Some months ago, I had been to some one’s house. The 60-plus man, in my heart, was a gem of a person.That night, he had died of a massive heart attack. When we reached there, it was just the time… He was about to be taken away from the house… and, for ever. I saw the man’s wife, now a fresh widow, collapsed on the lifeless husband… and sobbing with a sorrow, which, by now, had lost all its tears… I could imagine how much she must have sobbed all nightlong… and the day that followed! With the lady, I too sobbed like a baby… The man was a good soul!
Then, we heard, all of a sudden, someone crying hysterically… “Papa, I am sorry; please papa, I am sorry… Papa… Papa…” Some ladies were holding the daughter of the deceased soul… and it was the last glimpse she would have of her papa. She too looked all pale and dry… like her mother’s, the sorrow was just bereft of wetness… there was only a lingering pain, regret and, now, a killing guilt.
While we were returning home, a lady told us this. The departed man and his wife were staying in their daughter’s place in order to help them (daughter’s family). The daughter and her husband, both young, were extremely busy with their corporate life. They had a 6-year-old son and the grand parents took good care of him. That night, when the daughter and her husband came home, tired and edgy, it was already 10; the little fellow, may be a little pampered by grandparents, was not listening to his father who was asking him to go to bed. That’s the ‘sin’ the little one had committed. The young father, after trying all his ways, decided to give the little one a punishment. “So, you don’t want to sleep… Isn’t it?” he shouted at the little one, “You will stand here, in this corner, full night. That’s the punishment for not listening to me.”
The little fellow, scared of his father’s outburst, settled in the lonely corner and started sobbing. The grand pa could not see it. “This is not the way to handle him,” he interfered, “It is too harsh for such a little fellow. It is night.” It provoked the son-in-law… Then, the daughter joined… and, all this ended the way it shouldn’t have. For, that night, the sadness had killed this gem of a man!
The young daughter, filled with this guilt, was now crying, “Papa, I am sorry; please papa, I am sorry… papa … papa…”
But, it was too late.
Time and tide wait for none. Shakespeare was right.
Many a times, I leave home… with angry bouts… Sometimes, hurting my spouse or son, and sometimes hurt by them… I leave home without resolving my conflict, without saying - ‘I am sorry’ or without hearing it from them… I leave never even bothered to think, “What if I didn’t return tonight?” “What if I had no chance to see them again?” What if I had no chance to say “I am sorry, dear,” or hear the same from them?
Yes, what if?
Everybody dies, except me! Anything can happen to any body, except to me! Most of us think, we are God’s special… when it comes to accidents, calamities and death. We think, we are here to live and live long. That, there is time to say ‘I am sorry’… There is always a ‘tomorrow’.
The daughter never thought there would not be a tomorrow!
One of the reasons why I liked the recent Hindi movie – ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ was its sublime poetry by my favorite Javed Aktar. Like many, I too liked the movie immensely… I remember coming home, that late night, so refreshed, so touched. After a very, very long time, a movie and its images had so freshly stayed in my heart. I had cried along with Hritik Roshan in that breath-taking scene, after he comes out of the deep blue sea, where Katrina had just infused in him a new life. We see him on that boat, lost, breathing the way had never done before, feeling life the way he had never done before… and feeling grateful for life the way he had never felt before. In the background, we hear these gentle lines (the translated version):
The moment flows by like molten sapphire
Deep Blue silences
No Earth below
No Sky above
The rustling branches and leaves
Saying that only you are here
Such Depth like this
Such Loneliness like this
And me only me
I now believe I exist.
The lump in my throat, even now I can experience, as I recall that amazing scene.
Really, I don’t feel like saying anything more… Except “Dear, I am sorry.”