Rangaiah was waiting in the hot sun for the last three hours for the officer. His wife and six-year-old daughter were standing under a small shade. It has been three weeks, every day waiting for the officer. The officer steps into the office around 12:30 PM and leaves for lunch at 1 PM, only to return at 4 PM toward closure. Rangaiah was not the only one waiting in the premise. Ram Singh, Kamalnath Mishra, Yogendranath are some of the people waiting there with Rangaiah. The work that Rangaiah wanted to get done was an easy one. But the language barrier was causing a lot of problems. He was from a Telugu speaking state, and the officer does not know any Telugu. Every day Rangaiah starts to approach the officer to be sent out as he doesn't understand a thing Rangaiah has to say. Same was the case with Ram Singh, Kamalnath Mishra, Yogendranath. They can only speak Hindi.
Rangaiah was hoping against hope that officer will help him today. Luck has it that officer has come early that day, at 11 AM. There were fewer crowds as many did not expect the officer to show up before 12:30 PM. Rangaiah thought this is his chance and ran to the officer's room to explain his story. As usual, the officer did not understand anything he had to say. But today the officer had time. So he called for the attendee and told him something. Rangaiah thought the attendee knows his language and he will help. But the attendee also does not understand what Rangaiah had to say. Attendee, however, asked Rangaiah to wait outside. Rangaiah was optimistic of things to go his way. The others Ram Singh, Kamalnath Mishra, and Yogendranath were also asked to wait by the attendee.
It has been more than an hour of waiting. Rangaiah started to get tense. All the money he brought with him is almost over. The only money he has left with him after today will only help him reach his hometown. His mother was waiting for him sick. He has to go and help her to get some medicine. He even kept rejecting the daughter's wishes. She only wished for a ballon, being sold outside the office. He was lost in all these thoughts when he was called on by the attendee. He ran to him to know how to finish his work. Many people were crowded around the attendee to hear what he has to say.
The attendee kept speaking something, Rangaiah did not understand even a little bit. The group of people around him also seemed to have no clue of what is happening. After 10 mins the attendee went back inside the office leaving Rangaiah still in confusion. The others seem to have understood what the attendee had to say. Rangaiah was hoping one of them to help him. They tried to tell him something, still, the language is a barrier. Finally, they told him to speak in the universal language. Rangaiah laughed out loud for wasting time all this while. He spoke to the attendee in the universal language and got what he wanted. He picked the papers he wanted and started to head home.
Rangaiah's wife asked can they take the bus to the railway station. Rangaiah nodded hinting a No. He, however, got a balloon for the kid and started to walk to the railway station. The wife asked Rangaiah how is that he got the papers today without much trouble. Rangaiah replied he spoke in the universal language. The universal language, what is that enquired the wife. Money, money is the universal language the government officers understand very well said Rangaiah. Once reaching the railway station and sitting on the general bogie Rangaiah's wife asked him what that paper is. My death certificate replied Rangaiah. Using this I get some insurance money which will help my mother's treatment said Rangaih without flinching an eye. Rangaiah's wife tears started to drop, knowing she had become a widow on paper that day, to treat her mother-in-law.