A PLAY BY THE HEAVENS
The door banged to trigger a showpiece to fall down from the racks of the adjacent wall.
“Mom!”, called young Alok.
No sooner did he begin stepping towards the room that Dr.Alok caught his hand. The sinful father swallowed his tears at his son. He was about to hug him when the latter pushed him.
“Why did you abandon me? I demand your explanation, Dr.Alok”, he roared.
Dr.Alok joined his hands. He knelt and bowed in front of his son.
“I am sorry, Ayush beta. Never did I guess that you would turn out to be my biological son otherwise I would have apologized to you long back”, sobbed Dr.Alok.
“What? Apology? Do you mean telling that silly sorry?”, laughed his son. “I don’t know how you are a professor. You are acting as if we were standing in a queue, you stamped my foot by mistake for which you then said a ‘sorry’...”
“Let me speak”, screeched Dr.Alok, looking up at his son. He bowed and rested his hands on the floor. He continued, “Will you keep going or let your father explain? Won’t you spare a second to listen to my side?...”
“Oh, come on! I am ready to listen to what a criminal wishes to say to justify his crime. But, I can’t and will never listen to you. I pray that no other child in the world gets a father like Dr.Alok Sharma. The kid can instead beg on the streets of Delhi. In fact, if there was an award for the worst father, congrats! You will be on the stage to receive it…”
“Do you think I have been living happily all these years after ditching you?”, his father yelled, intervening him.
Tears rolled down his cheeks as he closed his eyes and wept bitterly.
“Ayushmanbhava! Your mother cheated on both of us. I have told all of us but you. Did you know?”
May it be a second, a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year, a couple of years, or even throughout one's life, relishing the most beautiful feeling on Earth-the love, it still matters.
While most couples are almost near the silver jubilee of their wedding anniversary, Alok and Nisha are just about to begin their love life!
Love at any age is love. Why not a middle-aged love story?!
Son Alok rolled his eyes hither and thither as he dropped his smartphone from his hand.
“These eyes that cry before you saw his wife-the woman for whom he left his family behind, cheating with another man. I was too innocent to believe that she was being molested even at the alarming moment”, sobbed Dr.Alok.
“I hated your mom after catching her ugly truth. I left with you. We lived in Bangalore back then. You were persistent to see your mother. I couldn’t convince you. My wife shattered me into pieces. I screwed you that I, your dad, was with you.”
He wiped his tears.
“You still argued that you wanted to play with your mom. Mom, mom, mom, you went on and on. I couldn’t tolerate anyone loving Payal, including you…” He raised his pitch, emphasizing, “Including me. I was frustrated for not only loving her but also having a kid with a sadist soul.”
“I thus left you outside the Cubbon park where we sat when you cried for your mom. I informed you that I had important work. I also added that I would bring your mom along. I said I will return and I did.”
“What? No! You didn't return. Liar…”, opposed his son.
Dr.Alok looked up. He sobbed, crying out, “But, you weren’t there. Where did you go?”
He looked back at the floor.
“Yes, I returned immediately. I dumped you and went to a tea stall. I came across a local kidnapper’s article in the newspaper. I returned my cup of the drink back to the puzzled shopkeeper. I aced my bike to meet you. It was not more than two hours since I planned to abandon you that I returned.”
“I have returned there every night since then. I called your name out but nowhere did I find you in the vicinity. I complained at the local police station. The cops carried out the search operation for a few days. They screwed me for having been reckless with my own child. They figured out through inquiries that you were crying and walking alone along the streets. You somehow reached the railway station and boarded a train to Pune. Although the cops gave up, I went to Pune.”
“With the help of the local cops there, I reached the orphanage where a localite admitted you. I was very excited to meet you. I decided to raise my son without a mother."
"It was only after enquiring in the reception that I learned you were already adopted. According to the organization’s rules, they were reluctant to share any details about your foster parents."
