Price of Happiness - A Short Story

Price of Happiness

Price of Happiness - A Short Story

        "She will never know". It was told by Shib Ram, a neighbor of Mitali, a mad. She was not mad from childhood. She also had a happy family of a husband, Kunal and a son, Lucky. They lived in Rahimpur. It was nearly 15 years ago. Kunal was a hawker. He used to sell mithai to different villages and his income was good. He looked after his family very well. In short, they were very happy. 

        They built their house in Rahimpur coming from another place. Mitali did not work. She was a housewife. Lucky was really lucky. His every demand was fulfilled. But someone's bad eyes caught their happiness. Everything changed. Kunal suddenly died though he was fit and healthy. He did not have any illness. Yet death took him in its shed and threw Mitali 's family in a very deep pit. Mitali wept bitterly as she lost the one and only support of her family. Then she had to think of the future of her only son. Neighbours did not saw her parents or in-laws. The only in-law, people knew, was a neighbor, Haren, who was also a drunkard. Anyway, to look after her only son of 6 years, she took the job of home-maid. Mitali was very introvert. She did not tell her problems to anyone, just endured.

              Years passed. Mitali's only son was of 18 years. He turned out to be good gentleman. He started earning. Mitali stopped working. She married her son Lucky to a girl of another state. Her name was Sonali. She very cute. Everybody liked her behavior. Mitali's family became happy again. But past repeated again. Lucky fell ill. He became moribund. No one saw any hope of surviving. Mitali again took up her  home-maid work to support the family. But she could not endure her son's condition. She was suffering inwardly. Yet she continued her work. She could not withstand the mental agony on the meagre and low quality food she had to eat to carry on her son's treatment. She did what she could do with her little income to treat her son and support her family. No help came from anyone. Even her neighbours did not help seeing their flight. 

           Suddenly one day Mitali lost her mind. She started wandering, shouting, wearing laughable dresses. People took pity for her and her family, but no one helped. Her daughter-in-law took up farm-work to survive. One day Lucky left them after prolonged suffering. He was cremated in the local cemetery. Then people were talking about Mitali's bad luck. Now she could not be informed of her son's death. Then Shib Ram, a neighbor, said, "She will never know". 

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