Once there lived a humble man, Mr. Ben in a beautiful green hill, with a small hut and a good fresh flower shop. He was the best flower seller of the hill town, not just because he had the best flowers, but because he was polite and good to people.
One beautiful morning, a little boy came to his shop, calling out “Hey Mr. Ben Mr. Ben! I have a $50 note in my hand. Guess what? I got it on the road while crossing near vegetable market! Please give me the best flowers for it” in his sweet thin excitement.
Mr. Ben being righteous politely told “Oh! Dear Kid! That’s not right! If something is not ours we should not have it, and we should hand over this to the police”. The little boy thought for a moment and told, “But, Mr. Ben, my mom is coming with my sister by evening after months, and I would like to give her something! Please”. Now Ben thought and asked, “Ok boy! How much do you have of your own money? Little boy replied “Just 1 cent”. Ben knew that 1 cent won’t fetch even a twig of a dry flower, still he made up his mind, and told to the boy.. If you decide to hand over the money to the police, I will take your 1 cent and give you 4 flowers, whichever you pick. The boy curled his lips and gave his 1 cent, and picked his & his mom’s favourite night blossoms from the flower shop.
Ben knew that his stock was ending of his precious & highest paid night blossoms, but still, he kept his words and gave the flowers with a hearty smile. The boy jumped and went to the door, but then suddenly turned back & ran towards Ben, “Oh Mr. Ben, I don’t know how to reach police! My dad is not at home & mom can’t go for a long route, thus do you know someone going by the route?” Mr. Ben himself had to go a little far to get his night blossoms near a policeman’s home. So, he agreed to get the $50.
Ben started off after dusk to get his night blossoms, as in case it becomes dawn, he would not know which buds wouldn’t bloom & which flowers will bloom bright by evening. He got the best flowers, and to his happiness, this time there were many flowers. He then headed to the policeman’s home in Willow town and gave $50. The well-built policeman (Mr. Carson) with a strong mustache told “Oh Ben! How honest are you? Not to worry! Will make an announcement by tomorrow” He then noticed the blue flowers.. & told “Dear Ben! Are those true night blossoms? Can you give me a few?” – “Sure Sir! My pleasure! “How much do you need?” – “Umm! For $50?” Ben took out a hand full and handed to the policeman.
If only I could convince my wife out of her anger with these blossoms, thought the policeman. He turned to Ben and handed $100, telling him that “Ben, don’t think anything, my wife tells good qualities need to be appreciated! I’m so cold! Please consider this extra $50 as a token of appreciation! Don’t deny it from your big buddy!” Ben had to take the extra money! He started moving with flowers & a heavy heart, as it was getting darker. On the way, a white car pulled back, and a lady in blue frock, with her driver, did not know what was wrong. Ben stopped his cycle & helped them. The lady almost had tears, “Good gracious! You came up! How can I thank you? Please take this!” It was $100. “Oh dear madam! Already I was blessed with extra money from the policeman of Willow town who was waiting to please his wife! I can’t take much more”
The woman was sharp, as she knew that it was her man, the police of Willow town. She was overwhelmed to hear that her husband was waiting for her arrival. She smiled broad, took out a small chain with a glistening stone at its centre from her neck & gave to Ben. In return, she picked a night blossom and told “maybe if every man thinks of making his lady happy, life would blossom like your flowers” Before Ben could utter a word, the white car sped away.
When Mrs. Carson of the white car reached her home, her husband was already at the door waiting. “Wow! You came to me?” – “Wow! You are waiting for me?” Words transformed to embrace! “ Happy Anniversary” voices echoed with hands having night blossoms! They both felt the gravity for each other & their thoughts.
One more night blossom was away from its fellow flowers in shop. It was waiting in hands of Ben for his love. “Mrs. Ben opened the door! “Oh! There you are!” The blossom was handed and happiness was in the atmosphere. Hot dinner was served on the table, and Mr. Ben sat and told “Delicious smell honey”. He took out the jewel, while Mrs. Ben took out a woolen sweater. “Surprise voices told in the same time” and they both were extremely happy. Mrs. Ben told.. “Guess what dear? I was cooking! A lady in blue frock & white car pulled up at our door asking if there is any place to eat by! I thought it was dark & so served dinner to her! Poor woman felt bad of leaving her husband in some fight! I convinced her to give him chance like how you used to forgive me for my mistakes, She was touched and tried to give me money, but thinking of you, I happily refused. She then gave me the sweater telling it can be of use to you”
Ben had no words! He wore the sweater & found $100 in the pocket telling “Thanks Sweety”. Seeing this, Mrs. Ben exclaimed, “I lost $50 today morning somewhere when I went out to take vegetables. I was thinking of that & somehow forgot to tell you! Sorry sweetheart!” Ben got up, wore her the necklace and softly told “you have earned extra dear”. Ben told about his evening and both were elated, without words… Happiness blossomed.
Meanwhile, at the Carson’s both were talking about their experiences. “Poor lady was thinking of her lost $50, so I paid her more” – “Poor man was honest, so I paid him more”. Wow,! Both blossomed with amazement about each other, Tomorrow may blossom them with even more amazement when the real owner of $50 will come to collect the money after the announcement.
Dr. Saurabh Shrivastava
Department Of Community Medicine
Shri Sathya Sai Medical College & RI