A slap from my father

Only once did my father ever strike me. When I was six years old I got a slap from him. That was the first and last time. My mother used to slap me quite often, but my father did it only once. I will never forget the incident. Why will I not forget it? Because of a scar on my left wrist.

One Friday evening when my father was back from town, I was bragging that I had learnt how to climb up the mango tree in the garden. He did not believe me, so I wanted to prove that I could do it. I took a big machete and ran into the garden. I wanted to climb up the tree and cut off a small branch from the top to show him.

As soon as I climbed up to the top, the first thing I did was cut a big tendon on my wrist. I started to cry, and the servant who had followed me into the garden climbed up and brought me to my father. My father was always calm and quiet; his soul's quality was peace. But this time he was so upset that he slapped me. Then he told Chitta, Mantu, the servants and the cook to all run and fetch a doctor. There were three or four doctors in the village, so he said, "Whoever finds one of the doctors first, bring him here!" When a doctor came, he said it was not so serious. But my father was upset because I was bleeding profusely.

Never, never did my father get angry with me. All kinds of complaints he used to get from my mother about my behaviour, but he was so indulgent to me and always took my side. He never, never struck me except for that one time.