My wife shouted, "How long will you be poring1 over that newspaper? Will you come here and make your darling daughter eat her food?"I tossed the paper away and rushed to the scene. My only daughter, Sindu, looked frightened. Tears were welling up in her eyes. In front of her was a bowl filled to its brim with Curd Rice.“你还要钻研你的报纸多久？”我的妻子喊道。“你能不能过来让你的宝贝女儿吃点饭？”我扔下报纸，匆忙来到了现场。我的独生女儿辛杜看起来一副受了惊吓的样子，眼泪在眼眶里打转，面前是一碗盛到了碗沿的米饭。
Sindu is a nice child, quite intelligent for her age. She has just turned eight. She particularly detested Curd Rice. My mother and my wife are orthodox2, and believe firmly in the "cooling effects" of Curd Rice! I cleared my throat, and picked up the bowl.
"Sindu, darling, why don’t you take a few mouthfuls of this Curd Rice? Just for Dad’s sake, dear? And, if you don’t, your Mom will shout at me."I could sense my wife’s scowl3 behind my back. Sindu softened a bit, and wiped her tears with the back of her hands.
"OK, Dad. I will eat —not just a few mouthfuls, but the whole of it. But, ..." Sindu hesitated, "Dad, if I eat this entire Curd Rice, will you give me whatever I ask for?"
"Oh, sure, darling." "Promise?" "Promise."I covered the pink soft hand extended by my daughter with mine and clinched the deal.
"Ask Mom also to give a similar promise," my daughter insisted.
My wife slapped her hand on Sindu’s, muttering, "Promise," without any emotion.
Now I became a bit anxious.
"Sindu dear, you shouldn’t insist on getting a computer or any such expensive items. Dad does not have that kind of money right now. OK?"
"No, Dad. I do not want anything expensive."
Slowly and painfully, she finished eating the whole quantity. I was silently angry with my wife and my mother for forcing my child to eat something that she detested.
After the ordeal4 was through, Sindu came to me with her eyes wide with expectation. All our attention was on her.
"Dad, I want to have my hair shaved off, this Sunday!" was her demand.
"Atrocious!" shouted my wife, "A girl having her hair shaved off? Impossible!"
"Never in our family!" my mother rasped5. "She has been watching too much television. Our culture is getting totally spoiled with these TV programs!"
"Sindu darling, why don’t you ask for something else? We will be sad seeing you with a clean-shaven head."
"No, Dad. I do not want anything else," Sindu said with finality.
"Please, Sindu, why don’t you try to understand our feelings?" I tried to plead with her.
"Dad, you saw how difficult it was for me to eat that Curd Rice." Sindu was in tears. "And you promised to grant me whatever I ask for. Now, you are going back on your words. Was it not you who told me the story of King Harishchandra, and its moral6 that we should honor our promises no matter what?"
It was time for me to call the shots7. "Our promise must be kept."
"Are you out of your mind?" chorused my mother and wife.
"No. If we go back on our promises, she will never learn to honor her own. Sindu, your wish will be fulfilled."
With her head clean-shaven, Sindu had a round-face, and her eyes looked big and beautiful. On Monday morning, I dropped her at her school. It was a sight to watch my hairless Sindu walking towards her classroom. She turned around and waved. I waved back with a smile.
Just then, a boy alighted8 from a car, and shouted, "Sinduja, please wait for me!"
What struck me was the hairless head of that boy. Maybe, that is the in-stuff, I thought.
"Sir, your daughter Sinduja is great indeed!"
Without introducing herself, a lady got out of the car and continued.
"That boy who is walking along with your daughter is my son Harish. He is suffering from leukemia." She paused to muffle9 her sobs. "Harish could not attend school for the whole of the last month. He lost all his hair due to the side effects of the chemotherapy. He refused to come back to school fearing the unintentional but cruel teasing of the schoolmates. Sinduja visited him last week and promised him that she would take care of the teasing issue. But, I never imagined she would sacrifice her lovely hair for the sake of my son! Sir, you and your wife are blessed to have such a noble soul as your daughter."
I stood transfixed10 and then, I wept.
"My little angel, you are teaching me how selfless real love is!"我呆站在了那里，然后，我哭了。
1. pore v.认真研读,审阅
2. orthodox adj.正统的
3. scowl n.怒容,不悦的神色
4. ordeal n.磨难,折磨；严酷的考验
5. rasp v.声音尖厉地说
6. moral n.寓意,教益
7. call the shots控制局面,发号施令
8. alight v.从(公共汽车、火车等)下来
9. muffle v.压抑(声音),使听不清；覆盖,裹住
10. transfix v.(因恐惧、惊愕等)动弹不得,惊呆