It is not any imaginary event that I am going to narrate. In actual fact, my father once gave me this poser that I could wish for anything, except money. My demand indeed put him at bay for the least expected it; but thereby hangs a tale, as says Shakespeare.

My uncle is an English teacher and a bachelor. His room has ever been my cherished dream. I love the double-decker desk at which he works and studies. Its glossy red floor, bare-furnished clean bed, the ticking time-piece and array of books have always cast their magic spell on me. I go to him every day for the correction of lessons in English composition and translation.

This daily exercise has not always been palatable to me, because he is sometimes harsh to a fault in his correction. I feel demoralized. But at the same time his fine sense of language and composition and his room attracts me. But over and above everything the dainty little almirah with sliding glass doors atop the main one has always been my temptation. Given the chances and scope I could have stolen it and placed it on my reading desk. 

My reading desk is a bare wooden one. I placed on it an old saree of my mother to improve its barren look. My books and copies remain arranged on it nearly and in perfect order. An image of the goddess of learning is installed on an improvised rack. Everyone appreciated my taste and sense of order. But a deep sense of dissatisfaction troubled me constantly, the more I became enamoured of the room of my uncle. One may call it a boyish ambition, but so it was. I wished to own a similar almirah in which I shall keep my most favourite books in perfect order. The image of the goddess of learning shall be kept in the middle of the books thus arranged. 

Every day the imagination fired in me a fresh zeal for studies. The imaginary picture of the reading-desk, the increase stand with perfumed sticks and the coveted almirah encouraged me every day. But at the same its absence and a conscious feeling that it was never to be, often made me sad.

‘Necessity is the mother of invention’. I had read in an ‘expansion of ideas’ chapter that when one feels powerfully the necessity of something in his life, he is bound to invent a method of achieving it. 

A couple of days later my younger sister who had set a bowl in the little almirah that contained her dolls. It was missing. As my father returned in the evening after his day’s hard work, my mother narrated to him the incident. My father was indeed taken aback for it could never be the act of the servants. 

I returned home in the evening after the games. After a wash and light refreshment, I entered my study room which was an old log-cabin of our grandfather’s big establishment. Father had cleared it as it would provide me with a secluded spot fit for study. I sat over my desk, bowed in reverence to the goddess of learning and was about to resume my lessons when my sister said that father wanted me. 

My study room is my exclusive possession and none else has its key. My father casually told me about the theft of the almirah asking if I knew anything. I was meaningfully silent and father was about to ask me off, when my sister disclosed that I had stolen it. She had seen it when she had gone to call me. In nodded assent. At this father was about to flare up, when I reminded him of his offer at my high proficiency at the rest examination. The offer was that I would wish for anything as reward for it, except money. 

Father kept his wrath a low and the matter ended there.


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