“KAPISHHH…” Markat’s high-pitched screech reverberated in the house.
“You have failed again! How can someone fail in the primary section? Why don’t you learn a thing or two from your brother, Vanar? He’s been a topper in school since kindergarten.”
“Sorry dad,” Kapish squeaked meekly. “None of the subjects make sense to me. They just go bouncer over my head…”
“Making excuses, lazy bum!” Markat smacked his posterior till it turned red. “I’m enrolling you in Pashu Kalakendram to learn dancing and singing.”
“But dad, I hate them,” Kapish protested.
“Is there anything that interests you?” Markat bawled. “No more excuses. The teachers are excellent, I’ve heard. I’m sure they will groom you well.”
The next day, Kapish found himself trying hard synchronizing his steps with his teacher, who was visibly irritated at his student who possessed two left feet.
“Have you seen how gracefully Rangeeli morni dances?” Markat admonished. “You are hopelessly monkeying around with your nasty swag. Your teacher has given up on you as you haven’t learnt even one step the whole week.”
Kapish was next shuttled to music department.
“Your son is no good, sir,” the music teacher clicked her tongue. “All he does is noisily grunt and screech, imparting us an intense headache.”
“I’m fed up of your antics, Kapish,” Markat shook his head. “Our neighbour, Vaani the koel has such a mellifluous voice. She has recently won ‘The Jungle Idol’ award, and everyone is so proud of her. You are a blemish on our troop’s reputation. All you enjoy doing is swinging on trees and playing games on your tab. No more ‘Treeway Surfers’ and ‘Jungle Run’, understand?” Markat confiscated his tab and leaped away.
Heartbroken, Kapish wailed and cursed himself for being worthless, making his dad sad. He stopped eating. His mother prepared his favourite ‘pazham pori*’. But Kapish didn’t even look at it.
“Hey bro, let’s go for a swing,” his brother Vanar suggested.
They went deep into the forest and climbed on top of the highest tree.
“How do you feel?” Vanar asked.
“I feel charged up. My palms itch to swing on all those branches,” Kapish flashed a toothy grin.
“Who’s stopping you, bro? Just gooo…”
Kapish plummeted to a branch below, thrilled, as gravity churned his little tummy. The adrenaline rush pushed him to swing along like a trapeze artist from one branch to another. He executed multiple cartwheels mid-air. His arms and legs swayed rhythmically, and his body swiftly gyrated with his tail wrapped firmly around a thin branch.
The next day, the entire neighbourhood gathered outside Markat’s house. Kapish’s aerial acrobats had hit a million views on PashYouTube. Jungle Times arrived to interview the youngest internet sensation.
Markat realized his folly. He had failed to perceive Kapish’s real talent, and instead compared unfairly with others.
“I wonder how I came on PashYouTube,” Kapish scratched his armpits.
“Some ardent fan must have recorded, bro,” Vanar grinned, switching off his mobile discreetly.
MORAL: WHY COMPARE YOUR CHILD WITH OTHERS? LET THEM ‘SWING’ ON THEIR OWN PATH.
Pazham pori: A delicious fritter food made using banana, sugar and flour; a popular snack in South India.
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