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The Consequences of Choices

About Shivranjan Poojari

Shivranjan Poojari, born and bought up in Mumbai, has now moved to his home town Udupi in Karnataka. From Marketing Executive to Regional Marketing Head - his work makes him to travel throughout India and gain some wisdom about the different aspects of the lives. Those and more, he likes to share his experiences. Through words in the form of short stories and blogs.

A beginner has just begun to write, whenever, time permits. Poojari is a believer of simplicity. Also, he likes to teach and learn new things.

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Prologue

A typical day on a busy street near the Shri Krishna Temple. Dr. Mohan Pai, a reputed local doctor, was struggling furiously to find a parking place for his car. The regular parking place was completely filled with cars and buses of the frequent visitors of Shri Krishna Temple. After struggling for few minutes Dr. Mohan Pai placed his car a few meters away from the shop he wanted to visit. He got down from his car and rushed eagerly towards the shop. In an instant he reached near an old and traditional jewelry shop. He inquired for the owner. “Sir has just gone out, he may come any time,” stated one of the employees of the jewelry shop. In a couple of minutes the owner of the shop entered. “Good Morning Dr. Pai, your order is ready,” he promptly informed him.
“Sorry Dr. Pai I forgot. When is your daughter’s wedding?” The owner asked gently.

“It’s on arriving Sunday”  Dr. Pai replied while checking the gold ornaments, which was for his daughter’s wedding day. Dr. Pai and the owner discussed a few things here and there about the preparation of the marriage. He wrote the cheque and handed it over. And voluntarily left from there.

 

Part 1
On the other end, far from the bustling streets of the city, towards the outskirt, Ranga was still lying on his mat in that ruined house. It was hopelessly in a dreadful condition and was about to fall anytime. Ranga was merely surviving with his wife and two kids, doing some labour work. This is what he used to mention to his wife. But the fact was Ranga was a lazy man who was not a believer of hard work but had great faith in shortcuts of life. He was allegedly involved in some unethical works along with his few other friends in the village.

 

“You will be massacring us one day, if you don’t repair this shattered roof and cracked walls,” his wife scolded him.

“Shut up and give me some tea” Ranga ordered shamelessly.

“There is no milk and sugar at home,” his wife bluntly informed.

“Whatever I am earning is not sufficient for us. And you bring illegal money one day and sit vacant for the next one month.” His wife scolded again.

“You are a foolish woman who doesn’t value his man.” Ranga scolded her and left the home in anger. On his way he realized that his wife was actually right. The ruined house is really in critical condition and needs immediate repair.

 

He immediately visited a local contractor’s office and inquired about the estimated cost of repair. Ranga was shocked when he heard that the estimated cost to repair the house will be around fifty thousand rupees. Because, he barely had five hundred rupees in his abandoned house. Ranga assembled his criminal friends Basu and Nathu near a tea stall next to his house and explained the situation. Basu suggested to take a bank loan but Ranga had gained a bad reputation in the village. Therefore, that was impossible. Nathu suggested to borrow the money from the landlord. But the rate of interest was way too high. Ranga would never be able to repay the loan and may lose his house too.
Ranga felt helpless; he desperately wanted to renovate his home. And on the other hand, he was unable to arrange the money.

“Don’t worry Ranga everything will be alright, just cheer up” Nathu consoled Ranga.

“Even I had a fight with my wife she as kids were insisting to visit the feast in the city, but unfortunately I didn’t have the money so I had to disappoint them by refusing.” Nathu said. “That’s true, even I have to fight every day with my wife for the money, these women only need money all the time.” Basu also mentioned his situation.

“Let’s go to the feast in the city, it will change your mood” Basu suggested.

“No, Basu it’s not the time to change the mood, Now, it’s time to change the destiny.” Ranga replied in a serious tone.

“But how?” Nathu wondered.

“You just said annual feast of the Shri Krishna Temple had started right?” Ranga confirmed with Nathu.

“Yes, so what?”

Nathu was unable to understand why suddenly Ranga changed the topic from arranging money to the annual feast. Ranga’s mind got the trigger and after having some intense brainstorm, Ranga came up with an evil plan.

“Last time we were able to steal some money by picking pockets and things, so this time we will plan something bigger and better.” Ranga continued. Basu and Nathu thought for a while and agreed to Ranga. This was an easy way of earning money. And all three of them immediately left for the city.

 

 

Part 2
Here in the city, Dr .Pai after leaving from the jewelry shop, was walking more consciously between the narrow streets of the market, tightly holding the bag in which the gold was kept. As soon as he reached his car, he kept the bag on the back seat and tried to start the car. Meanwhile, Dr. Pai’s phone rang. It was a catering guy on the other end, merely requesting for the advance amount.

“Don’t worry, I am coming to your office right now to make the payment.” Dr. Pai responded. “Sir, I have to visit one of my clients office, so if you can come within an hour I would be grateful.” The catering guy requested from the other side.

“Sure, don’t worry I will be there before you leave.” Dr. Pai replied humbly. Immediately Dr. Pai recalled that the cheque book through which he was supposed to make the payment was left in the jewelry shop itself. He went out of his car again and this time in a hurry, he forget to lock the car door properly. He rushed furiously towards the jewelry shop.
Ranga and his friends reached the busy market of the city and felt extremely happy when they saw a huge crowd was gathered. Because that means more prey from them. As usual they split in three directions. Ranga moved towards the narrow lane where the jewelry shop was located. Ranga restlessly started surveying the shops, people and every possible thing he would steal. While scanning the place Ranga’s sharp eyes caught a car whose door wasn’t properly locked. Before making any move Ranga once again checked to confirm whether the owner of the car was nearby or not.
Finally, after waiting for a couple of minutes Ranga gathered some courage and went near the car. The task was even simpler since the door was not locked properly. When he opened the door and searched to steal something, he was astonished to find a bag of gold jewelry. His brain stopped working. Such valuables and that too without any much efforts. After few seconds he took the bag, closed the car door and made a hasty move. Soon Dr. Pai returned to the car all hasstled and checked the time. He had already spent half an hour. Now he had merely half an hour to reach the catering guy’s office. Therefore Dr. Mohan Pai started the car and rushed to the catering guy’s office. As soon as he reached Satish’s office, he parked his car and took the cheque book. He turned towards the back seat to take a look at the bag of gold jewelry with him. He doesn’t want to keep that valuable gold in the car itself. He was shocked to find that the jewelry bag was not there. For the next couple of minutes, he scanned every possible corner of the car but there was no trace of the jewelry bag.
He recalled he had left the bag in the car when he had gone back to collect the cheque book from the shop. And he might have not locked the door properly in hurry. Gold ornaments worth lakhs had been stolen! He was devastated. His body was shivering and he was not feeling the ground. There was complete blackout in front of this eye. He tried to stand, taking the support of the door, but his legs refused to be stable. He fell on the ground.

 

Ranga took the bus to his village without informing Basu and Nathu. On his way he opened the jewelry bag to check what was there in the bag. He slowly unzipped the bag. His eyes were left wide open when he saw so much gold. He immediately closed the bag. Ranga instantly realized that today he had hunted far more than he could digest. He typically used to steal wallets and other small things but this was undoubtedly something beyond his imagination. He started sweating heavily.

 

With a shivering voice he asked for the ticket. For a once he thought whether he should return it. But he had a second thought that this was the only chance to easily renovate the house without any loan. So Ranga allegedly decided to keep the stolen gold. Now his greed started growing more. He further thought, “If I tell his to Basu and Nathu then I would have to make three shares of this, which will result in comparatively less money.” So he decided not to inform them about this robbery and keep the entire amount for himself. Ranga thought this was a huge amount of gold and he wouldn’t be able to hide it inside his house. Also it was unsafe to hide anywhere in the village. So he decided to get to the nearby city and sell it to the merchant to whom they sold stolen goods. So he got down from the bus and rushed to the merchant’s shop.

