"When paradise smiled" - Short story
by S Roman Ahsan
The clouds do not always hurl storms at Mother Earth. Sometimes they show a rainbow also to the delight of the earthlings!
It was late afternoon as he stepped out of his home. Though it was prime Winter season, but the sun was spreading warmth across the town. He was feeling hungry and wanted to have lunch at a local eating place near his home.
Suddenly, he heard a voice. As he turned his face, he saw a boy sitting in a wheel-chair waving his hands a little further from his house. He walked towards the boy and asked him what he wanted. The boy said "l am hungry". He wondered whether the boy was a professional beggar but then he still gave him most of the money he had. He was not left with enough money to buy lunch and so he entered his house again to get some more.
It just took him a minute when he was out again but to his amazement the boy along with the wheel-chair had disappeared. "Where is he, can he be so quick?" He shrugged his shoulders and proceeded to the eating joint near his home.
He did not know it but that was in fact his last test by God. All his struggles in life and the patience he had shown were going to be rewarded against what he thought was a very convenient gesture. The other tests earlier in his life had been rather very tough revolving around illness, betrayal, oppression, temptation, confrontation and forced solitude. It was time for compensation now against a single charity act which he considered as very small.
As he sat down at the small joint and waited for his meal after ordering, his heart became heavy as scenes from his life flashed in his mind. But all of a sudden, an aura of peace surrounded him and the noises in his head quietened. The angel who had assumed the shape and form of a handicapped boy had reached the seventh sky. From the heavens, more angels started descending.
By the time the man finished his meal and came out of the joint, he was a changed person. He carried a different vision of life in his mind and his face reflected confidence. The market had a narrow path and was bustling with the crowd. Out of the same crowd, a strikingly beautiful girl wearing a black scarf appeared and started walking towards him with a captivating smile on her face...
Suddenly, it started raining heavily and he heard a laughter. "What the - - -?" He was startled as he realized that he was on the floor beside his bed and water was dripping from his face. while his younger sister was standing above him with a glass of water laughing. "Bhai, it is 9 o'clock. You will be late for office and I think you fell off your bed. I called your name many times and shook you also but you were in deep sleep so I had to throw water in your face."
All he could say was in dismay "Oh no, just a dream!!"
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