The Glorious Past
The Glorious Past
I saw him sitting by the side of the road for the first time, nearly a month. He was wearing an old tattered shirt and a dhoti that was torn everywhere. After that day, it became his usual place. Not even a single day had passed when I didn't see the old beggar at his usual spot while on my way to the office. Sometimes, I used to drop a few coins in his bowl and he flashed a smile of gratitude at me. We become accustomed to the people around us and bond with them in a particular way. So was the case with the old beggar.
It was my birthday and decided to celebrate it in my own special way. I brought a packet of food and a few clothes for the beggar and handed them to him on my way to the office. The beggar flashed the same smile of gratitude and talked a few words with me for the very first time.
"There was a time when I used to wear branded clothes and dine in luxurious restaurants." He sighed and added, "gone are those glorious days."
"Really !" I was surprised, "do you mean to say, that you had a well-paid job?"
"You must have heard of Malhotra Trading Company."
"Yes," I noded. My father used to work there when I was a child. It was one of the top business establishments of the bygone era. But then, it came crashing down and a couple of years later it was closed. "It was closed after the company suffered a huge loss. My father used to work there. You were from which department? Maybe, dad knows you."
"I was the owner." He said proudly.
I looked at his wrinkled face and recognition dawned upon me. It was the one which was once the face of success in the business circle, a symbol of power and grandeur. He was Avinash Malhotra. I had accompanied my father to his bungalow where he used to throw grand parties for his friends and employees. He was the one who had sponsored my education when my father couldn't afford to send me abroad for higher studies. He was the one to whom I owe everything. He was the one who had made me what I am today.
"Come with me, sir. Let's go home." I said as tears of gratitude brimmed in my eyes, "I have to repay the debt of your benevolence that you had once so generously showered upon me."