Monday, May 26, 2014

The Rules are Meant to be---


How did you fill the blank after "Rules are meant to be? Broken --- Followed --- Left alone--- Follow the Crowd --- Do your own thing?

The following story is about the decisions we make.

I went out of town and could not reach a laptop or a PC, and in the process missed a post. My apologies.


The Rules are Meant to be---

Mom opened a closet in Sagar's room, and saw sixteen-year-old, Sagar's button-down shirt stuck in the corner of his closet. She knitted her eyebrows and said, "Hmmm---" and left the shirt alone as she went to the twins' room. 

All the children were playing a word game, twelve-year-old, Sapna, the acting a monitor for that game, kept an eye on the words used and the behavior of Suchi, Soori and Soham. Sagar read a book while playing the game. Sapna made sure he did not use any words from his book.

Mom said, "Hello everyone."

The twins said, "Mom, you want to join our game?"

Sapna repeated their question, "Yeah, Mom, do you want to play our game?"

Mom smiled and replied, "Not really, I just wanted to talk."

Suchi said, "Is this going to be a talk about the rules of the game that we should follow and do this and that?"

Soori said, "I bet that's what it is. Mom, we know all the rules and how to follow them."

Mom nodded, "I know each one of you is very smart and knows it all. I just wanted to tell you a couple of stories."

Four year old, Soham said, "I love stories."

"That's great. Come, sit by me and play with your Legos while I talk." 

Soham ran to his room and returned with Legos.

Mom said, "I read this morning that a chief minister in one of the Indian states, wished to observe how the government money was spent in that little town. He and his wife visited a little hut of a tribal couple."

"Tribal couple?"

"Yes, they are generally not very educated and are poor. The minister and his wife stayed with the tribal couple, ate dinner, talked and slept on the floor in that house."


"Well, as a rule the government officials stay in a special guest-house which is modern and comfortable."

"They broke a rule?"

"Yes, the minister found out what was the was the progress in the town."

Sapna said, "So he broke the rule to do something good."

Mom nodded, "Another story is about this young teenage couple that went to a prom sixty years ago. They were thrown out of the dance because his hair was shoulder-length and the teachers said that the student was a troublemaker and not trustworthy, always breaking rules. The boy went home, cut his hair, dressed in a suit and went back to the prom, at the time, much against the girl's embarrassment. The girl further wrote that they have been happily married for forty-five years."

The eight-year-old, twins frowned, made a face and Soham kept playing Legos without being distracted by anything anyone.

"The next story is about a little girl in her preschool class. When she put a couple of fruits in a pan to 'cook' in the housekeeping area, the other children said, 'You don't cook fruits, it's wrong.' The teacher  said, 'Well, children, it's okay to cook fruits. There are many recipes that call for cooking fruits. On the same day, a little girl came and complained, 'Teacher, teacher, Tommy has been in the dress-up area since for so long and he's wearing dresses that only girls wear.' The teacher smiled, 'Well, is he bothering anyone?" 'No.' "Is Tommy happy?' 'Yes.' 'Then how about you read this lovely book to me, and let Tommy play in the housekeeping?'

Sagar said, "I get it, the children broke the traditional rules and ways but it was okay."

Mom said, "That's right and that brings me to your button-down-shirt thrown in the closet corner "

"What about it?"

"Did you like the shirt?"

Sapna said, "Mom, didn't you see, he looked so handsome, all prim and proper and very happy!"

"Well, Sagar, what stops you from wearing that shirt?"

Sagar said nothing. Two weeks later when Sagar went to a party, he wore his button-down shirt and a tie.

Sapna tried to whistle, ""

Sagar smiled, Thanks." And went out the door.

The End

© 2014, Meera Desai Shah

1 comment:

  1. A quote I always enjoyed is that "Rules are for the obedience of fools, and the guidance of wise men." - Douglas Bader