Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Old Man

Yesterday I saw him
In bus
Sitting in front of me
With a cheerful smile on his face

Never  had I thought
I will be seeing him again
Around so many people
He was still the same
As he was years ago

I did wanted to have a talk with him
To relive moments shared with him
In the same city

City which never sleeps
City of dreams
City where weather can't be predicted
City where nothing​ is impossible
Mumbai city

I heard his voice after years
Soothing my ears
After so many years
Every word reaching to my heart

I wanted to ask​
Facing him was difficult
Asking about him was more difficult

I remained seated on my seat
Tried not to see him
Covering myself up with a stroll
To be overlooked by him

He got down from the bus
At the next stop
Still smiling

Puzzled I was
Seeing him
Sitting in the bus

I was looking here and there
I was confused
At the same time was curious

I was wondering
What was he doing
Why he was there

I wanted to know the reason
I wanted to ask him why he was doing so

I asked about him
From the people sitting in bus
I was dumb for a second to know the reason

They told me
The reason
Why he was doing so

He was doing
Something so natural
Something so pure

He was selling
Selling books and magazines
To earn for his old man

To earn livelihood
Not for him but for the old man
Who was struggling for life

I remembered
Earlier once he had told me
About his old man

He was brought up by the old man
For him he was more than a father
For him he was his mother

His parents were busy in setting up their business
An empire for him
For establishing their dream
He was taken care by his old man

I remembered during school days too
I had seen the old man more than his parents
Old man came to every function held in our school
Parents Talk or annual function or sports day
He was always there with him

People sitting beside me
Were talking about him
Were praising him for doing such a noble deed

People told me
They have been seeing him for the last six months
Selling books and magazines for his old man

I remembered that
It was exactly six months ago
I wanted to meet him but he had declined

He had told me
He was busy
Going for some important work
Away from his house

I realised
What a person he is
I wanted to meet him then and there

I didn't wanted to meet him there
For obvious reasons

I tried to ask people about his house
The people told me the directions to reach
Without thinking for a moment
I started to walk

After about twenty minutes
I reached to a place
Covered with darkness
Having no electricity there

I was terrified
I turned on my phone's torch
I searched for him

Yes there was he
Giving medicine to the old man
Standing with a glass of water

I was there
Standing outside the half opened door
Thinking of him and his old man

I called his name
He was there asking who is it?

  • Waiting for a reply

I didn't told him
My name
Who I was

I told him
I was a distant relative of the old man
Have come to see him

He welcomed me in
I entered the room slowly
I took a quick glance of the room

There was a small table
Creaking bed
Torn curtains of black colour
A small box
Books neatly kept
Black and white photographs pasted on the wall
A small candle trying to save from the wind blowing
Big box of medicines kept
Labelled with expiry date
Some steel utensils
A broken mirror hung up on a wall

He offered me a glass of water and went out to buy something
I took it
I sat down beside old man

I talked to him about the things
Which made him happy
I listened to him patiently

As I was about to leave
The street light peeped in
He was there watching me carefully

I hurried
Hardly had I reached to the door then
He called my name

There was I standing there
Like a kid who has been caught playing in the sun

Yes he had recognised me
I had visited his house often
He remembered me

I was there
Watching him with moistened eyes
Eyes welled up

He came in with a bag in his hands
He was there still
He looked at me
I looked at him

He called me in
I asked him why he hadn't told me before
He calmed me down

He and the old man together
Told me the whole thing
How his empire turned into a house with no walls

How his parents
Were diagnosed with diabetes
Turning into cancer

Within no time
He lost his parents
His mother died of diabetes
His father died of cancer

His world came to an end
Have seen so much
He was disowned from his home by close people

He was crying in pain
Pain which is not understood by anyone
Except the sufferer

How the old man
Calmed him down
Saved him
In no time they left their place to move in here you

Promising him not to leave him
I came out of the room
With tears in my eyes and smile on my face​.

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