One cannot be humble and aware of oneself at the same time.
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet
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It was a street where the portraits of the dead were put for sale. He walked into the street and looked upon it and he saw countless number of shops standing on either sides.
He eyes and face were pale. Drops of sweat were falling down from his eyebrows and he was dressed in an untidy manner.
“What do you want son?” a shopkeeper asked him. “I want the portraits of my dead parents, can I find it here?” he asked the shopkeeper “Yes, you will”, said the shopkeeper “Are you sure?”, he asked the shopkeeper with a little excitement. “I don’t know but we have the pictures of every dead ones” said the shopkeeper and burst out to laugh with other shopkeepers who were present in that street.
By seeing them laugh, he felt a little terrified but nevertheless he decided to search for the portraits of his parents. He entered the first shop and started to look on every photos. But couldn’t find them. He entered the second shop and then the third and then many more. There were thousands of portraits in each shop. After going into so many shops and seeing a lot of pictures, he became so tired that his eyes couldn’t distinguish one picture from the other. He became exhausted.
It was getting dark. The shops were lighted with bright and attractive lights of different colours. “Do you work in nights?” he asked one shopkeeper. “We never close our shops” said the shopkeeper. By hearing this, he had the feel of fainting because he was denied of a very much needed break.
“Now let me look for the pictures of my relatives” he said to himself and walked into a new shop with a great energy. But he couldn’t find those even walking into a lot of shops. He thought that every pictures looked the same under the bright lights in every shop. He cursed those lights in the shops which had the ability to cheat his eyes. He cursed those shops which had countless number of pictures so that they could deceive him.
Suddenly when he was in a shop, he saw two kids inside the shop. He knew their faces. It was his children. He stood behind a curtain near a wall to let the children go unnoticed. But the kids saw him and said to the shopkeeper that the man was their father. The shopkeeper rolled him and put the portrait of him in a cover. The kids gave him the price for it and took the portrait home.