Fifty Five

by Vinodh Kumar

It was only in my fifty five, at last I got all the time in the world to lean on my cozy easy chair with no one around in my 20 years old home , which has everything to facilitate a luxury life. I was a busy man until then, never really had a chance to take a look back or a look forward. Everything went right for me, at least I thought so,I was successful in my career and I thought in my family life too. When it was time to call it a day for my career , my family members found their way out. So that made me to sit all alone in my home with newspapers and self prepared toast sandwich placed on a wooden coffee table. Living alone never bothered me and I neither regretted that I was the reason to be alone.

My rigidity did not lost longer, as I fell short of activities .And I did not want to ring my family , perhaps I didn't even know where they reside and what number they were using. Sports never drew my attention and I was not impressed by any other stupid TV programs. I am not that kind of a person who seek solace from music because Its hard for my mind to incline on it all of a sudden.

We hate you ! These were the last words uttered by my son and his mother in a combined tone. Those words did nothing to me on that day or on that week or even that month, but I was haunted by those words repeatedly for a whole night almost three months after they left. I had my son's office number and his personal mobile number, A call and a sorry could have fixed everything , but my rock solid heart didn't permit that.

Then I started looking back, the fact I realized was, nobody really loved me ever since I was five. Why people never liked me? This question was incepted in my mind but i didn't find any immediate answers.

Soon, I developed the reading habit, killed my time reading lot of books. I did have friends but never invited them to my home or been to their home, I am resistive to changes and hence traveling was never an option for me , So I had no reasons to move out of home unless it is for getting grocery and other needed stuff. Every morning and evening,I started going to a near by park which could be reached by half an hour walk.

It was there, I met that man who was of my age and whose name I never knew because I never asked.

It was me who broke the ice and started the conversation.

"I see you everyday here, Where do you reside?", I asked

.

He told things about him, but nothing drew my attention except that he was a lone man. He did not ask anything about me , but I didn't wait for him to ask, I started telling my story, thing I observed was the attention paid by him for my version was more than what I have showed to listen his. I never open myself to anybody and I never felt like doing that. Months of solitude made me to do these things. Everyday I would converse lot of things with him, he was a comfortable listener and I always played the chatter part.

"People loved me up to my fifth year because I was innocent. Then the things called, 'I know', 'I am right', 'Listen to me first','I won't',' I want you to' and so on crept into me. These things went so deep into me that from my twenties, I quit listening to others and always wanted to establish superiority over others. It was a wonderful feeling when others fear to talk with you,someone hesitates to object you and someone scares to stand before you. I yelled my wife and my only son all the time, I didn't stop there , It continued with my son's spouse and kids too. Simply, I wanted the whole world to rotate according to my desires and the strange thing was the world did rotate until the moment I was laid into solitude. Now it is four years since they left me,lately I have realized a lot through reading and looking back at my life as well. My first five years, I was Innocent and the next fifty years I was ignorant and now in my 60th year, I am sitting right beside you as a realized human being . My son rang me and he is coming today with his mother , told that he would tell everything in person. I hope everything would be fine from today. Probably, I would not be regular here from tomorrow because I would like to spend the fullest with my family" , I kept talking like this to him.

He gave a gentle smile and after sighing, he told that he was wondering how ignorance could be turned into realization so fast. I didn't understand what he meant and neither was in a mood to make sense out of it as I was in urge to get back home.

"I expected a lot about my son's visit. Everything went wrong. My wife didn't even care to look where I am standing and How I am doing. My son did not utter a word. They came to get some important papers and few other things kept in the room that used to be his. No sooner did they get those, they left. I terribly failed unzipping my lips and I lost the one chance I had. I don't know, How am I going to live rest of my life.", I told him the next day.

He opened up," Dear Brother, you said you are sitting beside me as a realized human being. A realized human being wont cry out asking how am I going to live on this bloody earth. You did enough to be in a position what you are in now. World rotated according to your wish for years, now its time for you to sit in a place and watch how world rotates. Wishing your spouse and children come to you just because you realized your mistakes is also like wanting the world rotate for your wishes, those days of your life is over, sit and watch how the world rotates. One day you will really sit beside me as a realized human being".

For the first time in my life to my remembrance, I patiently and attentively heard a person speaking. It seemed to me, what he told had a deep meaning and still lot left for me to realize. I never heard him speaking that much before and in fact after that.

"What is realization actually?", I asked him expecting a long conversation.

"You will not have any questions, you will have answers for all the questions in this world. That is realization.", He replied and took leave for the day.

Six years passed since then, Not one in my family got a reason to ring me, Nor do I have courage to ring them. The man with whom I developed acquittance in the park was not found there for months, I don't know whether he left the city or the world. But I remember his words, Still I have heap of unanswered questions about this world and life. I don't know how much more time it will take to get that questions answered and More importantly what I don't know what am I going to do with those answers. Everyday I slip to bed hoping that I would wake up tomorrow, my hands and legs would have enough strength to get the things done and I would have a clear mind to understand the answers for my questions. But one thing I realized, I am too late, I started asking questions too late.

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