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Tara was standing at her post as usual buried in her work. She has it very busy; particularly at this time, when there were new intakes of pregnant women. Tara makes a point that she talks to every woman who comes to her. These are the pregnant women at Akbarnagar who come every week to do their routine medical check up and have their medical supplements. This is also the day when they collect their nutritional supplies. With around forty women who are waiting for their turn with Tara, inside the hall, Tara rarely gets time to look elsewhere.

But, then she heard Khadeeja talking so tenderly at the door; she was guiding someone down the stairs. Khadeeja was holding a thin pale lady wearing a green Salwar with a darker dhupatta. The pale lady had pointed goblin like ears which looked very cute on her. She walked with uncertain steps, but with an uncanny poise. This lady had a darker chocolate complexion, with her hair parted halfway, and tended carefully over the ears, with the locks joining elegantly in the back. The oiled hair showed how painfully it is being cared for. Her paleness was exacerbated by her high cheeks and prominent chin. Khadeeja looked at Tara and smiled, with a peculiar smile, which said: “Look who’s become pregnant!”

Tara could not but stop her work for a moment, while Khadeeja brought Acssah to Tara. Acssah looked up. Acssah was blind!

“Hello Tara Behen”

Tara was taken back since she already knew Tara. Acssah is Khadeejah’s elder sister. She stays very close to Khadeeja. Tara was curious to know more about Acssah. Acssah wasn’t born blind. As a small girl, she slowly started losing her sight. The doctors said that it is a problem of the optic nerve and a surgery may help. But Acssah’s parents couldn’t afford the surgery. She learned that Acssah stayed alone, but very close to Khadeeja. Acssah is a very confident woman. She needs no help for anything. Tara asked her how she will know which medicine to take. Acssah answered that it is no problem at all since she can feel it and know what to take. That does not mean that she needs no help and that she is hesitant to take help. Her sister comes and helps her in making roti; the one thing Acssah finds it difficult to make. However Acssah is very poor. Acssah said that her husband loves her so much and he was in Delhi to earn for livelihood. Her husband had recently returned because he would not want to leave alone in Lucknow again.

While Tara listened to her story, she felt really good. Tara asked a curious question: are you happy with your life? She answered in the affirmative with a wonderful smile on her face. Tara kept thinking how Acssah could be so happy despite having almost nothing: She is poor; she is blind; she lives alone! The answer lies in her relationship! Acssah holds a good relationship with her family. She is the beloved. Her husband loves her and would anything for her: Her husband is completely lame and has only one eye, but he so concerned about Acssah and treats her like a princess and she treats him as a king.

Ever though what is the secret of happiness? It is not money; it is not fame; it is relationship... It’s time we looked into our own relationships.



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