Sonia Dogra

Recently I watched an Egyptian short film by the name of “The Other Pair”. Directed by young film maker Sarah Rozik, the clip deeply stirred my soul. And in the month that celebrates childhood and children, I thought our readers must have a glimpse of this beautiful capture as I narrate it here.

Based on a true incident from Mahatma Gandhi’s life, the story brings together two little boys not more than ten years of age. They come from different walks of life. While one of them enjoys the privileges of a modest upbringing, the other lingers aimlessly at a railway station. Now this railway station happens to be the place where the two meet. One of our boys has a new pair of shoes that are shining bright. He sits at a bench brushing the hardly noticeable specks of dust on his newly acquired footwear. The other, not so lucky lad, struggles to fix the only slipper he has. Now this boy catches a glimpse of the former who is possessed with keeping his pair spick and span.

Soon enough, the proud owner of the new pair of black shoes is pulled by his father through a crowd of people onto a moving train. In the hustle bustle and commotion, one of his two shoes comes off and the boy happens to board the train wearing just one black shoe. It breaks his heart to see his lonesome shoe on the platform. As the train begins to speed away, the warrior with a single broken slipper who has witnessed the entire act, runs behind the train with the shoe that he picks up from the platform. He tries throwing the shoe at his friend who stands at the compartment door watching him.

But no matter how much might he uses to flung the shoe at his unknown friend, the aim misses the target and falls back on the platform. He seems dejected at missing his aim for he is aware that the boy in the train has deep love for his shoes. But just then something unexpected happens. His friend who stands at the door of the train removes the only shoe on his foot and throws it towards him signalling him to keep the pair! The story ends right there leaving with us a very pertinent and emotional thought.

As I share the story here on Children’s Day, among all the goodies and gifts and fun events that happen, there is a message I intend to play. With ‘times that are a changing’ the concept of sharing is dying a slow death. Children are often spotted refusing to share their toys, eats or even notes as they grow up! They find it hard to part with their belongings. During exams, sometimes, a few bright ones guard their notes and refuse to lend them to their harrowed friends. In fact a lot many times parents advise children to lock up their precious notebooks out of everyone’s sight. We often talk of the World becoming a little less caring than it ever was. We also discuss how selfish the coming generation has become. What we fail to realise is that we are imparting this training to our children at our very homes!

Little opportunities to help and share surround our children every day. It’s often in our dealing with them that we unknowingly pass on the message of keeping everything for ourselves, to them. In our attempt to guard them we forget to tell them of those simple joys that come with sharing and caring. Life’s purpose, dear children, is not determined by the desire to buy the other shoe… it is determined by the willingness to give away whatever little you have with you.

(This article has excerpts from ‘The Joys of Giving’ that was penned by the writer for mycity4kids)

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