He sat on the balcony of his house, with his newspaper in hand and a cup of coffee by the side. It used to be one of those foregone routine to all in the family. No one ever disturbed him during that time. That day suddenly as if he went into a trance he gazed at the end of the street. The distant look was confusing. This was not the first time either.
Immediately his mind was flooded with memories of the past
Many a moons had passed since, he started his journey from a small in descript village, from a poverty stricken family, to where he lived now in a bustling metropolis and a comfortable life by any standards
The playful chatter of friends and cousins whether it was in the pool or in the nearby woods, it did help to forget the uncertainty of the future. It was a large family and no one had a distinct identity. All merged into one big sorry group, which did find their own ways of reaction to life. It was a different time then…
He could never tell whether he loved to study and or was it his vision. But against all odds he did manage to go to college and finish it too. That was a first in the family. He ensured that his younger siblings also fared equally well or better. He refused to get drawn into the business of the family which had just started to thrive. He reminisced that he wanted to chart his own destiny.
The coffee was getting cold. He got up to for his refill
He came back and the gaze was up again.
He could never pin point when in his life he developed so many different hobbies. He smiled as he started to sip the second cup of coffee.
The weather was getting cold, he never liked the cold, he loved to read and read, spend hours and hours over texts related to his interest or otherwise
He remembered his first contribution to the college magazine, did that spur him to write more? In the years to come he wrote so many articles, so many publications would reject, so many would publish, but his enthusiasm was un wavered. He fondness of music was average, but he could tell the right notes from the wrong. Technically perfect. That was enigmatic.
He could never forget his past, it used to keep coming back, the memories of a childhood when he grew up as an under privileged. Later he was to patronize the local orphanage where every time he wound enter the premises the kids there would come running to him from a distance knowing fully well that he would surely come with some goodies for them. Oh.. so much water has flown under the bridge.
He could not help missing the long list of friends many of whom were no more, many of them moved on to other places. He looked up and saw his wife watching him intently. She knew that look, she could feel that look, she had seen that many times over.
He shuffled and rattled out the day’s top news to her and they engaged in their favorite pass time – Argue. When they were done, they made up over food. He loved his food
That day was something, something strange, he felt this many a times before, but that day the urge was more. The look in his eyes were telling a story
A story of the days gone by. The past had so many misses in life, and so many near misses. But also as many triumphs. As the memories enveloped him, he realized that he was desirous of the arrival of a figure that would walk right in from the corner of the street so that he could get up, put his newspaper down, and open the gate, and hug him tightly. A hug that would radiate all the feelings of missing him for so many days the heartbeat of love all permeating
One need not have been a psychologist to empathize with him, his feelings were like an open book for everyone to read and live
In the city of joy where I live currently, I could not escape laying my hands on Tagore’s classic “The Cabulliwalah”. The story that ends with the grand old man with the distant look in his eyes in search of the vision of his daughter who would have grown up like the effervescent character Mini of marriageable age. Tagore’s description invariable brought a tear in my eyes every time I read it. I could relate to what that look could have been.
Just as I could empathize the feeling of the protognist in Tagore’s classic, I could feel that look of his to the end of the street having missed his near and dear ones for long as would his wife, as would his neighbours
I too miss you dad!!