"Excuse me, can you please help me locate the address – House No. 117/95 K Block?"
A book in one hand and a bag in another, grey trousers, white shirt with black strips, sleek body with virgin black hair, spectacles on eyes and politeness on lips.
"I am new here, can you please share, where it is?" He asked wiping his sweat from his forehead.
"Go straight for 500 mt, take a right walk for 300 mt, you will be at your destination". She replied and got busy with her phone.
He thanked her and started walking in the said direction.
"Hi, I am Dhruv, I have come from Indore, Can I meet Mr Sharma, I am his new tenant".
"Hello, I am BK Sharma. I was waiting for you, come let me show you your room.
And nice name “Dhruv” do you know the meaning of your name?". He asked while escorting him to the room.
"The brightest star". Dhruv replied.
"Correct. Let me know if you need anything. Mr Sharma asked while taking him to his room. It was a beautiful house – 5 bedrooms, 1 grand hall cum living room, a green lawn, a veranda, and a room on a beautiful terrace."
"Sir, you have a beautiful home, must say you have kept it well. I am sure I will have a good time here, I was afraid of coming to this big city thanks for letting this place to me on rent. And thanks for asking me, I will just freshen up and come to you, I would like to have tea with cutlets in this amazing weather. I love having tea with cutlets in monsoon, don’t you?" Dhruv was going on & on.
Mr Sharma was staying there with his daughter. His wife died 10 years ago, even 10 years after her death, he had kept her alive in his memories. He instructed everyone, not to light diya or candle nor any garland on her photograph.
"Sure, get freshen up, then let’s have coffee together and we will sign the agreement as well". Said Mr Sharma, & invited him for a coffee.
Dhruv had a different view of Mr Sharma of what he heard of him. Once upon a time, Mr Sharma was a cheerful, lively and happy person, and now no-one could memorize when was the last time, he laughed with an open heart. “Mrs Sharma seems to have taken all his smiles with herself to her divine home,” Dhruv said to himself.
4 months passed and every night by 8 PM at dining table Dhruv tried to start the conversation with Mr Sharma. After initial “yes”, “no” and “hmm”, it was majorly Dhruv who used to talk. Mr Sharma used to finish his dinner, go for a walk and then to sleep. But somehow, house no. 117/95 had a new aura now. Mr Sharma was at least more punctual with his eating habits now, courtesy to Dhruv.
Every Sunday morning while having breakfast, Dhruv used to start the discussion and sometimes Mr Sharma also used to share opinions on topics like – economics & politics.
Sunday morning when Dhruv was waiting for Mr Sharma at the dining table, he heard a noise coming from one direction. He followed and found out it was a storeroom at the back of the house. Dhruv entered the room.
There was darkness everywhere. It was a room filled with broken furniture, old antiques, spiders, who were busy making their never-ending webs, and also a corner filled with oil paints, pastel paints, paint brush, and few torn canvasses, he took no time in realising it was a room filled with paintings all around. All the walls seem to be canvass, filled with imagination. Mr Sharma was sitting in front of a painting, where two people were sitting facing their back towards a magnificent sunset, the date was mentioned at the right end – it was exactly 11 years from that day.
At the extreme right towards the end, was a small design stating “SharmaNsharma”.
"Hey, you created this?? Mrs Sharma was beautiful, your creations are an example of her beauty", said Dhruv.
"She is still beautiful, the only difference is I can see her with only my closed eyes". Said Sharma with a smile on his lips.
"But why these paintings lying here and why don’t you paint now?"
After a silence of a few minutes Mr Sharma smiled, he smiled after ages and they both came out of that store cum painting gallery.
There was utter silence at the dinner table but Mr Sharma was not the same, he had a spark in his eyes and was an in a different world that day. Dhruv asked if he would go for a walk, but he denied and went to his room.
Dhruv got curious, he went to the storeroom again. He observed each wall, and few paintings were half painted and a half left blank and apparently, the latest painting was 10 years old and was half painted.
In the last 6 months, Mr Sharma & Dhruv had developed an unsaid bonding with each other. They used to have coffee together, breakfast and dinner together, sometimes he even used to ask Dhruv for the evening stroll as well. This evening stroll used to be the most important part of Dhruv’s life now, as he could see a glimpse of real Mr Sharma during this hour. Unknowingly Mr Sharma started sharing stories from his past. He started re-living those moments. He started smiling and sometimes breathing as well.
It was raining heavily when she entered the hall from the main gate. He looked through a glance, and it was her.
"Where is the dad?", she asked while keeping her umbrella on the floor.
"Hi, you are the same girl, right. Mr Sharma is your father?", Dhruv got curious.
"Yes, I am Radhika, pleased to meet you."
