Once upon a time, there used to be a kid. He would wake up every day in a shop with a coin in his pocket. The shop was full of bright lights and beautiful candies wrapped in shiny eye-catching wrappers.
Everyday he would walk up and down these aisles in this seemingly endless shop. Each day he would have some candies. In return he would have to give up his coin for a few moments to the owner of that aisle. That was the price one had to pay. Some of the candies were worth few moments of parting but almost always most of the good ones would be more expensive. In between this shopping he would just run along the alleys of this shop catching the bright colorful lights.
Now, if you think he was a unique child then you are wrong for there were many more just like him wandering and running around in the shop with their coins.
As time grew, he started to become weary .Things stopped giving him the same joy as before. It was the same story repeated all over again each time. The continual play of temptation for a new candy which would slowly overpower all the senses , the bargain and then the disappointment of not finding the prize to be as fulfilling as the wrappers made one to believe; And those blinding lights.
With the dawn of disillusion the child started to look around him with new eyes. And to his dismay he found most of the kids to be just blinded with the colors and heady with incessant running around. He knew he was one of them and that did not help. As days swept by, he grew more and more despondent. The coin in his pocket blackened with continual bargains and change of hands. He soon discovered that all of them were profoundly unhappy. They just didn’t know it.
Rarely, he would glimpse some kids with serene happy faces who would just walk around patiently without buying anything. Such faces he used to shun whenever he would see them because they would fill his heart with vague unease. It was hard to talk to them about the new candies or the fashionable aisles. Thankfully, such mad men in this circus were rare.
But in his new awakening strangely it was exactly those children that he remembered mostly. He started thinking why these kids looked so serene. Why couldn’t those neon lights and crispy wrappers entice them to let loose. And if they were simply resisting to fall in then how did they hide their inner tumult of raging temptations that besotted the most sane child  in that shop?
One day, while he was thus walking around, buried in his thoughts, he suddenly stumbled upon a sleeping child. As he was taken completely unawares he fell headfirst into an aisle knocking his forehead. Wave upon wave of benumbing pain washed over him. The other child kept slumbering peacefully as if to say nothing could be more perfect. He looked at him for few instants but with increasing pain his anger grew.
Now, he was not an exceptionally wicked boy and normally would have just shoved the child and gone away to tend his sore head. But the unruffled face of the child just tipped him over. He decided to steal the coin of the sleeping child to teach him a lesson.
So with one hand pressing his forehead, he fumbled in the coat pockets of the sleeping kid. They were empty. He looked around in haste and caught sight of the closed fist. He glanced over at the face of the sleeping child for any notice and then slowly opened the fingers of the closed hand. He jumped away stricken. The feeling of disbelief and shock were apparent on his face. The child kept sleeping oblivious of everything around him. He looked up at the shining white lamp light above. The bump on his forehead started throbbing.

_S.M.B._

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