"Lawyers and politicians whomever I reached out for help through my friends or colleagues denied for one of those blabbermouths with whom I shared the truth on abandoning you made it an open secret among them:
‘What nonsense? Do you think this is a game? Are we jobless to help a father who purposely dumped his son? By the way, why do you want to reunite with him? Oh, to abandon him once again? Or will you kill him this time? No, I don’t want to interfere with psychos like you. Let your son live happily wherever he is. If you come again to my doorstep, I will report you to the commissioner.’ "
“I have been weeping and regretting my unforgivable behavior with my own son, for days, months, years and now, for almost two decades. There were no whereabouts until you surrendered yourself today.”
“My little son’s smiling face comes into my dreams every night. I have befriended the beer to miss you every midnight. There is not a second I fail to enumerate the possibilities-both good and bad. Ayushmanbhava! Believe my words, beta. Weird thoughts have always been running in my mind ever since I lost you."
“What happened to you? Where is the boy I lost? Is he alive? Did the kidnapper harm you? Or did a truck run upon you? Where were you all these years? I was left with no other option than dreaming of meeting you. I prayed that my sins don’t pass on to my son. I have always wished that wherever you were in the world, you should be happy and safe. What else could this sinner do? I know, I must have curbed my anger. It's better to cut one’s own nose in anger but who would abandon his own son?”, concluded Dr.Alok, in his trembling voice.
He continued weeping and he felt a reassuring hand massaging his head. He slowly looked up to present his wet face to his son. Son Alok shook his head with tears. He knelt before his father. He wiped his dad’s tears.
“Sorry, Papa! I never realized what you were going through. Ever since I managed to recall the disturbing truth, I only considered the case from my point of view”, said son Alok.
“I love you, daddy! My Pappa!”, he admitted, hugging the professor.
On the other hand, Nisha couldn’t stop her tears full of annoyance. Packets of blue and black ball pens were scattered all around her. She was engrossed in scribbling Payal’s name on clean white A4 sheets.
“Aunty! Please stop. You are fine. Everything is alright. Chill!”, consoled the stunned Tanya witnessing Nisha shivering as she scratched and tore every sheet with her sharp nails. Her hands had gone dirty with a mixture of blue and black inks yet she was reluctant to stop.
She swallowed her wrath and breathed hard, looking at the piles of sheets all around her. She closed her face and wept as the scene of the chubby young girl, back during college, revealed that Dr.Alok had proposed to her back then. She shrieked, recollecting how Payal had played with her true love for Alok saar.
“Bro, you propose to him. I will also stand with you if you want. Even if I feel like laughing, I won’t….Hahaha! Why do you think he will love you? Your eyes are surrounded by dark circles. Anyway, bro, thank you for helping me test his loyalty toward me….Pour kerosene on yourself and die, bro…hahaha”
Nisha pressed her forehead with both hands. She shook her head a little as she sobbed without a break.
“Aunty, Payal doesn’t have a face to return to our peaceful lives now. Such betrayers never turn back. There has been such a case in my neighborhood as well. We don’t even know if the woman who left her husband for a truck driver is alive today. Calm down, please! I am worried about what's running in your mind”, convinced Tanya.
Nisha slowly opened her eyes and turned towards Tanya. She nodded. Tanya smiled and hugged her. Tanya caught Nisha’s hands, opened her palms, and pointed.
“Aunty, you must feel happy that you raised Alok with these pure hands of yours. Think of him as Dr.Alok's son and not the cunning Payal's son. It's all a play by the heavens. Why else do you think your beloved Dr.Alok’s son came exactly to his Nisha medam? Why didn’t anyone else adopt him before you visited the orphanage?”
While Nisha continued sobbing, Tanya smiled, describing, “Giving birth to an infant isn’t a big deal. Even a surrogate mother will do it, for the sake of her profession or just to bring a smile to a couple's face. But, raising it up, teaching it what's right and what's wrong, raising him in such an amazing way that he helps others despite them not being very close to him, instead, they were rude to him and at last, transforming him into a successful man-this is called parenting."
"Whoever does it is the real parent. My parents always tell me how naughty I was, back during my childhood days. They say that the stages until a child enters a bright career, are challenging. Most ignore their kids in the initial stages and their kids, including them, suffer later. It's better to be safe than sorry but they don’t understand. Aunty, hats off to you! You have raised your son all alone. No doubt, Alok celebrates you, and no doubt you have been the backbone of your family all these years.”
