In our world today, we spend so much of our time working, that sometimes we forget some of the very important duties we have to perform. At the 11th hour, we seem to recollect the lines (What-if-I-had…, I-should-have, it-could-have-been, etc.) of a person who we generally call an idiot, an idiot who missed some of the most important things he could have done or enjoyed but couldn’t. I am going to let you understand this with a better concept. Yes, A short story..
After a long hot afternoon, Raghavan decided to take his six year old daughter to the children’s park as the evening was getting cooler and pleasant. His daughter Sintu was over joyed with the decision. Raghavan felt happy for the first time in months. Ekamra Park, he thought, there she will be happier with so many other kids. They went to the park and Sintu ran unto the slide, arms stretching out in joy and her eyes cheerfully sparkling. While Raghavan waited for his daughter a woman clad in saree came and sat near him.
“That’s my son over there,” she said, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater who was gliding down the slide.
“He’s a handsome boy” Raghavan said. “That’s my daughter in the white dress.”
Then, looking at his watch, he called to his daughter. “What do you say we go, Sintu?”
Sintu pleaded, “Just five more minutes, Dad. Please? Just five more minutes.”
He nodded and Sintu continued to slide to her heart’s content. Minutes passed and Raghavan stood and called again to his daughter. “Time to go now?”
Again Sintu pleaded, “Five more minutes, Dad. Just five more minutes.”
Raghavan smiled and said, “OK.” This went on for a couple more times.
“My Goodness, you certainly are a patient father,” the woman responded.
Patient? He wondered how patient he was a couple of months ago. It was so vivid in his mind that he could never forget it. Never, in this life.
Raghavan was a man with short hairs (he kept them short not to waste time in brushing them). He was well built in length but there was a weird growth in terms of his health. He was termed as a man with insatiable desires because he used to work on music so much that sometimes he forgot to take his two consecutive meals at a stretch. Not to mention, sometimes he wondered if he used the washroom in the past 8 hours. His wife, Suneema died of appendicitis 2 years ago.
Venkat, who was just a child of 8 last year was very lonely after his Mom’s death. Raghavan’s little income from his music classes got him nothing more than a third-hand-purchased bicycle. Suneema had gotten it after paying Rs.300 to the second-hand bicycle owner 3 years back. Raghavan was in the middle of a Raaga when Venkat came in, “Dad can we go to the Ekamra park today?” He very well knew that it was hopeless to ask his dad for such a favor. He also knew he would now get a blast from his dad, but he couldn’t hold his desire to play out anymore. After all, he was an 8 year old. Even a Scamp could have loved that childish innocence filled eyes. But Raghavan shouted at him until he almost broke his Harmonium in anger.
“If you want to go to the useless park to play, go by yourself. Take your cycle and get lost!” He shouted with his lungs almost coming out through his mouth.
That evening late at around 8pm when Venkat had still not returned he got panicked. He respectfully and neatly kept all his belongings, which consisted of a harmonium and a stack of papers filled with Raagas and other music notes. Then took out his Grandpa-aged scooter and went out. Venkat had met with an accident on his way to the park. A drunk truck driver had run him over on his little sweet head. His body had collapsed to the side of the road.
He had never spent even 5 minutes with his children, nor his wife. She had died of such a silly reason. Appendicitis! Now, he lost cute little Venkat. He thought, what if I had given him his share of joy, I should have paid more attention to Suneema. Oh my God! It could have been so nice and easy. It must have been a wonderful evening today.
Now, he looked at the woman sitting beside him on the park bench. He said nothing more than, “I can’t bear to lose more” with tears filling his eyes.
Learning from it
I could have written a better story. This was all I could. But this does the needful. It has helped me learn, that apart from the duty to work, we have duty towards friends and family. Without which, any sort of accomplishment would look hollow. Its true that we should work, but for whom? Thats the ultimate question one should ask to himself/herself.
If we cannot share the success, its measurable with our stupidity.