 

 

Part 3
Here in the city, seeing Dr. Pai falling unconscious on ground, security guard of Satish’s office rushed in to help him. He provided water and made him comfortable. Soon the catering company owner Satish came running and took Dr. Pai to his office. Dr. Pai narrated the whole story of the stolen jewelry bag. Satish immediately called the police. Police assured Dr. Pai that they will do their best to get the stolen bag back and he wouldn’t have to worry. They requested him to go home and get some rest. Though Dr. Pai left from there, the thoughts of lost jewelry kept haunting him. The worry of arranging the sudden money in such a short span was not easy even though Dr.Pai was financially well settled. Also, he started thinking how will his wife and daughter react when they’d know about this. Dr. Pai took his car straight to the narrow lane again and parked outside the Shri Krishna Temple. Tired and tensed, he sat on the corner bench within the temple premises. His phone kept on ringing several times; few calls were from his wife and few from his daughter. But Dr. Pai was lost in his own thoughts, unaware of the calls. The pain and sadness were clearly visible on his face.

 

“This is really a big jackpot, Ranga.” The merchant told in serious tone.

“Absolutely, I know, that’s why I came to you.” Ranga responded.

After some serious thought Merchant opened his rigid wooden drawer, pulled out some cash and handed over to Ranga. “Take this for now. I will talk to my boss and I will pay you the rest of the amount.

 

Ranga accepted the deal and left from the merchant’s shop. “My God, even this money is sufficient for next few months. The merchant was saying he will offer me more in few days. I think presently, my time has changed.”  Ranga thought to himself. He thought of celebrating this huge and successful robbery and decided to go back to the city to buy some nice clothes for his wife and kids. It was afternoon by now. He got down at the city bus stand, enjoyed a delicious lunch in a good restaurant and thought to dough the radiant heat by resting near the Shri Krishna temple premises for some time till the heat reduced. The market was just next to the temple. He entered the temple premises and found a bench in the corner. He went gently near the bench and humbly asked the person sitting nervously on the bench to shift a bit. The other person didn’t respond much but barely shifted a little. Ranga took the vacant seat and placed his back, relieved. His face had the shine of joy and happiness.

 

After some time a medieval monk arrived near the corner bench asking for some money. Today was Ranga’s day. He willingly took a hundred rupees note and gave to the monk. “Take his money, old man. Today God made me happy therefore I am making you happy.” Ranga told in arrogant tone. Monk was surprised to see the kindness of Ranga. From his appearance, it is unimaginable to think he could donate hundred rupees that easily. The monk smiled and reluctantly turned to the person sitting next to Ranga.

“You don’t have to donate anything to this old monk son”? Asked the medieval monk. Without any expression the man replied “Forgive me monk, but God is not kind to me today.” The monk looked at the man’s face with a smile. He said, “May God bless you” and left from there.

“What a wired Monk he is? I gave him a hundred rupees, he didn’t blessed me. Instead he blessed this wicked man who even didn’t talk to him properly.” Ranga thought to himself.

 

 

 

Part 4
In a bout of curiosity, Ranga tried to strike a conversation with the man sitting beside him.

“My name is Ranga. I am from Mattar Village.”

But the other person didsn’t seem much interested in the conversation. He merely smiled and said, “I am Dr. Mohan Pai.”

The alleged culprit and the victim kept sitting together. They both had changed each other’s lives, still unaware of each other.

Dr. Pai got up eventually and started his car. He gathered the courage to go home and inform his family about the robbery. Before that he called the police station to know if there was any information about the robber. But he got more disappointed when he found that police was unable to recover the bag yet. Finally he reached home. Dr. Pai’s wife and daughter were terribly worried since he had not received their phone calls since this afternoon. Dr. Pai silently made a move towards this room. This daughter noticed him and rushed behind him.

“What happened Appa?”

“Where were you all day?”

“Why are you not receiving the calls?”

He got bombarded with questions.

 

Knowing Dr. Pai had returned, his wife also rushed in from the kitchen. And finally, he shared the bad news with his family. All of sudden the atmosphere radically changed. Everybody went quiet. “Yes, the jewellery which we have ordered for wedding ceremony has got stolen today morning.” Dr.Pai announced. “Don’t worry Shri Krishna will do the justice.” “We will  manage to purchase a new one.” Mrs. Pai consoled both Dr. Pai and her daughter.

 

“One ticket to Mattar” Ranga told the bus conductor, tired and occupied with the bags of clothes, glossary and toys in hand and desperately looking for a place to sit in a partly full bus.

“Today you had got the bonus it seems.” the conductor mocked Ranga looking at his occupied bags of stuff.

“It’s none of your business, give me the ticket and do your work” Ranga replied arrogantly. Ranga didn’t want anyone to know about the jackpot he had hit. He took a window seat and rested his head on the window. The breeze helped him to take a nice nap.

 

He opened his eyes to the shout of the conductor, “Next stop Mattaru, next stop Mattaru.” He immediately gathered his luggage and got ready to get down. Usually Ranga used to walk 2 km to his house from the Mattaru bus stop. But today due to the joy and excitement of giving surprise of new clothes and toys to his beloved wife and kids, he decided to hire an auto rickshaw. Therefore he carefully got down from the bus and immediately moved towards the auto stand.
“Ranga, Ranga where the hell had been you since morning?” Ranga heard someone shouting his name furiously. He turned back to see who was calling him. It was his neighbor. “What happened? Why are you screaming so much?” Ranga asked in a confused tone.

“Ranga, the roof and wall of your house had collapsed. Your wife and kids are severely injured.”

Ranga’s went numb this palm went loose. All the bags he was carrying fell down. For a few seconds everything was black. There was merely any reaction. He was silent.

“Ranga, Ranga what happened?” The neighbor  desperately tried getting Ranga back to his senses by shaking his shoulders. After a while, Ranga reluctantly returned to this sense and fell on the ground with eyes full of uncontrollable tears.
“Ranga don’t worry, we have admitted them to the local hospital and doctors are attending to them.” This neighbor consoled Ranga.

“Let’s go, I want to see them” Ranga insisted. They immediately left to the hospital. As soon as they reached the reception of the hospitals, the receptionist informed Ranga that his wife and son had minor injuries and they are under observation. Hearing this Ranga gained some relief. However, he got more tense when the receptionist continued that his younger daughter had a major fracture on her left leg and she had been referred to a child specialist in a city for advance treatment.

 

 

Part 5
The tears which were about to stop poured out again and Ranga went on grief. But this neighbor consoled him and took him to the hospital in the city were Ranga”s  little daughter was referred. On his way, Ranga’s mind recalled the words his wife had she told in the morning. “You will be killing us one day, if you didn’t repair this ruined house soon.” Those words hit Ranga so hard and he realized that his laziness and negligence would have killed his only family today. Whatever the pain and suffering his wife and kids are experiencing today was just because of him and only him. After an hour of drive, Ranga and his neighbor reached the hospital in the city.

 

This was just behind the Shri Krishna Temple. They both rushed inside the hospital. After a few inquiries, they met a nurse how was treating his daughter.

“How is my daughter now, Sister?” Ranga asked in shivering tone.

“We cannot say much about the condition right now. We have informed our senior doctor; he is going to operate your daughter”.

Ranga understood that the situation is really critical. His body was constantly losing the strength. This legs were unable to get steady; they were shaking more and more. He and his neighbor took a seat near the operation theatre and desperately waited for the doctor to arrive.
After a while the nurse came towards the operation theatre. Unable to hold his patience Ranga asked, “Did doctor arrive? How long will it take for him to arrive?”

“He is busy but we have informed him about the severity of the case, so he may arrive any moment.” the nurse replied.

