Two Negatives Makes A Positive… Only In Mathematics!

Last updated 29 Dec 2016 . 7 min read

It was a beautiful morning. But as I opened my main door to get the milk cartons, stinky wet heap of cow dung greeted my foot. It smelt SHIT!  

Today was the third day of this ongoing war with my upstairs neighbour, Mr Verma. It started when I mistakenly collide his car while parking mine. He expected me to apologize for that.

Why would I? I didn’t do it purposely!

Next day when I came home from work, I found my window pane broken. Mr Verma allured his son to do it while playing cricket. He did it PURPOSELY! Such a scoundrel!

How could I have taken that? To pay him back, I removed his electricity socket at night; which made him struggle an hour to get the electricity back. What was wrong in that? The window pane costed me a good five hundred rupees

But how stubborn a person can be! His full family kept jumping and throwing things on ground whole night to disturb my and my wife’s sleep.

Don’t you think that was too much? Thus I instructed my dog to poop near his door. And here is his revenge; cow dung at my door step!

Now it’s time to do something even more hostile. But what?

I decided on spending my Saturday to plan something advancing than this. So I took out the car, dropped my wife to her mother’s place and kept driving until something strikes my mind.

As I was driving, suddenly a bicycle came in the mid of the road. I pushed the brake at once and the car stopped with a jerk. Thank God it was a barren road and not many people used it. It was a young boy not more than fifteen years of age on the bicycle. He took out his helmet which was in a very bad shape and stood still staring at me.

The incident made my already angry mind, more furious. I came out of the car and began scolding him. After five minutes of rebuke I returned to my car only to find that I’d locked my keys and cell phone inside.

Damn how can all bad things happen in a single day?

“What happened?” The boy asked. This was the first thing he spoke since our encounter.

“Nothing” I shrugged

“Keys locked in Uncle?” His voice showed concerned.

I nodded my head.

“Where are the spare ones?”

“At home. But my wife is at my in-laws place and I cannot ask my maid to bring them. My phone is locked inside too and I don’t remember any numbers except my wife’s. So I cannot call anyone and ask for help. And leaving the car here and getting them myself will not be a good idea either” I said tapping my head with my hand

“I can get them.” He asked to help.

“How?” I asked with a ray of hope

He took out a basic phone from his pocket “here” he started “call you wife and tell her to inform your maid that I am coming to get the keys”

“That’s 5 kilometers away! Travelling the distance twice in a bicycle would not be possible.”

“Don’t worry about it”

I did as he said so and waited for him to return with the keys. To my surprise he returned after thirty five minutes, while I wasn’t expecting him to be back before an hour.

“Thank you” I murmured with an inferior feeling “But I have a question, I yelled at you so rudely, what made you help me? You could have just laughed and left”

“Just because you behaved badly to me, doesn’t mean I replicate the same. That's exactly what I learned last week in my moral science class - two negatives makes a positive, only in mathematics not in real life. If we both do wrong to each other, the outcome will never be right. And I have a bicycle competition tomorrow, so anyway I had to practice” he smiled and rode off

I stood there for some time feeling so subordinate; before I drove home taking a halt at a flower shop

I left the bouquet of fresh roses at Mr Verma’s door, rang the doorbell and went to a distance from where I was able to see what was happening.

Mr Verma came out. Finding no one at the door, he frowned. After few seconds of wandering his eyes came across the bouquet of roses. With some hesitation he took it and read the note which said ‘Sorry’. The frown on his face turned into a big smile as he went inside.

I don’t know why but that night I slept very peacefully.

Next morning when I got up and opened the main door to collect milk cartons; a box of chocolates greeted me at the doorstep. ‘Friends?’ a note on it asked. I looked here and there, Mr Verma was watching from a distance, I smiled at him and nodded.

With a happy heart I drove my car and went to the ground where bicycle race was to take place. Thanks to google for answering some important questions in life. My eyes scanned for the boy. After 10 minutes I finally found him, I went to him and handed him a helmet. ‘Thank you’ I said with gusto.

“You already said that yesterday, Uncle” he smiled while accepting the helmet

“I know, but this is for something else.” I smiled back

His face was full of happiness when he replaced his broken helmet with the one I got for him. I cheered him all through the race and when he came second we both celebrated his victory with my newly-made-friend’s chocolates.

“You told me that the thankyou was for something else, what is that?” He asked while munching

“For teaching me the most important lesson in life.”

“What lesson?”

“Two negatives makes a positive… Only in mathematics, because what you give, you get"

-Husna Advani Dossani


Husna Advani Dossani
Husna Advani Dossani holds a bachelors degree in English Literature and has done first year masters in the same. Few of her works are already published. She is passionate about reading and writing, she dreams of becoming a successful author some day.

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