Business with a smile – a short, short story

There were two shops on our street. One run by two boys hardly got any customers. The other run by a middle-aged man had a large clientele. That man would keep his customers standing while he gossiped endlessly.
“How are your studies progressing? Why are you so bad in mathematics? When is your daughter getting married?” his questions never ended.
The boys in sharp contrast only cared about their work.
I left the area and settled far away.
Returning a decade later I was surprised, both the shops were still there.
The boys, young men now, had a roaring business, while the man hardly had any customers.
I visited both shops.
“You have gained some weight” was what I heard in one shop.
In the other, all I got was a smile and, ” How can we help you?”
The shopkeepers were the same, but the customer attitudes had evolved.

Instant Karma – a short, short story

The lockdown forced everyone indoors. There was a relaxation of an hour when all had to rush to buy essential commodities. Foodstuff was in short supply due to the hoarding. Only one shop-keeper was allowed to operate in our street. The queue outside the store was a mile long.
The shop-keeper was raking money off our troubles.
“Get in the line. You there, can’t you hear me, are you deaf?”
We all listened to him and kept quiet.
Then the lockdown eased, more shops opened. Stocks started coming in.
Now the tables turned. No one went to the rude shop keeper. He would stand outside his store and smile and wave at any passing face.
“How are you? Is your grand-mother feeling well now? We have some fine weather today..”
Everyone ignored him. It would have been different had he shown some empathy earlier.

Shortcut to paradise – a short, short story

“How long will I have to sit there?”
“Maybe an hour or two. It is a religious gathering.”
The priest reminded the boy of a ballon he had painted in art class.
Round and full of hot-air!
“Pray daily, and you will go to heaven,” the priest said, looking at the boy.
“In heaven, you get anything you want. If you want to eat sweets, you get sweets. If it is sleep you desire, you get to sleep as long as you want….”
That sounded interesting, but the boy had a doubt.
“Is there homework there?” he asked, much to mothers indignation.
“No, you will know everything, so no need to study.”
“When can we come again?” the boy asked on the way home.
“No more religion for you or me,” his mother said, “I have had it with these ignorant gurus.”