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Stories from a small shop - Parallel Lives

Stories from a small shop - Parallel Lives

Possibly my favourite so far, for sheer extraordinariness, was the husband, wife and mother-in-law who came in to look for a gift for their 8-year-old son/grandson.  Whilst the ladies were browsing, the dad came to the counter and said “I must tell you, I brought my son in a couple of weeks ago and he said: ‘Dad, this shop is like Heaven’”.  Naturally I was delighted by this superlative response, but then the dad went on to explain why the child had reacted in this way. 

He prefaced the tale with “I know it sounds a bit mad but…” - apparently, the boy is obsessed with all things Indian, for no easily explicable reason.  He was born and lives in rural Yorkshire; has never travelled outside Europe or to his father’s knowledge read or watched anything about India, but at the age of 4, out of the blue, asked where his Indian family were.  Since that time, he has described in detail the make-up of his family – 8 brothers and sisters, all living with their grandparents (because their parents had died) in a blue room with a single light bulb.  The detail of the description and the earnestness with which this father relayed the story gave me goose bumps.

Make of it what you will, but I think it’s fantastic that the family have accepted the situation without judgement, and that the little boy has found a place that gives him joy in my little shop.

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  • Mo MacLeod
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