The value of parents2020-02-25T07:33:44+05:30

The value of parents

It was 15 years back, Sunday morning. 5.30 a.m. Shrill ring of the telephone had pulled me out of my sound sleep. A doctor friend was calling from my hometown. His normally cheerful voice had sounded subdued. Next moment, the news had hit me like a sledgehammer. My father was no more!

A day earlier, I had left him fit and fine. He hadn’t given an iota of hint that he was going to depart forever. I couldn’t believe what my friend was saying. Nor could I ask again. My wife had taken hold of the receiver. The news was confirmed.

Like a machine, I had travelled to Patiala, lifted him up….and  marched  to  the   cremation  ground.  I  didn’t  know  when  I  had  lit  the  pyre.  The face,  I  had  touched  and  felt  a  million  of  times was  turning  into  ashes.  Holding my  breath,  I  had  stepped  back, my heart silently crying and urging him to come back. ‘Talk  to  me just  once and  then, I’ll let you go!’ It begged.  He hadn’t believed me.  He didn’t come back.

Throughout his life, he had cared for my comfort. Even for his departure, he had chosen Sunday…to cause least discomfort to me!

Fifteen  years  have  passed  since  his  departure. Even today, his departure  seems  to be a  matter  of  just  yesterday  when  he  lay  still,  free  of  pain…and  worries with immense  peace  over  his  face.  All through  his  life,  he  had  struggled endlessly but with jest,  jostled  with  the  problems,  faced  the  rigours  of  life. Now, there  were  none. But for me, that wonderful shelter had ceased to exist.

After his departure, I find that the life is  no more  the  same.  Howsoever  I  try,  happiness  doesn’t  rise  from deep  within.  Nor  it  touches  the  chords  of  my heart.  It  remains  on  the  surface  only.  The desires, the fun and frolic  have  evaporated  into  thin  air. The  festivals and the functions, the ceremonies and the celebrations, all  have  gone  colourless.

On his departure,  I  had  thought that  I  would  never  be  able  to  laugh  again. I was wrong. I  laugh  sometimes but  the  laughter  has  changed  its spirit.  It is  not  the  same—unrestrained,  free  and  unbridled.  It  has  lost  its  soul !

It  is  after  the  departure of our parents  that  we  realize  the real  value  of  their  existence. At that time, nothing can be done. Those lucky ones, whose parents are alive, should take lesson, care for them, keep them close, give time to them and bask in the glory and sunshine of their existence.