There was an epidemic in the air. Almost every building had someone who had caught the infection. Around two in a million died of the infection due to an idiosyncratic susceptibility in the immune system.

He was admitted in a municipal hospital. He was already in poor health. Always had been frail and prone to illnesses. Smoked beedis, drank country liquor since morning and totally abused his body. Besides, the syphilis organisms had long made his body their home, courtesy his visits to the red light areas.

He had never prayed to God. He lied, cheated, stole and swore regularly. He delighted in committing what was considered blasphemy. No wonder, his exasperated, exhausted family secretly did not mind if he succumbed.

He just wanted to get out of the hospital. And get his next drink.

He died of the infection.

Another man also got the infection. He was admitted to the best superspeciality hospital. He had been in perfect shape. He had never smoked nor drunk. He regularly went to the gym and also, did yoga. He practised positive thinking believing in the power of the subconscious mind.

He had led an exemplary life. He understood that God wants us to be kind to our brethren. He practised goodness for goodness’s sake. His family prayed deeply and with faith for his speedy recovery.

He affirmed to himself that he would bounce back soon. He was raring to get going on a new charity mission for rehabilitating abandoned, destitute widows and their children.

He also died of the infection.

They both had the idiosyncratic susceptibility in the immune system.