In the town of Calicut in Kerala there lived an accountant named Mr. Walter with his family. He has a middle class background. He worked as manager in a bank in Calicut. He lived with his wife Mrs. Maria Walter, two sons Olivster Walter and Ryan Walter, a daughter Rexline Walter and his parents. Being from a middle class family he was too concerned about earning and saving money for the future. He kept a daily account on all the expenditure he had that day.

His hard work and his sincerity towards his work made him get a promotion for a higher post in Chennai. He was happy because there was also a raise in his salary. But Walter was the only soul happy in the family. The others were upset to leave the town and their friends. “The city you are going may be bigger than our town but it is where my heart lies. I am not moving from this town”, Walter’s parents fought but Walter replied,” This is the only chance I can use to pay all the debts. Maybe you can stay here. I will send you some money every month. This is my final decision. I am going to leave Calicut.” Walter’s parents never wanted a city life so they stayed there in Calicut. But the other family members had no choice.

A week before the family left to Chennai, they had a small family discussion and they tried to convince Walter to stay in Calicut but he was too stubborn in getting the post. The family had no other option. They left to Chennai. The last few days Rexline, Olivster and Ryan had a hard time in saying good bye to their classmates. “Please come here and visit me every year”, one of Rexline’s classmates told her.

They left Calicut. Mr. Walter’s family got a double bedroom house in Velacherry. The house was too big compared to the house in Kerala. They had a lot of facilities yet there was sadness in every one’s face. Mr. Walter joined Rexline in one of the best colleges there and Olivster and Ryan joint in a nearby school. They had a hard time in finding some good friends like the ones they had in Kerala.

Mrs. Walter said,” it’s too hard over here. No one in the neighbourhood is ready to speak to me.

No one is willing to help us. I feel too lonely here. I don’t think we can survive over here. I miss Calicut and all the good souls over there.” “ Yes, daddy. No one is speaking with me in class. The teacher’s are too strict and the students are so mean to me. I want to go back to Kerala. Stay with grandma and grandpa. Enjoy the beautiful trees and scenery with my friends.” Ryan added. But Mr. Walter never changed. Moreover he too had a lot of issues in his office with his colleagues. He remained money minded and told he wanted his kids to socialise and be able to change themselves according to the situation.

Days passed. The family tried to adjust according to the situation. Mr. Walter started earning a lot but he was sad because his family never felt happy about it. He managed to send some money to Calicut for his parent’s medical bill.

Suddenly one day he received a call from Calicut. His dad has contacted him. His mom was serious and was admitted in the hospital. The family was tensed. They wanted to go to Kerala and be with Walter’s mother, but no one was able to get permission from their school, college or office. “I have no idea what to do. My boss has given me a lot of work for this weekend. It’s impossible to get permission. I am stuck in a complex situation. “Walter said confused.” Daddy I have got my exams. So I won’t be able to go there too.” Olivster informed. At last only Mrs. Walter could make up to go there to Calicut. The whole family was depressed again. Walter’s mother felt pity on him. Walter was upset for one whole week and was not able to concentrate in his work. But he knew life must go on.

Walter became richer and richer day by day. He was able to buy everything that a middle class family could have. Everyone started to enjoy being in Chennai. Life was peaceful.

Until one day Mr. Walter received the message of the departure of his mother. He really wanted to be with his mother during her last days of life but he couldn’t. His dad called him and informed,”The funeral is going to be on Sunday evening. Hope you will find some time to attend the funeral.” Walter started weeping. He managed to get permission in his office and immediately left to Calicut. He reached Kerala and everyone was disappointed with him. This was his worst part of life. There were tears the whole day.

He wanted to stay there even after the funeral but he knew he had to go back to Chennai. He took his father and went back to Chennai. It was impossible to make his father stay back there alone in Calicut after this incident. Life became a bit hard for Walter’s family again but they managed to cope up. This time it was too difficult was Walter to forget about this incident and go on with life.

One day suddenly there were heavy rains everywhere. Heavy rain with thunder and lightning. It caused huge damage to life and property. “People call it El Nino.”, Mr. Walter said. “We must manage to get some food for us. It is going to be too violent.”

There was a power cut. So the whole family stayed in one single room. All the supermarkets and grocery shops were closed. They managed to stay safe until water started entering into the house. The water level started to rise higher and higher. Walter managed to send all the kids to the house in the floors above. Walter saw all the electronics, kitchen appliance, auto mobiles getting damaged.

Those were the things that were precious to him after coming to Chennai. They were slowly getting wet and damaged. He spent all the tireless nights in buying these and now it was getting ruined. The rains continued for weeks and weeks. His friends and relatives from Calicut started to call him wondering whether he and his family were okay. That is when he understood the true meaning of happiness.

Happiness does not lie in money but in caring and loving relations. He immediately left Chennai.

He left everything that he considered as happiness. He left his job, money, home appliances and immediately flew to Calicut with his family. Everyone took good care of him. Life taught him a good lesson. He never returned to a luxurious life. He stayed with his relatives; got a job that was more than enough for food and clothing. He lived happily ever after.

By Mariane Seles M from India



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