Grandma was waiting at the bus stop for her grandsons Rohit and Mohit.

“The school bus is late today,” she murmured to herself.

After sometime, the school bus arrived.

The twins, Rohit and Mohit jumped out of the bus and ran up to her.

“Grandma, today I scored full marks in a surprise test on Moral Education!” said Rohit excitedly.

“Very good, Rohit! Keep it up. And what about you, Mohit?” asked Grandma.

“I wasn’t well prepared. So, I scored only 17 on 20,” said Mohit.

“That is still a good score. We shall celebrate both of your achievements with pav bhaji tonight. And I’ll ask your father to buy some ice cream on his way back from work,” said Grandma.

Rohit and Mohit jumped with excitement.

Later that evening, Rohit and Mohit were watching television when the doorbell rang. Rohit answered the door and saw his classmate Varun standing outside.

“Hi, Rohit. As you know, I was absent from school for the past few days. Can you help me with the classwork? I also need to borrow your notes,” said Varun.

“Why don’t you take help from your best friend Mahesh?” asked Rohit.

“He has gone out of town with his family and will be back only next week,” replied Varun.

“I am sorry, Varun. I don’t have the time to help you now. And my notes are incomplete,” said Rohit.

Varun was disappointed. He turned away to walk when he heard Mohit call out to him.


“Hey, Varun! I can help you,” said Mohit, walking up to the door. “Bring your books over. We can study here.”

“Thanks, Mohit. I’ll be back in 10 minutes,” replied Varun and quickly left to get his books.

Mohit closed the door and turned around to see Rohit staring at him angrily.

“Why did you offer to help Varun? You know him well. He always troubles us in class,” fumed Rohit.

“Calm down, Rohit. Right now, he came to us asking for help and not to trouble us. There is no harm in helping him out,” said Mohit.

Rohit became upset. He went to his room and did not talk to Varun when he returned later. Meanwhile, Mohit and Varun sat down to study.

After dinner, the twins, their parents and Grandma were all gathered in the living room and eating ice cream.

“Grandma told me that Rohit scored full marks in a surprise test. Good job, Champ!” congratulated their father.

“We should congratulate Mohit as well and give him an extra scoop of ice cream as a reward,” said Grandma.

Mohit was surprised. “Me? Why?”

“Moral Science is a subject that teaches you morals and values of life and can guide you to do the right thing in a situation. Rohit might have got full marks in the test, but Mohit put those values to use today,” said Grandma.

“Oh yes, I saw Mohit helping Varun with his schoolwork when we came back home from the office,” said their mother.

“Rohit, when Varun came to you asking for help, and the right thing to have done was to help him, irrespective of whether he is your friend or not. We should not let people down when they need our help,” said Grandma.


“I am sorry, Grandma. I didn’t realise my mistake. Now on, I shall help everyone,” said Rohit. He then turned to his brother and said, “Congrats, Mohit. You are the real winner!”

“Thank you!” said Mohit.

“I think now Rohit too deserves an extra scoop of ice cream!” said their father.

The twins enjoyed their well-pav bhaji and ice cream.


Chintu’s Astuteness

Chintu Monkey and his friends studied in a school in the jungle. The school was located far away from where the animals lived. The young animals would have to walk a long distance to reach the school everyday.

Chintu Monkey didn’t like walking even though he was very adventurous by nature.

There were big trees on both sides of the path that led to the school.

One day, Chintu noticed them and had an idea.

“Hey!” he thought. “I can go to school by swinging from one tree to another tree. If I do that, I won’t have to walk to school like the others do.”

So, Chintu Monkey began swinging on the trees. It saved him a lot of time and also saved him the trouble of walking.

All the other animals watched Chintu Monkey with awe.

One day, Tiny Tortoise saw Chintu swinging on the trees and said, “Look at Chintu! He is bold and fearless. He reaches school in just a few minutes by swinging on the trees. Isn’t he lucky? We have a long distance to walk! It takes all our time!”

All the animals applauded Chintu’s decision of swinging to school. They would whistle and clap and cheer for him when they saw him swinging from tree to tree.

But Chintu Monkey had grown very proud of himself and his clever thinking. He would often make fun of his friends and bully them.

It rained very heavily one morning. There was a strong wind blowing too. Like every day, Chintu Monkey and his friends left their homes to go to school.

“My, the wind is really strong today!” Chotu Rat said. “It will surely blow me away. It’s even blowing the leaves and twigs away from the trees!”

Chotu Rat then turned to Chintu Monkey and said, “Chintu, why don’t you walk with us today? The wind is strong and it’s raining heavily.

It will be safer if you walk.”

Chintu Monkey ignored Chotu Rat’s suggestion. “I am an expert swinger!” he boasted and continued swinging on the trees.

“Ah! This wind is so pleasant,” Chintu thought. “The branches are swaying with it! I’m enjoying the raindrops too! Chotu Rat was silly to suggest that I should walk with them to school today!”

But when Chintu Monkey tried to hold the branch of the next tree, he was in for a rude shock. The branch had bent with the force of the wind and grown weak. It snapped as soon as Chintu caught it and broke into two.

Unfortunately, this branch was right above the river and Chintu Monkey found himself falling into the water below.

Fortunately, Chintu was a good swimmer. He managed to save himself from drowning and swam to the river bank.

