THE DART GAME

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A group of students aged about 10 years was attending a class in moral education. The teacher was perturbed, because she had noticed that some of them were using offensive language and abusing each other. She explained to them that God resides in each one of us and if we abuse anyone, we hurt the God residing in the heart of that person. But the children were not much impressed.

The next day, the teacher said, “Today we will have an Art competition. Let me see how well all of you can draw. Each of you will draw a picture of the person whom you dislike most and colour it. I will give you twenty five minutes.”

The children started with a vengeance. Some drew pictures of their elder brothers, sisters, or friends. One child drew a picture of his aunt, another drew his grand mother while yet another drew a picture of his servant.

The expressions on all the portraits were nasty, wicked, mean or jealous.

Rahul could not think of anyone whom he disliked, so he had nothing to draw. Eventually, he drew a picture of his little sister who used to mess with his books sometimes. As the time got over, the teacher pointed to the notice board on the wall. It had only a plain white chart paper pinned on to it. She said, “Now all of your can pin up your pictures on the board.” She handed a box of dart pins to one boy and said, “One by one you can throw darts on your own picture.”

The children quickly lined up and turn by turn they threw darts to hurt and disfigure the sketches of the person they disliked most. They threw the arts gleefully and with spirit. They were all having fun. As the darts flew to puncture the eyes, nose or lips of the caricatures, there were peels of laughter from the children.

Five minutes were left for the period to be over. Rahul and two other children were yet in line for their turn. Rahul was hesitant to till the teacher that he did not want to throw darts at his little sisters face. The teacher said, “All right, that’s enough. You can all go back and take your seats now” Rahul silently heaved a sigh of relief. She removed all the darts and the mutilated pictures from the board. Then she proceeded to remove the white chart paper underneath. The children gasped in disbelief! Under the white chart was a picture of Lord Krishna. It had been badly disfigured by the enthusiastically played ‘dart game.’

The teacher said, “That is what happens to the Lord residing in the hearts of those whom you abuse…. Does he look happy? Or ….” The bell rang, there was no time to conclude the lesson, but there really was no need…….

That evening Rahul narrated the incident to his mother. She said, “Rahul I know why your turn to throw darts, did not come. Its because you never hurt anyone and God did not want to demean you by allowing you to throw the darts.” Rahul smiled, “I think so too, Mama.”

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