After some time the doctor came and he rushed to the operation theatre. Ranga tried to reach the doctor. The doctor was escorted by a team of junior physicians and few nurses. Ranga could not even see him properly. After a couple of hours the doctor came out wearing hair and face mask along with the team of junior doctors and nurses. He provided some quick instructions to his assistant and made a move. Ranga was hoping to meet and talk to the doctor this time. But everything went so fast that he missed his second chance to meet the doctor.
Meanwhile doctor’s assistant came towards Ranga and provided him the detailed update about his daughter’s condition. “Your daughter is out of danger and is under observation now. But there are two fractures on her left leg. An immediate operation is required. Please, deposit the money by tomorrow, so that  the operation can be performed.”

“Don’t worry about the money, please save my child. I will deposit the money by tomorrow.” Ranga pleaded to the Doctor’s assistant.

“Okay we will do our best. You go to the counter and get the payment details.” Doctor’s assistant instructed. Ranga moved to the counter and inquired about the payment.

“It will be around sixty thousand, so you have to pay at least ten thousand now and the remaining by tomorrow.” The lady on the other side of the counter mentioned the figure with great ease. But a similar amount, to Ranga, felt like a massive stone kept on his chest. Soon he remembered that the merchant had paid him some advance so he checked his pocket and started counting the money. It summed up to ten thousand after all his shopping. Ranga paid the amount and collected the receipt.

 

 

Part 6
Ranga took the bill and sat outside the operation theatre, worrying about the balance amount. Soon he recalled that the merchant owed some more money of the stolen jewelry bag to him.

“Tomorrow morning I will visit the merchant shop and get the balance amount for him. And I will pay off the hospital bill.” Ranga thought to himself. It was evening now. Ranga was tired and exhausted by the whole day’s incidents. He sat on the chair outside the operation theatre and quickly went to sleep. Ranga opened his eyes when he heard someone calling his name repeatedly.

“Where were you Ranga? We were searching for you everywhere in the village and the city. Ranga slowly opened his eyes and was shocked to see that it was Basu and Nathu yelling  at him.

“Nowhere, I was just roaming here and there in the city “. Ranga replied with innocence, trying to hide about the stolen jewelry bag from them.

“When we didn’t find you anywhere. We went to your house and found that the roof and walls of your house was collapsed. Lucky we were there and we rescued your family.” “While doing so even Nathu got injured see his hand.” Basu narrated about the unfortunate incident to Ranga. “Immediately we took them and to our local hospital.”

“And when our local hospital referred your daughter to the city, we rushed her here. Only once she was admitted, we went for medication. And started searching for you. Finally we came to know that you were here.”

Ranga felt so ashamed of himself, that his eyes filled with tears. He was left speechless. “Thank you friends,” that’s all he could say.

“What Ranga? Thank you! We are like brothers aren’t we?” Basu replied. “And listen don’t worry about the money. We both were able to steal some money in the morning. So we will share it with you.” Basu continued.

“And how is your daughter now?” Nathu asked.

“She is recovering but an operation is needed.” Ranga informed in a choked voice. “Operation? How much money? “Nathu asked.

“Around sixty thousand” Ranga informed.

“My God, sixty thousand?”

“Don’t worry Ranga, together we all will do something. Okay.”

“You take rest now, and we will be back tomorrow morning.”

With his optimistic words Basu and Nathu left from there.

 

It was midnight by now; Ranga’s mind was occupied with worries of daughter’s health, pressure of paying the bill, guilt of stealing the jewelry bag, shame of lying to such good friends. Every part of his body was cursing him for being such a mean and worthless man. Soon he fell asleep on the floor of the hospital. Ranga opened his eyes next morning to the clamor of the hospital’s staff. Since he was tired and depressed, he had a good sleep last night. He immediately checked the time from the wall clock which was hanging on the front wall of the waiting room. It was ten in the morning.

 

“My God, ten o’clock! In the next three hours operation will start.” Ranga recalled. And money has to be deposited by then. He got worried and rushed towards the merchant shop to take his remaining balance amount. As soon as Ranga reached the merchant shop, he greeted him warmly. Even though the merchant greeted him, Ranga sensed something unusual in the merchant’s behavior. He was a bit quiet and tensed. Also, his shop had no other customers. Usually his shop was filled with customers all the time. But Ranga was in desperate need of money. So he ignored those unusual signs and approached the merchant directly. “Salim bhai please give me my remaining balance. My daughter is hospitalized and I immediately need money for operation.” He requested.

“Take your money Ranga.” The merchant replied grimly.

Ranga took the money and took long steps to make an exit.

 

 

Part 7

 

In the meantime, the cops gripped Ranga along with the bag of money.

“Who are you?” Ranga asked furiously. “And why are you snatching my money?”

“Oh you bastard, this is your money? Let’s go to the police station and will decide whose money is this.”

One of the cops told to Ranga. They caught the merchant and Ranga both and took them to the police station. Though Ranga was not new to the police and jail but this is time he was afraid because his daughter was hospitalized and required a surgery. But now he knew, since he had been caught red handed he would have to serve a long term jail punishment.

 

Here in the city, Dr. Pai as usual attended the hospital and started going through the patent’s file. While doing so he came across Ranga’s daughter’s file. He asked eagerly about the health update of the little girl to his assistant.

“Sir, the girl is responding positively to the medicine. But an urgent surgery is required. Her father has gone to arrange the money and didn’t return yet.” The assistant replied.

Dr. Pai examined the girl in her ward and while checking the wounds, Dr. Pai looked at the little girl’s gentle face. She was quiet and naturally had an innocent smile. Dr. Pai was precisely a professional person and never used to get emotionally attached to the patients. But today he didn’t know why his professional heart melted and he caressed the little girl’s forehead and smiled back to her.

“Contact her father soon. We can’t further delay the operation. It has to be done today itself.” Dr. Pai instructed the assistant.

“Sure sir I will contact him” assistant replied promptly.

 

While driving back home the radiant face of the little wounded girl flashed several times before Dr. Pai’s eyes. He thought to himself, “Poor little kid is suffering from such a pain; also there is no one around her to pamper her. Still the girl is quiet and had such innocent smiles on her face.” That afternoon Dr. Pai was a bit restless but he was unable to comprehend the exact reason. He lay on his bed to take a nap. “As a doctor I am supposed to wait till the patient’s family deposits the money, but as a human is it right to delay the operation just because of money?”

“But this is not the first time, every time I follow the similar procedure then why I am thinking so much today about this little girl.” He thought to himself. And after a few minutes, all of sudden he got dressed and left for the hospital.
On his way Dr. Pai called his assistant and urged her to get the team of doctors. All the necessary arrangements for the operation was to be ready. In a short time he reached the hospital.

“Sir, we haven’t received the full payment yet from the patient.” The assistant explained.

“No problem, we can wait for the payment but we can’t risk the kid’s life. She has not even seen this beautiful world yet. Even if his father fails to pay the amount, I will authorize the management to deduct it from my paycheck.” Dr.Pai replied.

Assistant and other doctors were surprised to see such a humanitarian side of Dr. Pai which they had never seen until now. In a couple of hours Dr. Pai, along with his team of intern doctors performed a successful operation on Ranga’s daughter. Today not only Dr. Pai but his team also felt an extremely different sense of happiness when they saw the little girl who would smile and play again, soon. After the operation he immediately left for his home.

 

 

 

Part 8

 

While driving back to his home, Dr.Pai’s phone rang he received the call.

“Hello, who is this?” he asked.

“Hello sir, this is sub inspector Vijay from Gandhi Nagar police station. We have recovered your jewelry bag. You need to come to the police station to complete a few legal formalities and take your jewelry bag back.” The person on the other end responded.

Dr. Pai’s heart filled with immense joy and happiness knowing that the gold bag was found. He immediately rushed to the police station.

