Has He Done or ….?
Mid night of a mid summer night, he couldn’t sleep even a wink. Though he was fully drunk, he was in proper sense (not in the level of ‘pamp’). The memories of the past took a round through his disturbed mind. The thirty year old man surveyed the sum total of the life so far he lived. The result was a big zero. He wrote and erased the word ‘suicide’ repeatedly on the wall of his mind. He was at the brink of ending up his life on a piece of rope. The Lord, Yamadharma waited for him with a noose in his hand .At any time Yama would facilitate the man, if he had taken an unyielding decision.
Like any other child Raju was cheerful and active in his toddling age. He played, fought, wrestled and did everything of his age with his peers of both the genders.. His friend Gopan’s new toy car presented by his father suddenly slipped him to a question, which went unanswered by his mother. When one day his friend Chacko’s ire in mutual bickering titled him as Bastard, the same question again arose in his mind. Again the answer was a silence from his mother’s side. The question expanded in size, when his female friend, Kamala also uttered the same word. That turned to be a pin-prick in his mind. His peers understood that the easy way of irking him was to mention about his father. All looked at him in derision.
Slowly he wore the coat of quiet and drove himself away from his core group. Raju became totally a lonely child. He made friends with trees and bushes of the mini- forest nearby. He talked to minas, crows and wood-peckers that visited that area. They included him in their company. Those friends were very friendly. They never hurt him calling bastard. Wherever he met youngsters like him ,the latter tried to extract pleasure out of his indignity. They couldn’t help flinging him a scornful look. The humiliation he faced from them was intolerable. He wandered among paddy plants in fields, sat on soil walls of land around, spent the vacation under trees picking and biting mangoes, cashew apples etc. He spent time by watching fish swimming in pond. Sometimes he slept too under trees.
Going to school was performed naturally by his legs, as his mind was engaged in finding the answers of the questions. “My mother has earned for me only humiliation,” thought he. He whispered, “Why did she bring me to earth? Who is my father? Where can I find that cruel fellow?” And so on and so on and so he kept himself away from his peers. He hid in a cocoon of silence. His days were filled with questions from himself and others. Questions about the whereabouts of his ‘father’ haunted him. Every person who he came across had someone to be addressed as father. In fact the word father itself was a nightmare for him.
His mother poured love and affection of high density in immeasurable quantities on him. Yet he couldn’t find any sort of joy at that time. He kept a sort of numbness in his heart-neither love nor hatred for his mother. He was very well aware that he had none other than the woman called mother. Still his mind got filled with anger towards his mother sometimes.
As adulthood got launched in him bringing weight and height , he collected vengeance in high density. Rather it grew more rapidly than he grew. He became an avenger against himself. His attitude towards his mother took the shape of apathy. Had he met the person, who was responsible for this mortification of his, he would have thrashed him away. His face never bore a smile. Instead it reflected a disgust and fury. These gestures carried his legs to toddy shops where he took asylum. He tormented himself. He quenched his thirst with toddy. His lips were always liquor-licked. The thought of toddy bottles only sent him to work sites to earn for bottles.
Despair stole his sleep. ”What is the use of such an offensive life? Nobody will lose any thing, if I don’t exist here. Let me row to the other shore.” He looked at the wooden support of the roof and the rope in his hand. Suddenly the helpless face of his hapless mother flashed on his mind .”Oh! What is that shining object? Two bulbs on it? What are they? Ah! It is another face.” It appeared brightly from the dark corner of his mind like the moon from the clouds. “Kamala. Yes, now I understand. I can read the glow of love in her eyes. Bye, Yamaraj, bye toddy.”