The Eternal Journey

The Eternal Journey

Happiness Lost and Found... Courtesy, Summer...

"Jacob"      "Jacob"      "Jacob"      "Jacob"      "Jacob"

Jacob got up startled from his chair as the voice transformed from a distant noise to a yell. 

"What are you mulling over dear, sitting here in isolation? I have been calling you for almost 5 minutes. You could come down and enjoy the early morning rays of the sun. What a grueling winter we had this time. I wish we have a never ending summer.", said Rosah. 

"How stark are the contrasts in nature. When you just start feeling better and comfortable with what you have around, it shakes you up. On contrary, when you get vexed with it, it makes you feel comfortable with something better in store. The vagaries of nature are beyond comprehension" replied Jacob.

Rosah and he had been married for almost six months now. Jacob worked with a multinational company in Ontario and Rosah was a Human Rights Activist. She met him on one of his conferences in the United States and through a common friend, they got closer and thereafter, entered into a wedlock.

"Enough of daydreaming" she retorted, to his incoherent statements. "Shall we go out for a walk?"

"Well, it was not a day dream. It was probably the worst nightmare in my life" replied Jacob.

------ x ------

20 years ago...

It was May, the mid-summer month. In a remote village somewhere in the South-Eastern corner of India, a young lad set out to play cricket with his friends. Though it lied close to the Bay of Bengal, the local inhabitants often referred it as the hottest place on earth, due to its extreme temperatures & high humidity. 

He lost his parents at an early age and hence lived with his grandmother who earned enough to make their ends meet. The lad studied in the local school run by the state. Though summer was always hot, he merrily welcomed it for a variety of reasons. To him, summer meant vacation, long hours of cricket with his friends, juicy mangoes, tasty ice-creams, unlimited sugarcane juice & tender coconut water, and many more. That year too, he was equally excited.

His summer morning started with his grandmother struggling to wake him up. He always found pleasure in seeing her get irritated by his not getting up early. Finally when she got fed up and almost retorted to cane him, he used to jump out of his bed and run for cover. Finally when she stopped, unable to chase him, he used to get back to her, apologize and pick her to feed him. After his breakfast, he left to play cricket with his friends, never to be seen till late evening. Whenever the boys felt hungry, they smuggled themselves into the nearby mango orchard and stole some of those juicy fruits ensuring that they were never seen by the gatekeeper. Later in the afternoon, they went for a swim in the nearby lake and rested under the trees till the sun went down and the cows came home. 

However, the best part he enjoyed was the meeting with an old man who came there every afternoon. No one in the village knew his whereabouts, but everyone called him 'Thatha' (grandfather). He used to go door to door and everyone fed him with something or the other. Every afternoon, he came to the lake and shared some time with the boys resting there. He narrated them various stories, some mythology, some fiction and some, from his own experiences. The young lad always asked him a lot of questions and the old man patiently answered all of them. He felt he gained a lot of knowledge from the chats he had, with the old man. Both of them had developed a very strange kind of a bond. 

That day was more hotter than usual and the boys retired to the lake much earlier than usual. After a swim, they came to the tree and rested. The young lad was looking out for the old man but he found no sight of him. After waiting for long, he was about to lie down when he heard someone in a distance shouting 'Thatha'. He ran in that direction for about half a kilometre when he saw a crowd in the distance. He could not understand what was going on, but kept running. As he came closer, he could just hear whispers 'Thatha'. He pushed himself through the crowds and went ahead only to find 'Thatha' lying dead. He got to know that 'Thatha' died of sunstroke. 

He never felt so lost even when his parents died, for he was too young when it happened. The loss of this old man, who was totally unrelated to him, shook the young boy. As if this was not enough, that summer, three of his other villagers also died of the same sunstroke. And the summer, while bidding good bye for the year, also took his grandmother away.

He was left devastated. A twelve year old boy, who lost his parents even before he knew what losing someone meant, was then left alone. Just one summer ago, he felt he had everything in life. He was very happy. He played with his friends, teased his grandmother, learnt his lessons from the old man, played cricket all day, swam to his heart’s content in the lake, and did what not. His village was his world and in just a matter of one season, ONE HOT SEASON, he became an orphan. For him, it seemed to be a never ending summer.

That twelve year old boy is none other than the man who is narrating you this tale.

------ x ------

“Oh my God!” exclaimed Rosah. “You just told me that you were an orphan. But I never knew that you had such a tough past.”

Well, that was the reason I always hated summer. To me, it took away everything of mine. Thereafter, I moved out of that ghastly village and underwent a lot of hardships before I became what I am today. All through, I carried my hatred towards summer. But then, things changed.

Few years back, when I moved to Ontario, I realized how important summer is and what positive change it brings into life. I always looked at it in absolute terms and hated it just for the reason that it took away everything from me. But then Life is not really about absolutes. Everything is seen relative to something else. You can appreciate the day only because you have the night. And since then, my perspective changed.

And last but not the least, summer gave me YOU. I can never forget our first meeting last summer. And this summer, I got the opportunity to walk hand in hand with you.

So, shall we…?”

Hand in hand, they came downstairs together, to welcome the warmth of the sun-kissed morning.

------ x ------

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

This week’s WOW prompt is – 'A Never Ending Summer'.

P.S. The image has been sourced from here. All due credits to whosoever clicked this one. 
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About Uday Sankar Yerramilli

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