“Did you find my bag? Are the jewelry’s safe?” Dr. Pai asked curiously to the inspector.

 

“Absolutely Dr. Pai, your jewelry is safe and the culprits are behind the bars.”

Dr. Pai completed the legal formalities and collected the jewelry bag with him.

“Please wait a while Dr. Pai, don’t you want to see the thieves who had stolen your jewelry bag?” asked the inspector.

“I am not willing to but since you have captured him with so much effort, I will see him.” Dr.Pai replied. He went near the prison room and saw Ranga. But due to immense beating from the police, his face was swollen and could barely be recognized.

“You are a young and healthy man. Why don’t you work and earn money instead of stealing?” Dr.Pai scolded Ranga.

“Sorry sir, I am extremely sorry, I have learnt a lesson now Sir. I will not repeat it again.” Ranga pledged before Dr. Pai.

“You better be sorry, God is looking after our deeds. If not today, tomorrow definitely he will punish you for your bad deeds” Dr. Pai preached. And left from there.

“Dr.Pai what all cases you want to impose on him just tell me. I will make this case strong enough.” The officer asked Dr. Pai.

“See I have got my jewelry back and you have already thrashed him enough. And I can see the guilt in this eye. Moreover, I am nobody to punish anyone. Shri Krishna will execute the correct justice. Therefore if you want to consider my opinion, please allow him to be free this time.” Dr. Pai urged the police officer and left from there.

“Ranga, come here. That extraordinary man has forgiven you for your deeds. And asked to set you free. So we are leaving you for now. But if you repeat this thing again, I will screw you.” The officer warned Ranga.

“Thank you so much sir. Who was that man? I want to thank him for his great gesture.” Ranga asked.

“He is a leading doctor and don’t you dare to be around him anytime.” The officer warned Ranga again.

 

That memorable day Dr. Pai was very happy and satisfied, firstly because the humanitarian operation of that little girl was successful and secondly he had got the stolen jewelry bag back. He reached home and enthusiastically shared the joyful news of jewelry being back. The same evening Dr. Pai went to the Shri Krishna Temple premise and sat humbly on the same corner bench.

 

After leaving the prison, Ranga went straight to his house to arrange some money for the operation from his friends. When he reached home, he found his friends and neighbors had already built a temporary tent house for his family. His ill wife and wounded son had already been discharged from the hospital. He was quite happy to see his family again. He went near his three-year-old son who had some scars on his face. Tears rolled out of his eyes and then he saw his wife had a big bandage on her head. Even after so much ignorance and ill behavior of Ranga, the first thing she asked Ranga was, “Are you ok? What happened to your face? Please go to visit the doctor first.”

 

Ranga felt like dying with terrible shame for what his carelessness and laziness had done to his family. He went near his wife and hugged her tightly and apologized for his careless attitude towards his family and life. Even after so much of trouble, his wife’s eyes had acceptance for him.”Ranga we heard your daughter is fine now, operation was successful.” Ranga had no expression on his face. He could not comprehend what was happening.

 

 

Part 9

 

Everything was happening so quickly and unexpectedly. Friends building a tent and taking care of his family. His wife accepting him whole-heatedly even after causing her so much trouble. And now operation was done without him paying the amount. Everything seemed like a dream to him.

“Ranga, Ranga what happened?” Basu shouted. He came back to this sense and tried to figure out what Basu was telling. “Are you drunk Ranga? What happened to your face?” Nathu asked. “Were you beaten by anyone?”

“It’s a long story friend, I will explain to you all later. Basu and Nathu, please be here and take care of my family. I will go to the city and see my daughter.”

“Ok don’t worry Ranga, you go and visit your daughter.” Both assured him. Ranga left for the city and upon reaching the hospital, he saw his daughter lying on her bed, looking all around. His eye were filled with tears of joy. He caressed her and started pampering her.

“Are you a human or animal? This baby was all alone for the last two days. Where the hell were you?” The nurse shouted.

“Are you genuinely his father or you have adopted her?” Another nurse scolded Ranga.

 

“No, sister I am her real father. What happened? Why are telling like this?” Ranga asked.

“Actually, I had gone to arrange the money for the operation. And in that process I got stuck somewhere. Therefore, I got late. Moreover, both my wife and younger son were also hospitalized in a local hospital in our village.” He added.

“Okay, sorry to know about them,” one of the nurses bluntly empathized to Ranga. “Did you bring the balance amount?” The nurse asked.

Ranga fell on the nurse’s feet and started crying. “Sister, I can’t arrange the balance amount right now, I possess nothing with me. But I promise I will repay it any how. Please give me some more time sister, please.” Ranga pledged to the lady.

“I cannot really help you. But yes, you go to Dr. Pai’s cabin and talk to his assistant. She may be of help to you.” She encouraged.

 

Ranga entered the cabin and explained his situation to Dr. Pai’s assistant. Listening to Ranga’s condition, the assistant called Dr. Pai. After talking for a couple of minutes, the assistant disconnected the call and came near Ranga. Now Ranga’s only hope was that the doctor with whom the assistant had spoken to. Thinking about the outcome, Ranga’s heart beats increased rapidly and his body started shivering.

“Don’t worry Ranga. Dr. Pai is genuinely a great person. He had levied his treatment fees and also will take care of other hospital expenses for your daughter’s treatment. Thus, you may currently go and collect your deposited amount.” The assistant consoled Ranga.

 

Ranga was speechless. Today it seems like to be his day. Every situation were favoring him. He humbly touched assistants feet and left from the cabin. After collecting the amount, the receptionist informed him that his daughter will be discharged by tomorrow afternoon. Ranga decided to spend the night in the city and tomorrow he would leave for his village along with his daughter. When he came out of the hospital, he heard the slight sound of drums and bells of the evening prayer which was going on in Shri Krishna Temple.

 

He decided to wait in the temple premises until the prayer got over. And after that he would have a meal which was served as a prasadam after the prayer. He entered the temple premises and started searching for a seat. Coincidentally he found a seat just next to where Dr. Pai’s was sitting in the corner bench. But they both didn’t notice the presence of each other since they both were immensely lost in their thoughts after having a roll-a-coaster event in their respective lives. But all of sudden Dr. Pai turned his face and found Ranga sitting next to him. He instantly recognized him. He got up and started shouting, “You thief, you are following me? How dare you?”

 

Ranga looked at the man’s face and was shocked to see that this was the same person whose jewelry he had stolen. And also this person had acquitted him for his sin so easily. Ranga fell on Dr. Pai’s feet. “I am extremely sorry sir, but I am not following you. This is just a coincidence.” Ranga explained. “Sir, I have realized my mistake and even though you have forgiven me, God has already punished me for my sins.”

Ranga narrated his whole story to Dr. Pai. But till this moment Ranga was unaware that this was the same doctor who had operated his daughter and that too for free. When Dr. Pai informed him that he is the one who had operated and paid for his daughter’s treatment, Ranga fell on his feet again and burst out crying. Somehow Dr. Pai consoled him and asked him to relax. Meanwhile, the same old medieval priest came near the corner bench where Dr. Pai and Ranga were sitting, asking for some money. Since Dr.Pai was in a happy mood today, he gave him a hundred rupees as donation.

“It seems you are in a happy today, Son” the priest asked Dr. Pai.

“Yes, Swamiji feeling quite happy and satisfied” Dr. Pai replied.

Priest smiled and said, “Everything you do, comes back to you, so be careful”.

“What does that mean?” Ranga asked the priest curiously.

But the priest was bit wired. He smiled and said, “You are free to choose the path you want in life, but you are not free from the consequences of your choices.” The priest whispered. “There will be problems and obligations in everyone’s life. But what path you choose to overcome it determines your fate.”

And soon the priest moved towards the temple.

