A Short Story
‘Son, what would you like to do with your life, now that you have completed your studies?’ Aryan’s father asked him.
‘Dad, I don’t want to do the usual 9 to 5 job like everyone else.’ Aryan said, seated opposite to his father in the living room, the old ceiling fan was whirling above them making more noise than giving air in the hot summer afternoon.
‘Then what would you like to do?’ His father asked him, lowering the daily newspaper which he had been reading, and glancing at his son rather annoyed.
‘I would like to do something different from others,’ Aryan replied.
‘And may I know what this something different is?’
‘Well, something that will make me feel happy doing it.’
‘Do you mean to say that what others do for their living isn’t making them feel happy doing it?’ His father asked, with a frown on his face.
‘I guess not! Most of them do it for their living rather than enjoying what they really do and what they really want to do is just a dream to them, which will remain a dream rather than becoming a reality.’
‘And you’re going to live your dream then?’
‘Son, whatever you would like to do it, do it! I’m giving you two months time to get towards your so called dream job. If you’re not able to achieve it then you will have to do what everyone else is doing in their lives…I mean the so called 9 to 5 job.’ His father said, before taking up his daily newspaper, and covering his face with it.
‘Thanks, dad,’ Aryan said, getting up and leaving.
Before the two months could end, Aryan placed before his dad, the offer letter from a famous travel channel which had global reach. His job involved traveling around the world; meeting people of different walks of life, knowing their culture and tradition, visiting the unknown places which had the potential to become famous tourist attractions in the days to come, etc. His program would be telecasted on their TV channel around the world everyday.
His father pulled out the offer letter from the envelope and went through it.
‘What do you think, dad?’ Aryan asked, leaning forward curiously.
‘Is this your dream?’ His father asked him.
‘Yes, dad! I would like to travel around the world, see places and meet people, know about their cultures, take pictures, and stuff like that…I would be actually living my dream rather than just making my living…’ Aryan said, smiling with excitement in his eyes.
‘But, son, we would miss you as you would be staying so far away from us…’ Aryan’s mother said, feeling sad hearing all this.
‘Let him live his dream! You can see him online everyday through video chat and also see him every day on the TV show…’ His father said.
‘Don’t worry, Mama, I will speak to you every night…also send you postcards from those countries I would be visiting…’ Aryan said, looking at his mother.
‘Then when will you get married and allow us to play with our grand children?’ His mother asked him.
‘Mom, I am just starting my career…I would surely marry and settle down when I find a suitable girl for me…and you shall play with your grand children, don’t you worry…I just need some time…’ He said.
‘I’m happy for you, son. Go, live your dream!’ His father said.
‘But…’ His mother said.
‘It’s alright, Sumithra…’ Aryan’s father said, pressing his wife’s had gently with his.
‘Thanks, dad and mom’ Aryan said, smiling at them.
‘So when do you have to leave?’ His mother asked him.
‘I would be joining next month…meanwhile; I need to buy things I would need there…’ Aryan said.
Aryan’s mother purchased and gave him Sony DSC-HX300 : H series camera before his journey to the first country he was visiting.
‘Thanks a lot, mom! I would always treasure this camera and send you the pictures which I click from it!’ He said, kissing on her cheek.
‘And I would treasure those pictures which you are going to send me, my dear,’ His mother said, kissing on his cheek, ‘Hope I would see you in person soon..’ She added, hugging him and patting on his shoulder, before his departure in the International Airport.
‘I would miss you…hope this isn’t the last time I would be seeing you..’ She said, with a tear drops in her eyes.
‘No, mom, I would be coming back soon!’ Aryan said, hugging her again, ‘I promise you that!’
‘Hope so…son,’ She said, wiping her tears from her eyes.
Aryan travelled many countries along with the cameraman, Andhrew Hopkins. His travel episodes become famous day by day. His parents never missed any episode. Aryan posted post cards from various places to his mother as he had promised. Also shared the pictures he shot with the camera she had bought for him.
In Nigeria, during the TV show, he met an old man with whom he became friends and started calling him ‘Granpa’ as he was that age. The old man’s name was Kele and his only son had abandoned him after marrying a girl of a foreign country.
‘Now, I have no one…Aryan,’ Kele said, with moist eyes, ‘I am waiting for death as I have no purpose to live anymore…my dear wife would be waiting for me eagerly in heaven…I should go soon..’
‘No, Granpa,’ Aryan said, being moved by his story, ‘I never knew how my grandparents were as they passed away by the time I was born…I would like to adopt you as my grand father, if you permit me to.’
‘You want to adopt me as your grandfather?’ Kele said, surprised.
‘Yes, I would like to! Would you be my grandpa and come with me?’ Aryan asked.
‘Yes! Yes! I would like too…I am very happy to have you as my grandson, Aryan,’ Kele said, smiling at last.
So, Aryan adopted Kele as his grandpa and legally signed the adoption papers. They both traveled together to other countries. Kele found a new purpose to live his life. He called up his biological son and told him the news.
‘Really, papa?’ His son asked him on phone.
‘Yes, Babatunde!’ Kele said, smiling, ‘You heard it right! Switch on the TV channel ‘Travel Now!’ and you’ll see my grandson, Aryan….goodbye!’ He said, before hanging the phone down.
