It was a cold winter night, 9 past 10 minutes and I was walking back home from my daily grind. I was already late, so I fastened my pace. Not even a single soul that could catch my eye! So lonely. So quiet. Suddenly, my eyes fell upon a card that was casually lying on the road. Upon my curiosity, I picked it up and looked at it. It seemed like an old identity card. It was that of a man! My conscience forced me to return the card to the person who owns it. I had never felt such a strong urge to do something. I picked up the card and reached home, later that night, I started scrutinizing it, looking for details. Eventually, I found the required information and thought of returning the card to its holder. I reached his residence, and knocked on the door, politely. The door was opened, and I was welcomed by an old man. Naturally, the old man asked for my identity as I was unknown to him and the reason for me to be there. I told him, that I was no acquaintance, and that I had only come to return an identity card that I found lying on the road. I told him, perhaps the card belonged to him.
The next moment, the old man took the card from my hand and, recognized it! Yes, it was his. He welcomed me inside, and thanked me for taking the trouble. I smiled, and sat down. Although the place was completely new to me, but I was feeling easy and comfortable. The gentleman, introduced himself and he told me that he was staying alone and that, he had lost his wife and his only son stays abroad. He also told me that the card I returned, is of no importance to him now, since he used it when he was working as a lawyer in his earlier life. He handed me the card, and I carelessly kept it in my bag, without giving much importance. After that day, I started visiting the man whenever I found time. There was a strange feeling of association, and happiness that I felt, after talking to him. It was as if the old man had found a friend in me!
The man expressed his grief, a lot of times, and how lonely he felt! I could feel how the man only longed for someone to love him, and value him. It had become a routine, and now it felt like I was the person who brought back joy in his life. Gradually due to a lot of work, I couldn’t visit the man for several days. One day as soon as I was done with my daily chores, I came to visit him, and to my utter disbelief I found that the house no longer belonged to him, and that it was sold off. It had blown my mind and I didn’t know what to do. I tried, to look for him, I gave all my best efforts to find him. One day, I received a letter. It was nothing more than a mere information, it said that the house which belonged to the old man had been sold off by his son, and that the man now lives in an old age home, which was not named. I was numb. Slowly I realized, that the old man’s value was no more than that of the old identity card which I wanted to return. They both were of no importance, of no use! The old man was thrown away, and the card was left alone on the road on a cold winter night. But I couldn’t ever let go of the card which I once had carelessly put into my bag, because it was the only object left which now possessed memories of the man!
– Kasturi Chaudhuri , Delhi