An eight-year-old boy opened the door with a heavy thudding sound came straight to his father and asked,
‘Dad, I want a new bicycle.’
His father answered, ‘You have one already.’ ‘I know but I don’t have a Trek bicycle.’
‘What’s so special about Trek bicycle? It rides same as your current bicycle.’ ‘Are you buying me a new one or not?’
With that question, kid’s father closed the book he is reading and said, “son, let me tell you a story.
When I was eight years old, I used to study in our school which is the only school in our city. As there is no other option, every kid who wants to study must come to our school. I belong to a upper middle class family. My father was a business man. When compared to many other students I can say that I look rich and posh with my stylish backpack, ten diﬀerent pens, costly books, neatly polished shoes and white shinning dress. In those days I used to feel superior than other students and other envied my life style.
One day one of my classmates, Shri got a new pen along with her. Her pen was coated with silver colour and god it was really beautiful. I have ten pens with me but that day I felt not even all of my pens together can match it’s beauty. Everyone in the school used to ask one of my pens just to feel how a costly pen works. After Shri brought her pen, everyone in the class are now interested on her new pen. I couldn’t take that. She was just a poor girl. She don’t have ten pens like me she has only one, she wore torn out shoes not polished ones likes me, she don’t even have a backpack. God I felt why everyone interested in her new pen. I decided to buy that pen at any cost.
I went back to my house that day with a sulking face. I went straight to my father and asked him, ‘ Dad, I want a new pen.’
‘You have too many already.’
‘I know but I don’t have a silver coated pen.’
‘What’s so special about silver coated one? It writes same as your ten pens do.’ ‘Are you buying me a new one or not?’
If I want something I act more like a stubborn. We went to the stationary shop near our house that day. Man in shop showed me few pens in the beginning. Without even a glance I asked him for a silver coated pen. He showed all the silver colour coated pens he has in his shop but none is same as Shri’s. I asked my father to buy me all those twenty types of silver colour pens. My father knows if he don’t buy me what I wanted I would go insane. So he bought me all.
Next day I went to the school with all those pens hoping I could turn the tide back to me. All the students are still loving Shri’s pen. Now some of the teachers are loving her pen too. They all checked her pen and asked where did she get it. She said her father gave it to her. To my surprise I myself wanted to check Shri’s pen. I couldn’t ask her. How can I? I have thirty diﬀerent and costly pens I don’t want to get low asking for her pen. I wanted that pen very badly. That day I went to my father and said, ‘dad, I lost all of my pens. Someone stole it. I need a new silver coated pen.’ I now feel that my father knew that I was lying. He said okay and was about to take me to the shop we went yesterday. I said, ‘dad, can we go to some other shop? This shop sells old stocks always.’ My father gave a smile and took me to another shop. Even there I couldn’t find the pen I wanted among hundreds of pens. I felt like crying. I was so desperate to get that pen. I bought a normal pen and came back to our house. My father asked me, ‘son, it’s not a silver coated pen you wanted.’ I didn’t answer that question. I came to my room and closed the doors. I cried like hell. After some time I thought why don’t I steel it from her and pretend it like my own. That idea made me smile. I don’t know whether it’s right or wrong. I decided that I was going to steel Shri’s pen and keep five of my pens in it’s place. After few days I can show her pen as mine to all and no one would doubt it.
Next day I waited for the right moment when everyone else is outside the class room. When the lunch time came everyone took their food boxes and went to cafeteria. I said I have a headache and I’ll sleep for a while and would join with others later. Within moments everyone vanished from the room. I went to her desk with shivering hands. I felt the tension in my mind and fear of getting caught. But my desire to have that pen pushed all the fears aside. I took her pen and I was about to place my pens there. Then Shri walked in to the room and she saw me.
I was dumbstruck. I don’t know what she noticed or what came across her mind. She said, ‘Ari what are you doing? Do you want that pen?’ I don’t know what to answer to that question. Sweat filled my forehead. I wanted to say yes but what happens if everyone knows about it. I stood their without uttering a word. She said, ‘Take it Ari. I know you like to collect diﬀerent types of pens. This would be a good one to add into your fine collection.’ I was stuck with her words. I oﬀered my five pens to her. She laughed and said, ‘what would I do with five pens? I’ll take one.’ She took one pen and went back to the cafeteria with the bottle she forgot to took when she was leaving before.
A part of me was happy for it. But I feared what if everyone’s knows I took this pen from her. What about my reputation. Next half of the day finished as a quick ride with multiple thoughts running in my mind. I went back to my home and was curious to check this pen. I opened my book and started writing in it. God it was so smooth and I loved it. I finished a page and it felt so good for me. I started to write the next page. It was really a great experience to write with it. As the pages go on, I realised this is just an other pen which writes. Then I took my pen and wrote a line with it and I wrote the next line with Shri’s pen. When I look at both of them, they looked same to me.
My father walked into my room. Involuntarily I hid Shri’s pen. He then with a smile asked me what happened. I couldn’t stop my self and I told him what exactly happened. I can still hear his words he told me back then as if they are struck in my ears forever. He said, ‘Son, see you have more than thirty diﬀerent pens with you. But you still wanted that one pen which you didn’t have. You carved for it and even decided to steal it crossing all the moral lessons I taught you. This happens not only with pens but with any other thing and emotion in our life. We should act as per our requirement but not per our desire. You now got what you wanted but does this change the way you write or the words you write in anyway? It won’t. A desire can change the way we think and see the world. Control it and you would see everything diﬀerently. Too much lessons for a cartoon watching kid hey?’ After that I returned Shri’s pen and from then I carry only one pen with me because I don’t need more than that.”
After listening to the story with a giggle kid said, ‘woah dad I cannot ride this bicycle forever. But I thought may be its okay to ride with my own bike. I don’t need a Trek. I’ll paint my bicycle with new colours though.’ and ran towards the garage.
‘Hey! it doesn’t mean I used the same pen since that day.’