“What is your email id?” I asked my friend on phone with whom I frequently go for evening walks.
She shared her email id in low tone and asked. “By the way, why do you need it?”  
“Oh! nothing important. I just want to send a joke.”
“OK. On Monday morning, my husband has severe heart attack. Two stents has been inserted in his body through surgery. He is better now and will be discharged today.”
“Oho! Do you need any help?”
“The total bill is of Rs. 10 lacs. I have paid Rs. 8 lacs. I am in short of Rs. 2 lacs. I have asked some of my relatives and friends for help. Will you be able to pay me if I fall short of some money? I need the money today itself before the discharge from hospital. If I can’t arrange that much fund they will not discharge him, you know well how money minded these reputed hospitals are? And if he does not return I will not be able to celebrate Diwali this year.”

I was driving towards a shopping mall for buying new clothes, purse and shoes for myself and candles, diyas, lamps, rangoli colours and other decorative items for my house. My purse had handsome amount of cash which I had withdrawn from an ATM a few hours before. As the daily limit was full, I could not further withdraw from ATM. I couldn’t withdraw cash from any bank as they were closed by this time. The next day was Diwali and a bank holiday. I either could do shopping or could help her. What to do?
“Ya sure.” I assured her and turned my car towards the house.

A few hours later, she called me up and told the amount that she was short of. I helped her. With moist eyes she hugged me tightly and said, “You made my Diwali!”

I wrote this piece in 2014. For #TheWriteChoice 🙂

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Chandrika Shubham Saini

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