell me his company will be good for me in many ways.” Mukul came across as someone quite serious for his age. His reply motivated me to continue conversing with him. “What other qualities of Sehaj do you find attractive?” “He’s good at studies. Even I would like to be among the toppers of my class,” “What else?” “His parents and teachers like him. He is a role model to his classmates.”

This tête-à-tête was engaging and Mukul was enjoying it no less. “Mukul, I say, you can meet Sehaj easily.” “But how?” The child was at a loss to know. “You can become Sehaj, by developing the qualities that you adore in him. You have it in you. Then all other the children will be anxious to befriend you,” I told him with conviction. Mukul turned thoughtful. “For all you know, you might even outshine Sehaj,” I added. He became bliss personified. “Really? How happy my parents will be!” After Mukul left, this strange visit infused me with a renewed zeal to continue with the ongoing story.

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