It was D-day – the boy had a test to give for earning a scholarship.
The grandma did what most grandma’s do – she taught him a simple Hayagreeva stotram (a mantra in praise of and seeking blessings from god of learning). It was sure to help him ace the test.
The boy quickly learnt the stotram. To grandma’s delight he could recite the Sanskrit stotram with great spashtam (fidelity).
It was time for them to leave for the school-bus.
As he boarded the bus, she reminded him to recite the stotram without fail just before taking the test.
The boy was in good spirits when he returned from the school in the afternoon. The family mobbed him immediately to know how he fared in the test.
The boy confirmed what was already evident – he had done quite well, he thought. Much better than he had expected.
Amidst the excitement all around, ‘I knew all along,’ beamed the grandma. ‘It had to be so and nothing else with the blessings of Hayagreeva.’
‘But, Paatti (grandma)…’
‘Am sorry…I did not recite the stotram.’
‘What? You didn’t? You forgot the lines?’
‘Wouldn’t be fair for me to benefit from the stotram. None of my friends has learnt it.’
Paatti’s explanations, arguments and theories that followed till-date have not won him over unreservedly.
PS: Based on a real-life story. The youngster is growing up in UK away from the traditional Hindu eco-system (though the household is) and its influence and edicts.