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May 6, 2005

This is a story….about belief…about faith….a hope for a better tommorow….it’s about hope….it’s about life……


“cuckoo…..cuckoo…” The alarm clock was ringing as usual. It was 7:00 A.M in the morning. I got up and after few daily chores set out for my daily jogging.

“Good morning Mr. James”, said my neighbor. “How are you today?”

“Oh…that’s really nice of you for asking me, I am fine. How about you? ”

“I am fine sir; I was going to get some vegetables from the market. You know you should come to my house for dinner some day. Anyway I got to go now. Otherwise my wife is going to scream at me…hehehe…”

This was my usual meeting with my neighbor who had been courteous to me right from the day we moved in twenty years back. Not only him, but everyone in the locality was very generous to me. But I think they were expressing their grief and pity for me because of my wife’s death three years ago had a huge impact on me. I wouldn’t talk; I wouldn’t smile when others are involving themselves in a funny conversation. Something was wrong with me. I lived along with my twenty year old daughter Anna, though I must say I lived alone in my own house.

I went around the park and finally sat on my favorite bench right next to the lake. There were hundred’s of people who had come to the central park that day. I wondered if it was a Sunday. How could I remember?…..I was lost in my own thoughts all the time…..Loneliness, as they say was my biggest fear…it was my biggest enemy.

“Hello Uncle. Can I sit here?” asked a pretty girl who was in her mid twenties.

“Yeah….” I said smiling at her.

We didn’t talk for more than an hour. I decided to stay for a long time; I didn’t want to go home. I knew I wasn’t loved there. I just existed, I wasn’t living. Thinking of all this, somewhere in those five minutes a stream of weightless tears had started trickling down my eyes.

Then, the girl sitting beside me asked,” Is everything all right…why are you crying?”

“I was lost in thought. Rather remembered someone whom I lost”

“Oh. I am sorry. I didn’t know that.”

“That’s ok. It has been quite sometime now. And I am recovering from the shock of losing my dear wife.”

“How did she die?”

What should I tell this little girl!!! The world knew that she died of heart attack but I knew that she was very apprehensive about the life of our only daughter, Anna. She wouldn’t listen to anyone. But Anna missed her father a lot…she missed me. I couldn’t be with my daughter when she needed me. And she thought I didn’t love her. This was the crux of all the trouble.

I remained silent…I knew I couldn’t talk about it much.

“It’s ok if you don’t want to tell me.” The girl sitting beside me said.

“No….No….it’s not that. It’s just that there aren’t enough words to explain what happened. May be some other day”

“I am Pooja. Nice meeting you. I have to go now. My friend will be waiting for me.”

“Bye Pooja…I will meet you some other day.”

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