“Still no sign of them…Any news via the contact number?”
“ No,Nothing. Looks like they gave a non-functional one.”
Whispered the caretakers of Serene Old age Home in severely hushed tones, as they stood by the man on the billet. Albeit, calling him a man would be a rather exaggeration. A mere skeleton wrapped with some flesh and skin. The only humane thing about him was the extraordinary shimmer in his eyes, which was a rather inhuman feature for a man of his age and predicament.
The day, it was believed by all, would be the last of his life. Senility coupled with immobilization had practically taken away his life. Apparently, what prompted him to hold on this long was one little ray of hope…yes, the reason for his beaming eyes…his final wish that he had been waiting to be granted…one last visit from his son.
All his pals and the entire staff had gathered around him, trying to give him the ‘Munna Bhai’ therapy. They all acted cheerful and optimistic. Attempting to bring Spring to his Winters, all rejoiced and gossiped. His most treasured Kundan Lal Sehgal songs were dug out of the graves and played. But he remained nonchalant, most probably because that was what had been offered to him-‘detachment, indifference and abhorrence’.
But affection knows no logic, does it? He very well knew that the authorities had not been able to establish a connection with his lad. But that obstinate ray of conviction never left his eyes. While others were engaged, he decided to delve into nostalgia. A shift of scene from the home to the moment he had held his boy for the first time in his hands…it was all so clearly etched in his mind..his little red fingers, his lavender-like smell(as he felt it), and the moment he kissed him…..His vivid imagery allowed him to relish the moment once again.
Moving on, he remembered how he had convinced him to leave for school and after he left, he had cried to himself. He smiled a little at this instance. All those moments when his boy had fallen sick and as a lovely father, he had caressed him and sang “SOFT KITTY” to him. The realization of his present plight made him shed a few tears. Everytime he stood first in class to his graduation to the day he got a job went by real quick.
Came the day of his marriage; he remembered the hectic and the grand preparations. By this time, there was a certain tensity on his face, probably because of the awareness of his doomed future. He skipped to the day his son left him in the home and how he had no explaination for the gesture. Clearly, he did not have the time for details and he knew it.
It was late night and silence had succumbed the place by now. All knew it was gonna happen and half- wished that it did. There was no point for the man to hold on. But what exactly was the man thinking? Was he cursing his son? Well…..no, most certainly not. He had no intentions of “Go[ing] Gentle into that Night”. He was asking God for more time to “Rage against the dying of the light”…one more day to hope he would come.
So many hearts that day wished for a common purpose…they weren’t exactly sure what to ask- to make the man live or make him die or Alas! Make his son come. They just wished for the man to die peacefully…So what did God do? Did he send an Angel to his rescue? Well…of course not….This certainly isn’t A WONDERFUL LIFE…
With the light of possibility in his eyes and an unfulfilled desire in his heart, the man left the World. There was a void on his face. One of the caretakers tried to balance his hand and noticed, he had his FINGERS CROSSED.