The Lucky Charm

The Lucky Charm

Twelve-year-old Amit hunted for some loose coins and old notes in his late father’s shabby chest. He sought to buy marbles to play with his friends.  His mother Sudha had firmly refused to give him extra money. Sudha worked as a housemaid at the bungalows. After paying his school fees, she could hardly make ends meet. 

Amit went through some timeworn leaflets, on which some explanations were scribbled.  It made no sense to him.  He tossed them aside and explored for bills.  He couldn’t find any.  Tired, he gave up. 

While shutting the chest, he saw something gleaming in it.  He looked again and saw an antique Victorian coin.  It had lost its charm but was sparkling.  Enchanted by the shimmering copper coin, he held it between his thumb and forefinger. The inscriptions were not completely visible.  He knew such coins were not used as currency anymore.

Mom might have considered this useless. There might be a reason for Dad to preserve it.

Something suggested to him that it was his lucky charm.

He picked it up and carefully placed it in his pocket.  He had heard about the antique coin collectors, who could pay huge sums for it. But he did not wish to part ways with the coin.  His mind was running fast.  He left his shanty and went out to meet his friends, who were playing marbles on the other side of the street.  They beckoned him to play.

He crossed the street and declared, “I am not playing any marble game today.  But I want to play another game.”

His close buddy Aniket inquired, “What is it?”

Amit explained, “I’ll flip this coin.  My next move will depend on how it lands on the ground.”

Aniket asked again, “Can you explain properly?”

Amit clarified, “I’ll flip this coin in the air.  If it lands facing heads upwards, then I win and take all these marbles.  But, if it lands facing tails upwards, then I’ll never play marbles again.”

Aniket and his friends looked at each other, puzzled.

Aniket answered, “Ok friends. Let’s go for it.”

Amit flipped his coin and waited for its result.

It was according to his expectation-heads.

He smiled and looked at the others. They gave a depressing look and left.

Amit quickly collected all the marbles which he had won, tied them into his worn handkerchief, and carried them between both his palms.

The coin proved to be his lucky charm!

Then, started his winning journey. He would use the coin and win – be it any kind of game, or any other decision. His choices relied on the coin.  He would always use ‘heads’ as his option.  The coin never betrayed him.

With time, he became a successful businessman.  They left the shanty and settled in respectable society.  Sudha stopped working.

The lucky coin adorned a special place in Amit’s wallet.

He believed that the coin was his good luck charm.  Though Sudha believed that he had become superstitious about it.

Sudha was keen on marrying him off to a suitable girl. But, whenever the proposal of a suitable match would arise, the coin would misbehave, and never show up according to their hopes.

This worried Sudha. As for Amit, he had blind faith in the coin.  But Sudha thought that the coin and its superstition was a hurdle in getting Amit married.

A plan was brewing in Sudha’s mind.

She arranged for a meeting with a suitable girl.  

She suggested Amit, “Please engage the coin after you meet the girl.”  

Amit reluctantly agreed.

A meeting with the girl and her family was arranged at their lavish house.  While the guests had snacks, Amit had a chat with the prospective girl.  After the guests left, Sudha inquired about the girl.  Amit’s smile was sufficient for Sudha to take a decision.

She suggested Amit not involve the coin yet.

The next morning, Sudha called Amit in the pooja-room of the house and suggested to him that it was time to take out the coin.

Amit gently took out the coin from his wallet.

Sudha suggested, “I’ll flip the coin today.”

Amit agreed.

Sudha took the coin cautiously in between her thumb and forefinger. 

She closed her eyes and muttered something.

She advised, “Close your eyes too.”  

Amit obliged.

She flipped the coin. The coin went up in the air, never to return.

Amit and Sudha searched for it in the whole room, but in vain.
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