She was a story teller. She'd go about the streets, gather children and tell them stories - stories of fairies, kings, queens, animals with great powers.
She made them believe about the good things in life.
They loved her.
On a fine Sunday morning, she went to the arid
. It hadn't rained there in many years. The children waited for her as much they waited for rains to turn up and light up their lives. villageof Bhuj
No sooner she reached the school premises, than the children flocked her. They all settled around her in a circle and she began.
"Once upon a time...",
"There was a prince..", the kids shouted.
"So, we are listening to the Prince story here, huh", she replied.
"Yes!!!", the kids shouted in chorus.
"All right. Once upon a time, there was a prince. He was smart, clever and handsome. He loved music and wrote beautiful poetries."
"Do you know one?", asked a sleepy girl.
"Yes, I do", replied the story teller.
"Sing one for us", requested the kids.
"The night so dark,
The sky so bright
I dream and dream
and wake up to the light
I wish I were a star
in the sky
I wish I had wings
..wings to fly.."
The kids chuckled.
"And then...", the kids demanded.
"Yes. So the prince wrote beautiful poetries and songs. But he always used to be sad. He did not like what he had. The king would give him a Piano and he would dream of having a cello. The queen would make tasty momos and he would demand for custard. He always wanted what he did not have.
Everybody would ask him that why is he always crying. He should be happy and laugh and smile and enjoy what he has.
He did not understand. He wrote poems and that made him happy. He smiled rarely.
One day he went to a fair. The fair had many musicians playing. The prince was very excited about the variety in music that was being played. Some musicians were dressed as kings, some were dressed as beggars, some wore the outfit of a tiger and sung the jungle song and some dressed as women and sung about the household stuff.
The prince looked for a getup to be dressed as.
He looked at the other stalls and searched for a place where he could change his get up.
He found a stall where a lady sold masks and paints.
He asked the lady to make him into something else, as he wanted to go and perform with the other musicians.
The lady laughed and said,” You don't have a smile on your face. How will you sing?"
The prince was shocked at the statement. He got really angry and shouted back at her,"What is there to laugh about? I have no reasons to smile. Nothing that is happening with me is what I wanted."
"Don't shout, Mister.", The lady smiled and requested.
"So are you giving me the mask or should I move on to the next shop?", asked the prince.
"Sit down. Let me see what I have for you", the lady replied and started looking for the most suitable mask.
After going through all the masks, she suggested, "Sir, what if I paint your face. I can paint your face with a smile and everybody will think that you are smiling even when you are not"
"So I wouldn't need to actually smile then?", asked the prince
"No, you'd look very happy and cheerful and the people will gather around you, and your painted face will attract everyone. You need not smile", re-assured the lady.
"Ok. Paint me smiles, then", said the prince.
The lady painted the prince's face with bright colours of red, yellow and white.
She started with the hair. The hair came on the forehead and she slightly pushed it back and put it in a hair band. They were neatly trimmed and complimented the face.
The eye brows thick and unbalanced were painted into a broad blue.
The lady looked into the eyes. The eyes were not the most beautiful ones that she had seen, but she instantly fell in love with them. She kept looking into his eyes, as she painted his eyes white.
His nose seemed just perfect to be painted a red. The inappropriate structure of every part seemed so much appropriate when put together. The prince was beautiful.
The lips needed the maximum uplift. She painted a bright yellow and white and made a beautiful smile out of it. The chin seemed just perfect to kiss. She painted it blue again and the face looked lovely.
The prince was all set to join the musicians in the fair.
"It's done, Mister. And you look great", the lady smiled and exploded into a laughter.
"Why are you laughing? Do I look like a joker?", asked the prince.
"Yes," the lady replied.
The prince kept staring at the lady and loved her laughter. He wondered what was so beautiful about the lady -the lady herself, or her smiling face, occasionally turning into laughter.
"So what instrument will you play?", asked the lady.
The prince kept looking at the lady.
"What?", the lady asked. "I won't charge you anything", she added.
The prince kept looking at the lady for some more time and then smiled. Genuinely.
"Wow", exclaimed the lady.
"Do I look funny?", the prince asked
"Yes", replied the lady.
"Now?", the prince stuck out his tongue
The lady laughed.
"Now", the prince lifted an eyebrow and twisted his lips.
The lady laughed harder.
"Now?", the prince moved his eyeballs in a funny way.
The lady laughed until she had tears in her eyes.
Both laughed together until their stomachs ached and their tears rolled out.
The prince was in love with himself and his ability to make others laugh.
The lady was in love with the joker.
The prince later performed with the musicians and sung this song that he had written,
"A smile to you
A smile to me
Laugh and be merry
as much as you can be
I paint my face
with smiles and joy
I may be upset
but I am the joker boy
The beauty in you
that you always hide
Open and show
I am by your side
I paint my face
I know to smile
They wonder what makes me happy
all the while...
I am the joker boy."
All the kids sang with the story teller..
"I am the joker boy"..
So kids, tell me. What is moral of the story?
"We should become jokers", replied a kid.
"No, we should paint ourselves with a smile", replied the other.
"Ok", the storyteller giggled.
"We should keep smiling", replied another kid.
"Yes. Correct", affirmed the story teller, "And? What else?", she added further.
"We should be happy with what we have and we will always have a smile on our face", said the oldest of the lot.
"Very true. So kids, whenever your mumma doesn't give you chocolates, or dadda doesn't buy you dolls or cars to play, don't make a sad face like the prince. Be happy. Smile. And what will happen then?", asked the story teller.
"A lady will fall in love with me, if I smile and make her smile", replied a young fella.
The story teller laughed. No wonder why everyone loved her.