|Clicked By: Shankar Narayanan|
I love to come to the beach. I come here every evening and watch the sun set. Then I walk along the shore all night till sun rise. I get back home when the sun rises and smiles at me.
Standing here gives me atmost pleasure. Everytime the tide washes away the dirt in my feet I get reminded of the way my mom bathes me. She used to apply turmeric powder and soap alternatively thrice saying that one day a prince will come with a shoe for the beautiful feet of her Cindrella. Everytime the breeze clears the hair on my face, helping me look at the sun set better, I get reminded of dad. Dad used to clear the hair falling on my face when I do maths neglecting the hair falling on my face, disturbing the vision. He used to bring a band and tie my hair high up so that I could concentrate doing math than adjusting my hair. Everytime the tide walks back into the sea, I feel like someone pulling me back. It reminds me of my brother who is just a year older but protects me from every problem I can possibly have. Whenever we come to the beach, he used to pull me away from the tide scaring that I will get drowned.
Mom and dad were the best lovers found on earth. They met each other in college, fell in love and got married with a lot of struggle. Mom was Muslim and dad was Hindu. Just like every other love story my grandparents opposed their love. They opposed not because my parents were from different state, different religion, different language but just because of the fact that they were in love. “Love” was a word of crime in those days, mom used to tell me. when my brother and I were kids, mom used to tell their love story every night.
Every night, mom, dad, brother and I will gather in our bedroom after dinner and talk. Mom and dad will tell how they fell in love with each other. Each time they told us the same story it sounded different. The only reason was that we were growing and understood different parts of the story at different age.
“I fell in love with your dad the moment I met him. He was so smart. He is still so smart.” She used to look at him and blush, everytime she said that.
“Your mom was a lovely woman and she still is one. I was her fan.” Dad used to put his arms around her shoulder and hit her on her fourhead with his. We could feel love between them whenever they said this.
“Sleep well kids” they used to switch off the lights in our room while leaving expecting us to sleep. But we always discussed about their love story after they leave.
Days passed. Months passed. A year passed. I grew and got promoted to 2nd standard.
The night talks slowly faded. Mom and dad got busy with their work schedules.
No talks, no beaches, no movies. Still me and my brother enjoyed playing games. We studied on our own. Subjects were getting bulkier. Maths had tables, division and what not. I thought maths was just counting and numbers. Subjects like social were like a nightmare to me, I never knew India was sub divided into so many states with such complex spellings and capitals. Why can’t India be one? They say UNITY but they divide a country into states just to trouble kids like us.
Science, another nightmare. Who cares what happens between the intake and excretion. It happens because god created it like that. Why do we need to learn how food gets digested?
I hated all these subjects. Brother helped me learn them all with ease. He was a prodigy. Nights filled with love and laughter were gone. All we could hear at nights were mom and dad shouting and screaming at each other. We, at times had a doubt if the stories they told us were real. They were so much in love before marriage but now?
Dad surprised mom on every birthday before marriage but now he did not even bother to remember the date. Mom waited for hours together for a single message from dad before marriage but now she doesn’t even have the patience to wait till dad picks up the phone call; 3 rings and no dinner for him. Things have changed so much. I used to discuss this with brother but he deligently avoided it and changed topic everytime. He used to hide himself and watch the fight between mom and dad. He used to go under the blanket then and cry. When I call for him, he would wipe his tears, pop out of the blanket and say “Sleep now sweety. It’s getting late.” The wet cheeks will speak more than his dry lips.
I tried my best to forget these fights and talk normally to friends at school but I failed. One day dawned with the darkest sunshine. Mom and dad came to us and spoke openly.
“Kids, we have planned to depart.”
That felt like a vampire biting me on my neck, like in the movies. My brother and I were given options to choose between dad and mom, each. We didn’t like it. We cried, they didn’t agree. I narrated all the love stories thye told us, the struggle they had to live together and get married. Al lthey had in response was “Talk like my kid not like my mother in law.”
Days passed. I cried and cried. Mom and dad stayed in different houses. I stayed with mom and brother with dad. We met at school. My mouth ceased speaking anything. One day I decided to run away and I did. I came here.
Back to Today:
I am standing here now, on the sea shore. I miss them all badly. I don’t feel like visiting them. Today is mom and dad’s wedding. Years back we used to visit this beach on their wedding without fail. I will wait for them. I will see them happy here. I have hopes. I had been waiting for a year now to see them together as a family.
After few hours. They are here. Just as expected. Mom, dad and my brother as a family. They are all smiling wide. I am standing right in front of them but they can’t recognize me, they can’t find who I am. Few drops of tears roll down their cheeks. Suddenly dad falls on his knees and breaks down. I run to him but I am not able to touch him. Yes, I drowned myself in this sea a year back.
Fall in love, who is stopping you. But never fall out of love after marriage. Marriage is not the end point of love. Hundreds of kids are affected due to broken family. Is this what you teach your kids? If you don’t love each other at least try to understand and love your kids.