I was going to the cinema one hot afternoon. In my hand was a small handy electric fan, which was a souvenir from a friend. I felt the excitement of using the cute lovely gadget for the first time.
Coming out of the building, I noticed the old woman, who was a neigbour, sitting near the entrance looking into the emptiness with no expression on the face. In my hurry I walked past without greeting her. Feeling the scorching heat, however, I turned around and went back to her. I gave her the electric fan saying that it would help her cool off a bit and would also blow off the pollution from the passing cars. She thanked me again and again.
Later that evening I suddenly remembered that the fan would need recharging after a few hours’ use. I doubted if I had done the right thing as I seemed to have created problems for her.
When I saw her again the following day, I told her to leave the fan at the reception and I would help her recharge it. But she looked at me with bewilderment; she did not seem to understand what I was talking about. She might even have forgotten all about the fan. In fact, I did not see her using it in the days that followed.
Somehow I felt sorry for not keeping the souvenir, thus heedless of my friend’s kind thoughts for me. I could have given the old woman another fan, a more easily manageable one.
Last night, I heard that the old woman had passed away. She must have died peacefully and without much pain for she had been seen in her usual place just a few days before. While praying for the repose of her soul, I felt consoled at the thought of my friend's message expressing her gladness about having also contributed to her slight comfort with the fan, though for merely a brief moment.