The Prize

Radha was very fond of accessories .She loved to collect all kinds of things that would go with her meager wardrobe .she would scan the old magazines ,watch the fashion trends on the T.V. ,see closely how the women accessorized their outfits, in the houses she worked and tried to find something similar for herself .

In the beginning of the month after collecting her salary, she would go to the local market and explore .The vendors knew her well by now and called after her, to check out some new stuff that had just arrived .Then the bargaining would begin .After endless debate, the vendors would reluctantly give her what she wanted in the price she quoted .She was good at it, and why not, she had to budget everything.

She worked from six in the morning till six in the evening at five different houses, to earn enough to keep the things going .However; she made it a point to keep a certain amount separately for herself.

One day one of the ‘aunties’ in whose house she worked, asked her if she could accompany her to the nearby mall for shopping .The only mall the small hill station had .It had just come up and all the big people went there .

Radha did not think twice before saying yes .She liked the lovely Dimple aunty .They went to the mall and as the lady shopped for her things Radha watched everything with great excitement .A whole new world had opened in front of her .She thought she was in a dreamland. She could not believe that people had that much money to buy such expensive stuff.

As she was scanning one of the show windows, something caught her attention .It was a scintillating silver color purse .She could not take her eyes off from that thing .Radha remembered some film star carrying a similar one in one of the programs she saw on the T.V.

She mustered up the courage to see the price tag ,which itself looked so expensive .The numbers on the tag made her head dizzy .Even if she saved all her salary ,all her life ,she could never think of buying that thing of beauty .The image stayed in her mind .

That evening Radha and her friends went to the local fair .It was one place everyone went to .It brought with it moments of relaxation, joy and fun .It was also a meeting place for many people. Radha was overjoyed .She went to all the stalls ,checked out the new stuff ,ate pani-puri and jalebi ,went on a ride on the merry-go-roundand played games .Something she loved to do .She always won something or the other but today the luck was not on her side .Apart from some trinkets she did not get much .

The day was drawing to a close and it was time to return home .The girls chatted happily and moved towards the main entrance .Just then Radha saw a game stall she had missed .She quickly counted her coins .Not enough for the ticket, she thought sadly .Something made her try her luck and dragging her complaining friends, she went to the stall .After much persuasion, the owner agreed to let her play once .It was closing time and he too was winding up. The business had not been so good.

Radha aimed her ring carefully. Which number should it be?

Two, she decided, as it was her birthday.

Taking an aim, she threw the ring at the far end of the table and squealed with joy as it hit its mar

She could not wait to see her prize .The shopkeeper looked irritated and kept muttering something .Then he went behind the curtain and came out with something wrapped in a newspaper.

Handing it to Radha he said, “You sure are a lucky girl “

.Radha could not hold her excitement; neither could her friends, who were jumping all around her.

Her eyes popped out at the sight of what she saw.

A silver color purse with an uncanny resemblance to the one she had seen in the mall that morning.

5 thoughts on “The Prize

  1. Of course you leave us asking for more! Btw, loved that phrase “She mustered up the courage to see the price tag, which itself looked so expensive.”

    One day my maid saw smthing on TV and said that if the thing looks so expensive she would not like to see the price tag also ,that set me thinking ..


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