Summers were peaking. Clothes were turning into a trouble...such was the heat. It was on one such summer evening. The sun was on the setting course, but, there was hardly any relief. A sort of stillness spread all around. It looked as if sun and the wind had conspired.
There was, on the road, a slender looking man; moving slowly. His age seemed eager to over-express itself.
"Ah, let me reach home early today. I really could not achieve anything in my life. I wish I could get good living for my kids at least. But, then I have my limitations. What more I could get in a small job."
This was Rameshwar Lal. He was in deep thoughts. What dreams he had! Everything was over for him, as if. Though, he was a good man. Not much concerned with the complexities of the world. He had three kids at home. His wife was a sweet and charming woman. His two daughters were older than his son. Rameshwar tried his best that he could earn enough to place his son in an English medium school. For middle class in typical Indian cities, an English medium school meant status and good education.
Today Rameshwar's cycle was under repair. He had to live with a walk to his home. "How do people make so much money...How come my neighbour Vikas has got a land in the name of his wife. Soon he would build a new house. Where has the wind gone, dead, is it so? These guys in the US are ahead of us just because they have cold weather. Really! Look at this truck driver. How does he drive! Wow, what a car! I just cannot have it in my life. I guess I should take up a side business. But how to get initial investments. I hope I were younger. Bad luck."
A tight pocket leads to thinking habits. Whether on his cycle or on foot, he was deep in thoughts. Suddenly his foot hit something on road. It was a purse. Black leather purse. He picked it quickly. He could not afford to not to open it. Alas, it was empty. Empty! "Thank God, no one lost his money. But what do I do now! Did anybody see me picking it?" He looked around.
"But it's a good purse. What will someone think if I am seen throwing it. Now they must be thinking that it is mine. That is why I picked it. Why is that kid looking at me? He must have seen me picking it. There is one big drain ahead. I'll drop it there. That should be fine."
Rameshwar got rid of the purse. Ah, how relieved he looked! He was approaching his house. He wiped his forehead with his shirt sleeves, straightened himself and started climbing the stairs in his building.