‘But Dad, I’m in class 9th now. I can’t keep on using this old feature phone!’ the young boy cried out before turning to me. ‘Didi, tell him that I need a new phone.’
Now, as close as I am to that family, I couldn’t very well have dictated the father what he should get for his son. So I just smiled and quickly moved away.
It wasn’t that the father couldn’t have bought a fancy smartphone for his kid. I knew very well that if he wanted, he could easily get the most expensive smartphone for both his sons. But he was principally against spoiling kids with fulfilling all their fancy demands at once.
‘You don’t need a new phone, Mohit. You only want it because all your friends have it,’ I heard the father saying while I walked away. ‘But anyway, you need not cry for it. I’ll get you one on your birthday. Wait till then.’
About five months had passed when I next visited the family.
‘So, did you get Mohit a new phone on his birthday?’ I asked, while having tea.
‘Oh, yes. You know that I went on an official trip to Singapore three months ago?’
I nodded. I had learnt of that through his wife.
‘I brought a phone for him from there. It’s just like an iPhone. I told him it’s an iPhone. He is super happy.’
The super happy kid returned from his coaching classes a few minutes later. And as soon as he got the opportunity, he urged me to his room.
‘See, didi, my new phone. Papa brought it from Singapore,’ he said, showing me his new smartphone.
‘Oh, iPhone!’ I thought it better to call it an iPhone too so as not to disillusion the kid.
‘It’s not an iPhone,’ the boy replied. ‘Papa thinks it is an iPhone. But he is wrong. He has been robbed. He bought a fake iPhone thinking it is the real iPhone.’
‘Oh, is that so?’ I continued pretending. ‘Did you tell that to you father?’
‘No, I didn’t. He will feel bad when he learns that he has been fooled.’
‘How sweet,’ I was going to say. It did make me smile to see that the boy was ready to believe his father being fooled, rather than suspecting that his father might have the cunning and courage to try and fool him.
Just then the boy opened his mouth again to reveal another truth.
‘Besides,’ he said, ‘I dropped the phone on the first day I got it. See, there’s a small crack on its back. If I tell Dad that the phone is fake, he will want to examine it. And he will see the crack and know that I was careless with it. I mean, it’s not even two months yet since I got the phone. He might take it away from me and give me my old phone.’
‘So, will you never tell him?’ I asked.
‘Sure, I will. I’m just waiting for this fake phone to go out of order. Then I’ll tell him that it was fake anyway and fake smartphones never last. He should have got me a real iPhone.’
I’m telling you, never doubt the wisdom of children. They know it all. Better still, they know how to take advantage of whatever they know!
(Yes, the story has been inspired by real incidents 😀 )
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