An unusual-usual story of a family where the grandson takes the responsibility of bringing back the family together which got separated due to some misunderstanding.
I returned from London after completing my graduation. After a span of six long years, I was going to see my dear parents that day. Of course they used to call me up even in London, but you may understand the curiosity of a child who had been sent to a foreign country with all unknown people over there and was about to meet his parents who love him more than anyone else…
Since I couldn't manage to get a direct Mumbai flight, I settled for a Delhi flight. But my arrival in Delhi was welcomed with a mishap, the mishap that took place when I was about to leave for Mumbai, my home town. The taxi which I was travelling in crashed on a truck which injured my left leg leading to a fracture in it. The driver did not get much hurt by the accident. I was admitted in the nearby Hospital in Delhi itself by the kind taxi driver. It was the first proof making me realize that I had returned to India, the country in which kindness is at its peak.
Immediately I called my parents and gave them the news about my welcome mishap. They got extremely scared, especially my mother. She had been very caring and concern about me since my childhood. She was just about to leave for Delhi and come to me. But I avoided it by telling her that accident was a minor one. Also my Dad made her understand and then she finally agreed. The main reason why I didn’t want her to come to Delhi was that it was my wish that the first time my parents would see me, they should be happy. I thought that when I will recover and return back home, they would be much happier by seeing me; and so would be I.
The Doctor examined me and stated that it was a minor fracture and advised me to be under his supervision for about a week or two!! First I got a bit tensed but then I prepared myself for my stay in the hospital.
I used to play the games in my mobile, especially ‘The Rollercoaster Ride’. It was my favourite. But for how long? I was getting bored. Then I started making friendship with all the other patients. Also I behaved in a familiar manner with the nurses and the doctors. I became the most favourite patient in the hospital. Also the other patients started liking me. All of us used to sit together for a long time and discuss about various topics. I generally used to share my funny experiences in London with them.
All the patients were good with me. But there was one amongst them. An old man; he would sit with his wife for long. They really loved each other. Whenever I would look at him he would just smile. His wife also cared much about him and spent most of her time with him. But I thought that why didn’t his sons or daughters come to visit that old man? I don’t know the actual reason but I was strongly attracted towards that old man, maybe because of his familiar face. I had never seen such face in my life but still I got a feeling that he was very close to me. So I firmly decided to meet the couple and know more about them and their solitude.
The next day early morning when the old couple was having their breakfast, I went there to disturb their peace. They insisted me to have breakfast with them. I agreed happily. After the breakfast, we sat together. He told me that he had dialysis and he was admitted as the problem was getting more severe. Even I narrated my whole story--my return from London, how I came to India and how I met with an accident. I told him about my parents, my father, his profession and many more things were shared. That whole day was spent in just knowing each other.
The next day I came to know from him that he worked in a bank as the manager. He retired in 1985. One question was rebelling in my mind and that was about his children. That night I decided to ask the question next morning. The next day I gathered courage and just when we three were busy in a general talk, I suddenly asked him, “Grandpa” the name by which I used to call him “where do your children work and where are they now?” Both of them, who were very happy, just became quiet as soon as I asked them this question. A tiny tear fell through the eyes of that old man on my lap. I understood that there is some serious matter and I just left without speaking anything further.
The next day, both of them were quiet and sad. I knew that the sadness was because of my question that I asked them the previous day. I stared at them, hating myself for asking the old man such a question. Just then, I don’t know what happened to the old man, but he called me near him. He moved his hand over my back and smiled a bit. He said, “Beta, yesterday your question reminded me my unhappy past which I had completely forgotten. But, yes, today I will share my past with you because ‘sorrows are lessened by sharing them’.” Then he began his story. “After my retirement, I and my wife used to stay with my only son in Mumbai. He had a beautiful and a sweet son, my dear grandson. We all lived very happily in the beginning--I, my wife, my son and my daughter-in-law with my sweet grandson. There was no problem at all.
But one unfortunate day arose. From the morning itself my daughter-in-law was behaving very strangely with me and my wife. She was looking as if she was not happy for some reason. My wife asked her the reason for her anger but she neglected her. In the evening my son came from his office. Before he would talk to us, my daughter-in-law took him in a room and locked the room from inside. There was something going on. Outside we were feeling very insecure and at the same time we were very afraid. After an hour, my son came out of the room with a sad face. My daughter-in-law was looking as if she had won the half battle and was sure about her remaining victory. My son sat near me and his Mom. He was hesitating to say something—I did not know what it was. But somehow he said those most unfortunate words ‘Mom and Dad, you please leave our home. My son is getting older and his care is totally our prior responsibility. But we have to pay attention even to your dialysis. Due to it we are not able to pay full attention towards my son. I will admit you to a good old-age home.’ These words were no lesser than a heart-attack to me. I packed my luggage, held my wife’s hand, kissed my grandson and just went from there. From that day onwards we are living in an old-age home with no happiness and joy in our life.”-saying this, the poor old man covered his face with his hands and started weeping. Even his wife started crying. A tear rolled over my cheeks and I ran away from there, got into my bed and started weeping. I was completely overwhelmed by knowing the extreme injustice that had taken place with the old couple.
The next day was my last day and I was getting discharged on that day. I met all the patients and bid them farewell. Lastly, I met the old couple. They smilingly blessed me and talked to me as if nothing had happened. Really sharing had lessened their sorrows. When I was just about to leave, a photograph fell down from underneath the old man's pillow. I picked it up and was really surprised on seeing it. I asked Grandpa, "How did this photo come to you?" He smiled and said, "It's my son." OH MY GOD!! The bag in my hand fell down. I just stood numb for a minute. I was literally devastated. The reason being that it was my Dad in the photograph. So they both were my grandparents!! I was struck very hard by this fact and just couldn't sense anything for a moment. Looking at my astonished face, Grandpa asked me “What happened to you dear?” I just replied, “Grandpa, this is my father.” Grandpa and Grandma could not believe that the boy whom they stayed with for about two weeks was their own grandson, whom they loved so much. Before I could say something they both gave me a tight hug. I bent before them and they blessed me. I apologized them for the injustice that my parents did to them and insisted them to come home with me. But Grandpa said “No dear, my health is very critical and if I come back home, daughter-in-law will face many difficulties; and also it is always better to let the sleeping dogs lie. It was our only wish to see our grandson before we die. That wish has come true today. Promise me that you won’t tell anything to your parents about our meeting over here and you will behave with your parents as if nothing has happened. Also don’t do the same thing with your parents which they did with us. Please promise me!” I promised Grandpa and hugged my grandparents once again and left from there with a heavy heart..
I reached home. My parents were very happy to see me back after six years. As I had promised, even I behaved with them as if nothing had happened. All of us lived happily. From that day onwards, without the knowledge of my parents, I daily go to meet my Grandpa and Grandma and spent some time with them. At least this could make them happy and nullify the injustice that my parents made on them….
I got up today early in the morning, got ready and was about to leave. My Mom asked me, “What happened dear, where are you going in such hurry?” I just lied to my Mom and told her that I was going on a morning walk and left from there.
Only I know that I am going to the hospital to meet my grandparents. Today is their Wedding Anniversary. It is my plan that today I would go and meet them and ask one thing from them---- ‘to come back home again’. I hope that at least today they will not refuse me. So wish me luck, as I am on my way to unite the family again which had been divided due to some misunderstanding. PLEASE WISH ME LUCK……