This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 31; the thirty-first edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is 'Strangers in the Night'"Lunch had no salt in it! I was so hungry and had to stand in that damned queue of the canteen. Can't you even cook properly?"
"I know, I ate the same thing. Oh come on! Can't you adjust for one day? I am a working woman too, you know! Oh you would forget it unless you see the pay cheque every month."
"Don't you talk to me like that!"
The argument was heating up. Harish knew better than to let out words in fury. Sita was always easily irritable.
"Now, stop it there. I'm gonna take a walk. Not a worse mood spoiling environment than two irritated people in the house!"
Harish put on his t-shirt, closed the door behind him and started out towards the park. This park, situated about 6 streets away, was a bustling area. People of all ages would crowd there. Old men discussing politics; young toddlers playing on the see-saw and slide; damsels gossiping and giggling; boys playing shuttle; all sorts of people. Harish was born and brought up in the same locality. And, seldom had it happened that he'd walked the whole length of a street without meeting someone he knew.
"One chewing gum please."
A childhood habit. Still carried on.
He crossed the street, and walked. Surprisingly, the streets were emptier than usual. "I wonder why!", he thought.
In his effort to keep his mind occupied and diverted from the argument at home, he was thinking about random stuff, the shape of the clouds, the unfinished things on the to-do list, so and so..
By now, he'd crossed the 3rd street.
"Son, can you help me?"
He looked down the road and saw the silhouette of an aged man.
"Yes, sure. But what're you doing in a dark alley?"
"Is it dark?"
"Are you kidding me? Can't you see? Its so dark."
"Oh, is it so? For me, its always dark dear man. Haven't seen in 3 years."
"I'm so sorry! I didn't know.. Please excuse me.. Tell me, how may I help you? Are you lost?"
"No, son. It is not I, that needs help. Its my wife. She can't see either."
"What can I do for you?"
"Earlier, her slippers tore. There's a thorn stuck in her foot. I can feel it, but I can't remove it. She couldn't walk. I was carrying her on my shoulders but my aged back hurts.
Could you help please?"
"Yes, of course!"
He bent down and examined the old lady's feet.
She shrieked. "Dear me, that's not necessary boy. Please. Its alright. I can bear with a little pain. In fact, what is life without a little discomfort?"
"Atleast let me take you to a doctor. He'll take out the thorn."
"If I could afford a doctor, I could surely have afforded to buy new slippers dear boy. Beggars like us, can't afford such luxury."
Harish was stunned. He insisted on helping the old lady and pulled out the thorn and loosely bandaged her foot. He didn't mind the fact that they were beggars.
"Done. Will suffice for now. I have to go."
The man said, "Thank you so much son."
Harish left them and resumed his walk. His mind was occupied with a different thought, however. It was something that the lady said.
"What is life without a little discomfort?"
They were strangers in the night. He didn't know their names. They were beggars. Yet, what he learnt from them seemed priceless.
He realized that in his preoccupied state, he'd walked back to his own home.
Sita opened the door.
Harish hugged her and said, "Sorry dear."
"What is wrong with you? 10 minutes ago, you were so red and furious!"
"Oh what is life without a little discomfort?"