A Short Story
It was a hot summer afternoon. The fan hung from the ceiling with its three blades moving slowly in a circle. He sat on the easy-chair, with a book on his lap, looking at the fig tree through the window. He remembered what had happened sometime back. He had sold their old house in which he was staying with his wife. He had gone to his son’s place. He wished to spend the rest of their lives with his son’s family.
“I just can’t stand your parents staying with us in this house,” said Swomya, his daughter-in-law to her husband, “You know, I need freedom,”
“Come on, Swomya, they have sold their old house and have come here. Where do you expect them to go?” Arvind asked his wife.
“Anywhere? How does that matter to me?” She said. “Why? They can go to your sister’s place or even to Kashi..”
“But..” He said.
“Listen, you decide whom you want: your parents or me. I’m ready to leave to my mother’s place, if you want your parents to stay over here.” She said.
Next day, morning, Rajesh left with his wife to his daughter’s place in train. His daughter and her husband welcomed them both with a warm smile.
He took the book from his lap and started turning the pages, trying hard to concentrate. But his mind kept wandering into the past. How he had built the dreams about his son. Someday, he would grow up, get married and have kids. He would enjoy their company staying with them. His son would be there for him, like he was there for him when he was young and helpless. When his son needed to hold his hand and guide him forward in his life. He was so confident that his son would take care of him and his wife, when they would grow old and helpless. But then all those dreams seemed like those built on the clouds in the skies. Unfortunately, those clouds drifted far away, taking his dreams along with them.
Suddenly, someone pressed gently on his shoulders. He turned and looked up and saw the smiling face of his wife. “Thinking about something?” She asked.
“Yes, about our son,” He replied, “How could I have been so wrong about him?”
“Life is like that,” She said “Many a times; we may not get what we expect from it. You didn’t want to have daughter then. You felt that she would be more than a burden to you. Now?”
“Well, I was wrong again,” He said, “I always thought that daughters are ore than a burden to their parents. They grow up, get married, and go away.”
“Fortunately, I didn’t think like you.” She said, smiling at him.
“Yes, if not, we would have been in Kashi spending the rest of our lives over there.” He said.