They once asked a man, "What is that you love the most?"
Given the fact that he was torn into tethers, had no morsel for two days and saw nothing as important as a place to rest, he replied ''It is indeed cruel on you part, dear to weigh me down me with the obscurities of life for I know you are no blind man, for I know you have the perfect two ears, for I know you smile seeing me..."
Saying this, he went afar, never to return to the spot again. The only thing that remained lunging in that dark, humid corner of the central park in the heart of the city was a young chad, probably 40 years of age...with his tweed jacket aimlessly hanging around his shoulders, his mittens finding their place beside him on the bench (for it was a Calcutta winter that needed nothing of that preparation...).
It was 10 at night when he drove away the helpless looking man and I as a silent observer of the scene thought wondrously, "Although the older of the two seems to me a beggar, of whatever little knowledge I have of human appearances, what made the younger lad, impeccably dressed and seemingly gay, do there at that odd hour of the night?”
With the night strengthening its hold over the city and the creatures of the dark finding their rightful niches, Minto Park soon turned into a bazaar, the nature of which is better untold and best deduced. Since, my daily rounds of cards got over (humbug!! Rajnish hooked up a silly maiden and Babu preferred sleeping in the promenade) I was like a serpent drawn to the music of the enchanter, drawn to the earlier mentioned conversation between the old man and the strange looking sahib.
The biggest joke that life plays on you is that, when you have not the best looks, the best clothes and the aid of a warm wallet, it seems to you that the costliest treasure you possess, your intellect is also long drawn from you. In the prime of my years, I would have probably walked up to the tweed-jacketed man and asked him plainly about his untimely visit to the park but however, owning to my current disposition, which was nothing better than that of a slime dweller, the aforementioned, seemed alien talk!
He looked possessed, probably not the best word to describe a human, especially in a setting when science got over everything else (and trust me, I myself am an ardent patronizer of the ideals)...the look he had in his orbs, is something that no words, except for the ones that bring in Satan into discussion, can describe! What crimson eyes he had...I in my life that revolved around Park Street and Minto Park had seen many a drunken lads...abusing their partners, fondling recklessly with a bosom or two...some happy and some happily destroyed. However, this man was one that I could not read into...who had by just a simple question made someone, who in the wake of sensibility shouldn't even be distantly related to him, run away lest be probed again.
I felt an immense upsurge in me, very wayward of the kind of life I dealt then and it was this unsettling apparition that fanned in me the quench to know more. In a normal setting like this, for it was not new for people to act bizarre in this part of the city, I would have certainly returned home. However, there was something that kept tugging at me like the ghosts of the past pinning me affix and I suddenly found it impossible to take even a step away from the bench where the chap sat cladding his mittens and sunken in some great tragedy that even my seasoned eyes could not catch.
It was like a bolt from the blue when I realized that the person possessing the faculty of my thoughts at that moment was actually looking me straight and in a similar setting, with those crimson eyes and flushed cheeks, expected a response!
Taken aback by this sudden nakedness, I started fidgeting, totally unsure of the next course of my actions and like a discordant mistress lulled by the tantalizing persona of the master gave away to my earlier inhibitions and forwarded.
This did not seem a problem to him, unlike what I thought and like an ant longing for a leaf to keep it afloat, the chap broke into ceaseless tears. “Hell! What I am supposed to do”, I said to myself but my muffled words only reassured him in the best possible manner they could.
They often say that you find solace in the strangest of the places and who would have ever thought that the CEO of my one time company would now be sitting right beside me, singing the muffled song of the pained heart, sharing the same portico as mine and wanting not a file, not even a shaky deadline but just a hushed assurance that his life was not a waste and that the man he just drove away was all right.
I might have told the readers, all at one go, but during the small talk I had with him he opened his heart out to me. It was during this time that I got to know that the same man, who was responsible for my condition today, was now trailing along with me on the dark esplanades of life, the details of which are best reserved for another day.
Seeing the man I hated the most, wriggle with the scorn of infidelity, I almost forgot what drew me closer. Yes! The older man that we started the narrative with, came back ghastly to my mind and without a single moment’s delay I bumped into him the question.
What I got back in return is something that has been haunting me till date. While the years count 20 on my wrinkled, age-worn talons; I still am in no power to react! The young CEO bluntly responded…”Of all the wrongs that I did the biggest felony was made by him! He breathed life into a monster. HE WAS MY FATHER!”