When a child makes a mistake, what do you usually do ? The common answers will be – talk to them about it, reprimand them about it, tell them what is right to and talk to them about owning their mistakes. Vaibhav Tiwari, the storyteller of this story remembers how his father did it a little differently and how that made a big difference in his life. 
If you are wondering why we bring such stories to you time and again. It is to remember the most valuable people in our life – our parents and to remember that life lessons are usually taught in the daily works of life. Each day a parent spends with a child is valuable and precious. It is spent towards making able human beings.

Every son remembers his father all his life, I am no exception. I lost my father in 2010 but he continues to live with me. I learnt almost all my life lessons from my father – Papa. Sometimes he taught these lessons with words and sometimes no words were necessary.

Let me share two such instances.

I was probably 6 years old. I went shopping with Papa to a near-by market. By the time we finished shopping, it was about 2 pm. Papa was late and he had to go somewhere else directly from the market. He told me he would get me a rickshaw and I needed to travel home alone in a rickshaw. I was scared and the fear was written all over my face. As I boarded the rickshaw, Papa put his hand on my head, smiled and said “If you can conquer your fears, you can conquer the world”. I nodded. Those words stayed with me not only during my first solo 6-minute rickshaw ride but also through my whole life. I have worked and lived in many countries and every time I found myself in a challenging and unfamiliar environment, I have drawn strength from those words. 

I am the youngest in my family. As a kid, I rarely got a chance to go to the market alone to buy anything. My elder brother was always be a step ahead. One Sunday morning, when I was in first grade and aged 7, I insisted I would run the errands. My father explained that I was too young to handle money and might lose it. But I was adamant. So, he relented and gave me a Rupees 2 note(bill) and asked me to go and buy a ‘paan’ (beetle leaf) for him. I was delighted. I winked at my brother and set-off for the paan-shop. Once I reached the shop and ordered the ‘paan’, I realized I had ACTUALLY dropped that the money somewhere! Panic! I did not know what to do.

I walked back home empty-handed but could not muster courage to enter the house. So, I sat down outside on our neighbor’s stairs hoping for a miracle. After about 15 minutes, my brother came looking for me and found me on the stairs. I shared my sad story with him. He was horrified and narrated my ‘crime’ to Papa. He came out, smiled and gave me a Rupees 20 note (bill) and gestured to go again to buy the ‘paan’. He did not say a word. This time there were no mistakes and the ‘paan’ was delivered along with the exact change. Lesson learnt. No words exchanged. Needless to say, I have never dropped money since.


A poet, actor, adventurer and strategy wonk,and now a storyteller at chatoveracuppa that is our author for today Vaibhav Tiwari.
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