A Gift.

A six-word story about what you think the future holds for you and then expand on it in a post.

Happiness and joy; Me and others.

Hope enters through the glass door into the hotel with her small black handbag in one hand and the laptop in the other hand. Her hair dangle loosely back and hang down to her nape. Everything at once seems lively with her bright brown eyes and a pleasant smile.  She waves her hand to all the staffs with a big smile and walks into the office. Today is a very busy day for her as the oil and gas convention will start in a few days and  she has to stock and arrange the whole store for the International guests. Hope gently re-arranges the petal pink peonies that spills out from the  corner vase like  a mist rising over wind-swept dunes. She walks around the store with her Ipad and takes note of all the merchandises. The store is very beautiful: with decorated glass windows, white and grey marble floor, cherry wood shelves with all expensive gift items,  luxurious , earth friendly products of Gilchrist & Soames, organic natural skincare and aromatherapy products, designer dresses, perfumes, bestseller fictions and non-fictions.  As Hope stretches her hand to one of the higher shelve and tries to rearrange the new fiction novels the glass door opens with a chime. She turns her head back towards the door to see a  man in medium height, a thin black mustache, with a Blue t-shirt, a jean pant and black shoes. Hair parted and brushed . Both hands in his pant pocket he walks into the store.

“Good morning!” says Hope with a welcoming smile to the guest.  Hmm, the face seems familiar. I have seen him somewhere. Or may be my imagination.

“Good morning mam! May I look around”, he asks with a small smile.

“Sure.Please and if you need any help then feel free to ask me”, says Hope. She turns around to arrange the books. Something is not right. The artificial, sad smile and the anxious eyes of the guest make Hope pause. She turns her head to glance at the gentle man. He stands near the stacks of magazines to the right and just flips his fingers through the pages, but his face reflects as if he is in a different world, in deep thought. Hope adjusts her eyeglass, walks towards the guest and, gently asks him if she can help him with anything. He lifts his face from the magazine. His eyes float uncomfortably not knowing where to look. Then he looks down, and slides the magazine back on the shelve. He opens his mouth to speak, then stares down at his hand, to the glass windows and towards the door. She notices his hands; nervous hands that move constantly with little jerky openings and closings. His forehead is shaded with a heavy cloud, lips are sealed in an expression of sadness. He clears his throat and leans forward.“Are you from India?”

“Yes. Why? Are you?”

“Yes. I am, he says. Then he leans a little closer. His eyes begin to glisten. He tries to hide the tears, and looks around as if he  checks the surrounding.Then he asks, “Do you think you can help me out?”

Hope is surprised to hear that from a guest, in a five-star hotel  and clearly remembers the rules. But now she is more eager to know about this person. Hope asks the guest to follow her to her office and closes the office door. She assures him with an air of taking an immense part in all his sorrows.“Please have a seat. Is there any problem?” He settles on a chair, arms folded. He rubs his forehead and starts to speak in a subdued tone. Amber sits straight, her eyes fix on his face with undivided attention. She listens to his story.

‘‘My name is Aakar and I am from a very poor family from a small village in North India. I have a  wife, four children, and  almost seventy years old parents. I was searching for a good paying job but could not, he sighs. One day when I was buying vegetable from  one  small store, I overheard the name of an agency that provides  job. So I took the phone number called up  the agency. I have to go to another country as a driver where food, clothing will be free, they will pay a good sum of salary  and fifteen days off in a year. That sounded perfect to me so  I signed the contract without telling my family. I started getting butterflies on my stomach hearing this good news. That evening after a day of hard labor, on my way to home I went straight to the market. A fresh watery evening. The turf and paths were rustling with moist grass. From the road side stall I purchased a plastic red car with big wheels and a beautifully dressed doll for my children. I walked back home to give the good news. But my family did not want me to leave the country. They wanted me to stay together in one place. But I had to, yes I had to. I wanted to shower my family with a little comfort and  with happiness: good food, medical treatment, a better house where water will not leak continuously during the heavy rain, clothes to cover their body properly and education for my kids so that they can lead a better life. I buried my face deeper under a pillow but could not sleep, lay staring at the ceiling, listening to the hoof of an owl in the stillness. Random thoughts flew around my head. I had too many wonderful dreams which were floating ,taking shapes and reshaping again. I woke up in every half an hour to check the time. Around early morning I noticed  a wealth of sunshine , dancing on the small  half broken window pane. I walked slowly to my parent’s bed and sat there for a while on their side. Hopefully I will see them soon. I was a little scared too but, I am a man and I have to be brave.

That morning I packed my bags with two shirts from which one was missing two buttons , a heavily patched black  pant, a small comb. we hugged each other. Sorrow laid heavily around my family. My dad was sitting on the front porch flushed and gloomy. My wife had tears on her lashes and my children did not know what to say. I turned around couple times to look at their faces. And they were still standing at the doorsteps, wiping their tears. For them there was no joy in the brilliance of sunshine.  I was there hope, their dream.

Once I arrived there the agency took me to  a beautiful house of a rich family.  where I have been working for ten years now.  And soon I found out that I was not only their driver but also needed to do all other odd  jobs too. There was no time to rest, they gave some money to send back to home but not what they promised. I do not have any contact with my family.Even they have my passport so that I can not go back to my country. They are visiting here in business and I am here with them. I want someone to help me out. I want to go back to my country, to see my parents, my kids. Please I beg you, help me.’’ Anxiety,despair and sadness of his voice clearly matches his eyes.

Hope is speechless. Her heart squeezes momentarily with pain. She walks to standby the small window, bits her tongue hard  and blinks back her tears. This is just slavery, torture, nothing else, she murmurs. She takes a deep breath, turns sharply from the window.

“Let me think about this and, tomorrow I will give a phone card and a number for an attorney whom you can call for consultation. Do not worry. Also let me have your room number.” Kindness and sympathy  prevail in her voice. Hope bends down on desk and  writes down Aakar’s room number on a pad.

Aakar thanks Hope and promises to see her the next day. Hope has to break the rules of the hotel. She is not allowed to , may be suspended from her job but she is determined as a steel to help Aakar out. Somehow the world feels a little happier for Aakar.

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