Never give up

Decades ago, I was working for the Government and posted in a remote village nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas. The place did not have proper roads. There was no way to communicate with the outside world in case of an emergency. A bamboo hut with a steel sheet for a roof was my office cum residence!
There were about ten shops in the entire village. One of the shop keepers was Anil. He ran a tea shop. It was a one-room affair which hardly attracted any customers. He was about my age, married, and lived with his wife behind the shop.
We became good friends. I love to eat samosas, and he would make them for me and serve it with piping hot cups of tea. He would refuse to take any money from me. I would still pay the money to his wife. I noticed he would close the shop early, usually minutes after I had left.
People in the village said he was lazy. I spoke to him about it and realized he was not interested in running the hotel. He used to talk about his plans in life. He compared his life and mine. He rued his lack of education. With him, it was all complaints.
Every month, I had to travel to the state capital on official work. I was there for a week. As I stepped out of the bus on my return, I heard the news that Anil has committed suicide. He had hanged himself in his shop. His wife had left the village and now stayed with some relatives of hers.

I could not understand why he had committed suicide? He was young, healthy and had a family to look after. For some time, I felt guilty. Somehow I felt, I had not done enough for him. It was not that life was smooth for the rest of us in that village. There was no regular electricity supply nor piped water. We all survived on rainwater !! Life there was tough, but we never gave up. I learnt a few lessons from that incident and from that village.

Hiding from problems in life is not a solution. Face your problems head-on and find a solution to them. You are the best judge of what your strength and weakness are. Based on that, decide the best course of action. Most of us have faced job loss, salary cuts, been in an accident or faced some life crisis. Like everyone else on this planet, I have had my share of setbacks in life. I have found that each experience only adds to your knowledge and learning. As the saying goes

‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’.

You are stronger than you think. ‘Never give up!’

The Doctor – a short, short story

“Doctor, you are blessed with healing powers! You saved my child’s life,” said the woman with tears in her eyes.
“I did nothing your daughter is a fighter. She will make a complete recovery, ” said the Doctor and walked towards his room. There a photo on the desk caught his eye. It was of a young girl. He sighed.
” Healing powers….indeed! I could not heal the one person I valued the most in my life.”
He sat behind his desk and closed his eyes. In his mind, images from the past flashed. He had tried his best, the best doctors in the hospital had pitched in but, nothing could save his daughter. He buried her on her fifth birthday.
Tears coursed down his face.
“Doctor, the patient in O.P five is ready!” said the voice on the intercom.
“I am coming,” said the Doctor and hurried out.

Survival – a short, short story

Someone tossed a slice of stale bread at him.
Humans could be weird that way. What would appeal to one would repel someone else.

Slowly he made his way to the edge of the road.
The mid-day traffic was at its crazy worst. Vehicles in all shapes and sizes hurtled across the street. One false step and they would have to scrape you off the sidewalk.

He saw a break in the mad rush of vehicles and ran across to the other side.
Too late! He saw some children walking towards him. He hid behind a dumpster, luckily they missed him and walked by. He waited for them to disappear in the distance.

There was a kind butcher on this street. He always threw him a nice bone.
Life was tough for a stray dog.