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The calling bell rang and I opened the front door. It was drizzling outside. There was a chilled breeze that kept the hairs on my hand and neck upright.
A middle aged woman stood there with the hand of a little boy on her left hand. She smiled. I had to smile and invite her inside. My family came out too. “I will take coffee, you sit, make yourself comfortable,” my mother offered.
The woman, with the little boy sat on the chairs I gestured them to. I was in my daily work; I must bang in a couple thousand words each day. I am a writer, by design, desire and the divine.
“This year my Rahul is joining school, first standard,” the woman’s voice rang up as I was returning to my den. I turned towards her to be a polite neighbour, intended in listening to a guest.
“Great!” I said.
The woman was looking at me. “That’s wonderful news Rekha!” I heard my mother from kitchen in her top voice. “How old is he?”
“Now five,” Rekha said. “I was just expecting Lal sir to bless my Rahul and advice him something.”
I saw the look of earnest admiration in the eyes of Rekha. Sometimes, there are moments that cross us, which bring a whole new feeling through puzzling experiences and we realize ourselves being part of the cosmic cycle. That was one such moment. I was asked to bless and advice a kid going to school for the first time!
“I read your blog posts. I always do,” she said, “your memoir was very impressive. We need people like you who keep the gut to change the world, save it from corruption and evil.”
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Writing my memoir was an attempt to make sense of the senselessness that took place in my life and around. I never thought myself capable of changing my very life, let alone the course of the world!
The little boy stood up and came towards me. He stooped down and touched my feet. I wanted to run. But I prayed and put my hands on his head. A story blinked to life in my mind. This is his story, or must be, I thought. I decided to tell it. So I sat down in a sofa nearby and motioned Rahul to sit beside me.
Rekha’s husband is a high ranking police officer in Kerala Police. I knew what the answer of the kid would be like. But still, the question mattered and I asked, “What do you want to be in your life?”
In front of me was a five year old, going school for the first time. The question would have seemed stupid if I had asked it with adult seriousness. Though the truth ran reverse, I attempted a full smile close to a laugh, pretending the question to be an adult’s curiosity on the naivety of the child. The question would definitely have intimated already, his mother and my mother—who was distributing steaming coffee now—about my naivety on different stages of human life.
That was the only word Rahul said in answer.
[To be continued...]