Adolescence is a time of awkwardness and too large feet and not enough certainty about yourself. But what if you received a Valentine’s Day card? How would that make you feel? This is a story about the small acts of kindness that go a long way in spreading joy.
The word of this Valentine’s Day is – Kindness.
The Nicest Boy in the World
“Megha!” Rekha said, bursting into the room, waving an envelope. “Did you get it?” Megha leapt up, grinning widely and waving an identical envelope, “Yes!” she said. “I got it too!”
“What is it?” asked Ria, looking up from her assignment. Her roommates were dancing around, waving the envelopes.
“He remembered!” Megha said.
“As if he would forget!” Rekha said indignantly.
“Who?” Ria asked, “Who are you talking about?”
“Such a sweetie!” Rekha was saying and Megha was nodding in complete agreement when Ria thumped on the table and said, “Will the two of you tell me WHAT you are talking about?”
They stopped dancing and Rekha dropped into a chair while Megha, panting slightly from the dancing, threw herself on the bed.
“Siddharth!” Rekha sighed, as if that explained everything.
“Siddharth?” Ria was mystified. “Who is Siddharth? And why are you both so excited about him?”
“Because,” Megha said dreamily, “he is the nicest boy in the world!”
“Really?” Ria said, her tone disbelieving. “And what has this nicest boy in the world done to make you both so happy?”
Megha sat up and announced, “He’s sent us each a Valentine’s card!”
“That’s it?” Ria said incredulously. “He sent you both Valentine Day cards and you are thrilled?”
Shaking her head in disappointment, she prepared to go back to her books. “But you don’t understand!” Megha said. “Siddharth is….” She groped around for the perfect word and Rekha helped her by saying, “Perfect!”
“Really?” Ria said, opening her eyes wide. “Sending you both cards doesn’t make him a great guy!”
“It’s not about sending us cards now,” Rekha explained, “it’s about what he did when we were all in class 9!”
“What did he do?” Ria turned in her chair, prepared to listen.
“He sent…” Rekha began.
“No, no!” Megha scolded. “That’s not the way to tell the story!” And taking a deep breath, she began, “This happened the year we were in the ninth class. We were a pretty normal bunch of school kids – all of us growing up and looking awkward and feeling unsure about ourselves!”
“Except Nithika!” Rekha said.
“Yes,” Megha nodded, “Except Nithika and her group! They were the ultra smart set and they … they made the rest of us feel very ordinary because they dressed well and knew how to talk to boys and all those things that matter at that age!” Ria nodded. She could remember very well how it had been at that age.
“And it was Nithika and her gang that started all the hoo-haa about Valentine’s Day. For the rest of us it was just another day that grownups celebrated and that had nothing to do with us!”
“But then,” Rekha said, “Nithika seemed to think she was practically grown up!”
“All she would talk about, once February started, was about the cards she was going to get. And so, by the time the 14th came around, all the other girls were feeling pretty miserable because we knew no one was going to send us any cards!”
“So what happened then?” Ria asked. “What did Siddharth do?”
“Siddharth?” Megha and Rekha exchanged glances. “Siddharth did something amazing!” Rekha grinned.
“Siddharth,” Megha said, “was a very normal guy…”
“And a very nice guy,” Rekha reminded Megha.
“Yes,” Megha nodded. “A very very nice guy who didn’t say much but noticed everything. And he noticed that Nithika was boasting about getting a Valentine Day card. And he realsied what it meant to the other girls in the class. And so…”
“He sent us all Valentine Day cards!” Rekha burst out.
“All of you?” Ria said wonderingly.
“Yes, all the girls in the class!” Megha qualified. “Except of course, Nithika and her gang! So when we walked into the class that morning we each found an envelope with a card in it!”
“You should have seen Nithika’s face!” Rekha giggled. “Suddenly she wasn’t so special any more since everyone had received a card!”
“But..” Ria said, looking stunned, “he bought cards for all of you?”
“He made them,” Megha corrected her.
“He made how many cards?” Ria wanted to know.
“Let me see…” Megha thought. “About twenty-five cards!” she said.
“Wow!” Ria said, impressed. “That is amazing!”
“And the best part is,” Rekha said, “Siddharth has continued sending us all cards every year!”
“So Siddharth has been sending all of you Valentine Day cards since class 9?” Ria could not believe her ears.
Her friends nodded, and Megha said, “That’s why I said he is the nicest boy in the world!”
“And the sweetest!” Rekha added. Ria thought of a boy who would make twenty-five cards so that his classmates would feel happy and loved and said, “I agree! Siddharth is the nicest boy in the world!”
This story was published in Young World, Sakal Time on Valentine’s Day long ago!