“Everyone would bring something pricey or something nice, God”, the old man thought sitting idle, on the sandy shore seeing the waves hit the shore fierce and hard. “What could an old man gift a young lad who is possibly getting married the next day? I just met him last week and I am short of cash to buy him a gift. God should only help me!", he thought again, as he looked at the sunset and the endless sky stretching beyond the horizon. It was that the young lad had come to the old man's small Indian chaat shop, in the evening to grab a chaat item. He had befriended this talkative old man, who talked about God surprisingly, while the young man was eating chaat. The young lad got interested in him all of a sudden and surprisingly, he had invited the old man to his wedding. Now gifting him was the old man's concern.
After some time, the old man got up slowly still thinking of the gift and turned to head home, sad and dejected, with no idea striking his head. On the way as he was walking slowly, he saw rather an unusual sight. Now, this was a very unusual sight, to be noted for. The old man saw an eagle and a flight of pigeons held in a big fight, in the open sky and the noise of the screeching of the birds were too loud to hear. At first, the old man thought of ignoring this spectacle in order to continue his walk, to reach home quickly before dark. However, when he took the next bold step to walk from the scene, a few feathers of the pigeons and the eagle slowly glided and fell on his hair. In a moment, more and more feathers kept falling and gliding on the old man's hair, as the fight above got intense. The old man shooed the feathers and continued to walk. “Ugly feathers and ugly birds", he remarked and kept walking.
Soon he reached home and he went to his room and sat on his bed, wondering again what to gift his friend, when his granddaughter rushed into the house screaming, along with his son. She came and sat on the old man's lap, she was beaming with joy, and her eyes were sparkling. "Look thatha (grand-father)", she said smiling and to the old man's curiosity, she revealed a glittering white feather. It looked like the feathers that the old man had encountered in the fight scene of the birds. "I got this on the way home. There were a lot of other feathers, but papa allowed me to take only one!", she said. The old man was stunned as till now he had thought that feathers were ugly and he had considered it as junk, but luckily it had much delighted his grand-daughter and who knows???--maybe it would delight his young friend too, on his wedding if it were presented, as a gift. This was such an wonderful idea, he thought.
He immediately went to the nearest beach shop and purchased a big gift box, to put the feathers in. He also rushed to the fight place and luckily, the scattered pigeon and eagle feathers were still lying everywhere, but in different directions. He collected the pigeon feathers, one by one, put them in the box, neatly, and covered the box tightly.
The next day he attended the young man's wedding and presented the box to his friend. After the wedding dinner, he went home somewhat satisfied.
The next day, he received a letter from the young man, written in Tamil. The old man gave the letter to his granddaughter to read it out to him. The letter said--
"Dear Sir, a million thanks for this unusual gift of yours. I never knew that it was going to be flying feathers! I know flying kites, but nothing delights me more than seeing these soft flying feathers. My wife and I had fun playing with them. These little feathers and the joy of throwing and catching them is freeing us out of stress. This has become an inspiration and it is giving us more and more joy whenever we touch and play with them every time. I will keep this and give it to my kids in the future. I cannot describe how much I am excited, but I salute you for the exceptional gift. I am forever indebted to you!"
Your loving friend
As his granddaughter finished reading the letter, the old man thanked God, clapped his hands, laughed loudly and threw the last one feather (his granddaughter had) into the sky and it flew and landed right into the little girl's hair.