The Prayer: A Short Story

The alarm clock buzzed exactly at 6 a.m. She stirred in her bed for a few seconds, shut the alarm off. Unrefreshed sleep — she said to herself, she must sleep earlier. A few moments later, she opened her eyes. 6.15. My God, she said, I’ll be late. She tore herself from the luxury of a cosy warm bed on a cold winter morning.She completed the task of brushing, waking her two children, preparing morning tea, breakfast, etc — everything in 40 minutes flat. Her husband too, post-breakfast had his bath and was ready to leave.

By 8.30 she had already started cooking for the day. Thank God for the good maid. Such a rare thing these days. She shouldered half the responsibility in the kitchen. By 9.15 she was out of the house leaving for office. She thought again she would be late today.

In the bus, she thought how beautiful it would be to sit quietly early in the morning and say her prayers — in peace. But she had no time. “Up there. He knew it,” she thought. Up there, someone smiled knowingly. He knew it.

Once in office, she was busy till late evening. With this new strict CM, they had to actually work full-time. After office with her friends she fleetingly paid visit to an exhibition and then hurried home.

After an evening cup of tea, she paid attention to her children’s homework. Now she was totally free. After a hard day’s work she wanted a little recreation. So she parked herself only for one hour in front of the TV. Up there, someone said yes, she is very tired, she must get some entertainment. She will pray later.

Her children were studying all by themselves and doing very well. Thank God, she thought, how lucky she was — nice husband, well-to-do status, good health, lovely house and a nice maid. What more could she ask for? Up there, He must be liking me, she thought.

Up there someone certainly liked her. She was his favourite child. He granted her every wish when she prayed for good SSC results, and then 12th std results. Then for graduation results, then the prayers for the job interview, then the nice man she met and finally the two children as per her wish.

He only hoped she would pray every day. But for her — she had no time for herself and how could she give time for Him.

The TV serial was good. After dinner she went for a stroll with her husband for half an hour. Today she would certainly pray after she came back.

When she reached home she was so tired, she threw herself on the bed and went to sleep. She remembered that she had not said her prayers. She will do it tomorrow. “He will understand,” she thought. He certainly understood. This child was really tired and needed good sleep, and a well-earned rest.

Within 15 minutes she was in deep sleep. Her daughter came running, “Mummy, Mummy, Akash has left home. He ran away. Come fast.”

Suddenly she was jerked off the bed. Akash has left home? Oh my God. What will Tulsi do? This serial is getting more and more interesting. The next 40 minutes she was glued to the TV. Then she called up a friend and gossiped for 20 minutes about everything. Up there He thought — yes, she also must have friends.

By 11.30 her eyes were drooping. She said good night and drifted off to sleep. Her thoughts? Her friends, Akash, Tulsi, and Prayers? Who had the time? Tomorrow. Surely.

Up there, someone was smiling. She will say her prayers tomorrow. For years now he was hearing the same sentence.


  1. you have turned God into a very demanding figure.. i feel the very fact that she can think of prayin is a lot… remembering god is sometimes more essential than not doing anything

    • @facebook-1587431106:disqus You’ve misinterpreted the story. The entire point is that God is not demanding at all. He understands us better than we think. He knows that the very thought of God in the mind of the lady is a blessing in itself. Isn’t that why she’s been lucky all her life, even though she doesn’t “Pray”?

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