It was a landmark, it stood out – it was the small house atop a hill and had a shiny red roof. When Mr.Good ( his wife had given him this name and now people had almost forgotten his real name!), 75, and his wife decided to build this house in this small, sleepy hill station twenty-five years ago they knew it will be their abode till the end. His wife left him suddenly (one morning Mr.Good woke up to find her lifeless body next to him). They had no children and as both of them had planned, with fondest memories of his companion Mr.Good continued to stay here. He loved the place – truly.
Mr.Good was the doctor, the vet, the teacher, the councilor, the mathematician, the scientist, the plumber, the architect – in short an advisor to anyone in need of help. He was always ready to help – any time of the day – no one ever was turned away. Over the years he had acquired the reputation of providing solutions to all kinds of problems. When stuck, everyone knew where to head for – the house with the red roof! An injured cow, a wailing baby or a leaking tap – he could handle all and perfectly too. He truly lived up to his name and his motto was – Just be good…..
The house with the red roof was the only one on the hill – Mr.Good and his wife had purchased a huge plot of land and built a small house so that they could have lots of open space which both of them loved. It was Diwali night and the town was celebrating. Mr.Good had lit a candle in front of his wife’s picture and was enjoying his solitude on his favorite cane chair when there was a knock at the door. He was a little surprised as being Diwali he wasn’t really expecting anyone. He opened the door and saw two young men, unknown faces ( in the small town you generally recognize all) standing. Thinking they might be in need, he let them in. They locked the door behind him and pushing him, tied his hands and feet and taped his mouth before he could react. They kept asking about his ‘wealth’ (they had apparently heard that a ‘wealthy’ man stayed all alone in ‘the house with the red roof’ ). They however, could not understand the ‘wealth’ being referred to – the ‘wealth’ of goodness! It was sad that at the moment the ‘wealth’ could not be shared as the hands, feet and mouth of the wealthiest man were not under his control.
Very strangely, too early for a snowfall, it snowed that night….In the morning the roof of the house was white with a layer of snow and inside Mr.Good had left his house with the red roof, leaving all the ‘wealth’ behind.