Suresh comes home after a long day, sits on the couch, switches on the TV, and makes himself comfortable by spreading his legs on the coffee table facing him. His wife, Nirmala hands over a cup of coffee to him as a daily ritual, while blabbering about the mundane tasks that he’s supposed to do. “Get onions, tomatoes, and ginger. Withdraw 500 from the ATM….” She goes on. Suresh hears only half of it because he’s engrossed in watching cricket.
“Are you listening to me? Go get all of them now!” Suresh is startled by the voice. He takes a shower after finishing the coffee, and leaves for the market.
Nirmala picks the shirt that Suresh has left carelessly in the living room, and notices a piece of paper in the pocket while placing it in the laundry basket. She flips it and realizes that it’s a lottery ticket. She never believes in ridiculous things, and surely, lottery is one of them. She crumples the paper in disgust, throws it away, and heads into the kitchen to start cooking for dinner. Little does she know how much she would regret it later.
Suresh comes back after a while with the vegetables that Nirmala has ordered. He places them on the dining table, sits on the couch, and switches on the TV. Nirmala sighs in disappointment. She wonders how lucky men are to lead such a relaxing life, while women seem to slog forever.
Suddenly she hears Suresh shout in excitement. “Heyyyyy! Nirmala, Look here!!!” Nirmala wonders what on earth has made him so happy, and looks him puzzled. Suresh lifts her with both his hands, and sings in joy, “We have won the lottery!!! We are going to get 10 lakhs!! Lalalalaa laaalalaa!!”
Nirmala doesn’t believe her ears. “What???” she asks in disbelief.
Suresh puts her down and says, “Yes, you have heard it right. We are going to get 10 Lakhs. Now go and get the shirt that I removed before leaving for the market. The ticket is in the pocket.”
That’s when it strikes Nirmala that she has thrown “the useless thing” somewhere. She freezes. She heads to the laundry basket praying God that she must find it. She looks in and around the basket for the ticket, but in vain.
“Nirmala, why is it taking so long? Come fast”, he calls out, and seeing no response, he goes to the room to check what’s going on.
“Suresh, I.. I am so sorry. I.. I threw away the ticket thinking that it’s a wa.. waste of money”, she blurts out with a sheepish look and an apologizing tone.
Suresh is red with anger. But before he speaks anything, Nirmala placates him, “But I wonder where it’s gone. It must be somewhere here. Please give me some time.”
“Okay. I’ll help you with the search. If we don’t find the ticket in 30 minutes, you will be out of the house”, he declares. Nirmala becomes nervous.
For 20 minutes they ransack the entire room. They become more desperate with each passing minute. When nothing works, Nirmala finally says, “Suresh, let us first sit down for a couple of minutes and think deeply. We would definitely find it. No doubt about that. But you get better results only when you work with a peaceful mind. Please listen to me.” Both of them sit down on the bed and close their eyes. The two minute retrospection helps them calm down and act wiser.
Suresh realizes how harsh he has been to his wife. If the ticket were so valuable to him, he shouldn’t have stored it in a safe place. He places his palms onto her cheeks, and says, “Look, I am sorry for what I have said to you. It was part of my mistake too that we have lost the ticket.”
Nirmala is moved. She kisses his hand, and they both resume their search. After a few minutes, Suresh notices a piece of paper hanging onto Nirmala’s dupatta. He snatches it, and to his amusement, it is the ticket!!! How come neither of them noticed it all the time? They both rejoice and celebrate.
Sometimes, crazy things happen to us only to show us how crazy we have been. Slowing down for a couple of minutes and rationalizing our behaviour gives inner peace.