Living is Believing – A Short story in English
Written by Swati Joshi
January 18, 2019
“The world hasn’t been as it used to be previously.” said Devi(The goddess)
“What do you mean?” inquired Prabhu(The God)curiously.
“When I look at human, one of the most wonderful creations we have so far, I feel bit disappointed as they are losing their elementary values.” replied Devi with a sigh.
It’s one of the usual days. Prabhu and Devi are sitting leisurely, talking about current conditions of the world and how human has been losing faith, hope, confidence, kindness as we can say the humane values. Devi is upset to look at the world where warm-heartened are decreasing in number and the scoundrels are ruling them. People are being so calculative that no one helps another unintentionally. Mean and bullies are taking over gentles. And she is in pain to see that even destiny is not taking care of the generous ones. Thus, she has a complaining tone.
Prabhu with a smirk: “No dear, you are concluding by observing a few bad incidences. The world has yet not been that miserable to be disappointed about. There are more of those who still believe in us besides having a forlorn living. They have faith in their heart that whatever I would be doing will be for their well-being only….”
…… “And one more thing stop acting womanish, don’t doubt my intentions, I know what I need to do with my dear ones. They are my children too.”
Still Devi doesn’t look convinced. So, Prabhu takes her to visit one of his upholders.
This is Raghav. He owns a small tea and snacks stall in a town. He is really a canonist who has suffered almost everything one can think of but never scorned God for anything. Fate has given him a roller coaster ride for 59 years of his living.
Raghav lost his parents one by one by his teen age. His grandparents raised him and could make him capable of earning by himself. He started selling tea in a kettle. He could earn sufficient to give his grandparents a moderate living. He got married to Rampyari who helped him in making that much to start a tea stall. The couple was really hard working. Fortune started attending Raghav’s family. In few years, fate balanced the wax and wane by giving Raghav a charming baby boy and taking away his grandfather on the other hand.
The boy, Anand started growing and Raghav’s days started altering simultaneously. Anand’s smile multiplied his faith in God. Everything seemed to be placed into order slowly. But, asymmetry is the pattern of Nature. One fine day, a violent communal riot interjected his small, happy world. Few insane people blew his house and broke his stall in the name of God!! Raghav’s grandmother and Rampyari couldn’t make out of that burning house. And no one knew about what happened to Anand. Raghav’s world was ravaged. Though the stars had punched him so hard, Raghav never complained to the almighty believing that what happened must be needed. He in a few months could manage to have the stall back in working condition.
Now, he had no one to take care of or to be taken care by. He started helping the needy. He started giving half of his income to the people who could make a better use of that money to make their living. He also was feeding the poor who couldn’t afford even a cup of tea per day. In years, he had helped a dozens of lives to get on their own. Sometimes, memories of Rampyari, Grandmother and Anand could make him somber but the next moment he started focusing on his duties and his God who never can let anything wrong to happen, as he believed. He had a little hope for Anand to be returning one day.
Devi feels poignant about Raghav. She looks at Prabhu as if she wants to say that Prabhu should pay Raghav for his good deeds now. Prabhu smiles and nods such that it’s not his time yet.
One day, a brake failed truck hits the stall smashing it down. Raghav gets badly injured. Devi stands dumbfound. People take Raghav to a hospital nearby. His broken leg has been operated. It has been a week after operation. Raghav is recovering slowly. The hospital staff is taking great care of him. Though not having a family, Raghav has not spent a single day sitting alone. The people whom he has helped in these many years are pouring to attend him as a family member. But, these people are not capable of paying his medical bills so, Raghav is bit worried. One day before being discharged he inquires about the bills. The attendant tells him with a smile that why should he worry about the bills? Dr. Anand has taken care of those.
“What? Who?” Raghav couldn’t believe what he has heard.
Devi looks surprised and asks Prabhu: “Is he Anand? Finally, I am so glad you have done it.”
Prabhu with brows frown: “Really? Do you think I would do that? You know I can’t.”
Prabhu: “Have some patience dear.”(Prabhu mutters in his mind… “These women!!”)
In the evening Dr. Anand meets Raghav telling him that he was too young when they met. Raghav helped Anand’s father for his education. The money Raghav provided has made possible for Anand to be Dr. Anand. So, he owed Raghav and by paying his bills Anand has just repaid a meager part of Raghav’s kindness. Raghav Thanks God in his heart.
Devi looks happier now. And agreeably commits that the world is not that bad place and it’s worth living here till the last human contains faith in his heart. They start for home.
Prabhu: “Did you really believe it was his son Anand?”
Devi: “Yes but it was just for a moment… I know….I shouldn’t….you can’t….”
Prabhu (with a grin): “Are you watching a lot of imagimovies nowadays?”
Devi: “Oh, Come-on. I don’t like this. I am telling you……”
And we all know how it goes.