Short Story : The Lunch Box

This is a small incident, happened in my apartment few days back. It is about a family, known to us and stays on second floor in my apartment. The family members are Sharan, Shalini, Sharan’s mother, and a two-year-old kid Jia. Since Sharan and Shalini both are working, they hired a full day babysitter to take care of Jia. This babysitter, Lakshmi, used to come in morning around 9 am and be there until 5.30 pm. She used to carry her lunch box with her. She was working here since last one year.

Lunch Box

Photo by Yu Hosoi on Unsplash

Due to some issues at home, Lakshmi decided to leave the work here. Lakshmi asked Shalini to pay her salary. But Shalini asked her to come next day. Next morning, when Lakshmi came, Shalini asked her to work for one more day, and promised her to give her salary in the evening after coming back from work. Lakshmi agreed to this and stayed for one more day.

In afternoon around 1 pm, she started feeling hungry. The problem was that she did not bring her lunch as she thought after taking her salary, she would go home early. But after coming here, Shalini asked her to stay for one more day. Here Shalini’s mother-in-law was having her lunch, but she did not ask Lakshmi for food.

Lakshmi fed Jia and took her to play area. Here few other maids were also there with babysitting kids.  One of them was Gayatri, who comes to our house for help. She casually asked Lakshmi, whether she had her lunch. Lakshmi told her the whole story that how she just came to take her salary only and did not bring lunch box. Here Shalini asked to stay for one more day, now she could not go back also. Also, Shalini’s mother-in-law was aware that Lakshmi did not bring lunch, still she did not asked Lakshmi, even not out of courtesy also.

After listening to this, Gayatri felt bad for Lakshmi. She offered Lakshmi her food which she denied. Gayatri insisted, still Lakshmi said no, she said she was fine. After some time, all went back to their owner’s house.

After 15-20 mins, there was a knock-on Shalini’s door.  Shalini’s mother-in-law opened the door and found that Gayatri was standing there with a lunch box. Gayatri told Shalini’s mother-in-law to call Lakshmi as she had to give this lunch box to her. Lakshmi came with surprise as she was not expecting Gayatri here. Lakshmi reiterated the same thing that she is fine, and she would go home and eat. But Gayatri insisted again, and finally Lakshmi surrendered and took the lunch box, and thanked Gayatri. There was a sense of gratitude and happiness on her face.

After giving her lunch box to Lakshmi, Gayatri came to our house. She asked my wife if something is there to eat. My wife knows that everyday Gayatri brings her lunch from home, and she usually does not ask for food. So, my wife asked what happened to her lunch box. Then Gayatri told us the whole story. We also felt bad for Lakshmi, but we were happy to know that Gayatri showed humanity and gave her lunch box to Lakshmi. Gayatri had lunch at our home that afternoon. This incident was a reminder that humanity still exist, and your small act of kindness can bring smile to someone’s face.