After finishing his dinner with family apart from his grandfather, Pertook a boy twelve years old left to go to his grandfather room to sleep with him listening to his bedtime stories.Pertook was the only member of the family who loved his grandfather as nothing for him felt more beautiful than his creations and stories.
As he walked in, he saw his grandfather reading Matilda by Roald Dahl. He never understood why he liked that book so much and one possible explanation he could come up with is perhaps he wished children to pick books like Matilda rather than watch that trash box. Settling beside and underneath the blanket in the cold room, Pertook curiously asked “Grandpa, I wish to ask you something. Can I?”
Putting his book on the nightstand and looking into the dark brown eyes of his grandson, Leon confidently said “Sure.”
Though curiosity motivated him, there was a part of Pertook which feared as hesitatingly asked “Grandpa, aren’t you a part of this family? Why is that you never join for dinner or for any occasion?”
Listening to his grandson, Leon recalled how he and his wife had difference in the past and how over years everything fell apart. He questioned himself if the answer for it would be a good story for a twelve year old kid but as he always said “Age doesn’t decide maturity as it is the potential of the mind within that defines it.”
He leaned towards his grandson and kissing on his forehead whispered “I would tell you the story but you must promise me that you mustn’t fall asleep before I complete it. Will you promise me that?”
Without any answer Pertook nodded his head and Leon started as usual “Once there lived a boy who was young, smart and handsome. He was all alone in this fantabulously huge world but never was he disappointed about it. Everyday was refreshing for him as he believed that knowledge is power and as he learnt, he thrived to learn more. He adored knowledge and loved shaping children’s minds to respect their thoughts and work on their dreams. He taught these budding minds through his stories how values and ethics defined them and by teaching he earned his bread. One fine day a gorgeous young women saw him and was captivated by his beauty. She insisted her father to get her married to him and being his only daughter the rich merchant requested the boy to accept the proposal. Adoring the fact that he soon would have a family of his own, the boy got married. For a few years everything was perfect but only after they had their first child they started to fight. As the husband urged his son to pursue his dream of being an artist, his wife insisted that her son should be a doctor as he would be wealthy and also be respected. One day the husband mentioned that by following his dreams of becoming an artist his son could not only contribute to the world through his gifted vision but would also earn his bread. He pleaded the wife to support their child while she insisted again that she wished him to be a doctor. Upon a long talk the wife consumed in anger shouted ‘For years you taught children lessons to earn your bread. You have followed your dreams of pursuing knowledge as much as you can! Tell me how much wealth and success have you achieved? You know for a fact that it is my wealth that earns you both respect and good food but you still talk as if your knowledge has contributed great things to this family when it couldn’t even earn you a quality meal’ Listening to her, husband was taken back. Though his knowledge has gifted the wisdom of not counter attacking her, he was hurt and from that moment he made up his mind that he would live all by himself. He initially wanted to leave but deep inside he couldn’t as he had a son. He knew the pain of being alone by experience and stayed back, however from that very moment he lived in his room through his money in his own family. Over years he saw his own son a beautiful mind turned into a calculating machine that works only for wealth. He witnessed him valuing wealth more than knowledge, what pained him the most is his baby boy who once told him that he wished to be an artist is now sitting before the television feed by visions of others. Poor husband wept every time he looked at him as deep inside he knew that if given good knowledge about psychology and political science, his son could have a legacy for ages. However he is serving as a doctor which was also very good...”
All of sudden coming back to his senses, Leon looked at his grandson and he was already as sleep. He thought “This is perhaps one of the bad bedtime stories I have told him.”
However looking at his grandson, Leon in a broken voice said “Even when life is knocking you down and everything in your life is turning against you. Never give up on what you want to be as you just have one life and never waste it to work on someone else’s dream. Serve your purpose and let your legacy inspire a thousand young minds!”
He lied on the bed and looked at the photo on his night table beside him. He looked at his wife and a young kid before he switched off the light.