I will tell you a real story. It was around 35 years ago when I had to stay in a hospital for a week to take care of someone in my family.
Our patient was in the emergency ward. The area outside the ward remained crowded with patients and their caretakers.
During our stay, I noticed a young woman from the rural background, who used to help the patients and their caretakers in getting water, eatables and other things from the hospital. She used to share useful information about the doctors and the staff of the hospital.
She always had the smile on her face. Although clad in a simple saree and a red bindi on her forehead, her persona was so magnetic that she would easily become friend with everyone there.
She reminded me of the lady with the lamp who used to share the light of hope with the patients. I thought she was probably engaged with the hospital in some way to help the patients and the caretakers.
After a few days, our patient was shifted to the private ward, but I kept noticing that she used to attend us regularly with the same sweet smile.
On the last day of our stay, while I was passing through the general ward, I saw her sitting next to a boy on the hospital bed. The boy was sleeping and this lady was stroking his forehead. I had never seen that lady lost so deeply in her thoughts. The boy was looking weak and must have been just four or five years old.
When I asked her about the boy, she said,
‘Didi, he is my son, Ajay. He fell down from the first floor of our house last year. Till then he is sleeping like this. The doctors say that he is in the coma and will get up one day for sure.’
Then she asked me innocently to have reassurance,
‘Will he be fine one day?’
What else could I say? In my mind, I prayed to God to cure her son.
I was forced to redefine the meaning of happiness which I learnt from the lady. She had lost all her fortune in the treatment of her son. Her husband had sold his small piece of land in the village and came to the city and made his living by pulling a rickshaw.
The lady did not know how long she would have to continue like that. But she never cursed her destiny. She knew that happiness comes from anything and everything around us; we just need to identify them. Happiness multiplies by sharing.