“Happiness is a direction, not a place.’’ – Sydney.J. Harris
“Today, when is your shift?”- a shrill voice asked.
Ramesh was looking at his fragile & battered wife, Nirmala, reclining in the wheelchair. He was in the tiny bathroom, ready with the shaving brush & razor.
“In the afternoon. Today, we will have lunch together. Have you taken your daily dose of medicine, Niru?” – Ramesh.
“Ohh sorry. Today I will get those tabs while returning from work. Plz, forgive me Niru.”- Ramesh was pleading.
“Don’t worry. I am alright.”- Nirmala tried to comfort an anxious Ramesh.
“Nandu, seek your help. Haven’t received my salary for the last two months. Plz provide me some money, will have to get medicine for Niru”- Ramesh was sounding very nervous & apologetic.
“Ramesh da, no issue. Take it. Get the medicines for Niru Bhabhi.’’- Nandu was trying to comfort Ramesh, sitting in the workshop. He is a small-time carpenter.
“Nandu, is this the new chair, you are working on?”- Ramesh. Nandu saw a rare glitter in Ramesh’s eyes.
Ramesh is engaged in a children's nursing home. He works as a clown there. His job is to provide wholesome entertainment to the children admitted there. This COVID pandemic has wreathed havoc everywhere. So many people have lost their jobs. Fortunately, his one is still intact. But he is very concerned about his future. His wife Nirmala is suffering from a fatal bone-related disease. She has been in the wheelchair for the last 4/5 years. Barring the bed, this wheelchair is their only furniture.
“Ramesh da, plz have tea”- Nandu accounted.
“Nandu, where is that chair, you were working on it.”- Ramesh was curious.
“Dada, that chair got delivered yesterday, in the evening.”- Nandu replied.
“Nandu, what is the price of that chair?”- Ramesh. “Dada, 5000 rupees.”- Nandu replied.
“Niru, we don’t have any furniture. I can’t even arrange a chair so that we can have our conversation.” – Ramesh was sounding gloomy as was preparing tea in the morning.
“No issue, Ramesh. We don’t have so many things but we are happy in our small world.”
“Nandu O Nandu”- Ramesh
“Are you working on some new chair or other furniture?”-Ramesh. “Yes Dada, that is my bread & butter”-Nandu was smiling.
“Nandu-this broken wheelchair……?”
“Dada, a guy had sold this chair to me in the morning.”
“What will be the price of it?”- Ramesh suddenly became inquisitive. Quite conspicuously he felt an adrenaline rush.
“If you want, keep it dada” - Nandu
That evening, Ramesh was enjoying tea with his beloved wife Nirmala, sitting face-to-face.
They were relishing on their respective chairs……… sorry wheelchairs!!