 

Though both were in trouble but Dr. Pai selflessly choose the path of kindness and generosity by treating a poor man’s daughter for free and forgiving a thief who stole his gold jewelry. Wherein Ranga chose unethical path and betrayed his friends for his own benefit.

Both faced the consequences of their choices.

 

A typical day on a busy street near the Shri Krishna Temple. Dr. Mohan Pai, a reputed local doctor, was struggling furiously to find a parking place for his car. The regular parking place was completely filled with cars and buses of the frequent visitors of Shri Krishna Temple. After struggling for few minutes Dr. Mohan Pai placed his car a few meters away from the shop he wanted to visit. He got down from his car and rushed eagerly towards the shop. In an instant he reached near an old and traditional jewelry shop. He inquired for the owner. “Sir has just gone out, he may come any time,” stated one of the employees of the jewelry shop. In a couple of minutes the owner of the shop entered. “Good Morning Dr. Pai, your order is ready,” he promptly informed him.
“Sorry Dr. Pai I forgot. When is your daughter’s wedding?” The owner asked gently.

“It’s on arriving Sunday”  Dr. Pai replied while checking the gold ornaments, which was for his daughter’s wedding day. Dr. Pai and the owner discussed a few things here and there about the preparation of the marriage. He wrote the cheque and handed it over. And voluntarily left from there.

On the other end, far from the bustling streets of the city, towards the outskirt, Ranga was still lying on his mat in that ruined house. It was hopelessly in a dreadful condition and was about to fall anytime. Ranga was merely surviving with his wife and two kids, doing some labour work. This is what he used to mention to his wife. But the fact was Ranga was a lazy man who was not a believer of hard work but had great faith in shortcuts of life. He was allegedly involved in some unethical works along with his few other friends in the village.

“You will be massacring us one day, if you don’t repair this shattered roof and cracked walls,” his wife scolded him.

“Shut up and give me some tea” Ranga ordered shamelessly.

“There is no milk and sugar at home,” his wife bluntly informed.

“Whatever I am earning is not sufficient for us. And you bring illegal money one day and sit vacant for the next one month.” His wife scolded again.

“You are a foolish woman who doesn’t value his man.” Ranga scolded her and left the home in anger. On his way he realized that his wife was actually right. The ruined house is really in critical condition and needs immediate repair.

He immediately visited a local contractor’s office and inquired about the estimated cost of repair. Ranga was shocked when he heard that the estimated cost to repair the house will be around fifty thousand rupees. Because, he barely had five hundred rupees in his abandoned house. Ranga assembled his criminal friends Basu and Nathu near a tea stall next to his house and explained the situation. Basu suggested to take a bank loan but Ranga had gained a bad reputation in the village. Therefore, that was impossible. Nathu suggested to borrow the money from the landlord. But the rate of interest was way too high. Ranga would never be able to repay the loan and may lose his house too.
Ranga felt helpless; he desperately wanted to renovate his home. And on the other hand, he was unable to arrange the money.

“Don’t worry Ranga everything will be alright, just cheer up” Nathu consoled Ranga.

“Even I had a fight with my wife she as kids were insisting to visit the feast in the city, but unfortunately I didn’t have the money so I had to disappoint them by refusing.” Nathu said. “That’s true, even I have to fight every day with my wife for the money, these women only need money all the time.” Basu also mentioned his situation.

“Let’s go to the feast in the city, it will change your mood” Basu suggested.

“No, Basu it’s not the time to change the mood, Now, it’s time to change the destiny.” Ranga replied in a serious tone.

“But how?” Nathu wondered.

“You just said annual feast of the Shri Krishna Temple had started right?” Ranga confirmed with Nathu.

“Yes, so what?”

Nathu was unable to understand why suddenly Ranga changed the topic from arranging money to the annual feast. Ranga’s mind got the trigger and after having some intense brainstorm, Ranga came up with an evil plan.

“Last time we were able to steal some money by picking pockets and things, so this time we will plan something bigger and better.” Ranga continued. Basu and Nathu thought for a while and agreed to Ranga. This was an easy way of earning money. And all three of them immediately left for the city.

To Be Continued in Part 2…

Here in the city, Dr .Pai after leaving from the jewelry shop, was walking more consciously between the narrow streets of the market, tightly holding the bag in which the gold was kept. As soon as he reached his car, he kept the bag on the back seat and tried to start the car. Meanwhile, Dr. Pai’s phone rang. It was a catering guy on the other end, merely requesting for the advance amount.

“Don’t worry, I am coming to your office right now to make the payment.” Dr. Pai responded. “Sir, I have to visit one of my clients office, so if you can come within an hour I would be grateful.” The catering guy requested from the other side.

“Sure, don’t worry I will be there before you leave.” Dr. Pai replied humbly. Immediately Dr. Pai recalled that the cheque book through which he was supposed to make the payment was left in the jewelry shop itself. He went out of his car again and this time in a hurry, he forget to lock the car door properly. He rushed furiously towards the jewelry shop.
Ranga and his friends reached the busy market of the city and felt extremely happy when they saw a huge crowd was gathered. Because that means more prey from them. As usual they split in three directions. Ranga moved towards the narrow lane where the jewelry shop was located. Ranga restlessly started surveying the shops, people and every possible thing he would steal. While scanning the place Ranga’s sharp eyes caught a car whose door wasn’t properly locked. Before making any move Ranga once again checked to confirm whether the owner of the car was nearby or not.
Finally, after waiting for a couple of minutes Ranga gathered some courage and went near the car. The task was even simpler since the door was not locked properly. When he opened the door and searched to steal something, he was astonished to find a bag of gold jewelry. His brain stopped working. Such valuables and that too without any much efforts. After few seconds he took the bag, closed the car door and made a hasty move. Soon Dr. Pai returned to the car all hasstled and checked the time. He had already spent half an hour. Now he had merely half an hour to reach the catering guy’s office. Therefore Dr. Mohan Pai started the car and rushed to the catering guy’s office. As soon as he reached Satish’s office, he parked his car and took the cheque book. He turned towards the back seat to take a look at the bag of gold jewelry with him. He doesn’t want to keep that valuable gold in the car itself. He was shocked to find that the jewelry bag was not there. For the next couple of minutes, he scanned every possible corner of the car but there was no trace of the jewelry bag.
He recalled he had left the bag in the car when he had gone back to collect the cheque book from the shop. And he might have not locked the door properly in hurry. Gold ornaments worth lakhs had been stolen! He was devastated. His body was shivering and he was not feeling the ground. There was complete blackout in front of this eye. He tried to stand, taking the support of the door, but his legs refused to be stable. He fell on the ground.

Ranga took the bus to his village without informing Basu and Nathu. On his way he opened the jewelry bag to check what was there in the bag. He slowly unzipped the bag. His eyes were left wide open when he saw so much gold. He immediately closed the bag. Ranga instantly realized that today he had hunted far more than he could digest. He typically used to steal wallets and other small things but this was undoubtedly something beyond his imagination. He started sweating heavily.

With a shivering voice he asked for the ticket. For a once he thought whether he should return it. But he had a second thought that this was the only chance to easily renovate the house without any loan. So Ranga allegedly decided to keep the stolen gold. Now his greed started growing more. He further thought, “If I tell his to Basu and Nathu then I would have to make three shares of this, which will result in comparatively less money.” So he decided not to inform them about this robbery and keep the entire amount for himself. Ranga thought this was a huge amount of gold and he wouldn’t be able to hide it inside his house. Also it was unsafe to hide anywhere in the village. So he decided to get to the nearby city and sell it to the merchant to whom they sold stolen goods. So he got down from the bus and rushed to the merchant’s shop.

