The ultimate lesson.....
The ultimate lesson.....3 mins 170 3 mins 170
His brother started off by pinching him softly. Slowly the pinching got harder. Soon he resorted to punching the defenceless man. He punched hard; he punched him in the thighs, in the stomach, in the chest; right next to the heart. I was a mute spectator to all this. Normally, I would have jumped in to protect this defenceless man, but the trouble was, deep inside I wanted more. Infact, I wanted to punch him myself and punch him even harder. I wanted to take a needle and prick him, pour boiling water over him, or better still stab him! I wanted to do anything that would make him react; anything! The man was dead.
He was my father’s closest friend and I had known him very well too. But even then, I was literally cursing my father for making me witness all this. Why in the world had he brought me here? I mean, I just didn’t know what to do, how to react. My father had just introduced me to death! You won't believe how unnerving it is for a young boy to see a lifeless body; to see death in its crude form. I wanted to run away from it, ignore it; I wanted to deny it, but how could I? There it was; his lifeless body right in front of my eyes. I wanted to be angry, but at whom? Someone whom I can’t see but who is said to have infinite power? Or should I be angry at my dad for bringing me here? I wanted to cry, but the tears refused to roll out. I wanted to accept what I was witnessing, but I had just met the (now) lifeless body about two hours back. It was so full of life and energy.....
Then all of a sudden, I lost all control over my emotions. In fact, they were non existent. I can’t describe what I was feeling at that time, because I was feeling nothing. It was as if I was in a state of emotional numbness. A feeling of nothingness engulfed me.
They carried his body outside. I followed them blankly. The sight that I saw outside that day was something that haunts me even today. EVERYTHING WAS NORMAL! It was as if nothing had happened. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing, there were children playing, women shopping, hawkers selling their wares, cars honking away.... I just couldn’t understand. I contrasted this with the dead man's wife. Her eyes were cold and bare of any emotion. Did she even notice the world around her? It seemed to me that time had frozen for her. To be honest, it had frozen for me too. I had expected the world to have stopped for a while. But to my utter surprise, it hadn't!
It was only a couple of hours later that the final rights were performed, and as I sat in the car to go back home, I was still thinking about this cruel, evil world. I wanted to ask my father as to why he had made me witness all this. Wasn't it his duty to protect and shield me from such experiences?; let alone push me towards them!
We were both silent for a while. I was looking out of the window. He was lost in thought. Our eyes broke the silence. I looked at him and my eyes asked him the question. His eyes understood immediately and said something to me in response. It was then that it struck me. My father had decided that I was mature enough to handle this. He had decided it was about time I learnt an important lesson about life. I had heard him say, even through his silence; ‘Welcome to the real world, son!’
In those few seconds, I grew up a few years!