The Paying Guest–A Short Story

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We are in Bombay. It’s the commercial capital of the country. Hence, Bombay is truly the city of dreams. People from every state of the country come here in search of jobs and wish to settle here. Therefore, they call it a city of dreams.

Mr Sandeep and his wife were living in a villa in Goregaon. It is in the east of Mumbai. His old-aged parents were also living with them.

Mr Sandeep was working as a senior manager at a private firm. The name of the company was Cairn. Unfortunately, the company shut down. And Mr. Sandeep was at home. His age was around 55. No one was working in the house. They were financially weak. Hence, it was hard to run the home with no income.

In addition, his daughter was studying at an IIT and was staying in a hostel. He had to bear the expenses of her study and hostel fees.

In addition, he had to look after his old parents.

Hence, it was not workable to bear the expenses.

His father was a retired government officer. They all were living in a big house owned by his father. The upper floor of the house mostly remained vacant. They gave this floor on rent to get fifty thousand rupees a month.

Therefore, the family generated some passive income.

In addition, Sandeep was doing some part-time online work.

Hence, they advertised and put up a banner on the roadside to give the upper floor for rent.

About a few days later.

One day, an unknown person entered their premises.

He knocked on the door.

‘Hello sir, I am looking for a room. Would you like to give on rent?’ enquired the intruder.

He was a young gentleman around thirty.

‘Yes, please come,’ Sandeep welcomed him.

‘I am a CEO of a health care Bangalore-based company. I have to stay here for about a year. My company will pay my rent whatever it is,’ Replied he.

The gentleman looked intelligent.

Mr Sandeep offered him a cup of tea. And, after some conversation, they took him to the upper floor.

‘This is a living room, next is a bedroom, and that is a kitchen. All well-furnished. You don’t have to bring anything with you.’ Smiled the landlord.

‘Sir, are you married?’ enquired Mrs Sandeep.

‘No, but soon, I am sure I will. I am engaged to a girl, Sweaty and I am sure her parents will not deny,’ He confirmed.

‘Sir, I know that people in India do not give a house to a person who is single.’ He laughed.

‘Originally, I belonged to Himachal Pradesh. My native is Shimla. And, these are my documents.’ he gave the documents.

‘All right, your name is Dr. Ajay. Isn’t it?’ said Sandeep.

‘Yes, after completing my MBBS, I did an MBA. And now I am CEO of a company,’ added he.

Finally, Ajay gave rupees fifty thousand in advance for the rent.

‘ In fact, you are not just the ‘Paying Guest’, but stay here as a family member,’ Explained Mrs Sandeep.

The doctor helped the family during a medical emergency and created great intimacy with the family.

About a month later.

‘Aunty, today I will have dinner with you. Please do not send me to my room,’ Ajay said.

‘OK, my boy,’ Said Smita.

They gathered at dinner time.

‘You haven’t shown the photograph of your would-be wife, Ajay?’ asked Smita.

‘Sure, here it is.’ Ajay.

He opened his mobile. Suddenly, he remembered he purchased a new mobile.

Hence, the documents were in the old one.

‘I will show you the photograph later on. But, I will surely invite you to the ring ceremony,’ Answered Ajay.

‘Tomorrow, my daughter Rosy is coming home to celebrate her birthday. She is pursuing her engineering studies. We invite you to remain present for the ceremony,’ Said Sandeep.

Ajay promised to accompany them during the birthday celebrations.

Rosy arrived home.

She invited her friends and relatives on this occasion of the birthday celebration.

They were waiting for Dr. Ajay & he entered.

‘Rosy, this is Dr. Ajay, ‘The Paying Guest’, but our family member,’ Ajay introduced her.

It amazed Ajay to see her & was also shocking for Rosy to see him.

‘Are you here, Sweaty?, What a coincidence?’ exclaimed Ajay

‘Yes, she is the girl I was talking about,’ Said Ajay

‘She came to my company for an internship, and I fell in love with her and only know her by the name of Sweaty, a nice girl,’ Admitted Ajay to Sandeep.

Thus, the family was happy to see such a coincidence, and Dr Ajay was then not a paying guest but- a member of the family.

They got married after some time and enjoyed the life.

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