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The Watchman and the Three Wishes

Bholeram was a watchman working in the city of Sundarpur.  Bholeram had lived there for many years.  He worked at a palatial bungalow in the heart of a city, owned by a rich merchant.
Bholeram was extremely loyal to his employer.  He had reason to be.  The merchant was kind to Bholeram and treated him well.  Bholeram worked in the night, looking after his master’s bungalow.  Every evening he would leave his house which was just outside the town and walked towards his master’s house.

It would be late in the evening by the time he reached the house.  He had a torch and a stick with him.    The Bungalow was located in a sprawling area.   It was surrounded by a tall compound wall.   Bholeram went around the house once, checking the various places inside the compound.

He then took his place at his post near the gate.  One night while he was, thus, on duty, he went to see if all was ok.  The night was like any other night.  It was warm and the sky was clear.  The moon shone in the beauty of its full form.  In the moonlight, he could see fairly well.

As he was thus walking around the compound, he stumbled on something in the dark.  Quickly recovering his balance, he looked down to see what it was.  He lit his torch to see what it was.  It was a shiny object half-buried in the soil.  He lifted it up to see what it was.  It was a lamp.  Its shiny surface was covered by mud.  It also had a lid on top.

Curious to see what was inside, Bholeram lifted the lid.  The lamp began to shake and a whooshing sound emerged from inside.  Bholeram was stunned.  He was about to throw the lamp away when a smoky creature emerged from inside.  The creature was like a ghost.  It had a kind face with a big smile.  The creature smiled at Bholeram.  Bholeram, though, was too rattled to smile back.

The creature said, “Do not fear.  I am Manus.  I am a genie.  I have been bottled up here in this bottle for many hundreds of years.  You have released me from bondage.  I am grateful to you”.

Bholeram had regained his composure by now.  “That is ok! It is alright!”, he stammered.  Manus, the genie, smiled again and said, “I am thankful.  I would like to reward you with three wishes.  You can ask me for whatever you want.  You will not see me after that.”

Bholeram was surprised to hear this.  He had always been a contented man, happy with his life.  His father and his grandfather had been watchmen before him.  “I will leave you for a couple of hours to think”, the Genie said, “I will come back just before daybreak.  You can tell me your three wishes”.  Saying this, the genie disappeared into the darkness.

The hours flew by.  In a short while, it would be dawn.  Bholeram could not even believe what had happened.  Bholeram thought long and hard.   He could not think of anything.  He then hit upon an idea.
The genie returned as promised just before daybreak.  Bholeram looked up at the smoky figure in front of him.  The Genie said, “I am happy to see you again, Bholeram. Please let me know your wishes.  Bholeram thought for an instant and said, “I want a big Bungalow as my first wish”.  The Genie smiled.  “It is granted.”, he said, “You will find a bungalow a short distance outside the town tomorrow”.

“What is your next Wish?”, the Genie asked.  Bholeram replied, “I want a good master to be the owner of that house.”  The genie was perplexed.  He had not heard of any such thing at any time.  Nevertheless, he granted that wish as well.

Then the Genie said, “What is your last and final wish?”.  Bholeram said, “I want a job in the bungalow as a watchman”.  The Genie tried hard to suppress his laughter.  “This is granted too”, he said and disappeared.

Bholeram went out of town the next morning and found the bungalow with the master just as the Genie said.  Sure enough, there was a vacancy for a watchman.  Bholeram happily joined his new job and remained there for the rest of his life.

Children, this amusing story tells us to think big.  Bholeram could have asked for a lot of things for himself and for his family.  But as his vision was narrow, he could not visualize anything bigger than his present circumstances.

We too are often too caught up in the present level that we do not think of improving ourselves or our situation for something bigger and better in life.  This story teaches us to think big and beyond our present situation so that when the opportunity presents itself, we may be able to seize it.

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