A coughing Young man & a old lady with basket – A short Story.

Hospitals can be very strange, funny and of course scary place to be. People act don’t act normal, every emotion you see can be very distinct and unique, yet not always joyous like birth of a baby or successful an operation of some life threatening tumor but also last breath of one’s loved one.


People talk to each other and sympathies and share their joy and sorrows. Sometimes people unfold their entire lifetime in front of a stranger because the emotions are so high and when you know that even the listener is suffering, boundaries disappear.


On some random day in a particular hospital sat a handsome young man coughing for some twenty minutes with water coming out of his mouth, he looked helpless and weak. Doctors and nurses can be at times very neglecting and almost like unconscious if patients plight, that’s the part about hospitals that make it strange.


A old lady came and sat next to this young handsome coughing water for twenty-one minutes guy and asked him: What happened?


“Nothing”, replied the young handsome coughing water for twenty-one minutes some seconds guy.


Old lady: You are very strange guy.


This made the young handsome coughing water for twenty-two minutes guy’s cough disappear and arouses his curiosity by being called strange by a strange old lady.


Young man: (Curiously) Why?


Old lady: (With a funny smile) “Nothing” happened to you but still you are coughing water for twenty-three minutes into my basket and spoiled my lunch.


Young man didn’t realize he coughed water into old lady’s basket. Embarrassed he said: “I am sorry, didn’t saw your basket.”


Old lady: No problem. So nothing happened really huhh (sarcastically). Where are you parents or friends, are you alone?


Young man: No one is here with me.


Old lady taking an apple out of her basket and handing over to young man, “Here, an apple a day keep doctors away, don’t know about nurses.”


Young man: (Smiling) thanks.


Old lady: Are they coming for you, your friends and parents.


Young man: May be.


Old lady: Why, “may be?”


Young man: They may be angry with me. (Now coughs heavily)


Old lady: What actually happened to you?


Young man: Its really long story and complicated one.


Old lady: I won’t get any older than this and for an old lady like me nothing is more complicated than “Which is whiter, my hairs or milk.”


Young man: You should never let one dream depend on other.


Old lady: Why is that?


Young man: I thought one day, I will be rich then will buy big house for my family, take car and go out with my friends for long drive, may be take my father, mother and little sister to foreign trip and then when everything is done, will go to the girl I loved and ask her to marry me.


Old lady: So what happened?


Young man: I worked hard and became rich and all, bought a car and a big house, booked tickets for a world trip with my father, mother and little sister, by the way my little sister topped her medical exam, I am so proud of her and so was she of me. Anyway I planned a surprise for my friends and family but decided to call the girl I love and tell her that I want to marry her.


Old lady: She said no!


Young man: Her father married her to someone else while I was busy making money, she did tried to contact me but I was too busy, idiot me.


Old lady: I am sorry. But you can always find another girl, right?


Young man: Yes, but she was the one, if only I asked her to marry me earlier I would rich and be with her right now. I planned for everything but…


Old lady: My son always…brought food for me in this basket and he loves me a lot. He just got married to a beautiful girl, here he is (pointing).


Young man: Oh!!! Nice suit. (Now, coughing just a little and no water, relaxed, breathing deeply)


Old lady: He is rich, just like you.


Young man: He got everything, money, beautiful girl and, of course, a great mother, like you.


Old lady: Yes. Except the money he has now is mine, not his.


Young man: What do you mean?



Old lady: (Taking his basket and searching for something) He always wanted money and never worked hard for anything and asked for cars and luxury but I told him to work and earn it and when I die just like his father twenty-four years back he can have all the money he wants. But he had other plans.


Old lady taking a picture out of her basket and handing it over to young man, “This is the girl I married him to and thought he would understand his responsibility, idiot me.”


Young man: (Shocked, after a long silence) This is the girl I loved…you…


Old lady: I knew that. This is the same basket, which I used to take food and especially sandwich, in for our picnics, when my son was young. One day he bought food for me in same basket and told how much he loved me and we ate sandwich just like old days, the only difference was his sandwich did not have poison in it.


Young man: I was so angry to hear about she getting married that I drove in my new car and crashed and fell into the river over the bridge and drowned, it took them four days to recover my body, my father, mother and my (crying) little sister waited for me to see my new car, big house and foreign trip and waited most for me, to hug me, kiss me…(crying, not coughing water, not busy, not making money, not ignoring, but just crying).


Young man continuing, “You should never let one dream depend on other.” If I had waited for everything in my life and just lived each day, may be a small trip with my parents, hangout with my friends and asked girl of my life to marry me…if just…


Old lady: (Crying too) let it go son. You did your best…now we are not part of this world…Look at my son with his girlfriend pretending to be very sad; they are here to get my death certificate.


Young man: That’s not the girl I loved.


Old lady: Yes, she is her girlfriend. Your love and my daughter-in-law killed herself, she was not happy to marry my son but did to please her parents and on the very same day killed herself, idiot…Here is she…


Young man sees her love and hugs her, with tears, the young man sees his friends, father, mother and sister running in hospital and seeing their his dead body cried, his little sister the most…


Old lady saw his smiling with his girlfriend and walking past young man’s father with her death certificate in his hand…



Old lady: See you got money and the love of your life but not your friends, father, mother and little sister’s love…


Young man: Yes, but I want to be there…


May be we are already there…


Your dream is not your job and your job is not your dream. For most of us dream is just to have a happy family, our parents pampered us and gave us everything we wanted and now we just want to give back to them, pamper them like they did, take them on vacation, foreign trip, expensive restaurant (it’s ok to show off, to impress our parents), and give parties to our friends with whom we shared lunch-boxes in school days and fought over a toffee worth 50 paise. Just wanted to have a beautiful girl and marry her, but somewhere we decided to make tons of money first and made on dream depend on too many. If one does not succeed others would fail automatically.


Live your dream everyday…don’t put them on waiting list…because dreams can wait not life…


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