Highly Commended Story - The Day I Felt Rich...
“The Day I Felt Rich...” by Avya Gupta, Delhi Public School, Gurgaon, Haryana, India, is the Highly Commended story in the junior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2019.
The Day I Felt Rich...
Last year, my parents decided to celebrate my birthday at an orphanage. I didn’t quite like the idea of celebrating my birthday with children I didn’t even know. Also, I knew I would miss the lovely birthday presents I would have otherwise got. None the less, we visited the orphanage in the evening on my birthday with a huge cake and snacks.
I knew this was going to be the most boring birthday celebration I ever had with no friends and no gifts. For the first time ever, I wished I could escape my own birthday celebration.
After registering our entry, the matron in charge there, rang a bell. I saw some 50-60 children come out of different rooms to gather in the central park where we awaited them. Their ages ranged from 5 years to 15 years. Their smiling, cheerful faces soon replaced my grim look with a radiant smile. No longer did I wish to run away from them.
I excitedly cut the cake with the children clapping and singing birthday song for me. The genuine joy with which the children sang touched my heart. Not once did they let me feel awkward or out of place. I was surprised at the swiftness with which they could make one feel comfortable. Perhaps, friendship is the only relation they are aware of and so they make terrific friends.
Mom, dad and matron, quickly arranged cake and snacks on paper plates while I started handing them over to the children. As I handed the plates, each child hugged me and wished something beautiful for me and my future. I could see the eagerness with which the children had food. The feeling was overwhelming and I could not hold back my tears.
We played a couple of games with the children. Their enthusiastic participation was commendable. I was shocked to see how the older ones deliberately helped the younger ones in winning the games. What a beautiful learning it was. I realized that even if we have nothing else to share we can still find ways to share joy. One doesn’t have to be rich in order to spread smiles. My parents and I awarded prizes to the winners amidst loud cheers and applauds.
On our return, the children gathered near the gate and kept waving at our car till it was out of sight for them. As for birthday presents...I was carrying home hundreds of blessings which were worth more than all the expensive gifts put together.
On our way back, I couldn’t help but think about how fortunate we are. We have parents who celebrate our birthday but most of these kids didn’t even know when they were born, leave aside celebrating it. We are surrounded by relations the moment we are born and so we tend to take them for granted but these kids had no one around to make them feel loved and wanted.
I felt so rich!!