Train of tales Children

Trying it on dad

Illustration: Sonal Goyal   | Photo Credit: Illustration: Sonal Goyal

The story so far: Vineet finds a slip of paper with a magic mantra and he uses it to make people do his bidding.

Vineet grabbed the bowl and devoured the two scoops in a few minutes. After thanking the cook, he raced to his room. His luck was definitely changing for the better.

Removing the crushed paper from his pocket, he smoothed out the creases.

“This paper is worth its weight in gold,” he thought to himself. He folded it neatly and tucked it into his pocket. Then rolled onto his stomach, and drifted into sleep.

At tea time, Vineet entered the dining room and was surprised to see his favourite dishes laid out.

Winds of change

“I asked the cook to make all your favourite snacks,” dadi smiled. “Eat, child.”

The magic mantra had worked wonders on his grandmother and the cook’s attitude towards him. As he ate, Vineet wondered if it would work on his father.

Closing his eyes and conjuring up an image of his father in his mind’s eye, Vineet repeated the mantra. When Vineet opened his eyes, he saw his father buttering toast. There was a frown on Mr. Malhotra’s forehead. It was as though he was thinking hard about something, trying to make a decision.

Vineet continued to chant the mantra as Mr. Malhotra chewed absent-mindedly. Vineet was disappointed. There was no reaction from his father. Mr. Malhotra studied the toast in his hand as though it was a strange object.

“Nothing will work on my father. There is no mantra powerful enough to change dad’s mind once it’s made up. I better give up,” he grumbled.

“Why are you talking to yourself, Vineet?” Mr. Malhotra smiled. “I’ve watched you work hard. You have been sufficiently punished for an error that wasn’t even your fault to begin with. I lift the ban. You will get your crackers.”

Mr. Malhotra returned to his task of buttering the toast, leaving family members speechless.

“Dad, I hope you are not joking?” Vineet asked.

“Do I joke about serious matters?” his father munched his toast. “If you want the punishment to continue, it’s fine by me.”

“Thank you!” Vineet said. “I’ll try not to let you down.”

“Go with the driver and buy your crackers,” said Mr. Malhotra, giving him ₹7000. Leaning across the table, Vineet grabbed the notes.

“Thanks, Dad,” he grinned.

To be continued


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 11:12:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/trying-it-on-dad/article37500603.ece

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