When I was on board, I thought I had fled successfully and had escaped with great ease, but to my shock, the game wasn’t over yet. I had been captured yet again. I was being surrounded by a big battalion which was blocking my eyes. Fate did have its role to play as Arjun (my son) was the commander of the battalion with a lovely firing order smiling at me. Didn’t know whether it was good luck or otherwise to see my son in front of me before the climax of an unworthy man.
I had always been a fighter and I was still looking for a flaw in their battle formation so as to find an escape route. The battalion had seen many like me and their formation was with greatest accuracy leaving no way of escape. The way things were taking place, I knew it was going to be curtains down in a short while. It left me no other option than to pray to my savior for an unknown portal to open and lend his divine hand so that I could be guided out from this band of soldiers.
Guilt is such a killing feeling which comes to you when it’s completely unwarranted. The guilt was taking me through an ideal life which I could have lived with my family leaving many happy and proud of my living. Thoughts were making me yearn for a day more to make things straight, and were pushing me to beg the commander to take back his firing orders and give me a second chance. I taught him, duty was the foremost and I knew he wouldn’t let my words go down the drain.
My life was just running like a reel in front of me and I could look at everyone who loved me. I was yearning to spend a few minutes with my granddaughter Pooja who was playing with her doll not knowing she wouldn’t see her dada (grand father) again. “I should have let go the clumsy burning finger which I held all through, when you asked me to hold your hands to raise and dance the ‘ring-a-ring-a roses’. I should have sang with you the ‘Jack and Jill’ instead of fetching a pail of beer for myself and tumbling before you. I was busy feeding myself with smoke and ecstasy, while you were yearning to sit on my lap thinking that I would feed you showing you the moon and telling you a story”.
I was still waiting for my savior, with my son walking around me with some kind of an object on his shoulder and saying something which I couldn’t understand as I have never been in this situation before. Arjun was a boon for Maya and myself. “If I had known earlier that I would be in such a state I am in today, I would have shared your joys and sorrows the way Maya did. I don’t blame you for the rift caused between us as it was me who made things go the wrong way. I have let you down in so many places and I know that you have never done that to me in front of others. You have made me proud in every way you could. My ego didn’t let me bow down to you and please forgive me for that. I should have enjoyed your success with you rather than enjoying your success with my friends drinking in the bar. I called everyone on my contact list to tell that you have succeeded, when you weren’t at home. I always wished good for you and have always thought that you should live your life better than I did. Only mistake was that I never did those things in front of you and expressed my true love for you. I am proud of you and I love you”.
My savior hadn’t come yet and when Arjun was behind me, I was struck by a pale figure standing in one corner wearing a white sari weeping louder with every step Arjun was taking around me. I have never seen her that way; she was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. “Hey Maya, the memories of meeting you are still fresh on my mind. I still remember the day we met, you in that lovely blue sari and your hair flowing like a wave.That swept me off my feet for the first time in my life, I felt you were irresistible.Phew!!! What a day!!! An unforgettable one. I remember our first hug, the first kiss, the first gift, the first night and our first and only love for each other. Sorry da for not quitting smoking and spoiling my health and your life. You have always stood by me during thick and thin and I am really sorry for leaving you alone.”
I had put her loving soul to distress while I suffered from a burnt black lung affected by cancer and was now moving away to an unknown land.
“Maya, I loved you for what you were, with all I had and the love for you which is still burning in me, begs for a day more so that I can see you colourful again. Please Maya,let us bid adios on a better note,not a tearful one. I can’t leave you like this.Will miss you.”
I heard a bang, the pot Arjun was carrying on his shoulder had crashed onto the surface as he was done with three rounds of walking around me. While he was ready to set ablaze the wooden soldiers that surrounded me, my savior arrived. I saw that unknown portal open, with an outstretched hand to lead me and before I could request for a day more, my earthly body already on fire and I heard a patient voice telling me “It’s time to move on, my son”.