An Author's Freedom
An Author's Freedom5 mins 10.1K 5 mins 10.1K
21st March, 2018
“I want to go to the second floor”, he said violently removing her hand which supported him or, perhaps his age. After 82 years of life nothing interested him more than going up the stairs to his study room. That study room where he had studied various literature and wrote some masterpieces.
21st March, 2000
Shomesh Roy entered the hall accompanied by flashes from camera and huge rounds of applause. The author of the best selling books like “Life as a coin”, “ One is won”,” History on the run”, to name a few, was now finally retiring from his career with the lifetime achievement award awarded to him by the prestigious World Literature Society.
Shomesh was a renowned author . Early in his life , he had worked in a small-scale industry. But that was just for two years until his first novel got a huge response and then he kept climbing the stairs of success. Cruel life’s eyes however was on him and now he had to plead to climb the stairs of his own house.
Shomesh was the father of a son and a daughter. The daughter,Tista had married a guy of her choice and hence Shomesh was a bit disappointed with her. Being from a typical patriarchal background, Shomesh thought his son would look after him in his old age. He helped his son grow up to be a renowned engineer. Soon enough Saikat, the son of Shomesh started his consulting firm. Saikat was a genius at his work, a loving and caring son at home. Shomesh’s wife was the most loving, caring and efficient home- maker. There never existed a dish of Bengali cuisine which was out of Keya’s knowledge. Shomesh and Keya decided to get their son married to a beautiful lady named Riyanka. Saikat being an obedient son agreed to their decision. Everything was running fine and smooth until life’s slippery ground slipped Keya out of the family. Keya died due to a sudden heart attack just two months prior to Saikat’s marriage.
23rd July, 2005
Saikat and Riyanka tied the knot that day. Shomesh inspite of their great loss had not delayed the wedding hoping that Riyanka would bring back life to his house. He said, “ Riyanka will be a true daughter to our house. Only she can fill the vacuum that Keya has created in this family.” Riyanka, Saikat and Shomesh started living a happy life . Saikat’s sister frequently visited them with her loving husband and daughter.
But as they say life’s full of surprises, there was more awaiting. One night, Shomesh was writing a blog for a renwowned newspaper sitting in the wooden chair of his secobd floor located study room. Riyanka called him for dinner. Shomesh did not come down until he completed his writing . This occurred for several times. Keya never complained on such things so Shomesh thought Riyanka too would not mind until one day Saikat asked Shomesh to have dinner on time. Slowly, Riyanka started complaining about many such things. Things got heated up and after five years of marriage , Saikat announced of leaving Shomesh’s house. They decided to settle in a neighbouring state. Though Saikat being a soft spoken son sited reasons for shifting as his job demands but Shomesh very well knew the real reason was him.
After Saikat and Riyanka left the house, Shomesh could live for only a few more days alone in the three storeyed building. One day after he became severely ill, Tista decided to bring him to her house. Since then Shomesh lives with his daughter and her family.
21st March, 2018
Shomesh was now the aged man who had nothing to dream but nightmares. A man whose mind also got withered with age. Tista along with her two daughters and husband, took care of him. However, Tista had a single storeyed house. He shouted again “Please call Saikat, once he returns from office I will complain him that you do not take me up to the second floor, to my study room.” Tears rolled down her cheeks as Tista understood that her father’s dementia was growing and being a doctor herself she knew it would grow worse with age. The only silver lining moments were when Shomesh was in proper senses and spent times with Tista reminiscing stories of her childhood days. Both of them laughed and Tista’s younger daughter loved it when her grandfather told her bedtime stories. However, the 4 year old could never make out why grandpa said that Saikat mama had visited them the previous night when she had never met Saikat mama except through Skype calls.
The entire nation was celebrating the much fought and brought Independence. Shomesh quietly sat in his room in Tista’s house. Nowadays, he talked less and mostly contemplated. When asked about his thoughts he only answered with “I don’t know what to think. I can’t understand or remember things”,tears rolled down his cheeks as he said this. While Shomesh sat there, he heard a voice “Baba”. No, it was not Tista’s voice. Soon in front of the old, helpless man whose physique had broken down to tree after a storm was a young man standing. The young man who looked much like Shomesh in younger days was none other than Saikat. Saikat hugged Shomesh tightly and with words which could still make their way out of the tear struck voice of Saikat, he apologized and said “Sorry for hurting you by leaving you alone. Lets go home again”. Shomesh freed Saikat from his guilt feelings and decided to listen to him. Shomesh entered his house with his son and daughter-in-law. This Independence Day an author freed the book shelves of his study room from the captivity of darkness and opened them to the air and freshness of the world. Shomesh spent the entire day in his study room and requested Saikat not to disturb him for a day. The next morning Riyanka went to Shomesh’s study room to serve tea and breakfast. Shomesh lay there calm amidst his books, his head resting over an open book which read “Freedom at midnight”.