‘I can’t believe this!’ Babatunde cried, switching on the TV and browsing for the channel his father had told him.
‘What you can’t believe, Babatunde?’ asked his wife, Maria.
‘Someone has adopted my old father!’ Babatunde said, reaching the ‘Travel Now!’ channel, in which Aryan’s program was coming at that time.
‘Who adopted him?’ She asked.
‘Him!’ Babatunde said, pointing his finger at the Aryan on the TV screen.
Maria glared at the television screen and screamed,
‘Look! Your father is with him too!’ She cried, pointing her finger at the old man Kele with Aryan with Pyramids of Eqypt in the background.
‘Yes, I’m not blind! I can see too!’ Babatunde cried back, ‘That old man wanted to visit the God dame Pyramids some day and this fellow has taken him there!’
‘Be happy, papa…’ Babatunde murmured, as a tear drop fell from his left eye, ‘I’m sorry that I couldn’t be a good son to you!’
Then Aryan went to France with Kele and his TV cameraman Andhrew Hopkins. There he adopted a boy of eight years named Leon. Leon was an orphan boy, whose parents were killed in a car accident after his birth. Kele and Leon became good friends soon.
‘I have two grandsons now!’ Kele said in joy.
‘What shall I call you?’ Leon asked Aryan.
‘You can call him Papa.’ Kele said.
‘Ok then. Papa where is Mama?’ Leon asked him.
‘We shall find her too soon.’ Aryan said, smiling at them.
Aryan introduced Kele and Leon to his parents on video chat the next day.
‘Nice to meet you Kele and Leon.’ Aryan’s father said, smiling, ‘Wish to see you both in person soon.’
‘Aryan, don’t marry a foreign girl over there. You should come and marry our Indian girl only!’ His mother said, rather sternly.
‘Sure, Mama, anyways, I haven’t found any interesting girl over here!’ He said, smiling at her.
The next country they all visited was Spain. They reached the beautiful island called Lanzarote. There Aryan met a beautiful young girl named Alba and fell in love with her. It was love at first sight.
‘Holla! I’m Aryan. I am new to this place. Could you please guide me towards Papagayo beach?’’ He asked her.
‘Holla! I’m Alba. Nice to meet you. Actually, I’m going to the Papagayo beach…you gentlemen can come along with me..’ Alba said, smiling at him.
‘Garcia’s, Alba. It’s very nice meeting you too!’ Aryan said, smiling back at her, and then following her along with Andhrew.
‘Garcia’s, once again, Alba!’ Aryan said, after reaching the beach, ‘It would really nice if you could join us for a drink.’ Aryan said, thanking her and inviting her for a drink.
Alba joined them both for a drink. They all drank Cola.
‘By the way, what is the meaning of your name?’ He asked her.
‘Alba means ‘Dawn’ in Italian as well as Spanish, you see.’ She said, smiling at him, ‘And what is the meaning of your name?’
‘Aryan means ‘Noble’ in Sanskrit!’ Aryan replied, smiling at her.
‘You’re indeed a noble gentleman!’ Alba said, still smiling, while sipping her cola.
Soon, they both fell in love with each other. He proposed to her and she accepted. He told her about Kele and Leon, and introduced them to each other.
‘Aryan, I never thought a person like you could even exist! I am proud to have you as my life partner!’ Alba told him, looking into his eyes, in love.
‘Thank You, Alba.’ Aryan said, smiling at her.
That Sunday Aryan married Alba in a church in presence of Kele, Leon and Andhrew as witness. Alba’s parents were pleased to see their daughter happy with Aryan.
Finally, they all came to India. Aryan introduced them to his parents. Finally, he introduced Alba to his parents. Initially, his mother was reluctant in showing her feelings to Alba. But when Alba said, ‘Namaste, Maaji!’ and fell to her feet to take her blessings, she was touched. Also Alba started speaking to her in Hindi. They bonded with each other like long lost mother and her daughter.
‘Alba, by the way, when did you learn Hindi?’ Aryan asked her, surprised.
‘Well, I had asked you about your mother tongue, when we had met the second time, remember? You told me that you speak Hindi at home. So, when you proposed to me and I accepted. Then I realised that I need to learn it so that I could speak to your family members when I arrive in India!’ She said, with a chuckle.
‘Smart woman!’ Aryan said, smiling at her.
‘Thank You, Aryan.’ She said, still smiling.
‘So, you’ve lived your dream son?’ His father asked him.
‘Yes, dad! Now, I would like to do something staying in my country. I feel I have travelled enough now. Also I have a big family to take care of me now.’ He said.
‘Yes, son, I can spend time with Kele and Leon..’ His father said.
‘Mama, what do you think about your daughter-in-law? I thought you wanted Indian girl…’ Aryan asked his mother teasingly.
‘No, Alba is like my daughter,’ His mother said, ‘I’m fine with her, son.’
When they reached home, his father took him to his room. When he opened the door, he was surprised to see all the pictures which he had sent had been cleanly pasted sequentially to the wall as if a long wallpaper.
‘Wow! That’s amazing!’ Aryan cried, surprised.
‘Your mother did it, son!’ Aryan’s father said proudly.