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Life is beautiful

He looks familiar, Aditi thought as she looked at the man sitting next to the replica of Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night.  It was a busy evening at the restaurant. And so, without delving deeper into her thoughts, Aditi went to take his order. He wanted a hamburger and a glass of lemonade. While jotting down, she tried not to stare at the scars across his right hand or the red stains on his left wrist. From up-close, Aditi was now sure she had seen him somewhere, but couldn’t quite recall where.

Forty minutes later, she went to the mysterious stranger with the bill. He paid his dues, gave a handsome tip, and coughed, “Thank you, Aditi.” And then, he left.

Aditi stood there, stunned, wondering how he knew her name. Then it hit her–the car accident! He pulled me out of my wrecked car before it burst into flames! She tried to follow him, but he was already gone.

When Aditi came back, she found a note on his table. It read:

Dear Aditi,

The night of your accident, I was on my way to rob a bank. But when I pulled you out and took you to the hospital, I realised how fragile life really is. We can’t risk it for anything. Today, I’m a painter, living an honest life. Thank you for saving me. I will always keep you in my prayers.

Aditi was overwhelmed. Truth be told, on the night of her accident, Aditi was driving under the influence of alcohol. It had impaired her judgement and she had lost control of the vehicle. After a few hours, when she gained consciousness, doctors had told her that she had barely made it to the hospital in time, and that she was lucky to be alive.

For long, Aditi had searched for her saviour. He had not only taken her to the hospital, but had also given her the chance to learn an important lesson–life is a beautiful gift, far too precious to be taken for granted. With that epiphany, Aditi had decided to turn her life around. Three months later, she had completely sobered up, living a life of responsibility and gratitude. 

Aditi was amazed at how two strangers, on the path of self-destruction, had somehow ended up saving each other. She couldn’t tell if it was a mere coincidence or something else beyond her comprehension. Believing it’s the latter, the young woman clutched the note tightly in her hands, closed her eyes, and said a silent prayer for him out of gratitude. She then went back to work, with a beaming smile on her face.     

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