I can’t clearly recall the hour I returned to my home after spending typically a gruelling day at work. Now, I am accustomed to this chock-a-block schedule of mine. I like being busy. I stealthily opened the main gate and walked inside my plush bungalow located in the prime location of Delhi. By that time, extreme lethargy had sapped me of all my strength and capacity to stand up straight. Thus, I stomped myself on bed, and soon, the heaviness of my eyes besieged my body, plunging myself into an ocean of deep slumber.
Suddenly, the sweetest voice of the world wrapped up in a frill of most loving, and effusive pat woke me up to the softest but luminous beams of rosy sunshine peeking into my room from the neatly wiped glass shaft of the windows. On the very first sight, one can easily anticipate the prosperity and affluence of this lavish bungalow. This bungalow was allotted to me by the government in order to honour one of the top rank holders in the most prestigious UPSC exam of the country. Evidently, for an IAS officer, bouquet of major duties never comes without the roses of these magnificent perks and utopian pleasures. However, dreaming big and achieving bigger demands not just persistence, patience and gritty determination but also lots of sacrifices are to be made at the altar of magnifying your glimmering dreams into reality. But, “twilight has to sacrifice its gloom for the apparition of illuminating dawn.”
“Good morning Maaaaaa...., I greeted while wrapping my arms around her in a bear hug.”
“Good morning my darling son, she greeted me even more lovingly and effusively in return.” Today, I notice this perennial shimmer in her hazel eyes. But, the shine in her eyes that reflects the inner bliss of her heart now, once had been a hazy mist blurring not just her vision but her life too. Her glint swirled my mind back into the labyrinth of our past life where even a dream of today’s cushiony and complacent lifestyle and respectful reality of our present seemed like a mirage. 5 years ago, it was nothing lesser than a struggle for a hapless widow to raise such an irresponsible, self destructive and brazenly adamant vagabond like me. It still sends shivers down my spine whenever I get struck by those haunting reminiscences of my past. There are numerous instances when, in a state of absolute ignorance and cynicism, I had reprimanded her and snubbed her loving solicitude and conscientious pleas, reminding me constantly of my indistinct future.
Moreover, she had to shed extra oodles of sweat to make her improvident son realise his duties and to bring him back on the right track but she was failing miserably every time in all her arduous attempts to resurrect her cold hearted son, who was greatly consumed with this idea of destroying himself, his aspirations and perhaps, too amateur to realise that in his bid to annihilate himself, he was smothering his mother’s dreams, hopes and perhaps her life too. I had gone astray due to premature demise of my father and in the face of my mother’s rigorous hardships to keep me and my younger sister going with a cramping stomach on the bed at night. But my drug addiction had drained me of even slightest sympathy or acknowledgement of my mother’s toils, her agony and my sister’s plight. Perhaps, I was too content with my chosen path to feel my mother’s anguish and her deprecating health.
Until that day I had never accustomed such a moment of profound epiphany, seeing Maa lying on the rickety floor in a precarious state, took me no more than a sec to guess that she had been knocked down by a painful seizure of epilepsy. I had never felt so ashamed of my detestable self before that day. She had been reminding me to fetch her medicines since the time her last stock got finished. But every time she would hand over me the money, I would splurge it in gambling or buying drugs to keep myself snorted. All my snorted, doped senses seemed to have regained their lost altitude in an impulse. While peering into the room she was being operated, with teary eyed, I vowed to become her idol son, her strength, not her weakness, not the cause of her sickness but the cure of all the wounds I had advertently/inadvertently inflicted on her innocuous heart. Next day, I had my 18th birthday but I was gifted with a new birth, a renewed existence all over again on a day before my birthday by all the gracious powers of the universe. I felt not just grown up but deeply enlightened. I was ready to fly.....
- SHEETAL VERMA