Story Of My Life
Story Of My Life8 mins 271 8 mins 271
Life took an interesting turn when the salary account of our office got shifted to Yes Bank some ten / eleven month back. Once the account got activated, I used to get emails from the bank on some online writing portal called ‘storrymirror.com’. I was pleasantly surprised to see that there is scope for writing and posting poems/stories in the language of my preference.
It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find out a Bengali boy who has spent his adulation in the 80s and has not tried to write some lines for his lady love; I was also no exception. Later on, the zeal took a back seat as priorities got changed. I and many like me would start doing things which others want us to do in life; does not matter, what we ourselves wanted to do with our own lives!!!
Now after two and a half decade later, I found myself, searching for a pen and paper in the evening, instead of TV remote!!
It feels great when I find people are reading my poems/jingles and encouraging with their ‘likes’ & words of appreciation. It's not very difficult for me two frames some sentences ending with words similar in pronunciation, however, when it comes to writing ‘story of my life’, it seems an uphill task for me.
If I am to describe my life in a single word, it would be – “B – O – R—I—N—G”. It's dispassionately ordinary, extraordinarily simple and simply devoid of any charms and excitement like green tea. Which I sip every morning.
There is no salt, no pepper, no soul, no affair in my life. What is left there to write about !!! I kept on thinking sitting behind the wheel of my car.
S – C –H—R—R—A—T—T—Z—Z—Z !!! I pushed the car break with full force. What the hell!!! All the thoughts about the story of my life vaporized in a fraction of seconds. Oh My God !!! I was about to run over an eight /nine-year-old shabby looking boy standing at just six-inch distance from the bonnet of my car and waving his hands impatiently at me. He has got some balloons in his hand.
Thankfully I just crossed a speed breaker & the car was moving at less than 40 kmph. Otherwise, the stage was all set for me to write a story of my life in jail. Charges would be - killing a poor boy on the road with reckless driving.
I opened the left side glass window of the car door and started shouting at the boy like hell. “could not you find any other car to die for”!!! Did not you see the moving vehicle?? Are you blind ?? you moron!! What would have happened, if I would dash you”!!!
“Saab balloon”. The boy murmured, shivering with fear
I don’t need your God damn balloon. Do you think I play with a balloon? Could you find a kid in my car who needs your balloon??”. I kept on shouting without relenting & then banged the door and turned the key in the ignition. Before I push the accelerator, some words from the boy fell in my ears.
He is crying. “Saab, if you take one or two balloons, I would buy some food. I and my sister have not eaten anything for the last two days”. As if I care!!! I motioned the car in anger and disgust.
But, I used to care. I thought while driving away slowly to my residence. When I was a kid, I would always insist on my parents for giving some more to the beggars while traveling in a local train or waiting in front of a movie theater. Now, I am grown up & in the process of becoming rich, I have become poor at heart, completely devoid of tender human feelings.
While returning from the office next evening, I found the boy waiting at the same place with balloons in his hand. He did not approach me this time. I passed on and stopped the car on the roadside & called him. He started walking towards my car hesitatingly and reluctantly; may be anticipating some more scolding for what had happened yesterday. When the boy reached, I took out a hundred rupee note from my wallet and asked him to take. There was a smile in his face and told me – “But. Saab, I have only balloons with me, which costs only thirty rupees”. I calmly told – “ You keep the money; I don’t need balloons”.
“Saab, I am not a beggar, you have to take the balloons.” I got out of my car and explained to him. “There is nobody in my home to play with balloons. I stay alone.” “Ok Saab, but your family??” He asked. I forced the hundred rupee note in his hand and got back to my car, without feeling a need to reply to his query.
But the query remained in my mind. Family!!! “The greatest gift of GOD to any living creature including human beings”. I thought, while, driving slowly towards my residence. I opened the car windows. Sometimes, cool breeze of evening refreshes more than cold air of A C. Yes. I too have a family. However, we don’t stay together. Our Priorities of respective careers have made our stay fifteen hundred kilometers away from each other. Nobody else to be blamed for what we have chosen.
My wife comes to my place during vacations with my only son Arya. When they come, it is no less than a carnival in my life. We all remain in a festive mood, enjoying every bit of togetherness. We celebrate all the love all the passion and all the obsession to the fullest we three have for each other.
Today is one such day !!! Summer vacation of both my wife and my son has started. And I'm rushing my car to the airport for picking them up, pushing the horn unnecessarily in spite of the fact that there is traffic on the road and vehicles in front can’t move. They will be with me for a month!!. After a long time, I switched on the car music system to listen to my favorite song. Traffic got cleared and I pushed the gas of my car. Can’t wait any further, before I meet Ananya and Arya.
And then, there was everything!!! Hugs and tears in the eyes, happiness in the faces. & we left the airport like butterflies left the pupa and started flying.
Arya occupied the front seat beside me & Ananya, my wife, got into the back seat. I tried to adjust the rear view mirror to watch her face. “What are you doing?” She asked. “Look at the road and drive carefully.” “Teachers are never romantic!!!”. I thought.
“Baba. Please stop the car. A dada with balloons is waving at you and asking you to stop”. My son told, while on our way to home. I saw in the door mirror – that balloon seller boy is running after the car dangerously without caring for other moving vehicles in his way. I slowed down and parked the car at the left side of the road safely.
“Saab!! Saab!! The boy is shouting frantically and in no mood to wait until I open the window.
“Saab, I daily keep a watch in your car when you cross to check if your family is there. Today I missed, since, I was busy in washing the dishes in nearby tea & pakora stall. But, I asked my sister to inform me when you cross. I have shown her your car earlier. She only told me that your car just crossed and there was a boy sitting by you. She told me that he must be your beta. So, I at once collected the balloons and started running behind your car. You have to take the balloons today for bhaiya. He told an entire thing in a single breathe and stopped. His lungs need some oxygen badly. Arya got out of the car without even asking or waiting for me to open the door for him. Ananya followed him & I followed her.
The boy told Arya – “ I have got a red color heart-shaped balloon for you. Other customers asked me for this, But, I did not give it to anybody else. The boy holds Arya’s hand like they know each other for eternity.
While exchanging hands, Arya lost the grip of the thread of the balloon and it flew away. The boy started crying as if he has lost the most precious possession of his life. Then, his sister came running in the arena. A five-year-old girl with the same red color heart-shaped balloon in her tiny hand. She told his brother – “You give him mine”. I found something in the face of the boy, which, we call “happiness”. This time Arya did not miss the thread and all three of them kept on watching the flying balloon upward, holding the hand of each other & cherishing the moment like a family forever.
“What is happening!!!” I wondered. “Is it all real or some kind of magic !!. I found me and Ananya too are holding each other’s hands tightly.
“Give him money for the balloons”. Ananya asked. Which I completely forgot. I took out my wallet in a hurry. “Nehi Saab”. The boy told strongly. “I won’t take money for this. This is a gift from me and my sister to bhaiya.” He uttered. “My sister has eaten full plate chawl twice with the money you had given me earlier. Now, it is my turn to return that favor”. We shall leave this city tomorrow, Because, I have got a job in a hotel in some other place. “I shall not be able to see bhaiya later.” “Please accept this small gift.
Who am I to deny this gift !!!
They are my children! They are my people!! They are our future!!! They are our India!!!!
I am too small not to accept this gift from this boy.
I touched his head and could not resist myself from hugging. His sister came. Arya came.
By the time, we all are departing with moist eyes & saying bye to each other, I found the story of my life.
Its love and plain & simple love that would tell the last tale.