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That Unusual Day – A Short Story

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Like every day, that day too Arman boarded the TATA Mori Train from the station to get back to his home from the office. As usual the train was already loaded and he started the quest for a seat. Literally climbing and gliding through the gallery he scanned all the possibilities in almost every compartment. Atlast he landed over with two Sikh boys sitting near w window seat. He hurriedly adjusted himself with them and took a sigh as a sign of satisfaction. The whistle of the train blew and finally it started moving. He was watching the outside view, people walking here and there, chaiwalas shouting to sell their tea, some waiting in the benches for their trains and few waving goodbye to their dear ones. His mind was full with the exertion of the day’s work and after getting the seat he just recoiled himself to get a peaceful time with himself. He quickly scanned his follow passengers, two Sikh boys in turban, a person reading Osho’s book, his colleague and a few random daily wagers. But his eyes and mind kept focussed on that person holding the book and narrating something to the boys sitting before him. It seemed the boys didn’t know him but his kind words and influential oratory was attracting everybody’s attention. Arman too felt allured towards him and started listening to their conversations.

An inspirational short story of a guy's experience with a fellow passenger during a train journey. The story revives faith in good karma.

One of the Sikh boys asked the man, “Tell us about yourself and your life, we would like to listen.” The man smiled and hesitated for a second, but in the next moment he started speaking. “I am originally from Bihar and have done my engineering from IIT” The very moment he spoke the IIT word everyone’s facial expressions changed, especially Arman’s who had always admired the institution and dreamt of being there. Now he listened to the person with more attention. “I was recruited by a foreign company in 1998 with a salary package of Rs 40000 pm which was approximately 4 lac in today’s comparison. Moreover I had a luxury life with company funded allowances for transportation and all. My wife was also an IITian. I always wanted to do my own work to be an entrepreneur. Finally one day I took the risk and ended my job. I started my own shop with STD booth and Photostat, printing and all, which were at that time a good business.” Everyone was listening to his story.

“I took a wrong decision and ended up in losing my wealth. Slowly our family’s economic condition started declining. I was tensed so was my wife. I had a very good friend of mine, Ashok who was an IAS officer in Imphal. He called me almost everyday. I never told him about my condition. One day he called, I was not there so my wife picked up the call. As usual he asked about us, while talking to him my wife started crying and finally told him everything that happened in our lives. He hung up the call after consoling my wife. In the evening he  called up again. That time I picked the call. He scolded me and then sympathised in every way possible. I felt very helpless at that point. I never expected that I would see those days which all happened because of my wrong decisions. Still I never felt negative and motivated myself that one day I will again have that everything which I earlier had. All I did that time was to have faith in myself and in that supreme power. I knew that everything that I had or going to have is all because of my karma.”

“After a month a phone call came to me. A man called from HUDA (Haryana Urban Development Authority) office. He asked me to come to the HUDA office in the capital of Haryana. I was confused and worried. Without telling me the reason he hung up the phone. I didn’t have that much money to organise my visit to Haryana but still my wife and I gathered few notes and planned the visit. I reached their office and had a meeting with the man who had called me. Actually he was the head of HUDA, I was still confused that why he called me to his office. He then took out a file full of documents and handed it to me. He asked me to read the documents thoroughly. I did the same. Finally he asked me that how much would I charge for doing that work. I had no idea why he gave me those documents and why he asked for the money. Hesitatingly I suggested the minimum amount that could be possible for that work i.e. 1.5 lac. Actually that work would have taken me only two days to complete and would have costed to 70-80k only. But I added up the transportation costs and all for that. The man laughed at me. The confusion level was growing in me. He then exclaimed in a fierce tone that why I asked for 1.5 lac. He then handed me another file that had documents related to the tenders that were filed by many different institutions for that work. I read the amounts, 20 lac, 25 lac, 30 lac, 32 lac and even 40 lac. I was shocked and startled by those big digits. The man then gave me an offer, ‘we will give you the lowest amount that we have in our tenders i.e. 20 lac.’ I was left in mere astonishment. I didn’t have words to tell what I felt at that moment. The man immediately signed the contract with me and gave me the 1st instalment of the amount.”

Arman and all those who were listening to him were also left in startlement. This was an inspiring story of Karma and self determination. Arman thought that in his bad times he didn’t lost hopes and faith in the power of positivity, he didn’t stop trying and living. What would have happened if he would have quitted and chosen a different path that many people choose in their bad times. This story definitely ignited a ray of hope in his heart and mind. His station was just a few minutes away but he wanted to listen to that man more. The man was still telling his story.

“I took the contract and told everything to my wife and Ashok. Everyone was happier than before. But still I was confused that how the Government of Haryana came to know about me and called me from Bihar for their work. There would have been some reference definitely. I did my work whole heartedly and completed it on time. I got the complete payment within few hours of the completion of my work. Before moving back I asked the man about the person who gave my reference to him. And when he replied with the person’s name I was stunned. The person was none other than my dear friend Ashok who after listening about my condition tried his level best to make me stand again. I owe my life and wealth to him definitely.”

With these words in his ears Arman left his seat and walked towards the door as his station had arrived. Before going he thanked the person whose story inspired him which had changed his thoughts about life and the struggles that encompasses it and taught an important lesson that how we should face the difficult situations of our lives.

Also read the first chapter of my book ‘A Voyage Through The Echoes’

This story was illustrated by Arman and written by Prakriti Singh

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