But he was soaking wet. His books and school bag were drenched too.

“What shall I do now?” Chintu thought worriedly. “I am as wet as a sponge! If my friends see me in this condition, they will surely laugh at me. We are having a school test today so I really can’t turn around and go home!”

Chintu Monkey panicked and looked around, wondering what to do.

He spotted Tiny Tortoise walking slowly and had an idea.

“Tiny, come here!” Chintu ordered. “I want your help!”

Tiny Tortoise ignored Chintu and continued walking. It took him a very long time to reach school and he couldn’t waste even a precious moment by stopping.

Besides, Chintu had made fun of him and bullied him so many times.

“Come here, Tiny!” Chintu Monkey commanded. “If you don’t, I will tell the teacher that you haven’t studied for the test.”

Tiny Tortoise was startled. He knew that Chintu Monkey was capable of doing such things.

“Please, don’t do that!” Tiny Tortoise said and stopped. “I will do as you say.”chintu

“Good,” Chintu Monkey said. “Now listen carefully, Tiny. I am going to tell all our friends that you were drowning in the river. I will also tell them that I got wet because I jumped in to save you. You have to nod when I tell them that. I do not want anyone to know that I had fallen into the river because of a broken tree branch. Is that understood?”Chintu said sternly.

“But…but we tortoises live in water,” Tiny Tortoise said.

“We feel very safe in the water. In fact, we can swim very well. Everyone knows that!”

“Don’t worry, Tiny!” Chintu said with a laugh. “Our friends are quite stupid. They will believe my story!”

Soon, Chintu Monkey’s friends came along. They were shocked to see how drenched Chintu was.

“Chintu, what happened to you? How did you fall in the river? Did you fall from the tree?” Chotu Rat asked, looking very shocked.

“Oh! I can’t fall off a tree!” Chintu lied. “I am an expert swinger! I saw Tiny Tortoise falling in the river. He was drowning. I jumped into the water to save him. That’s how I got wet.”

Tiny Tortoise nodded as he had promised.

All the young animals began to clap. “Oh Chintu! You are a hero!” they said. “You saved Tiny Tortoise’s life! Come on! We will tell the teacher about your brave deed. You should be rewarded in front of the entire school.”

Chintu’s friends then ran to school and told Teacher Dumbo Donkey all that they had heard.

“Well done, Chintu!” Teacher Dumbo Donkey said lazily.

“As a reward for saving your friend’s life, I am giving you a holiday today. I will even exempt you from the test. Go home and play.”

Chintu Monkey ran out of the school gates happily. “Ha Ha! I fooled everyone! They think I’m a hero! And guess what? I don’t even have to appear for the test!” he said and laughed.

He then began swinging on the trees again. •

Everyday Valentine

Sudha’s grandfather, whom she fondly called Dada, had recently retired from work. Being an engineer, he had worked with an automobile company for the last 35 years. His colleagues held a grand ceremony to felicitate Dada and bid him farewell.

Mummy told Sudha that retiring from work meant not going to office any more. It was like taking a long vacation from work. But Sudha was confused. “Sure, Dada doesn’t go to office every day now; but he still seems to be busy the whole day!”

When she asked Dada about this, he smiled and explained, “Retiring means ‘re-tyreing’ our worn-out wheels and starting a new journey in our life.”

Dada attended yoga classes every morning, and his instructor Ms. Dina said he was one of her best students!

Although Dada was 65, he did not like being called a “senior citizen.”  Dada was an expert at repairing household gadgets. In the last one month, he had repaired Papa’s phone charger, Mummy’s hairdryer, Didi’s keyboard, Deepa aunty’s electric kettle, Kaalu’s pocket radio, Ramesh uncle’s electric shaver—phew! That was a long list!

Dadi joked that Dada should set up a repair shop of his own. She also said that she would never retire. Homemakers had to remain homemakers all their life, she said.

“That is not fair! When I grow up, I will take Dadi for a long vacation at the beach,” Sudha decided. After all, Dadi did love the seaside. And Sudha loved Dadi’s cooking. North Indian, South Indian, Chinese, Thai, Italian, Mexican—whatever the cuisine, Dadi could whip up the tastiest fare. Sudha’s friends at school were always eager to peep into her lunchbox to see what mouth-watering snack awaited their tummies!

Of course, Dada and Dadi had their share of fights too. But they also patched up almost immediately after it.

“You should never carry your fights to the bed or the pillow will swallow your head!” Dadi would joke.

So after their fights, Dada and Dadi would sit hand in hand on the swing in the veranda and talk about the fun they had in their youth. Today, as Sudha crouched under the window, trying to eavesdrop on her grandparents, she remembered that she had to make a Valentine’s Day card as part of her class assignment.

Skipping back to her room, she saw Mummy and Papa huddled on the couch, sharing a laugh over a newspaper article. Through the window, she spotted Didi cuddling and feeding biscuits to Rancho, the neighbourhood mutt, whose tail wagged vigorously in excitement. Mali kaka was busy talking to his plants as he watered and weeded them with great care.

Sudha smiled, knowing exactly what she wanted to draw on her card. “When you are with someone you love, every day is Valentine’s Day!” she thought. As she sat down to work on her masterpiece, Rani, the house cat gave out a soft purr, wrapped herself around Sudha’s leg and drifted off to sleep.