Aarav was only nine years old when his family shifted to a small town near the hills. His father was an officer in the forest department and that is why they shifted from the main city to the new place. As a kid, Aarav was very smart and intelligent. His academic results were quite good and that is why he was accepted easily in the school over there.
Though the students of his class were good to him, yet he didn’t have many friends. Aarav was a bit shy and moreover, he was a bit reluctant too in making new friends. His parents knew of this habit and so they didn’t force him.
One day when he reached school, he saw his best friend had bandages wrapped around knees and hands. Even there were scratches at some places. Aarav wanted to ask him but they were not allowed to talk during the classes and so he decided to ask him later. In the lunch break when all the children were playing on the ground, Aarav and his best friend were sitting under a huge Banyan tree at corner of their playground.
It was their favourite spot and Aarav loved the place very much.
“Parth, how are you injured?”, he asked in a worried voice while placing his lunch box back in his bag. “I fell down from the stairs”, Parth replied with his mouth full of fries. Aarav got angry at his lame answer and snatched his lunch.
“I’m asking you something so answer me first. How did you got these injuries?”, Parth let out a snort and sat with his legs crossed on the grass.
“Saturday, I went to that watch tower with my elder cousins. The watch tower is very famous here. From the top you can see the entire town and even the river that flows from that side. The stairs were very steep and by mistake, I slipped and fell down. My knees and hands were bleeding and that is why others did not allow me to climb again. Now you have got your answer, give me my lunch back”, saying this Parth took his box back and started eating.
The day got over quickly and Aarav soon reached his home. His mother asked him why he was sad when he explained Parth’s condition to her. He was really very close to that kid and so his innocent concern was a sight to marvel at.
Everything went back to normal and Parth was back to his old self. One day, his father planned to take them in a small outing as he could hardly get a holiday from his work. Aarav was very excited when he learned about this small family picnic. However his happiness wasn’t long lived when he saw the place his father had chosen for the outing.
“Dad, I will not go there. Please let’s go to somewhere else”, Aarav cried while trying to drag his father away from the watch tower. His father looked at him with a puzzled manner and bent down to his level.
“Aarav are you scared of climbing the stairs because of Parth’s accident?”, he asked in a soft voice while wiping Aarav’s tears. He nodded his head and replied, “I will fall down from the stairs and will hurt myself like him. It’s better dad that I don’t climb the stairs. I will stay here only”. His father released a deep breath and stood up. Taking his hand, he walked up to the entrance of the watch tower.
“Aarav, I know you are scared. And it’s okay if you don’t want to go up there. But tell me one thing, will you stay like this all through your life? Staying down and not climbing up just because you are scared of falling and hurting yourself?”, his father asked him in a concerned tone to which Aarav gave a puzzled look, “Aarav, always remember this thing. Every moment is like a stair, a mountain. Now you have two choice. Either you can stay down and miss the chance of finding something worth full or you can climb up, fall down and again climb up to reach the top. Aarav, falling down is not in our hands, it is a mere accident, slip of time. Its inevitable. But staying down and not climbing up again just because you are scared is in your hand. You will be responsible for this no one else. Now say, what do you want to do?”
Aarav looked at his father and again at the top of the watch tower. He remembered Parth’s words about the things he had said that could be seen from top of the tower. Smiling, he wiped his own tears and spoke, “Yes dad I will climb the stairs. I want to see the town and the stream. Parth had said that the view from the top of the watch tower is amazing. Let’s go dad”. The father- son duo went inside the watch tower with a happy mind.
MORAL: FALLING DOWN IS AN ACCIDENT BUT STAYING DOWN IS A CHOICE