Little Bobbie was in seventh heaven to have the secret room as his very own and wanted to sleep there as well. His parents decided to make him happy as this way they could keep an eye on him more easily.
Bobbie was an only child and ever since he learnt to walk, he would be all over the
house playing with toys in hand. His mom Raji tried to restrain him in his room by feeding and playing with him there. Gradually Bobbie kept to his room and when he was lonely he would start speaking with his friend Kanha. He would say” Kanha, please come and play with me. I want to be your playmate.” Suddenly, Kanha would emerge from the silver statue and they would play for hours together. Now the sounds of two pairs of anklets would reverberate in the house. Raji and the maid would hear this delightful tinkle and smile. It never occurred to them that it was the sound made by two pairs. After Bobbie got tired and fell asleep hugging his pal Balgopal, the Lord would merge back into the statue.
One day Bobbie woke up early and looked for his pal but he was not there! Instead there was a lovely peacock feather on his pillow.
He stared at it in wonder! He had liked the feather on Balgopal’s gold crown and had wanted one also. Carefully he put the feather in his Alphabet book.
Raji had finished cooking and was between chores. She decided to sit early with Bobbie to teach the alphabets and numbers. On opening the book, she found the lovely peacock feather. Upon asking the child where he got it, Bobbie said “Mom my pal Gopal gave it to me!” Raji was mystified and questioned her son further. She asked “Which Gopal?” Bobbie pointed to the silver statue in the swing. He said “He plays with me every day and even sleeps with me. I had asked him to get me a feather just like the one he has on his head.” Raji was overjoyed and believed her son! She realized the room had a very peaceful aura and instead of the usual musty smell, it had a pleasing fragrance of fresh jasmine flowers and camphor. She hugged her son and kissed him in pure joy. She joined her hands and prayed babbling her thanks to Him for gracing their home.
It was Janamashtami day and Bobbie’s parents both fasted and broke it only after midnight. Next day they held kirtan in their home and invited all the neighbors for lunch. The silver Kanha seated in the swing occupied the place of honor in the living room where one corner has been converted into a temporary temple. Fifty six varieties of sweets had been prepared for the lord and the house resounded with sounds of bhajans and rejoicing celebrating the birth of the lord. Finally it was over and the lord was returned to Bobbie’s room. Bobbie had been excited by the day’s goings on and had played to his heart’s content with the guest’s kids. He had other playmates now.
Bobbie was often invited to other homes and between play and day school he became busy and hence did not call out to his playmate as often as before. Their meetings became infrequent and then stopped completely.
Bobbie was sent home early from school as he was unwell. Raji immediately took him to the doctor who said he had caught a virus and gave him a mild sedative and medicines. The child’s fever was very high and Raji sat by his bedside placing cooling cloth pads on his forehead to lower the temperature. She was weeping silently. Then as Bobbie settled down into a fitful rest, she left the room.
After an hour or so, Bobbie woke up suddenly and cried out to his old pal Balgopal. He said “please Kanha come and talk to me. I know I have been busy but you know I love you very much Kanha.” The lord emerged from the statue and sat by his side. Then Kanha placed his tiny hand on Bobbie’s forehead and in a few minutes the fever vanished. Bobbie got up and both played as before. Then the Lord told Bobbie that now that he had become a big boy he did not need him any more and that whenever he remembered HIM he should close his eyes and he would appear as HE lived in his heart. He said he had to visit other boys who needed him. They hugged each other and the Lord merged into the statue never to appear again.
Kesar and Rajratan smiled happily in their portraits which hung in Bobbie’s room and which his sons had left for Bobbie along with the silver statue and the swing.
all pictures are from the internet except last one which is mine