To Be Continued in Part 3…

Here in the city, seeing Dr. Pai falling unconscious on ground, security guard of Satish’s office rushed in to help him. He provided water and made him comfortable. Soon the catering company owner Satish came running and took Dr. Pai to his office. Dr. Pai narrated the whole story of the stolen jewelry bag. Satish immediately called the police. Police assured Dr. Pai that they will do their best to get the stolen bag back and he wouldn’t have to worry. They requested him to go home and get some rest. Though Dr. Pai left from there, the thoughts of lost jewelry kept haunting him. The worry of arranging the sudden money in such a short span was not easy even though Dr.Pai was financially well settled. Also, he started thinking how will his wife and daughter react when they’d know about this. Dr. Pai took his car straight to the narrow lane again and parked outside the Shri Krishna Temple. Tired and tensed, he sat on the corner bench within the temple premises. His phone kept on ringing several times; few calls were from his wife and few from his daughter. But Dr. Pai was lost in his own thoughts, unaware of the calls. The pain and sadness were clearly visible on his face.

“This is really a big jackpot, Ranga.” The merchant told in serious tone.

“Absolutely, I know, that’s why I came to you.” Ranga responded.

After some serious thought Merchant opened his rigid wooden drawer, pulled out some cash and handed over to Ranga. “Take this for now. I will talk to my boss and I will pay you the rest of the amount.

Ranga accepted the deal and left from the merchant’s shop. “My God, even this money is sufficient for next few months. The merchant was saying he will offer me more in few days. I think presently, my time has changed.”  Ranga thought to himself. He thought of celebrating this huge and successful robbery and decided to go back to the city to buy some nice clothes for his wife and kids. It was afternoon by now. He got down at the city bus stand, enjoyed a delicious lunch in a good restaurant and thought to dough the radiant heat by resting near the Shri Krishna temple premises for some time till the heat reduced. The market was just next to the temple. He entered the temple premises and found a bench in the corner. He went gently near the bench and humbly asked the person sitting nervously on the bench to shift a bit. The other person didn’t respond much but barely shifted a little. Ranga took the vacant seat and placed his back, relieved. His face had the shine of joy and happiness.

After some time a medieval monk arrived near the corner bench asking for some money. Today was Ranga’s day. He willingly took a hundred rupees note and gave to the monk. “Take his money, old man. Today God made me happy therefore I am making you happy.” Ranga told in arrogant tone. Monk was surprised to see the kindness of Ranga. From his appearance, it is unimaginable to think he could donate hundred rupees that easily. The monk smiled and reluctantly turned to the person sitting next to Ranga.

“You don’t have to donate anything to this old monk son”? Asked the medieval monk. Without any expression the man replied “Forgive me monk, but God is not kind to me today.” The monk looked at the man’s face with a smile. He said, “May God bless you” and left from there.

“What a wired Monk he is? I gave him a hundred rupees, he didn’t blessed me. Instead he blessed this wicked man who even didn’t talk to him properly.” Ranga thought to himself.

To Be Continued in Part 4….

In a bout of curiosity, Ranga tried to strike a conversation with the man sitting beside him.

“My name is Ranga. I am from Mattar Village.”

But the other person didsn’t seem much interested in the conversation. He merely smiled and said, “I am Dr. Mohan Pai.”

The alleged culprit and the victim kept sitting together. They both had changed each other’s lives, still unaware of each other.

Dr. Pai got up eventually and started his car. He gathered the courage to go home and inform his family about the robbery. Before that he called the police station to know if there was any information about the robber. But he got more disappointed when he found that police was unable to recover the bag yet. Finally he reached home. Dr. Pai’s wife and daughter were terribly worried since he had not received their phone calls since this afternoon. Dr. Pai silently made a move towards this room. This daughter noticed him and rushed behind him.

“What happened Appa?”

“Where were you all day?”

“Why are you not receiving the calls?”

He got bombarded with questions.

Knowing Dr. Pai had returned, his wife also rushed in from the kitchen. And finally, he shared the bad news with his family. All of sudden the atmosphere radically changed. Everybody went quiet. “Yes, the jewellery which we have ordered for wedding ceremony has got stolen today morning.” Dr.Pai announced. “Don’t worry Shri Krishna will do the justice.” “We will  manage to purchase a new one.” Mrs. Pai consoled both Dr. Pai and her daughter.

“One ticket to Mattar” Ranga told the bus conductor, tired and occupied with the bags of clothes, glossary and toys in hand and desperately looking for a place to sit in a partly full bus.

“Today you had got the bonus it seems.” the conductor mocked Ranga looking at his occupied bags of stuff.

“It’s none of your business, give me the ticket and do your work” Ranga replied arrogantly. Ranga didn’t want anyone to know about the jackpot he had hit. He took a window seat and rested his head on the window. The breeze helped him to take a nice nap.

He opened his eyes to the shout of the conductor, “Next stop Mattaru, next stop Mattaru.” He immediately gathered his luggage and got ready to get down. Usually Ranga used to walk 2 km to his house from the Mattaru bus stop. But today due to the joy and excitement of giving surprise of new clothes and toys to his beloved wife and kids, he decided to hire an auto rickshaw. Therefore he carefully got down from the bus and immediately moved towards the auto stand.
“Ranga, Ranga where the hell had been you since morning?” Ranga heard someone shouting his name furiously. He turned back to see who was calling him. It was his neighbor. “What happened? Why are you screaming so much?” Ranga asked in a confused tone.

“Ranga, the roof and wall of your house had collapsed. Your wife and kids are severely injured.”

Ranga’s went numb this palm went loose. All the bags he was carrying fell down. For a few seconds everything was black. There was merely any reaction. He was silent.

“Ranga, Ranga what happened?” The neighbor  desperately tried getting Ranga back to his senses by shaking his shoulders. After a while, Ranga reluctantly returned to this sense and fell on the ground with eyes full of uncontrollable tears.
“Ranga don’t worry, we have admitted them to the local hospital and doctors are attending to them.” This neighbor consoled Ranga.

“Let’s go, I want to see them” Ranga insisted. They immediately left to the hospital. As soon as they reached the reception of the hospitals, the receptionist informed Ranga that his wife and son had minor injuries and they are under observation. Hearing this Ranga gained some relief. However, he got more tense when the receptionist continued that his younger daughter had a major fracture on her left leg and she had been referred to a child specialist in a city for advance treatment.

To  Be Continued in Part 5…

The tears which were about to stop poured out again and Ranga went on grief. But this neighbor consoled him and took him to the hospital in the city were Ranga”s  little daughter was referred. On his way, Ranga’s mind recalled the words his wife had she told in the morning. “You will be killing us one day, if you didn’t repair this ruined house soon.” Those words hit Ranga so hard and he realized that his laziness and negligence would have killed his only family today. Whatever the pain and suffering his wife and kids are experiencing today was just because of him and only him. After an hour of drive, Ranga and his neighbor reached the hospital in the city.

This was just behind the Shri Krishna Temple. They both rushed inside the hospital. After a few inquiries, they met a nurse how was treating his daughter.

“How is my daughter now, Sister?” Ranga asked in shivering tone.

“We cannot say much about the condition right now. We have informed our senior doctor; he is going to operate your daughter”.

Ranga understood that the situation is really critical. His body was constantly losing the strength. This legs were unable to get steady; they were shaking more and more. He and his neighbor took a seat near the operation theatre and desperately waited for the doctor to arrive.
After a while the nurse came towards the operation theatre. Unable to hold his patience Ranga asked, “Did doctor arrive? How long will it take for him to arrive?”

“He is busy but we have informed him about the severity of the case, so he may arrive any moment.” the nurse replied.

