The clock rang at 12.00 AM.
Still sitting in the dinning room since.. can't exactly remember for how many minutes or hours.
The dinner, lying before me, must not be that much edible anymore. It was warmed by Jane at around.. 8 o'clock I suppose before she left for the party at the in-laws' place.
The temperature of Sydney must be not more than 2-3 degrees Celsius tonight. Enough to freeze further the peas pulao Jane made only because I loved it always.
But should I continue just staring like this?
The question is - who's responsible for me to feel lost suddenly at this age?
Or, Late Mr.Modi?
It came in the business section on Sky News this morning. Out of nowhere that it struck me. Struck real hard!
Yes, 25 years ago I saw him the last time in front of my eyes attending the funeral of my maternal grandfather. He looked quite similar to the picture that I saw him in my mom's cupboard that day.
By the time I was out of my pram, they were already separated, with both having created separate entities with newly formed families.
It was only me who was "weird" to my teachers and class-mates (not any to friends though as I hardly have any, again "weird"), and also in my long drawn solitude for not having any identity.. (Or, rather for not being accepted by the people who could have been my identity?)
I was unable to decipher the answers to any of these questions ever.
Mr. or Mrs.Modi, both were quite interested in setting peace in their lives even at the cost of a small child who wasn't largely considered required in their status of people. I was arranged for a residential school at the age of 3 years. I wasn't an orphan. But was no less than an orphan too.
I saw from the half slid window of my room when other boys been taken away by their parents on vacation. It was only me left looking at the ants marching in a line towards a hole under the window in the pin-drop silence of a vacant dormitory during the time which they called "vacation."
When I was in my class, maybe in standard III, when Father Rodriguez called me in his room after the recess. When I went to him there was an old man sitting in his room. I was told that I need to visit "my house."
My house? That was my expression.
I had to hold the wooden chair very strongly in front of the Father's desk. The other things that he went on saying after that reached only to his ears maybe. Mine was shut with my brain buzzing loud, getting louder with every passing second. I went to a big car, bigger than any of the other boys who leave during the vacations. I was trying to understand if I need to feel happy.
Many big cars were waiting there when I reached a house which was really big.. at least for a small boy of standard III to live with a mom and a dad.
I was taken to a floor above on an elevator which had an entry from the parking lot itself.
I sat in a room in which the old guy who came along with me from the school told me was my mom's room.
"My Mom"? Really? My brain buzzing louder again. I have a "MOM!"
The big room with lavish furniture spoke in silence that they were luckier being accompanied by "My Mom!"
I looked frantically all around the room to catch a glimpse of how my Mom looks like..
There was a silver picture frame beside the bundled clothes at the bottom inside the cupboard. I saw a half-smiling man and a not so smiling woman holding a perambulator with a very small baby smiling in it.
"Your mom and dad and that's you in that", suddenly heard the old voice of that guy who had left me there to wait. Not sure when he returned. Neither had I cared for. I was trying to gulp all of my Mom and my Dad for the first time!
"Let’s go down, your dad also has, at last, come for your grandfather's funeral. Hurry up", said he putting the frame back to the same place where it was earlier.
I started following him out of the room with a buzzing excitement to witness "my mom and dad" anytime!
I reached a big hall which had an entry from the main door which I was not taken through. Many people were sitting on the white marble floor covered with heavily embroidered carpets, a lot better than our praying room in my school. My hold of the oldie's arm grew stronger.
I was getting scared to get lost before I could meet them!
Suddenly I saw a man in a perfectly fitting white suit walking through both of us and going out the hall. My questioning look was answered by the oldie, "Yes that's your dad.
Maybe he couldn't recognize you.."
Yes, he really couldn't.
My vision got blurred. I wiped my eyes and ran towards the main door. Saw my "Dad" moving towards a big black car.
"Dad", frantically I tried calling out!
He was already on the back-seat of the car which left immediately.
My voice choked with vision getting completely blurred out this time. I made no attempt to wipe the tears the first time in public.
I sat down on the side pavement.
I was lost. Literally this time.
"Your mom has asked you to have lunch upstairs separately and has asked me to leave you back to school after that," heard the oldie saying.
"Can I meet her??"
"She is a bit busy today with so many guests around. She'll go to your school someday and meet you there."
"Maybe she's busy since I was born..", I heard myself saying.
My eyes were looking at some ants walking between my feet.
I felt like sinking deep into an unknown solitude when I heard the oldie saying - "Your mom has kept many toys for you to carry to your school. You'll be very happy to see them. Let’s go upstairs."
I was rather happier to leave any toy for my mom and dad.
When I was at college, during my fourth semester, I received a letter from the solicitors that my mom is no longer. She had a cardiac arrest. I was asked to be present for the hearing of her will on a certain date.
That letter was torn into pieces and flushed the next morning after I was awake for the entire night under the confusion to cry or to remain normal.
I couldn't understand how to react on that day. Should I cry?? Didn't know actually..
I didn't respond to any further letters from the solicitors.
Years passed. That small boy turned into a grown-up man still wondering looking at the ants marching towards a hole in vacant dormitories.
The college scholarship brought me to Australia. And Australia brought Jane to me.
Jane asked me several times since this morning why was I behaving weirdly again.
I couldn't tell her that the morning news showing the demise of the richest Indian businessman Mr.Modi at the Cancer Hospital in the USA has afflicted me with a wound deep inside.
To date, I have been like an orphan.
It's only today that I've literally become an Orphan!
I saw ants were marching carrying rice grains out of my plate through the table legs down somewhere.