The everlasting birthday present



A few months ago I was on a quiet saunter with Stuti, my daughter, when I crossed the neighbourhood shopping complex. Holding my hand she pointed towards the sweets shop asking for a chocolate.
“Which one?” I asked.
“Ummmm…..okkkayy…..this….i will settle for this one,” she said finding it difficult to zero in on one particular type.
Chocolates are her weakness and if permitted then she could have them for lunch!!! But, Stuti knows that I allow this indulgence of hers only to an extent. She always gets upset with my objection to her over-indulgence in chocolates. “Chocolates are so tasty….why don’t you give me a whole bag of chocolates to eat everyday?,” is her response every time I object. “You will spoil your health if you eat too much chocolates,” I try to reason out with her, every time.
Well, that day I was happy that she asked for only one chocolate. I happily bought one for her, playfully tore away it’s wrapper and gave the chocolate bar to her. And we walked ahead.
 A few minutes later, Stuti, while still eating the chocolate said, “You know Papa…my teacher says that during earlier times our planet earth was very beautiful but we have now made it very dirty.”
“Hmmm….okay,” I nodded, glad that my daughter showed concern towards the environment at such young age. She was merely five years old, then.
As if suddenly, I realised and looked at her. I realised that I had thrown the chocolate’s wrapper on the road instead of disposing it off in a dustbin. I apologised to her. She smiled and we turned back to pick up the wrapper from the road side.
Several months have passed since this incident, but I still vividly remember this and ‘am writing about it today. Why?
Well, today Stuti has turned six years old and I could not think of a better Birthday Gift than to take a pledge that I will never ever commit any act that dirties our environment and the Mother Earth. Years later, when I will be no more, it is the earth, the rivers, the mountains, the environment that will still be with Stuti and I wish they remain clean so that my daughter stays in good health.
Happy Birthday Stuti !!!


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