It was a Saturday evening.
A group of children were playing in the park making noises that hit the nearby houses. They were enjoying the Saturday evening to the core. No studies, no homework, no exams. What else children need these days? An hour of sleep, lots of time to play and enjoy.
65 year old Vasudevan was sitting in the bench and was keenly watching the kids playing cricket, in the park situated nearby Mercy Oldage Home. He was in his white dhoti and well pressed khadi pyjama which has been donated by Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan to all the senior citizens of the Mercy Home. The walking stick, which never parts from him, was lying beside him. He was here by his own decision.
He could see two kids fighting in the crowd of children playing see-saw. A flabby obese child was hit by another one who is thin and weak to his age. He could barely lift the cricket bat which was lying on the ground. The scene of the weak tiny boy who keeps hitting the obese child disturbed him. Vasudevan was very much tired for his age and in his life. The small boy’s mischievousness was at the peak. He constantly hits the obese kid with the bat and this plump kid never retorts back. After few more hitting, both of them leave the place and this flabby kid walks towards the bench.
Vasu seeing him coming, calls the obese kid.
“Hey you. Come here dear”
Hearing those words, the boy turns his side and comes running towards him.
“What is your name?”, Vasu asked him softly bearing a light smile in his face.
“Deepak” came the reply.
“Deepak, why do you play with that naughty boy who keeps hitting you always? Why don’t you hit him back so that he never shows his mischievousness to you?
Deepak replied, “I play with him because; others don’t include me in the games. They don’t allow me in their group because I’m fat. I look ugly. My dress is tight and they hate playing with me. Aswin plays with me even though I’m fat. He is the only one who accepts me as a friend. If I hit him back he’ll too leave me. After all his the only one I’ve, to play with me. I don’t wanna miss him”
Saying this he hurriedly left running towards the park gate.
Deepak’s words stirred Vasudevan’s thoughts.
A week back in his own house, he shouted at his son Krishnan, who was assistant manager in an elevator company managing the finance and accounts.
“I’m leaving this house”, Vasudevan’s voice reverberated the 3BHK flat which Krishnan bought a month ago. “I cannot stay with him who doesn’t have any respect to his father. I’m leaving”
“Father, it’s you who happily gave away the important file containing the account statements to waste paperwala. You know how important that document is? I had worked day and night to prepare that report and it was due submission. I had to ask another day to prepare it again and submit it back. It is the only reason, I spoke harshly to you. Why are you leaving us for this?”
“No whatever reason you give me, I’m not in a mood to accept it. I need respect. When it is not available here, I’m not staying here. See you”. Vasudevan packed his bags and left the house and he is now here in the Mercy home for the past one month. Krishnan’s effort to make his father stay back went in vain. He was helpless.
Someone knocked the door early in the morning. When Krishnan opened the door he was surprised to see his father back home. Vasudevan quietly entered the house and entered silently into his room and sat in his chair. Krishnan could not say anything. He wanted to talk to his dad. But he did not want to hurt him saying anything. He wanted his father to rest. He was in tears out of the happiness that filed his heart seeing his father back home after a month from the Mercy home.
Krishnan was getting ready for the day’s work and was hurrying as usual to his office. He left home hurriedly seeing his father asleep in his room.
By the time he reached his Office, he got a call from his manager.
“Krishnan, please bring the audit report which we prepared yesterday. Hope you reviewed it at home as you said”
“Yesss Sir…I’ll be there in a minute”. When the receiver was placed down, he realized that he had left the file at home. “Oh my God…today again in hurry I left the file back at home”. He quickly made another call to his manager and informed that he need some time and he’ll be back in 5 minutes.
“Oh yes. No problem Krishnan. Take your time. Come to my cabin after 5 minutes”, Manager replied and put the receiver down.
By the time he was about to start home. Krishnan received another call from reception.
“Mr. Krishnan, someone is waiting for you in the lobby”
“Yes I’ll be there in a minute”
“Thank you Sir” the call ended.
Who wants to see me now? I want to get that file from Home immediately. Shall I ask him to come another day and discuss? Thinking all this he got down the stairs and reached the lobby in search of the person who has come to meet him.
Krishnan approached the reception and the lady pointed her pen towards the couch. It was a fraction of time Krishnan took, turning to the direction the receptionist pointed, to see Vasudevan sitting in the couch, with a file in his hand, along with a flabby kid who was holding a football, sitting beside him. His heart was heavy with melancholy.
“Father….” He said. He was not able to talk. His throat was choked out of happiness of seeing his father.
Krishnan could not control his feelings. He burst out in tears and came towards him and fell on his father’s feet.
Vasudevan spoke, “Krishnan, here is the file which you forgot to take with you, this morning. Amma gave this to me to handover this to you. Hope this is so something important for you today. I don’t wanna miss you”
P.S: This is a thought expressed by my colleague. He wanted those thoughts to be written in some form of story and I’ve tried my best to put it here in a story as narrated by him.