Children

Money bags for Montu

Illustration: Sreejith Kumar

Illustration: Sreejith Kumar  

The entire room was a picture of pandemonium. Utter chaos had taken over every nook and corner since vacations had started. Montu was not ready to move even an inch. He was least interested in doing the daily chores, which he used to finish in no time earlier. His books and clothes lay here and there in his room.

On one such morning, mummy called out to Montu, “Can you please put this plate of rice in the balcony for the birds?”

Mom was quite sure that Montu wouldn’t say “NO”, for he always enjoyed the sight of birds hopping around the balcony, chirping and nibbling on rice flakes.

“I need some rest,” Montu replied in a weary tone.

Mom was aghast but made her way towards the balcony to feed the birds.

Dad, who was watching the entire episode, went into Montu’s room and tried to reason with him. “Montu, I hope you know that everybody in the house needs to contribute towards the daily chores. Your mom also needs some rest. She gets so tired after completing all the chores by herself and I am also not available during the day to help her out,” he said.

“You are right, Dad, but my friend Amit told me that we need to do chores only if we get paid. His mom pays him whenever he helps her,” Montu replied.

Dad was stunned but regained his composure and came up with an ace: “Is that all? I will also give you money bags but you will have to help out your mom without any fuss.”

Montu hugged his Dad. “Oh, really? Thank you, Dad! I will not let you down.”

Change in attitude

Illustration: Sreejith Kumar

Illustration: Sreejith Kumar  

Right away, Montu jumped out of his bed and started tidying his room. Within no time, all his books and clothes were neatly arranged in the cupboard.

He searched for Mom and found her sitting on a mat on the terrace. She was applying a pain-relief ointment on her ankle, which seemed to be swollen.

Montu took the ointment from her hand and started applying it on her ankle. Mom gently brushed his hair. Montu’s eyes welled up with tears and he buried his face in his mother’s sari.

In the evening, when he spotted his Mom bending down to take out vegetables from the refrigerator, Montu ran to her and said, “Let me do it, Mom.”

Gradually, Montu started enjoying helping his Mom with the household chores. While they together, Mom would narrate stories from her childhood, which Montu loved listening to.

One evening, while Montu was enjoying a story session with his Mom, Dad walked in and said, “Montu, you have exceeded my expectations in helping Mom, so I am going to give you your money bags.”

“No, Dad. I don’t deserve them. You and Mom work so hard, while I didn’t even bother to help. I am sorry...” Montu was remorseful.

“Just look at your money bags,” said Dad, pointing to the wall.

Montu glanced at the wall and all he could see was the calendar, with February’s dates, before him. He looked at his Dad, puzzled.

Dad smiled and said, “This year, February has four Sundays, four Mondays, four Tuesdays, four Wednesdays, four Thursdays, four Fridays and four Saturdays. This happens only once every 823 years. This is called money bags.”

Montu burst out laughing.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2020 8:11:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/money-bags-for-montu/article32121378.ece

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