After some time the doctor came and he rushed to the operation theatre. Ranga tried to reach the doctor. The doctor was escorted by a team of junior physicians and few nurses. Ranga could not even see him properly. After a couple of hours the doctor came out wearing hair and face mask along with the team of junior doctors and nurses. He provided some quick instructions to his assistant and made a move. Ranga was hoping to meet and talk to the doctor this time. But everything went so fast that he missed his second chance to meet the doctor.
Meanwhile doctor’s assistant came towards Ranga and provided him the detailed update about his daughter’s condition. “Your daughter is out of danger and is under observation now. But there are two fractures on her left leg. An immediate operation is required. Please, deposit the money by tomorrow, so that  the operation can be performed.”

“Don’t worry about the money, please save my child. I will deposit the money by tomorrow.” Ranga pleaded to the Doctor’s assistant.

“Okay we will do our best. You go to the counter and get the payment details.” Doctor’s assistant instructed. Ranga moved to the counter and inquired about the payment.

“It will be around sixty thousand, so you have to pay at least ten thousand now and the remaining by tomorrow.” The lady on the other side of the counter mentioned the figure with great ease. But a similar amount, to Ranga, felt like a massive stone kept on his chest. Soon he remembered that the merchant had paid him some advance so he checked his pocket and started counting the money. It summed up to ten thousand after all his shopping. Ranga paid the amount and collected the receipt.

To Be Continued in Part 6…

Ranga took the bill and sat outside the operation theatre, worrying about the balance amount. Soon he recalled that the merchant owed some more money of the stolen jewelry bag to him.

“Tomorrow morning I will visit the merchant shop and get the balance amount for him. And I will pay off the hospital bill.” Ranga thought to himself. It was evening now. Ranga was tired and exhausted by the whole day’s incidents. He sat on the chair outside the operation theatre and quickly went to sleep. Ranga opened his eyes when he heard someone calling his name repeatedly.

“Where were you Ranga? We were searching for you everywhere in the village and the city. Ranga slowly opened his eyes and was shocked to see that it was Basu and Nathu yelling  at him.

“Nowhere, I was just roaming here and there in the city “. Ranga replied with innocence, trying to hide about the stolen jewelry bag from them.

“When we didn’t find you anywhere. We went to your house and found that the roof and walls of your house was collapsed. Lucky we were there and we rescued your family.” “While doing so even Nathu got injured see his hand.” Basu narrated about the unfortunate incident to Ranga. “Immediately we took them and to our local hospital.”

“And when our local hospital referred your daughter to the city, we rushed her here. Only once she was admitted, we went for medication. And started searching for you. Finally we came to know that you were here.”

Ranga felt so ashamed of himself, that his eyes filled with tears. He was left speechless. “Thank you friends,” that’s all he could say.

“What Ranga? Thank you! We are like brothers aren’t we?” Basu replied. “And listen don’t worry about the money. We both were able to steal some money in the morning. So we will share it with you.” Basu continued.

“And how is your daughter now?” Nathu asked.

“She is recovering but an operation is needed.” Ranga informed in a choked voice. “Operation? How much money? “Nathu asked.

“Around sixty thousand” Ranga informed.

“My God, sixty thousand?”

“Don’t worry Ranga, together we all will do something. Okay.”

“You take rest now, and we will be back tomorrow morning.”

With his optimistic words Basu and Nathu left from there.

It was midnight by now; Ranga’s mind was occupied with worries of daughter’s health, pressure of paying the bill, guilt of stealing the jewelry bag, shame of lying to such good friends. Every part of his body was cursing him for being such a mean and worthless man. Soon he fell asleep on the floor of the hospital. Ranga opened his eyes next morning to the clamor of the hospital’s staff. Since he was tired and depressed, he had a good sleep last night. He immediately checked the time from the wall clock which was hanging on the front wall of the waiting room. It was ten in the morning.

“My God, ten o’clock! In the next three hours operation will start.” Ranga recalled. And money has to be deposited by then. He got worried and rushed towards the merchant shop to take his remaining balance amount. As soon as Ranga reached the merchant shop, he greeted him warmly. Even though the merchant greeted him, Ranga sensed something unusual in the merchant’s behavior. He was a bit quiet and tensed. Also, his shop had no other customers. Usually his shop was filled with customers all the time. But Ranga was in desperate need of money. So he ignored those unusual signs and approached the merchant directly. “Salim bhai please give me my remaining balance. My daughter is hospitalized and I immediately need money for operation.” He requested.

“Take your money Ranga.” The merchant replied grimly.

Ranga took the money and took long steps to make an exit.

To Be Continued in Part 7…

In the meantime, the cops gripped Ranga along with the bag of money.

“Who are you?” Ranga asked furiously. “And why are you snatching my money?”

“Oh you bastard, this is your money? Let’s go to the police station and will decide whose money is this.”

One of the cops told to Ranga. They caught the merchant and Ranga both and took them to the police station. Though Ranga was not new to the police and jail but this is time he was afraid because his daughter was hospitalized and required a surgery. But now he knew, since he had been caught red handed he would have to serve a long term jail punishment.

Here in the city, Dr. Pai as usual attended the hospital and started going through the patent’s file. While doing so he came across Ranga’s daughter’s file. He asked eagerly about the health update of the little girl to his assistant.

“Sir, the girl is responding positively to the medicine. But an urgent surgery is required. Her father has gone to arrange the money and didn’t return yet.” The assistant replied.

Dr. Pai examined the girl in her ward and while checking the wounds, Dr. Pai looked at the little girl’s gentle face. She was quiet and naturally had an innocent smile. Dr. Pai was precisely a professional person and never used to get emotionally attached to the patients. But today he didn’t know why his professional heart melted and he caressed the little girl’s forehead and smiled back to her.

“Contact her father soon. We can’t further delay the operation. It has to be done today itself.” Dr. Pai instructed the assistant.

“Sure sir I will contact him” assistant replied promptly.

While driving back home the radiant face of the little wounded girl flashed several times before Dr. Pai’s eyes. He thought to himself, “Poor little kid is suffering from such a pain; also there is no one around her to pamper her. Still the girl is quiet and had such innocent smiles on her face.” That afternoon Dr. Pai was a bit restless but he was unable to comprehend the exact reason. He lay on his bed to take a nap. “As a doctor I am supposed to wait till the patient’s family deposits the money, but as a human is it right to delay the operation just because of money?”

“But this is not the first time, every time I follow the similar procedure then why I am thinking so much today about this little girl.” He thought to himself. And after a few minutes, all of sudden he got dressed and left for the hospital.
On his way Dr. Pai called his assistant and urged her to get the team of doctors. All the necessary arrangements for the operation was to be ready. In a short time he reached the hospital.

“Sir, we haven’t received the full payment yet from the patient.” The assistant explained.

“No problem, we can wait for the payment but we can’t risk the kid’s life. She has not even seen this beautiful world yet. Even if his father fails to pay the amount, I will authorize the management to deduct it from my paycheck.” Dr.Pai replied.

Assistant and other doctors were surprised to see such a humanitarian side of Dr. Pai which they had never seen until now. In a couple of hours Dr. Pai, along with his team of intern doctors performed a successful operation on Ranga’s daughter. Today not only Dr. Pai but his team also felt an extremely different sense of happiness when they saw the little girl who would smile and play again, soon. After the operation he immediately left for his home.

To Be Continued in Part 8…

While driving back to his home, Dr.Pai’s phone rang he received the call.

“Hello, who is this?” he asked.

“Hello sir, this is sub inspector Vijay from Gandhi Nagar police station. We have recovered your jewelry bag. You need to come to the police station to complete a few legal formalities and take your jewelry bag back.” The person on the other end responded.

Dr. Pai’s heart filled with immense joy and happiness knowing that the gold bag was found. He immediately rushed to the police station.

“Did you find my bag? Are the jewelry’s safe?” Dr. Pai asked curiously to the inspector.

“Absolutely Dr. Pai, your jewelry is safe and the culprits are behind the bars.”