Nisha smiled. She held Tanya’s cheeks.
“Your parents have taught you great values. I never thought that a young final-year college student would console me. You are mature and considerate just like my son Alok. Now I understand why you are his girlfriend.”
While Tanya blushed, Nisha hugged her.
“Thank you”, they thanked each other, in chorus and chuckled.
“Look at them!”, mocked Nisha, as Tanya smiled at the Aloks hitting their glasses of champagne and cheering along.
“Beta, I can’t bring your childhood back. I wish time travel was real”, said Dr.Alok.
Young Alok chuckled.
“Sexy!”, they commented together.
“But, I will ensure to flood you with my fatherly affection. I will give my best until my last breath…”
“Papa, no”, denied junior Alok, closing his father’s mouth. “Don’t you dare say such emotional words. You are just forty-nine. Alisha has a long happy married life ahead. Besides, we must spend plenty of father-son moments.”
Dr.Alok and Nisha blushed at each other as the latter, with Tanya, sat on a couch opposite the Aloks.
“Aww! We must capture this moment”, announced Tanya.
She arranged for young Alok to sit between Dr.Alok and Nisha on his right and left respectively. She moved her hands, gesturing for them to come closer and put their hands around their son. The parents almost hit their cheeks against their son’s.
“Smile!”, exclaimed Tanya. Dr.Alok and Nisha blushed at the camera as their hands hugged each other on their son’s back. Young Alok giggled.
“Happy family!”, commented Tanya, shooting from her smartphone, with three clicks in a line. Nisha hurried to chuckle at their photo.
“It's awesome, Tanya. We will definitely frame it!”, complimented she. Without any further delay, she asked Tanya to share the picture with her. She posted it on insta, at once.
“So cute!” , “Perfect and complete family, Nisha Ji! Congrats!”, commented Ishitha and Raftaar, at once.
“Wow! My friends…these two always post the first comment to all my posts”
“Medam, I too have posted. Check it properly”, said Dr.Alok.
Nisha shrank her eyes and faked a wicked smile.
“Exactly, dad! Both of us liked her post even before her friends did. But, mamma doesn’t even notice us.”
“Just a small request”, said Dr.Alok, at Tanya.
“Look at Nisha’s home screen on her mobile”
Dr.Alok chuckled while son Alok and Tanya rushed to snatch the phone from Nisha.
“Aye! Maa, what's this?”, teased her son while Tanya laughed at the photoshopped picture of Dr.Alok in a suit and Nisha in casual jeans standing beside him, both in their college days; their background had a side including window, a plant attached up the wall and the half of a framed painting, at a corner.
“We have captured many selfies since we confessed. They are either inside my car, at a restaurant, in her cabin, or in my cabin. But, the problem with selfies is that one’s face is clicked really big”, stated Dr.Alok.
Nisha blushed while Tanya and son Alok nodded, chuckling along. The latter made Nisha sit beside Dr.Alok.
“Nisha medam! Delete the sasti selfie you made(cheap photo)”, whispered Dr.Alok, blushing and wrapping her shoulders in his arms.
“Alok saar! No way, it's our memory”, dragged Nisha, smiling to invite her deep and fair dimples, as she rested her head on his chest.
“Sexy!”, he whispered, at which she pinched his left thigh.
“Ooh, medam!”, he exclaimed, at which she chuckled.
“Look at the camera”, called Tanya, at which Nisha turned Dr.Alok’s face to face the mobile camera.
“Wohooo! Alok saar and Nisha medam!”, cheered son Alok as Tanya captured the couple, again, in three clicks, one after the other.
Dr.Alok and Nisha, although began their love lives a little late, in their middle age, lived happily ever after!!! After all, it was a romantic play by the great heavens!!! The family lived happily ever after.
I have always seen my happiness in Alisha's eyes!!! I hope the Alok saar of my life loves me sometime in this lifetime...
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