All his life God and he had a strictly hate-only relationship. When he was young, he condemned God for taking away his father. He saw his mother and grand-mother kneel before God every single day, twice a day, deep in prayer. Despite all those pleas, help never arrived. At a very young age he decided never to kneel in front of Him, because the one who doesn’t respond to the sincerest of the appeals of those in need isn’t All-Loving and Holy. God simply ceased to exist for him at a tender age.

He continued to struggle against fate, fight the odds everyday, for a better tomorrow. He studied and worked hard day and night because he wanted a better life. At the age of 30, when he started his own family, he was, what many might call, a successful person. He beat the odds. He was a firm believer in the power of hard work. And was a non-believer of God.

Some 20-something years later, he was sitting ¬†outside the operation theatre in a hospital. His 20 years old child was fighting against the odd, battling for life and death. He couldn’t find solace anywhere. He couldn’t even cry because he was putting up The Brave Face. He longed for some quiet. As all hospitals do, this one had a secluded room for worship too.

For the first time in years, his tired and old feet touched the threshold of the temple- the said earthly abode of God. He sat on one of the benches and simply burst into tears, begging and pleading to God to take his health away and bestow it on his child. He talked to himself and he talked to God. He remembered all his actions and begged for forgiveness. The dam of emotions had burst and caused a flood. He kept talking to Him. After all, the name of last hope is God.

After a few hours, the shrill ringing of his phone woke him up from the trance. Wiping away his tears and suppressing his sobs, he received the call from his wife. She told him with a relief in her voice that their child was out of danger. As he disconnected the call, he burst into a fresh wave of tears, thanking Him. As he got up to go back to his family, he read a quote on the wall- “The prayers that are answered are the ones that hold a heartfelt, sincere good will for someone else.” He read the quote again and then once more.

He was suddenly reminded of his mother and his grandmother praying. He realized that when they prayed, they asked not for a good life for themselves but for a beautiful future for him and his siblings. He felt something inside him shift.

He had entered the temple last time as non-believer. Because when he left, he had turned into a believer. That day, he was converted.

*The assignment was to write a story from a single picture. These were the pictures provided-



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