Just like pain is relative, the infuriating need to overcome that pain and even hurt that intangible feeling by pretending it doesn’t affect you in the least bit varies for each person. To be able to let go and start anew immediately after an unforeseen obstacle pops up in your life, especially when it’s an unfair one, is the sort that inspires not only people around you but also yourself.
Rani had no idea that she would be a young widow forced to find her own way in the world. She had no idea that she would find a friend in Priyanka didi who lived next door.
Priyanka didi helped in all the facets of setting up her sweets shop; proposed the idea, scourged out the garage where she could set up her kitchen, accompanied her to the market to purchase the ingredients and vessels, struck deals with the vendors as a regular customer, and also supplied her with her first order that was to be shipped out the day after.
‘Was to be’, Rani thought, as the raging flames of the fire reflected in her bewildered eyes.
The number of all the unpredictable and tragic events that had occurred in Rani’s life increased; her workplace with all its sickeningly sweet sugary fragrances of ghee, saffron, cardamom, gram flour, jaggery, cinammon, nutmeg, et cetera was being devoured hungrily but not by customers – or even thieves for that matter – but by ravenous flames.
The thoughts of ‘why me’ and ‘why me always’ knocked every corner of her mind; which were followed by murderous glares at the next-door shop next which had been the root cause of the end of her new dream.
The shopkeeper next door had a gas leak and the entire block of shops on the street had erupted into flames.
Rani wept in silence, and a few half-heartedly consoled her that things would be better. Even Priyanka didi looked disheartened and suggested that Rani should go home; she would call up the family who had ordered the sweets for a celebration and apologise, Rani shouldn’t worry about that.
But Rani had another thing going on in her mind. It was a fire within her; a scorching fury against all the injustices life had heaped upon her one after the other. She tied the end of her saree around her waist and stomped up to help the people who were trying to put out the fire.
After an hour of hurling buckets of water at the stubborn flames, Rani trudged back home with all that she could salvage – some vessels and ingredients stored at the far end, but none of the already prepared sweets – and decided to rest to wear off the exhaustion.
The alarm went off precisely sixty minutes later and Rani set off to work. It was late in the evening but she carried all the heavy bags full of sweetmeat groceries from the market back to her house, and laboured all night in her small kitchen to make all the items of the order again.
She called up a shocked Priyanka didi the next day to tell her to have the delivery guys pick up the laddoos, barfis, jalebis, kaju katlis, and halwa boxes from her house. The twenty thousand rupees that she recieved later that day was the first time in her life that she had felt proud of her own self. Sure it was a transaction that had more loss than profit, but the praise that accompanied the payment would pave way for plenty future prospects.
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