Wishes & Priorities

The movie theatre was crowded as the nation’s biggest Star’s latest flick has just been released. People swarmed by the ticket booth, eager to get their hands on the ticket and kids looking at the pop corn with wide eyes.

He ran to the machine and inserted the coin, excited to see his weight for the first time. He looked up and saw the light bulbs, arranged in a pattern, gleam in different colours way above him. The machine started buzzing and a card popped out into the tray in front of him.

He stood on his toes so that he reached the tray and took the card into his hands. His little fingers couldn’t hold it right, dropping the card on the ground. He stepped down, took the card and ran to his house in the next lane. His mother was waiting for him at the doorstep. He could make out from his mother’s wet eyes that something is wrong. She hugged him tight, sobbed and asked him where he was. The boy cheerfully handed the card over to his mother,

“Mother! I weigh 20 kgs!”

The mother took her son in, closed the door and slapped him tight. The boy quietly sat in a corner with tears in his eyes and fear in his mind.

“Did you steal the 1 rupee coin from the shelf? Do you have any idea that I have to buy a matchbox to light the lamps?”

“But all these people have bulbs in their houses. Even my classmates do.”

“They live in houses my child, we live in a tent.”

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