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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014
Smile is the way
Vineet Mani, Hindustan Times
May 23, 2011
First Published: 00:11 IST(23/5/2011)
Last Updated: 00:12 IST(23/5/2011)

Harsh words were falling on his ears from all sides. His classmates adopted all the techniques to ridicule him. They were throwing paper balls, chalk pieces on him but he did not respond. In fact, he could not.

The small, thin boy was a new entrant and had nothing special about his appearance. His ordinary clothes, tattered bag and unpolished pair of shoes narrated his family’s financial state of affairs. His strong and affluent classmates got an opportunity to make fun of him. It was a daily affair. The boy wanted to run away but could not as his peasant farmer was under huge debts and he was his only hope.

But one day the classmates crossed all the boundaries. The boy felt like shouting loudly and chase them away. His eyes got filled with tears. An outburst seemed imminent. But the boy gathered his emotions, closed his eyes and remembered Him. What to do in such a situation? he mumbled. Suddenly, he opened his eyes and looked everywhere. And he started smiling, looking at each and every fellow. The perturbed classmates wanted to see him weeping and pleading. On the contrary, the boy was smiling. They tried to tease him through various ways and means but all in vain.

After a few days, they all lost interest in ridiculing the boy. They wanted to hear him cry for their entertainment but nothing happened. Some classmates approached him and enquired for such a reaction. He smiled and said, “The other day when I closed my eyes and asked the Almighty how to handle such an adverse situation, He smiled at me and told me to just smile and everything will be fine, and that retaliation was the easiest thing to do. When I first smiled at you, I realised that I am feeling elated not only on my tolerance level but on your pitiful condition. You were simply wasting your energy and precious time in such a non-constructive activity.” The classmates were baffled and could not utter a word. The boy went off smiling as usual.


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