Shimu7 mins 233 7 mins 233
Shimu was looking at the bird which was drinking from the pond. He observed that how softly the sharp beak of the bird was penetrating the water as if the bird doesn’t want to disturb the tranquility of the pond. The gentle flow of wind was making trees to spill their leaves from their branches. Shimu closed his eyes as soft and cold wind swept passed his face, wind brought with itself the fragrance of flowers which were near the pond, a smile came up on his face. He can hear croaking sound of frogs from the pond. He don't know why he liked setting near this pond and observing activities around it so much, maybe he liked the calmness of the pond or maybe the quiet atmosphere of the pond make him feel himself, he don't know the exact reason but he liked sitting alone here by this pond. Whenever he gets the time he comes here, that whenever is the time when his father was not drunk and lying unconscious on the bed or when he was not at home.
Shimu's father was not always like this and even after his mother's untimely death he handled it with maturity and took very good care of Shimu. He still remembers that day his father came home; he was very angry and was cursing his brother who by fraud had taken most of their ancestral land. From that day he started drinking a lot, he became very short tempered. He never understood that why that particular incident has affected him so much it was not like they were poor and still he have a lot of land on his name, the rent he receives for leasing them was more than enough for both of them. His father became neglected toward him also, he stopped asking him about his school, studies or anything, and he himself has to get ready for school since his father would be sleeping under the alcohol’s effect. Everyday Nina auntie, their maid, prepared breakfast and packed his tiffin, before leaving for school he always go to see his father. Although he knew that as always his father would be deep asleep and his room would be messed up but still he wanted to see him before he leave for school.
His father would never be at home when he comes back from school, he would take the key from beneath the flowerpot that lay besides the entrance door and open the door. He will change and eat lunch prepared by Nina auntie, and go for afternoon sleep. In evening when his father would arrive he would always tell Shimu to do something like make tea for him, press his legs or count the money he had collected as rent. He never get the chance to go out and play like other kids, Shimu also did not resisted because he knew if he do that it would be of no use and it will only bitter his father's mood. His father would generally leave before Nina auntie comes to make dinner and comes late having drunk, Shimu himself sometime have change his clothes and settled him in to the bed. Nina auntie generally do not talks much, she knew everything but behave like there is nothing different in their home, as far as Shimu can remember her coming to their home and cooking for them, she does other work also like cleaning the home but that she do every alternative day. Shimu always felt she keeps quit out of his father's fear and as she may lose her job if she speaks anything. She cooks very good food perhaps that is the reason his father has kept her and has not yet removed her.
Although Nina auntie used to clean home but every Sunday Shimu's father start cleaning some part of house sometimes living room, sometimes their courtyard and involve Shimu in it, Shimu likes this little cleaning time with him, firstly because he was sober and secondly because this is the time when he feel more like a son to his father. It's not like his father miss treats him always or hits him, it's just that Shimu generally don't feel normal father-son relation with him, but still somehow he has a lot of patience toward his father. Shimu always felt that he got this quality of patience from his mother; he was just two when she passed away, he did not remember her face fully but he clearly remembered her eyes. He use to go in front of the mirror to see how much his eyes resembles to his mother, but feels bad to find they were not as same as his mother's eyes. Shimu always use to guess what he have common with his mother, he have to guess because his father would never answer anything related to her, he would always say "you are too young to Know about her”. Which makes him think that is there any particular age to know about your own mother, it's not some subject which will start at a particular class only. But here also he contents himself that maybe someday his father will tell him everything about her, till then at least he has the liberty to imagine and he was ok with that.
Shimu looked at his watch; it was time for his father to come back. Today he has skipped his afternoon nap and came to pond, he does this sometimes. When he reached home he found that his father has already reached home, he thought his father would get angry at him. He was not in the main hall, Shimu thought he would be in his room which made him even a little more scared; he started thinking about excuse he would make for his absence. He gathered all his courage and started walking towards his father's room, he saw the door of his room was half open, as he opened the door; he was surprised by what he saw.
His father was looking at some photo-album and tears sliding down his cheeks, he was still unaware of Shimu's presence. Shimu had never seen his father crying, he was crying but Shimu can see the calmness on his face, same calmness as the pond has. He just stood there, he could not move as if his feet were glued to the floor. He did not notice when tears started coming out of his eyes also, he don't know why he was crying, because his father was crying or because he felt something today which he never felt before. All of his fear was now gone, he don't know what came inside him, he just rushed towards his father and hugged him. Before his father can say anything he started crying, little loud this time, he just cried and cried. He sobbed like as if all these years he had saved it for today, his father did not said anything, he gently patted Shimu’s back with his free hand. Then he raised his head and looked in his father's face, his vision was blurry due to tears in his eyes, but he can make out his father was still crying.
"What happened Shimu” His father said in heavy voice.
He could not say anything, as if his lips were stitched; he just kept looking at his father's face.
"Look it’s your mother, this is our marriage album" His father said pointing towards the photo.
Shimu looked at the photo, he saw a beautiful bride in red saree sitting besides his father, he can see a smile on her face, a beautiful smile, he saw her eyes and smiled himself as he found it exactly the same as he remembered it.
He looked up to his father and said" She has a beautiful smile"
His father smiled and said "Yes. You have your mother's smile"
He wiped out tears from Shimu's face and said "Today is her birthday"
"You always wanted to know about her" he further added.
He patted the place beside him on the bed and said "Come today I will tell you all about her".