Creative Musings

An Unexpected Onam Delight

— Julie Joy

It’s a cozy Saturday evening. Today is that big day. The result of the Onam bumper lottery will be announced soon. It was with much difficulty that I convinced my hubby to buy the lottery ticket last Sunday, while we were returning from the church. He bought the ticket due to my compulsion and out of charity, as  a visually challenged person was selling the tickets.

But where is that ticket now? I distinctly remember placing it on my son’s study table, the least used space in our house. It’s not there now! My hubby enters the room, talking to someone on the phone. What is in his other hand? Isn’t that my lottery ticket? When did this guy take it? Amidst my confusion and doubt, he comes and gives me a tight hug. To my surprise, he says, “Congratulations dear, you are the winner of the 2023 Onam bumper!”

Really? Is this true? Has the world become more beautiful? I look around and everyone seems ecstatic. Hubby appears to be overjoyed and proud of me (probably the first time in these 20 years!). My father-in-law, a retired Army officer, gives me an appreciative nod. As I look at my mother-in-law, she seems happy too; maybe inside she is thinking, ”How did this damn girl become this lucky?” Well, some things are destined to happen, momma. 😊

My kids are super excited. First up is my elder daughter, who is about to end her teenage years in 5 months. “So, for you, the iPhone Pro Max 15 will be Amma’s lottery gift. Is that okay?” I asked. She is super happy. My son, a few years younger than his sister, is more than thrilled with the PS5. Then, my little one, who just needs a laptop. Why would a fourth-standard boy need a laptop is beyond my understanding.  I am sure he is also learning all of this from his elder brother and sister!

I head to the kitchen, where my maid, Khushi is preparing tea. Khushi had always wanted a gold bangle. I am going to give her a gold bangle, chain, ring, and a nose pin too. Let Khushi become really ‘Khushi’!

As I turn towards my husband again, something seems off. Why does his face look worried now? My father-in-law and mother-in-law are also in shock. The kids are on the verge of tears. Khushi is looking at me with disbelief. What’s happening?

My hubby asks, “Julie, are you okay now?” 

Am I okay now? Why shouldn’t I be?

Oh, now it is starting to make sense. Things are registering in my head slowly. This is the second day of me being Dengue-positive. Amid the blaring temperature, with much difficulty, I had a little porridge and went to sleep. I was talking loudly in my sleep!

So, all this was a DREAM! My lottery win was just a Dengue fever-instigated dream! I look around again. Isn’t this the actual lottery win? I am in bed, and my entire family is concerned and worried about me, pouring their love and care! What more lottery do I need?

I give a hearty smile to everyone and slip into another deep slumber. Who knows, in my next dream, I will win against Narendra Modiji and become India’s next Prime Minister!

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