Once upon a time ( from neighborhood got inspired)

We say that Diwali is a festival of lights but who knew life will be changing
After an hour of asking people for lift and finally travelling on the roof of a bus, Lakshmi was filled with determination and hope. She kept making sure both her children were okay, after all they were too young to understand why they had to travel 200 kms in a dilapidated bus just to sell the things they carried in sacks. Once they had reached the city, the children being too tired and hungry from the journey, ate all the food they had carried. She smiled, not worrying about the fact that there wasn’t any food left for her. All she wanted right now was to sell the diyas, earthen pots and decor she had planned and made in hopes for a good Diwali sale. She was determined to make their Diwali a happy one.

They lay their torn carpet on the muddy road overlooking the city’s biggest mall. All the items were beautifully decorated by the kids, as it was always like play for them. She kept looking at curious eyes around her, waiting for her first customer, but most of the people didn’t bother to get down from their cars. After about 2 hours, a decent-looking lady came up to her and enquired the cost of the diyas. She wasn’t satisfied with the cost of the items, and tried to bargain for almost half the price. Lakshmi didn’t want the first customer to return empty handed, so she had to sell them at almost the making charge. She saw people coming from the mall carrying bags filled with Diwali decor and wondered if they bargained in there too. After a day of poor sale, she could only make enough money for dinner for the three of them at a nearby stall.

The third day since they laid their shop, she hadn’t even sold half of all she had brought along. She was disheartened; the taunts of relatives already echoing in her ears - that she was incapable of running her house after her husband’s death. She tried to move her set-up to the famous street near the shopping center, only to realize that they extorted a great amount just to allow set-up the shop. Only if she had that amount, she would have sold all the pieces by now.

After selling a few items the next morning, a young guy came up to her, and asked for the pricing and other details. He checked the stock she had and stated that he was from a nearby supermarket, and they had ran out of Diwali items to sell. He wanted to buy all her items urgently. Although she happily sold it to him, she wondered how he would be able to sell them when she wasn’t. She decided to stay back to see how it goes with him.

The next day, to utter shock, her diyas were neatly packed in boxes of 2, 6 and 10, covered with glitter paper, tied with ribbons and priced at four times of what she sold them at. She could not believe these were the same items she created. Within hours, the shop made sales of more than she had made in the last three days. With tears in her eyes, remembering the faces of everyone who bargained with her endlessly, the ones who didn’t like her work, or commented about the quality, and seeing similar people content with buying it from that shop, her heart broke to the core.

As Lakshmi was headed home with a heavy heart, she heard a few people talk about how they would make sure to do everything to ensure Goddess Lakshmi comes to their house this Diwali, and all she could do was smile at fate.

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