The game of Cricket had a magical charm at that age! I was studying in 4th standard in school and every opportunity I got was used to indulge in the sport with neighbourhood boys and siblings. The schools had closed for the summer vacation and Mr Sampat who was an uncle had come home. We were very fond of him as he whole heartedly participated in all activities, going out for walks, playing carrom, cricket, and game of cards!
'Did you ask uncle for the Cricket set' my father asked, looking sternly.
The only problem was I had a cricket bat and tennis ball and we played the game on make shift wickets, sometimes the staircase, other times a pile of stones!
My birthday was around the corner so Sampat uncle asked what I would like as a gift?
I had been taught never to ask for anything from anyone by my parents. So I told him that I did not need anything! Next evening he took us out and coaxed me again! This time my resolve was shaken as lavishly I procured a gleaming bat new ball wickets and bales.
After reaching home I knew trouble awaited me as father saw me with the worldly possessions which had materialised from thin air like ' Nirmal baba's wish list'
' I did not have the courage to admit' as I continued to look at the ground.
'Did you do it ' one more time he asked.
' Yes, I admitted ' this time ready for the consequences that were likely to follow!
Very seldom I had got a beating in my younger days but that day was special. No further shouting or admonishing just a few words that had a telling effect for the rest of my life as that one moment of truth saved me for the rest of my life to ever ask for anything from anyone! This formed a rock foundation for my working career , even though sounding naive! While working many a temptations came my way,even a lucrative offer from a supplier to work for him but I steadfastly steered away and thank god for the internal happiness achieved in long run without having missed out much on good things in life!