Balram was one of those who took even little things to heart; he normally gave too much thought to unimportant things. He usually did most of the tasks that was asked of him without thinking why it had to be done. For instance, one morning, his father had some minor work in the city and decided to send Balram to follow up. He had said “Balram, you have to go to the city in the afternoon. But don’t loiter around there for too long. Get back home soon!” Balram, being the obedient son, immediately agreed without asking any further questions. He had an early lunch and even before his father woke up from the afternoon siesta, Balram had gone to the city and was back too!
One day, Balram had just retuned from a long trip after visiting relatives. During dinner, his mother casually said in passing “Balram, don’t you remember that old woman who lived at the end of our street? She passed away a few days ago in her sleep.” Even though he couldn’t recollect who it was, Balram was quite sad to hear the demise of an old woman. He thought about it all evening, trying to recollect the old woman his mom had mentioned. After dinner, he paced about in his room trying to remember and eventually he gave up and went off to sleep.
Sometime during the night, he ran out of his room screaming and shouting, waking up the entire household. He seemed terrified and was frightened out of his wits. His parents tried to pacify him explaining that it must have been a nightmare and there was nothing to be scared of. He refused to believe that it was a dream. He said that he was woken up gently by someone who smiled and said, “Don’t worry about it too much Balram. I am the old woman who died last week”