Fireflies In The Night
Fireflies In The Night
Rohit Menon boarded the train. He searched for his berth after finding it he settled down. He always traveled by train though he could have afforded second a/c or flight he preferred sleeper class. Looking out of the window he saw the crowds a mini India he thought he could see all kinds of people from different places. The hustle, the bustle, The noise, the tea vendor, the snack vendor, all these sights delighted him. He felt happy that he was making this trip to his home town of Trichur to meet his mom. Rohit noticed a movement
near his berth and turned his attention he saw a young girl settling
herself on the opposite berth. She smiled at him he smiled back. Then all the occupants started to come and occupy their berth till the bay was fully occupied.
He looked at the occupants there was an elderly couple and three other girls apart from him. He introduced himself as Rohit
They also in return introduced themselves.
The announcement for the departure of their train could be heard. After some time the train started to chug out of the station. Rohit turned his attention back to the window by looking out. The Ticket collector came by and checked his ticket.
He went back to his favorite past time looking out of the window. The train had gathered momentum The scenes kept on changing. The sound of the train as it sped past changing vistas made him nostalgic about his childhood as he and his elder brother waiting eagerly for school vacation.
To make their annual trip to Trichur. His home town along with their mother who was a railway employee having got the job on compassionate grounds after his father expired. His father was in the railways before he succumbed to cancer it was their
mother who had bought them up single-handedly. Sacrificing so many things so her children would have a good education to
settle down in life. His grandparents stayed
In Trichur where his grandfather had an estate that had all kinds of flora. The train engines were steam engine and once he deboarded he and his brother's dress would be black with soot.once the train arrived The [karyasthan] caretaker would be waiting at the station to receive on seeing them he would come with a big smile and greet their mother. He would then call a porter who would carry their luggage outside. A car would be waiting to take them.
His grandfather's car sunbeam. They would all get into it with the caretaker at the wheel. As he drove along he would make conversation with his mother and finally, we reached my grandfather's house. Where both of them would be waiting. Then we were escorted inside. He remembered the Vattakolam round Lake where they would
Immerse themselves until all the soot left their bodies. Then would come the goodies. Then both he and his brother would wander with the caretaker in tow.
The caretaker also stayed on the premises
He had a daughter who was studying. Once in a while, he would see her. His grandfather a retired civil servant would spend time with them. His reverie was broken, sir, It was the old man you would like to have lunch . Rohit said no thank you. He once again thought of his days at his grandfather's estate. And at night time, he and his brother along with his mother, would sit on the parapet of the house, and watch the fireflies it was a fascinating sight. He turned his attention back to his fellow passengers.
They were all settling down to sleep. The old man was staring at him. He wanted to say something, Rohit smiled at him The old man asked Rohit whether he would exchange berths. Sure Rohit said, My berth is upper. Rohit shifted his luggage to the upper berth and settled down. He thought about his mother. She never ever showed any tension while bringing them up. It was always them their schooling their college right till they both got a good job she was like a pillar. Now his brother stayed With his wife. He was well settled. Rohit had started a start-up that was doing well. The call had come from the caretaker.
Your mother needs to see you both. He had gone to his brother and told him about mom wanting to see him. His brother gave him some excuse about being busy. He told the caretaker that he was coming alone.
He had done his reservation, now he was going to meet his mother. He dozed off
In the night, he had his meals ordered from the pantry car. The next day the train arrived at Trichur in the afternoon. He got down and waited for the caretaker. He saw him coming towards him. They both wished each other. They went outside the station Rohit got into the car. His mother had decided to Come to trichur to take care of her parents.
Five years back she lost her father and then her mother shortly thereafter. She had been staying at the estate since then. He and his
Brother attended both funerals. The caretaker was silently driving the car. Arvindan the caretaker as reliable as always. How is your daughter Rohit asked? Meenakshi is fine Arvindan replied. Half an hour later We reached home. Parvati, Rohit's Mother Came to greet him she was sitting in a wheelchair. He was shocked to see her condition. She smiled at him. Get freshened Up I have prepeared Sadya. After he took a bath he went to his room He was relaxing when his mother entered. How is Anand. He is fine Rohit said. What is this mom seeing you on a wheelchair for us you were a super mom. Seeing you like this Worries me. I Survived a heart attack. What !Rohit asked
Yes said then I slipped and fell while taking bath. She did not tell him she had two attacks. Come have your lunch. They both entered the dining room. There he saw Meenakshi "you know her Arvindan's daughter. She is now in charge of this house" his mother continued it is she who is looking after me.
He smiled in her direction. The Sadya was delicious he told his mother the same. Give the credit to Meenakshi. After lunch, his mother once again came into his room.
I have to explain about Meenakshi. She got caught in a bad marriage. Her husband used to abuse
her a lot. So I brought her here. She looks after me like her own mother. There is something I have to tell you she said. I want you
to come and settle down here look after the estate. Rohit stared at her, come on mom, my life is in the city. My startup is doing well. I am happy. His mother asked him what is happiness. Mom, come on you Know that it is not possible. I am asking you because you always liked the place. Remember the fireflies in the night. That was such a long time ago mom.
Rohit I don't have much time I will die a happy person if you agreed to come and settle here. Mom, I said you come back with me to the city. The best Doctors' will treat you. No Rohit she said. But think about what I said.He could hear the disappointment in her voice ...OK, Rohit, have a good time she wheeled herself out. In the evening Rohit decided to take a walk around. He needed to think about his mother's proposition, she deserved at least that. As he went around he came face To face with Meenakshi She smiled at him tentatively. Come walk with me he said.
After going for a walk, in the night he would sit on the parapet with his mother Meenakshi, and Arvindan and watch the fireflies. Man is like a Firefly he thought in the morning nobody would notice them. But in the night they glowed and everyone notices them. Man always wanted to be in a place where he was always praised. Rohit understood why his mother wanted him and not his brother to look after this place. Every evening he would take a walk around the estate with Meenakshi it was so calm and peaceful. One day he told Meenakshi about his decision to stay back. She stopped in her tracks You sure. Then mother will be happy. Don't tell her it will be a surprise. You know he looked at her, I know your past, but you can be my future, will you marry me. She stared at him with a stunned expression. Then started crying seeing her cry he said come here and took her in his arms.
That night Meenakshi could not control herself and told Parvati about Rohit's staying back and also his marriage proposal. He will
tell you tomorrow it's a surprise. I am so happy for both of you she said in excitement. The next day Meenakshi came running to him, Mother is not waking up.
Both of them rushed into his mother's bedroom his mom was sleeping with a smile on her face. He tried shaking her, but then he knew that his mother had passed away. He looked at Meenakshi, she is gone. Then he started Crying. She held him till he finished weeping
The funeral was held on the estate's premises his brother could not make it.
In the night Meenakshi and Rohit were watching the fireflies sitting on the parapet. He said if only my mother knew that I was staying here as per her wishes. I will tell you something Meenakshi said, you will not get angry. Of course not. I told mother everything about your staying back and our marriage last night. I cannot keep a secret she said innocently. He stared at her, then hugged her, thank you, He said she died a happy person. Then they both watched the fireflies dancing in the night. His mother had once told him the fireflies in the night was the most beautiful sight