One day, Mehrunissa's father caught a bad cold and had to stay home. He coughed, sneezed and after two nights of burning fever lost his ability to get out of bed. He needed to be shown to a doctor, but times were hard and they had no money. He asked Mehurnissa to go to a house nearby to receive payment for a car he had fixed a few days ago. It would be enough for a doctor's visit and some medicine. Mehrunissa set out immediately. While walking down the road, she spotted a beautiful red sports car. Mehrunissa waited to see if she could identify the owner, but the car didn't move and the owner didn't come out. Curious, Mehrunissa walked up to the car and peeked through the windows. To her surprise, she saw Verdani inside, looking all frustrated and tired.
"Excuse me, sir. May i help you?" said Mehurnissa.
Verdani shook his head. "No, little girl. My car's giving trouble and I need a mechanic."
"My father is a mechanic", Mehrunissa said.
"Does he live nearby?"
"Yes, but he's sick and can't get out of bed".
"But I can fix your car."
Verdani eyed her with doubt. "Really?"
"Yes. I work with my father all the time."
"Tell you what", said Verdani, raising one eyebrow. "If you really can help me. I promise I'll give you a small token of magic that will change your life".
Mehrunissa started working right then. In ten minutes, the car was running again. Mehrunissa, stoked by her good luck, held out her palm and said, "Can I have my magic now, sir?"
Verdani, thoroughly impressed by Mehrunissa's work, nodded and began chanting, "Little girl who needs a choice, little girl with tiny voice, may she choose what is right, may she not lose this fight".
Mehrunissa didn't know what Verdani was talking about. Choice? Fight? She was just about to ask questions, when Verdani held up his hand and said, "No questions. Not right now". He pointed at the ground before him where three boxes now sat. Verdani explained, "Open these boxes one at a time and you will see what happens." Verdani then drove away, leaving Mehrunissa perplexed but excited.
Mehrunissa quickly got money for her father's treatment. When her father was healthy again, she opened the first box. It was as if her life turned into a movie in that one second. Suddenly, she could hear voices in her head. "You're ugly. You're worthless". Mehrunissa believed these things. When the voices started giving her advice- "Go get a haircut! You need one!", "Don't hang out with your dad. It's not cool"- she followed them helplessly. She lost all her pocket money at the beautician's and hurt her dad by refusing to go with him to a party at the king's court. Now her father wouldn't talk to her and she didn't have any money to watch Verdani's shows.
Upset and angry, Mehrunissa shut the first box and opened the second. Now, all she felt was a strange self-love. She thought she was the most beautiful, the brightest, the one most likely to succeed in life. At first, it gave her confidence, but it overshadowed her voice of reason. She didn't see her flaws and so forgot to apologize to her father.
Even though the second box made her happy, she was curious about the third box. So she opened it. Suddenly it all stopped- the voices, the euphoria. She was overcome by a sudden urge to work hard, so she started staying up late to study and helping her father as much as she could. It was all tiring, but she was satisfied. Eventually her father forgave her and she became the best student in her class. She saw her life going somewhere now.
Still, she was confused regarding how these boxes were connected. So she went to the court for Verdani's show. Since they were now acquainted, Verdani spotted her and met her after the show.
"Sir, I want to know how these boxes are connected. They all made me feel, think and act differently."
Verdani smiled. "Little girl. Give me the boxes and I shall show you." Mehrunissa did so. Verdani opened the first box and this time, out came a flimsy image of all the people Mehrunissa envied. Verdani explained, "This box is the voice of the people you think are better than you. They make you feel bad about yourself and so you lost your senses when these voices overwhelmed you".
"Ah", said Mehrunissa.
"Now the second box has the voice of people who love you unconditionally, like your father. To them, you're special, but you can't just listen to their voice because they are biased and always forgiving.".
At last came the third box. Verdani opened it out floated a mirror. "This is the reflection of who you are. It's voice showed you your flaws and so you tried to fix them by working hard. It also showed you what you want- a better life- and showed you how you can get it. A mirror, if looked at without bias, tells the truth, which means that you are the only one who can guide yourself."
Mehrunissa thanked Verdani for the life lesson and went back home with the third box. After that day, she lived happily ever after.