I’ve always been rather fond of John; quite liked the fact that though he was short, he appeared taller than most people on stage and even off. People said he wasn’t good looking but I’ve seen pretty girls hanging onto him and realized he was quite comfortable with himself, till last evening:
“Bob you’re not going to see me for awhile and after I’m back you’ll have women wanting to elope with me!”
“After you’re back from where?” I asked puzzled.
“Hospital! I’m going under the surgeons scalpel!”
“Whoa! Whoa! What’s the matter, you not well?”
“I’m okay!” said John, “but I’m going soon going to look like Hrithik Roshan or Shahrukh Khan! This is how I’m going to look when I’m out of the hospital!” John handed me a computer- projected image of a rather handsome fellow, whom on looking closer, I realized was a good- looking version of John himself.
“How d’you like my make over look?”
“I don’t know,” I said and then looked over my shoulder at Sita the little girl who sometimes came over to play with my dog, “Sita will you read Uncle John and me, that woodcutter story you told me this morning?”
Sita smiled and opened her book, ” Once upon a time, “said Sita, “there lived a unhappy and discontented stonecutter. One day he came upon a merchant and was awe-struck by the marvelous goods the man had for sale. “I wish I were a merchant,” said the stonecutter and, quite amazingly, his wish was granted.
“Not long afterward he saw a parade pass his little shop. Spying a prince dressed in splendor he had never before seen, he said, “I wish I were a prince.” And he became one.”
Sita’s voice quivered as she read on:
“It wasn’t too many days later he stepped outside and felt the discomfort of the hot summer sun beating down upon his head. “Even a prince cannot stay cool in the sun,” he said. “I wish I were the sun.” This wish, too, was granted.”
“He was happy being the sun,” said Sita, “until, one day, a cloud came between him and the earth. “That cloud overshadows me, I wish I were a cloud.”
Again, his wish was granted and he was happy till he came to a mountain he could not rise above. “This mountain is greater than me,” he said. “I wish I were a mountain.”
“As a tall and mighty mountain, “said Sita smiling at John, “he looked down upon the affairs of humans and felt he was finally happy. But one day a stonecutter climbed up his side and chipped away at the rocks and there was nothing he could do about it. “That little man is more powerful than I am,” the mountain said. “I wish I were a stonecutter..!”
John smiled, grinned, then guffawed.
“You know something Uncle John!” said little Sita, “When I grow up I’m going to marry you!” “Why me?” asked John.
“Because you’re the handsomest looking man I’ve ever seen when you’re happy!”
I saw John throwing away computer projected image, hugging the little girl and laughing at me as he whispered, “I guess I’m better off being just John..!”
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