Though Much is Lost, Much Abides

The Mumbai-Nagpur Duronto Express on 23rd June did not come even to the starting station until it was well over an hour late. Expectant passengers passed their time looking from the announcement screen to the digital clock hanging all along platform number 18. Bored of the wait, a group of three friends, well past their age of retirement, sat down and decided to play a game of Hearts. Only god knows why they were bent on playing a game of four when they were only three. Perhaps, it was some wisdom that a 24 year old cynic did not possess. It was definitely beyond his understanding.

The cards were dealt out for four people and all three of them picked their own handful. The fourth was turned face-up for everyone to see.

Incidentally, the two of clubs lay in that fourth portion of the deck and so the man to the right of it, picked three cards out for his other friend to exchange with. Each time the cards were dealt out for a new round, a new person would help with the fourth deck. And thus they played on till the train arrived.

They tallied their scores and through some previously negotiated understanding figured out who won how much. It so happened that the fourth hand was owed a sum of 75 rupees and that was that. 75 rupees were separated out and given over to the nearest beggar.

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