Dark Day But A Bright Night
Dark Day But A Bright Night5 mins 453 5 mins 453
The evening sun was almost shrouded by dark clouds which were gathering at a fast pace and the western horizon was turning black. The hills in the north were also not clearly visible. But he sat there unperturbed. Birds were hurrying back to their nests and domestic animals were scurrying back to their sheds. Every body was sure of a thunder storm which was fast approaching. Yet he remained sitting, sometimes looking skyward and sometimes looking to the sprawling landscape lying in front of him. Who was he? How could a person dare to stay away from the safe enclosures of his house in such a weather? Was he insane? Was he frustrated enough?
The young man of 23 was Mayank, Mayank Khatre. A technical graduate from a reputed technical institution was jobless, penny-less. He had lot of ambitions for himself and a lot of expectations of his widowed mother who toiled all her youth to bring him up after his father died when he was an infant. Nothing could happen to his career yet and nothing he was hopeful of in the near future. Frustration was written all over his handsome face. The handsome face which was even more handsome during his college days has become sullen and pale. He was slowly passing into a depression.
He sat there for another hour or two. The thunderstorm came with all its fury, lashed all over the place. The skies opened up, the lightning sparkled, the thunder roared. But it made no impression on him. He was somehow turned into a stone. The sarcasm he faced from his friends, relatives and neighbours had drained all his blood out of his arteries and veins. He was completely drenched by the downpour, yet sat on and on till the skies cleared and a bright moon slowly came up in the eastern sky.
Everything was calm and cool excepting his mind and soul. He was contemplating a thought of committing suicide when he suddenly found something strange which aroused his eagerness and curiosity. The things were happening very fast. Even his young eyes were not being able to keep pace with the action. Two men fought like two tempted bulls and each one was trying to snatch away a briefcase from the other. The tussle went on for some time and although excited it seemed an endless battle for the silent onlooker still sitting quiet at a distance.
The tussle came to an end when one of the fighters smashed a big rock on the head of the other while he slipped in the slippery, muddy soil due to the heavy rain a few hours before. The man tried to rise but failed and his opponent smashed his head once again with the rock. The young man still looked at all these in an indifferent manner, until the man who won the battle saw him and rushed towards Mayank. Mayank was undecided what to do. He wished to run but his wet clothes and tired legs wouldn't let him go. The man dashed towards him with the rock raised in his hand. The huge man was holding the briefcase on his right hand and the rock on his left. Mayank immediately came to know that the man was a left-hander. So when the man came close to him, he promptly shifted towards his further left. The big man lost his balance in order to target his adversary and fell to the ground.
Mayank didn't look back and ran. He ran like a deer, running for her life being pursued by a rampaging lion. The legs which were not prepared to carry his body an inch a few minutes before, now ran like a sprinter. It took him nearly 15 minutes to reach home. And eventually when he reached home, he was gasping for breath. He couldn't know how he snatched the briefcase from the big man who fell and his head got smashed into the roots of the banyan tree under which Mayank was sitting all the while when the fight began.
A few minutes later his doting mother, who was anxiously waiting for him appeared in front him. She looked at him with a bit perplexed manner and said, "Where have you been all through the afternoon and till 9'o clock in the night? There was such a thunderstorm and heavy rain also. What has happened to you my son? Why do you look so frustrated? You haven't taken anything for last six hours. Why do you give me so much pain?" Mayank hugged his mom and started crying like a small child. He said, "Maa, the days and nights are equally dark for me. I have been a useless son. I don't have any desire to live further. I want to die." The mother embraced her son with all her force and tried to kiss his forehead. Then only both the mother and the son came to know the existence of the briefcase in his hand.
Immediately both of them lost their emotional moods and became curious to know the contents of the briefcase. With a chisel and a screwdriver, Mayank forced open the case. Both mother and son looked at each other in bewilderment.
The wall clock struck 10 o' clock. And the sound of the clock awoke both the mother and the son from their surreal journey. Mayank' s mother caressed his unkempt hair and said, "Son, so far your days have been dark. But today's night has turned to be as bright as all the days in the last week or so," Both of them smiled at each other. The dinner was ready.