Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Birthday.

It was twilight and I was hurling towards the bus stop. But I must have missed the bus by a whisker. I reached the bus stop gasping for air. I could see no one apart from an old man. He too must have missed the bus I thought. Son, is everyone in the family alright? He asked. I was in no mood to answer any question. Yes, I snapped back. Why was he concerned about about my family? Are you sure? He asked. For a moment I gave him a glaring look but then realized that he was not the reason for me arriving late at the bus stop. Why do you ask I inquired. I am sorry son but such is the coincidence that I could not stop asking. Then he began to narrate an incident.

It was 28th of October about 20 years ago said the man. I was still young enough to earn my living. But I was poor. It was twilight and I was waiting at this same bus stop. From across the road I could see a young man running towards me. I was a bit afraid but ready to fight back. As he drew nearer my fear was gone. He looked like a decent fellow just like you but older. He too was gasping for air and asked me if the bus had left. I replied affirmatively. He was full of tears. What is wrong? I had asked him. He had come to a nearby pharmacy to buy some medicine for his child who was born on the same day. The child was very sick. But his car had broken down and now he had missed the last bus too.

Why not try a cab I had said. I can accompany you to the hospital. It was such an easy suggestion. But he had been overrun with too many worries. I accompanied him to the hospital. He had paid the cab driver and had given me some money as well. I was embarrassed but I accepted it thinking about my family who had nothing to eat that day. I had saved some of that money and used it in the right manner. The money had turned out to be very lucky for me. Today I have become a rich man. But I could never find the man who had made me rich. I had tried everything in vain to find him.

For last 15 years I visit this bus stop on 28th October to remind me of my past and to remind me of the person who had changed my life. Looking at you come up to me in the same way, I expected you to ask some question and when you did not I was tempted to inquire, he said. I consoled him saying that he would find the person one day.

Just then the last bus had arrived and I had hurriedly climbed in. For a while I was thinking about old man's story when I suddenly realized why I had been rude to him in the first place. It was my 20th birthday today and I was late to a party that was organized at my home. I had not even asked the old man for his name.

4 comments:

sagar said...

vishal,
...dont hurry to write...story,end,co-incidence are good...but not convincing..no one is "Scrooge McDuck" to become rich with his first '1$'..and no one is going to wait for 20 yrs, same day for the person...cant digest so much 'Utopian' stories :D.Can imagination be logical ? donno...sorry for this comment but........

Vishal Pai Vernekar said...

Hmm...sure will keep that in mind. Thanks for the comment :).

btw he was not waiting for the person to visit the place after 20 years. He visited the place to "remind himself" about his past and "remind him" of the person who had helped him in his dire times.

Salil said...

I felt it was a nice story.
Not every story should have some logic to it.
Reader should feel nice after reading it or start thinking about it, thats the success of the story writer :)

Also, what I felt after reading the story is the old man was not waiting for the man he had met 20 years back. He was there to remind himself of the incident.

He wanted to share it with someone so that may be others may also be fateful like him :)

Salil.

I Love the Way I am said...

This one a really the master piece…Now I am feeling bit emotional before my weekend starts but being Punjabi..I can’t be emotional so long…Today my cheers for u and this post Good job buddy….Ohh it’s my week off today “ Stay drunk to avoid hangovers…. Mushi Mushi…

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