My wife called out to me while I was reading the newspaper, “Will you come here to make your darling daughter eat her food?’
I rushed to the scene. My only daughter Asma looked scared. In front of her was a bowl filled with porridge. Asma is a good, intelligent child, who just turned 8. She hated porridge but her mom believed otherwise.
“Asma darling, take a few mouthfuls of this porridge. Just for Dad’s sake. And if you don’t, Mom will shout at me.”
“OK.” With tears in her eyes, “I will eat – not just a few mouthfuls, but the whole lot. But..” She hesitated. “Dad, if I eat this entire porridge,will you give me whatever I ask for?”
I covered her soft hand. “Ask Mom also to give her promise,” my daughter insisted. My wife agreed hesitatingly.
“Dear, you shouldn’t insist on getting a computer. Dad doesn’t have that kind of money right now. OK?”
“No Dad, nothing expensive.”
Slowly and painfully, she forcefully finished eating and then looked at me.
“Dad, I want to have my head shaved off!”
‘Nonsense!’ shouted my wife,“a girl bald! Impossible!”
“Asma darling, ask for something else?” “No Dad. Don’t want anything else,” She said with finality.
I tried to plead with her to understand.
“You promised Dad, you saw how difficult it was to eat that porridge.” She was in tears.
“Asma, your wish will be fulfilled.”
On Monday, I dropped her at school. She turned and waved with a smile. Just then, a little girl alighted from a car, and shouted,“Asma, please wait for me!” What struck me was the hairless head of the girl. Maybe, its in style, I thought.
“Sir, your daughter is great indeed!” Said a lady next to me. That girl is my daughter. She’s suffering from leukaemia, and lost all her hair due to chemotherapy. She refused to come back to school fearing the cruel but unintentional teasing of the children. Asma visited her last week, and promised that she will take care of the teasing. I never imagined she would sacrifice her lovely hair for the sake of my daughter! Sir, you are blessed to have such a noble soul as your daughter.“ I stood still. And then, I wept.
If only as adults we could also be such loyal friends and love each other selflessly!