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Just a Second
by Ramendra Kumar

One upon a time, not very long ago, there lived a very old man.  His name was Father Time. He had seven sons. There names were Year, Month, Week, Day, Hour, Minute and Second. 

Year was the oldest and the laziest. Second was the youngest and the smartest. Year always lazed around doing nothing. Second was a real busy bee, running around doing some job or the other. 

Second went around collecting iron coins every moment. When he had collected 60, he converted these to a steel coin which he presented to his brother, Minute. Minute then went about his job of collecting steel coins. When he had collected 60, he converted these to a bronze one and gave it to his brother, Hour. 

Hour collected his share of 24 bronze coins, changed them into a silver coin and gave them to his elder brother, Day. Day then went around collecting silver coins and when he had collected seven, he changed these to a gold coin which he gave to his brother, Week. Week was a bit weak. He collected four gold coins and converted them into a diamond coin.

This diamond coin he gave to his brother, Month. Month collected 12 diamond coins which he converted to a beautiful nugget. This nugget he presented to his brother, year. Year made a small crown out of that nugget and placed it on his own head. And so the seven brothers kept themselves busy. 

Even though second was the smartest and the most hard-working he never received any respect from anyone. He was always taken for granted. No one bothered about him. Year, being the eldest, received much more respect than he deserved. Ever time he went by, people celebrated with parties and get-togethers. His coming and going were occasions for fun and festivity. Cakes were cut, candles were lit and people danced the whole night singing happy birthday, happy anniversary or happy new year. Poor second came and went unnoticed and unheralded. This made him very sad and depressed. 

One day, he thought he would teach everyone a lesson. One bright summer morning, second went into hiding. No one except Father Time knew where he was. With no input from Second, Minute had to stop working. With Minute lying idle, Hour, Day, Week and Month were also rendered jobless. As a result, year also had to sit idle twiddling his thumbs. As soon as second disappeared, everything came to a standstill. The clocks stopped, factories, offices, planes, trains, buses, everything was brought to a grinding halt. There was chaos all around. People started panicking. 

Finally, a delegation went to Father Time and pleaded with him to persuade second to come out of hiding. Father Time said, “Listen friends, it is all your fault. You have never valued my little son, Second. Even though he is the most hard-working and the most intelligent, you have never treated him with respect. You have failed to realise his worth. You have always wasted his contribution, never bothering to cherish and value his efforts. Remember, it is the Second alone which makes the minutes, the hours, the days, the weeks, the months, the years and finally a lifetime. A person who realises this, succeeds in life.  One  who doesn’t, ends up wasting his time and his life.”

The leader of the delegation was a smart, young man called Opportunity. He said, “Father Time, we are very sorry. We have realised our mistake. We will never again hurt Second’s feelings. We will always respect him and cherish and value his contribution.”

Father Time clapped his hands seven times and little Second appeared. He was greeted with love and affection by everyone. As soon as he appeared, everything began to move. The clocks started ticking; the factories and offices started working; the planes, the trains, the buses, everything was in motion. 

Since that day, everyone has treated Second with love and respect. And he has lived happily with his six brothers and his Father Time.  

23-Oct-2011
 
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