It’s a sparrow, my son.

As the evening sun-rays hit the small neighbourhood of Johnson Square, people strolled towards the Saturday evening fair. The quiet colony bustled with activity. At the end of the street, there existed an old villa. The man who built the villa started out small but as his business grew he could manage to buy a lavish home. His son now took care of his business as he would sit at home brooding about the things from his past. He would walk around his small garden often looking at the passers-by on the street. His world had changed a lot. His loving wife died when his son was quite young. But, he tried his best to make his son never feel the loss of mother’s love. Now the married son had settled well in his job and life. This evening, he and his son were sitting by their garden. The son was reading the newspaper and sipping the tea occasionally. The father was looking at the street. Suddenly, few sparrows perching on the shrubs caught his attention. He looked on for a while. He muttered something unintelligible and smiled. When his son heard his mutter, his eyes turned towards his father  as he put newspaper away. The father asked “What is that ?”. The son gazed at the sparrow and replied ”It is a sparrow, dad.”. The son again resumed his reading. The father was in deep thought. He again queried, “What is that ?”. The son, irritated now, spoke loudly lest his father heard wrongly,”A sparrow, dad, a sparrow. ”. His dad was however somewhat oblivious to son’s vexation.  He kept looking at the chirping birds. The son tried to read the lines on the political news story. A couple of minutes later, the father asked again, “What is that ?”. The son grew furious and threw the  newspaper down and shouted,”Dad, it is a sparrow. It is just a sparrow. Can’t you see it’s a sparrow ? Why are you asking the same question again and again ? ”. The father did not expect this response. He was angry and shocked at his son’s reaction. His pride was hurt. He got up and went inside. The son thought, “My old father has gone insane.” He was partly annoyed and partly guilty for shouting on his father. The father returned with a small diary in his hand. The son still donned an irritative look and continued reading his paper as if nothing happened. His father took away the paper and then, handed him the book open at a page with scribbled notes. Son looked puzzled at his father. His father told him in a commanding tone,”Read”. The son started reading. Then, father chided, “Read aloud, my son”. The son read aloud. “Today I and my son went to a park after a long day at office. As he was playing in the park, he spotted a sparrow. He was so amused by the sparrow. He ran behind it and came back to me and asked, ‘Daddy, What is that?’. I replied saying it’s a sparrow. He asked me once, twice, … 21 times the same question ‘Daddy, What is that?’. Every single time, I told him it is a sparrow and hugged him with all the love in the world. It was a beautiful evening by the woods with my loving son.” As he was reading this, tears welled up in his eyes and his hear t was heavy with guilt. He turned towards his father and hugged him tightly. That evening, the sun smiled as it set. It saw true love sparkling from the tiny Johnson Square.

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