“Deepa, look at your twin sister Roopa! Isn’t she ravishing in her birthday attire!” cried her old aunt, completely not sensing the disappointment in Deepa’s face. They were celebrating their 21st birthday and, as usual, Roopa carried all the delight. Deepa excused herself at the earliest from the gathering to her quite room under the pretext that she was ill. There she wept to her heart’s content. This always happened to her at all gatherings. Deepa was average looking and had no special talents unlike Roopa whose looks were stunning and talents immeasurable. Deepa hated get-together and the way the people around her always went gaga over Roopa.
Alliances came from far and wide for Roopa but not for Deepa as the latter never carried herself in gatherings. One fine morning their aunt came bustling in with lot of enthusiasm and happiness shining on her face. “Here, look what I have got! Two fitting proposals for my darling nieces.” Deepa’s instant reaction was to flee but her aunt insisted that she stayed there.
“Come on Deepa, stop sulking and come to reality. You cannot stay here with your parents throughout your life and make them feel sad. By now you should have developed the capacity to take anything that comes your way in your stride. Now I am sure you will like the boy whom I have chosen for you.”
After lot of cajoling from her aunt, Deepa agreed to the proposal and that too with a lot of hesitation. Roopa was a silent spectator to all that was happening to her dear sister. She wanted to have a heart to heart talk with Deepa but the latter showed no inclination. Roopa entered into a wealthy family while Deepa entered into a very average household. But one silver lining for Deepa was that her husband Ram was a fine gentleman, very considerate and understanding. From the day of their marriage Ram noticed the sadness around Deepa and was curious to know the reason.
“Deepa dear”, her husband called out warmly while sipping his tea one evening. “I understand that you are always preoccupied with something. May I know what is bothering you? “The warmness in his tone thawed her heart and, much to her own surprise, started confiding in him all her feelings about her sister. Now Ram got the perfect picture of her emotions.
“Deepa dear! Please listen to me. Comparing with others is like a disease which slowly shatters the self esteem of any individual. Roopa may be talented but then everyone is unique in one’s own way and there is none without talents of their own, if only they can bring them out adequately. Try to analyze yourself, which I think, you have never done before”. His short but crisp monologue, told in soothing and agreeable tone, sparked something inside her. Soon she found a quiet corner to analyze her thoughts and penned them down hardly realizing that she had formed a beautiful short story. Days passed and she definitely felt much better.
“Happy New Year, Deepa!” her husband woke her up one fine morning. She opened her eyes to find a beautiful diamond ring sparkling on her ring finger.
“Oh! Ram, what is the need for this”, she said, her heart skipping a beat.
“This is a symbolic way of saying that from today your life is going to sparkle more than this diamond.” said Ram , handing her the latest issue of her favorite magazine.
“Hey,dear! Don’t just stare at me. Just turn to the 75th page!” cried Ram.
She did so and, lo and behold! There was the story she had penned down
Just then her cell phone beeped!
“Hello! Deepa”, cried out Roopa, “I am proud to have you as my sister. Just finished reading your short story and could not help but congratulate you. Ram told me he had sent the story to this magazine without your knowledge. You are lucky to get such a husband. May this new year bring you and your family a lot of cheers!”
Deepa suddenly realized that all these long years she had never congratulated her sister on any of her achievements. She felt guilty but managed to say a little ‘thank you.’
Ram could sense her feelings. “It’s ever too late to change, dear. We always have our whole lives for that! You will certainly get an occasion to congratulate Roopa. Don’t worry …and by the way wish you a very happy New Year.”