She started sobbing as her mother asked her how her day at school was.
“I won’t go to school from tomorrow, Mom.” Pari said between her sobs.
Her mom took her in her lap and cajoled her to say what’s troubling her. She was afraid that some teacher must have punished Pari.
“Puja is not talking to me. Ever since our class teacher changed our seating arrangement, she has stopped talking to me. Now, she talks with Seema the whole day. She doesn’t even bother to share her tiffin with me. She was my best friend, but now I think Seema is her best friend.” Pari explained with glistening eyes that made her innocent face clammy.
Her mom listened to the whole incident with empathy. Although she had to manage so many difficult problems in life, Pari’s simple problem started bothering her.
For a ten year old, this is not a simple thing. Their minds are so tender that things like this have a huge impact on them.
“Puja shouldn’t have behaved like this. But why do you want to stop going to school, my dear?” Her mom asked, wiping her tears.
“I feel lonely, Mom. I don’t have any other good friend other than Puja and now she is also not talking to me. Everyone has their own groups and I belong to nowhere. I have to eat my tiffin alone.” Pari continued.
“What if I introduce you to a new friend today who will always be there for you?” Her mom said.
“Really? That will be great.” Pari said with a twinkle in her eye.
Her mom told her to close her eyes for a minute. She felt some object in her lap and instantly opened her eyes.
“What’s this? You told you will introduce me to a new friend.” Pari said, feeling dejected on seeing a book. It was written on the cover Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
“This is the friend I was talking about. It will never leave you. It will never start preferring someone else. And It will always give you company.” Her mom said with a smile. Pari however, looked more disappointed than ever.
“I don’t want to read it. A mute book can never be my friend.” Pari said, keeping the book beside her.
“Alright. Let me put it this way. Once you start reading this book, you will meet a lovely friend who will enchant you with his adventures. In fact, he will take you along with him to the land of his adventures. Just give him a chance to do so.” Her mom continued with a smile.
Pari never thought that her mom’s words were so true. Of course, she was so right. Not only one, but she got 3 wonderful friends inside the book: Harry, Ron and Hermione. She never feels bad now when Puja doesn’t talk to her. She has her book to give her company.
Books and the characters in the books had a tremendous impact on young Pari’s mind. They made her a wiser and a calmer person. She never felt desperate to grab someone’s attention because she always had a friend by her side.
As Pari grew older, she often questioned her. Who is a better friend: Books or the characters inside the books?
Now, she knows the answer to her question. Books are friends for a lifetime. They are not only reliable, but they also introduce you to many more friends i.e. the characters living inside them.
She knew she would never feel lonely in life as long as she has a book with her. She is lucky to have a friend for lifetime.