All the kids were sitting silently awaiting the name of the guy who will play Lord Ram’s role this year on Dussehra. Max kept his fingers crossed and imagined the teacher taking his name for the role. Since the past 3 years he has been praying to play Shri Ram but he always got the negative roles like Meghnath or Kumbhkaran.
“So kids, this year, the lead role of Shri Ram will be played by Monty,” announced teacher.
Everybody shifted their eyes towards Monty and started clapping for him. Max was broken again. He too clapped but in agony. He was about to cry but managed to control his tears and hatred towards Monty for getting the lead role continuously for 3 years. He didn’t want to showcase his real emotions and quietly left the classroom without being noticed by anyone.
After five minutes, Max stood before the main door of his classroom. He saw the teacher standing there gazing at him with anger.
“May I come in Ma’am,” he asked.
“Where were you and with whose permission did you leave the classroom? Get in and come here you naughty kid,” she said angrily.
The teacher pulled left ear of Max and rolled it hard. He cried hysterically shouting for apology. After a few minutes, the teacher felt sorry for her act and decided to forgive him as well.
“This time I am forgiving you. Next time don’t you dare leave my class without my permission. Is it clear?”
“Yes Ma’am, sorry Ma’am,” he cried and sat on his bench.
After all his lectures got over, the school bus dropped Max in front of his home and he ran towards his mother, Sangya. She was astonished to see her son weeping so badly and immediately lifted him and made him sit on her lap.
“What’s the matter my child?” she asked while wiping off his tears.
“Mummy I want to injure that Monty. I will take a pin tomorrow and will bury that in one of the sole of his feet so that he is not able to perform and I get Ram’s role,” he cried.
On hearing such hateful words against Monty from Max’s mouth, Sangya was filled with anger and she slapped Max hardly on his cheek. He cried more loudly.
“Is this what I’ve taught you since childhood? Is this the value that I’ve given you? You want to play the role of Ram right? Have you ever tried to think why you’ve never got this role? Do you even know what qualities Ram had?”
Sangya started narrating story of Ramayana to Max. He calmly listened to her and could imagine the entire scenario in his mind. Sangya narrated how Ram rescued Sita from Raavan and how he killed Raavan and the real reason behind celebrating Dussehra every year.
“Mummy now I understand why the role I often get got burnt in the play.”
“Yes my child. You are just 11-year-old and at this age you must understand what are good and bad qualities. If you really want to get this role you must get first burn ten bad qualities- ego, cruelty, injustice, lust, anger, greed, over pride, jealousy, attachment and selfishness. The day you’ll get these qualities out of your life, people will definitely be proud of you and will feel you are worth this role.”
“Mummy I promise you I’ll be a good child from today and will make you feel proud of me one day.”
She kissed his forehead and replied, “I know my child.”
Next day onwards Max decided to be good, kind and helpful to all. He treated elder with respect, he helped his fellow mates at all times, he apologized to Monty and confessed that he was jealous of him earlier. Monty forgave him and they both became friends. All the teachers in his school noticed a huge change in him and were happy. They always praised him before all the students.
Dussehra was round the corner and the entire school was set for the play. Suddenly, five days before Dussehra Monty’s parents called the school authorities and informed them that he won’t be able to participate in the play due to a serious injury on his leg. With only a few days left it was very difficult for the faculties to decide on whom to give the lead role of Ram in such a short notice. After a long discussion the principal announced, “I would request Max to play the role of Shri Ram this year.”
The moment Max heard his name, he couldn’t stop smiling. He accepted the duty and started practising the role. All the teachers were impressed to see his dedication.
On the day of Dussehra, Max was dressed up entirely like Ram. He could feel Ram inside him. Even on the stage he influenced the audience with his stupendous performance and the audience just cannot stop cheering up for him. The moment he targeted his arrow towards Raavan’s dummy, he could feel his mother’s words echoing in his ears and finally he set free the target.
After the play got over, Sangya treated Max with jalebi and said, “I am so proud of you. What you felt about the play today.”
“Every year I did the roles for myself but this year I did everything only for Shri Ram. I would try my best to get his qualities in all the human beings in future.”
Sangya was overjoyed by such deep words from Max’s mouth. She hugged him tight and both of them left for their home. On their way they noticed many dummies of Raavan burning and Max could feel all his evil qualities burning inside forever.