"I am Dhruv, the new tenant of Mr Sharma". Mr Sharma also came by then.
"Thank you for guiding me through the address that day. Dhruv narrated the incident to Mr Sharma how she guided him to this house."
"You are a student or working professional?". Asked Radhika.
"I am a consultant, I am here on a work assignment, will leave as soon as my project gets over. What about, what do you do?"
"I am a finance professional, working for an MNC."
"Ohh you mean, you balance profits & loses, isn’t boring, I mean difficult". Dhruv tried mincing words.
"Well, it depends, and I like doing that, It helps me balance my life as well anyway, nice talking to you, I will see you later". She said and left for her room.
"Sure". Dhruv said and got busy with his laptop.
It was 11 PM when Mr Sharma was sleeping in his room. Dhruv was in his room and was creating notes of his assignment when Radhika knocked on the door.
"Hey, you awake, can I come in". She asked. She came with two cups of coffee.
"Sure, please come in, in fact, I was thinking of making a coffee, thanks a lot."
"So, whats up?? Hows project going on?"
"Yes, it’s interesting, I mean little difficult to crack, but I will be able to complete this, now things seem better. You tell me, what about you?"
"Well, I am here to thank you."
"Thank you for??"
"Thank you for coming in and staying here. I am happy to see my dad getting back to life". She started.
"I had to come. I had promised you to make you smile. But still, long way to go, this is too early.
I know you will be able to do that, you always keep your promise Dhruv, I know that". Deep inside the heart, Radhika wasn’t sure of Dhruv, will he be able to do this?
"I know what I am doing Radhika, very soon you will see your dad alive once again". Said Dhruv while wiping the emotions flowing down Radhika’s eyes.
Radhika & Dhruv were friends. Dhruv wanted to evolve this friendship into an eternal bond, but he knew Radhika had different priorities.
Next day when Mr Sharma came from a walk, there were 7-8 students sitting in the courtyard and Dhruv was teaching them, Radhika was not sure of what Dhruv was trying to do.
Mr Sharma asked Radhika about this. Radhika informed him that Dhruv had volunteered for a free teaching program for underprivileged students and will be teaching students now.
Finally, after 10 years, pupils will again come to this house. Said Mr Sharma, & left from there.
Mrs Sharma was a teacher and used to teach underprivileged students at home. After she died Mr Sharma tried to take over, however, could not build a world of people around him rather created a shell around him which nobody could break.
Now, Every day in the morning Dhruv used to teach students, no change could be noticed in Mr Sharma. However on the 40th day.
"There is one easy way of doing this calculation interrupted". Mr Sharma when Dhruv was teaching.
"Ohh great, could you please help me in solving this question" – asked Dhruv. Dhruv thought finally he nailed it.
"No. you continue, I forgot", said Mr Sharma and left from there.
For the next few days, Mr Sharma used to come and sit near the courtyard for a few minutes, when Dhruv used to teach students. Dhruv asked Mr Sharma if he could help in teaching them but could not convince him. However, now Mr Sharma was always there, roaming here and there around the courtyard during the entire teaching session. Dhruv knew he had only one option left – One night, he told Mr Sharma that he got a call from his home, there is an urgency and he has to leave for his hometown.
Mr Sharma got a letter –
Forgot to share that, my students will meet a new teacher tomorrow. I know why I could make good connections with my students because this courtyard has a history of a good teacher with its pupils. I know there cannot be a teacher better than you, they will be coming tomorrow at usual timings to meet an amazing teacher.
I have kept a gift for you in your room, “that painting has found its place”.
I will be back very soon to meet this new teacher.
Dhruv (The pole star, along with the brightness it also guides you in the right direction)
Next morning when students came, they found a new teacher. Now daily between 3-7 PM students come to take tuitions. He teaches painting to amateur artists. His paintings are no more in any storeroom, It is in the bedroom, hall, lobby and everywhere. He has added a new purpose to the life. He now gives a treat his students with food cooked by him. He goes and meets friends, he breathes, he smiles, he lives and he expresses his emotions to Mrs Sharma through his paintings.
Sometimes all we need is a bright star in our lives. We cannot go back and change the history, what’s done is done, but we can always write a new beginning, and re-start a life left behind. Mr Sharma has found a new beginning to an old life. It must be difficult for him to re-imagine a world with new smiles and happiness, Dhruv helped him in finding those smiles and creating avenues for happiness. They both could attain this with an undefined relationship of their lives, sometimes emotions are best expressed in unsaid words.
Let’s try to help someone in their new beginning, Let’s try to re-create the beauty of life, Why don’t we try to refurbish the lost smiles?
Would you like to become a “Dhruv Tara” for someone?