Thursday, 31 August 2017

Happy In Any Case

Those were the days. I used to wake up with the sunrise. My bed was at a vantage point. Near the broad window. Every morning the soft morning sunlight would pat me gently and the birds on the trees outside my window would strike a cheerful chorus. And I always fell asleep looking out at the sky with the stars twinkling at me. Between the two ends of morning and night, the day was filled with the drill of going to school, homework, meals, roaming around the garden adorned with flowers of numerous colours and sitting on the steps gazing at the long winding narrow road which connected our house with the main lane. I just sat there and looked as if I was waiting for someone to come.

Such was my life. Except that it changed a little for a few days. Someone did come down from that road.

One day I saw a cycle rickshaw heading in the direction of our house.A boy much taller than me with brownish hair sat on the passenger seat. There was a trunk near his feet and a school bag like sling bag on his shoulder. As the rickshaw drew near, my father came out to receive him. As the welcome ritual went on, I eyed the boy suspiciously and thought about why the boy came with a luggage and if he would stay with us long. Suddenly, my father turned towards me and introduced the boy to me. " Partho, this is  Neel. He is like your elder brother. He is going to stay with us for some time. Come on take him to your room and make him comfortable ! " 

I nodded and glanced at Neel who looked at me and smiled. Somehow, that smile allayed all my fears of a sabotage and invasion of my room's privacy. I clicked him okay mentally.

There was hardly any conversation that day as he took bath and settled down in the room....took his meal and went to sleep.

Later, my father told me that Neel's father was a military man and he was missing in a war. There was no one else in the family to take care of him. My father was a friend so Neel was going to stay with us till his father was traced.That kind of melted my heart. 

Neel hardly spoke but he always smiled at me. He used to go for long walks and would never part with his sling bag. One day I asked him if I could accompany him on his walks. He smiled and nodded consent amiably.

That day I saw the sadness in his eyes as he looked at the flowers and foliage growing around and explained things about them. Later, we sat down near a pond.Then I asked him, "You must be missing your father badly. Are you very unhappy ?" He thought for a while and then smiled at me saying, "No. Hopeful."

I admired Neel for the way he dealt with the complicated and scary situation. The first lesson I learned from him was to be always hopeful. Thereafter, It became a routine for both of us to wander and observe. To be happy in our surroundings. To wait and to hope.

Neel told me stories and poems he had learned at school and from his father. We talked about everything under the sun. He taught me to make useful things from scrap lying around. I actually loved to think of him as my elder brother and did not want him to leave ever. At the same time, I wished and prayed earnestly that he would soon be with his father.

The prayer was answered. It was time for Neel to leave. The day he was preparing to leave, I was both sad and happy. Happy for him. Sad for myself as my closest pal and actual brother was leaving. 

I was sitting on my bed trying to be brave holding back my tears. Neel sat down next to me and put a notebook on my lap. He said, "This is for you. Whenever you feel like talking to me, write in this notebook."

Neel went away. After one week, when I was missing him badly, I opened the notebook to write. On the first page, Neel had written...There is a Swedish proverb I learned at school - "Those who wish to sing, always find a song."  Whenever you miss me, look for me and for happiness in all the small and beautiful things around you. Life is a journey of discovering these keepsakes."

That was the most precious time and keepsake experience of my life that taught me to be happy in any case. I wish I could turn back the clock and bring the wheels of time to a stop. Be with Neel always.But since that is not possible, I go on living and discovering joy all the way.


2 comments:

  1. Good attempt at the TOI story , keep writing. I suggest that you take care that your story does not include spoken lingo as it is an immediate turn off for the reader. You have a good vocabulary, but seemed casual towards grammar. Even if you are writing a blog , bad grammatical habits can carry in to your normal work writing. Anyway, good attempt at the story.

    eg: "That kind of melted my heart. "
    "Neel had written...There "
    "the room....took his meal"

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't know how to address you. I don't even know the meaning of "Sharkon".
    Thank you for sparing time to read and guiding me. I am grateful to you. I will pay more attention to the details in future and I will also try to avoid posting last minute entries !

    Warm regards.

    Noopur

    ReplyDelete

नमस्ते