Dr. Pai completed the legal formalities and collected the jewelry bag with him.

“Please wait a while Dr. Pai, don’t you want to see the thieves who had stolen your jewelry bag?” asked the inspector.

“I am not willing to but since you have captured him with so much effort, I will see him.” Dr.Pai replied. He went near the prison room and saw Ranga. But due to immense beating from the police, his face was swollen and could barely be recognized.

“You are a young and healthy man. Why don’t you work and earn money instead of stealing?” Dr.Pai scolded Ranga.

“Sorry sir, I am extremely sorry, I have learnt a lesson now Sir. I will not repeat it again.” Ranga pledged before Dr. Pai.

“You better be sorry, God is looking after our deeds. If not today, tomorrow definitely he will punish you for your bad deeds” Dr. Pai preached. And left from there.

“Dr.Pai what all cases you want to impose on him just tell me. I will make this case strong enough.” The officer asked Dr. Pai.

“See I have got my jewelry back and you have already thrashed him enough. And I can see the guilt in this eye. Moreover, I am nobody to punish anyone. Shri Krishna will execute the correct justice. Therefore if you want to consider my opinion, please allow him to be free this time.” Dr. Pai urged the police officer and left from there.

“Ranga, come here. That extraordinary man has forgiven you for your deeds. And asked to set you free. So we are leaving you for now. But if you repeat this thing again, I will screw you.” The officer warned Ranga.

“Thank you so much sir. Who was that man? I want to thank him for his great gesture.” Ranga asked.

“He is a leading doctor and don’t you dare to be around him anytime.” The officer warned Ranga again.

That memorable day Dr. Pai was very happy and satisfied, firstly because the humanitarian operation of that little girl was successful and secondly he had got the stolen jewelry bag back. He reached home and enthusiastically shared the joyful news of jewelry being back. The same evening Dr. Pai went to the Shri Krishna Temple premise and sat humbly on the same corner bench.

After leaving the prison, Ranga went straight to his house to arrange some money for the operation from his friends. When he reached home, he found his friends and neighbors had already built a temporary tent house for his family. His ill wife and wounded son had already been discharged from the hospital. He was quite happy to see his family again. He went near his three-year-old son who had some scars on his face. Tears rolled out of his eyes and then he saw his wife had a big bandage on her head. Even after so much ignorance and ill behavior of Ranga, the first thing she asked Ranga was, “Are you ok? What happened to your face? Please go to visit the doctor first.”

Ranga felt like dying with terrible shame for what his carelessness and laziness had done to his family. He went near his wife and hugged her tightly and apologized for his careless attitude towards his family and life. Even after so much of trouble, his wife’s eyes had acceptance for him.”Ranga we heard your daughter is fine now, operation was successful.” Ranga had no expression on his face. He could not comprehend what was happening.

To Be Continued in Part 9….

Everything was happening so quickly and unexpectedly. Friends building a tent and taking care of his family. His wife accepting him whole-heatedly even after causing her so much trouble. And now operation was done without him paying the amount. Everything seemed like a dream to him.

“Ranga, Ranga what happened?” Basu shouted. He came back to this sense and tried to figure out what Basu was telling. “Are you drunk Ranga? What happened to your face?” Nathu asked. “Were you beaten by anyone?”

“It’s a long story friend, I will explain to you all later. Basu and Nathu, please be here and take care of my family. I will go to the city and see my daughter.”

“Ok don’t worry Ranga, you go and visit your daughter.” Both assured him. Ranga left for the city and upon reaching the hospital, he saw his daughter lying on her bed, looking all around. His eye were filled with tears of joy. He caressed her and started pampering her.

“Are you a human or animal? This baby was all alone for the last two days. Where the hell were you?” The nurse shouted.

“Are you genuinely his father or you have adopted her?” Another nurse scolded Ranga.

“No, sister I am her real father. What happened? Why are telling like this?” Ranga asked.

“Actually, I had gone to arrange the money for the operation. And in that process I got stuck somewhere. Therefore, I got late. Moreover, both my wife and younger son were also hospitalized in a local hospital in our village.” He added.

“Okay, sorry to know about them,” one of the nurses bluntly empathized to Ranga. “Did you bring the balance amount?” The nurse asked.

Ranga fell on the nurse’s feet and started crying. “Sister, I can’t arrange the balance amount right now, I possess nothing with me. But I promise I will repay it any how. Please give me some more time sister, please.” Ranga pledged to the lady.

“I cannot really help you. But yes, you go to Dr. Pai’s cabin and talk to his assistant. She may be of help to you.” She encouraged.

Ranga entered the cabin and explained his situation to Dr. Pai’s assistant. Listening to Ranga’s condition, the assistant called Dr. Pai. After talking for a couple of minutes, the assistant disconnected the call and came near Ranga. Now Ranga’s only hope was that the doctor with whom the assistant had spoken to. Thinking about the outcome, Ranga’s heart beats increased rapidly and his body started shivering.

“Don’t worry Ranga. Dr. Pai is genuinely a great person. He had levied his treatment fees and also will take care of other hospital expenses for your daughter’s treatment. Thus, you may currently go and collect your deposited amount.” The assistant consoled Ranga.

Ranga was speechless. Today it seems like to be his day. Every situation were favoring him. He humbly touched assistants feet and left from the cabin. After collecting the amount, the receptionist informed him that his daughter will be discharged by tomorrow afternoon. Ranga decided to spend the night in the city and tomorrow he would leave for his village along with his daughter. When he came out of the hospital, he heard the slight sound of drums and bells of the evening prayer which was going on in Shri Krishna Temple.

He decided to wait in the temple premises until the prayer got over. And after that he would have a meal which was served as a prasadam after the prayer. He entered the temple premises and started searching for a seat. Coincidentally he found a seat just next to where Dr. Pai’s was sitting in the corner bench. But they both didn’t notice the presence of each other since they both were immensely lost in their thoughts after having a roll-a-coaster event in their respective lives. But all of sudden Dr. Pai turned his face and found Ranga sitting next to him. He instantly recognized him. He got up and started shouting, “You thief, you are following me? How dare you?”

Ranga looked at the man’s face and was shocked to see that this was the same person whose jewelry he had stolen. And also this person had acquitted him for his sin so easily. Ranga fell on Dr. Pai’s feet. “I am extremely sorry sir, but I am not following you. This is just a coincidence.” Ranga explained. “Sir, I have realized my mistake and even though you have forgiven me, God has already punished me for my sins.”

Ranga narrated his whole story to Dr. Pai. But till this moment Ranga was unaware that this was the same doctor who had operated his daughter and that too for free. When Dr. Pai informed him that he is the one who had operated and paid for his daughter’s treatment, Ranga fell on his feet again and burst out crying. Somehow Dr. Pai consoled him and asked him to relax. Meanwhile, the same old medieval priest came near the corner bench where Dr. Pai and Ranga were sitting, asking for some money. Since Dr.Pai was in a happy mood today, he gave him a hundred rupees as donation.

“It seems you are in a happy today, Son” the priest asked Dr. Pai.

“Yes, Swamiji feeling quite happy and satisfied” Dr. Pai replied.

Priest smiled and said, “Everything you do, comes back to you, so be careful”.

“What does that mean?” Ranga asked the priest curiously.

But the priest was bit wired. He smiled and said, “You are free to choose the path you want in life, but you are not free from the consequences of your choices.” The priest whispered. “There will be problems and obligations in everyone’s life. But what path you choose to overcome it determines your fate.”

And soon the priest moved towards the temple.

Though both were in trouble but Dr. Pai selflessly choose the path of kindness and generosity by treating a poor man’s daughter for free and forgiving a thief who stole his gold jewelry. Wherein Ranga chose unethical path and betrayed his friends for his own benefit.

Both faced the consequences of their choices.

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