Tiku and the Wishing Tree

Tiku and the Wishing Tree

Tiku and the Wishing Tree

Tiku dragged his feet on the dusty footpath. It had been a disastrous day: he had forgotten to do his History homework, the surprise Math test took him by true surprise, he got into a fight with the rival team during a 'friendly' football game, and the saddest thing was that he was sure there wouldn't be a puppy waiting for him at home.

Well, for the last bit, Tiku had been begging his parents for a puppy, only to be denied every time, because he wasn't 'big enough', 'smart enough', 'responsible enough' and he "didn't really deserve it".

Tiku neared the tall banyan tree that stood halfway to his home. He reached the tree and dropped his heavy bag and leaned against its strong trunk.  "Yeah, and what do you know? You simply stand dumbly watching everything around you. I've had such a lousy day!" He said. And suddenly, he hugged the tree and pleaded, "Please, please let there be a puppy waiting for me!"

Tiku reached home and rang the bell. His mother greeted him chirpily, "Nice day?"  "Duh!" Said Tiku, heading straight to his room. He pushed open the door noisily. A covered basket on his bed began to move! He rushed to it and screamed, "Mummy! It's a puppy! It's a puppy! I can't believe it!"

His lousy day had just made an about turn!  And when he lay his weary and happy head on the pillow that night, he had a feeling the tree had something to do with it.

So, the next day on his way to school, he hugged the tree and said, "Please, please postpone the weekly test." And his wish came true! The following day he wished for winning the football game and it came true! The third day he wished for a surprise gift from his father. And it came true!

Tiku couldn't keep the secret of a wishing tree to himself, so he told his best friend Pinto and made him promise not to tell anyone. But Pinto never had a stomach for secrets, so he told Bunty who told his gang of friends, who told their friends, who told their sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles, who told their friends, who told the maids, who told the milkmen, who told the istriwallas and by the time Tiku could go for his next wish, the whole town had descended on the poor banyan tree!

And do you know what happens to wishing trees? Well, the local politician made a dais and got it painted. Lovers carved the names of their loved ones. Newlyweds tied threads around the tree, wishing for children. Businessmen tucked away money in nooks and wished for more money. Sick men wished for cures. Superstitious people tied charms and tassels on the branches. Tall, short, thin, fat, old, young, sick and healthy, everyone came to hug the tree and make their wish.

And the poor banyan tree stood strong and sturdy and didn't flinch with all that was happening around it. One night before the all important football match of the year, Tiku decided to go down to the tree and make his wish --- for winning the match of course and for being the lead goal scorer! He had to go in the dead of the night to avoid the long queue.

It was a while since he had actually made a wish because there were always people around the tree. He hugged the tree and said, "Please, please let my team win the game and let me score the maximum goals." Just as he was leaving, he heard some footsteps nearing. He ducked behind a cart that stood nearby.  It was Sunny, captain of his rival team!

The captain made his wish and left. Tiku rushed back to the tree and hugged it tightly, saying, "Please, please don't make his wish come true! I wished first! I found you first and you must honor my wish! If it wouldn't be for me, you would simply be an ordinary banyan tree!"

"What makes you think the tree is a wishing machine? Put in a wish thought and out comes the wish fulfilled! And what will the tree do in your case? Is it going to be you or the other team that wins?

"Who are you?" Asked Tiku.

"Just a passer-by who hoped for some rest under a banyan tree", said a man coming into sight.

"Things don't work like that, son, by simply making a wish. How do you think successful athletes, scientists or doctors make their wishes come true? By hugging a tree and going off to bed? Of course not. They work hard, they pursue their wish single-mindedly and never ever give up. Don't stop making wishes, but work equally hard towards it. And, if your wish doesn't come true, it will make you try harder and harder.

And slowly you will see that the wish itself will not matter as much as the joy you get through the hard work. Now go to sleep. You need rest for the big day tomorrow."

The next morning as Tiku passed by the crowded wishing tree, he stopped a while, smiled and nay-nayed his head. He was ready for the big match. Win or lose, what mattered was giving his best!

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