Ramesh was late from office that day. He knew his son was returning from Ireland that day, and that, he had gotten late to welcome him home. It was perfect for a son to return home on father’s day. With a tint of smile and thoughts that once again it was going to be his son who would welcome him home and not the opposite, as it had always been since his school days, through college and now that he worked abroad, he moved ahead. The helix, the cobweb of relations, was unfolding.
‘It’s all the same, isn’t it?’, he thinks almost forcing himself casually on the bus side-rail not caring little about the world beside him in motion. This was incidentally also the day when Vihan had stood first in his class 6 years back and surprised him with the news of his result. And yes, he remembered vividly. It was father’s day then.
‘Pillar number 44, who is getting down here!?’ the conductor shouted. ‘Me’, an over ecstatic, dripped in sugar syrup and wrapped in candy floss voice of an overly enraptured father echoed. Ramesh was unusually extravagant on adrenaline that day, and it was worth being extravagant , at least for him. At first, he visited the cake shop on lane number 9. A chocolate maniac as his son was, Ramesh didn’t hesitate one bit and in an unusual tone breathed out his feelings , ‘A concrete choco cheese almond pie ma’am. Yes, that one, the large one in the corner.’ Having the pie packed, he moved on to his second set up of the plan for the evening. He had with some grit saved enough money from the start of the month to afford the newest version of alien-ware. It was the laptop that Vihaan had always craved for during his college years. He never told Ramesh about it though, Ramesh had noticed that himself. After college, Vihaan had to go abroad for work. They never really gave a proper thought to buying an alien-ware. ‘The alien-ware is finally coming home!’ Ramesh almost rode on his strongly built non-pretentious core of contentment.
‘Everything is as set as ever’, he thought as he gushed towards his house at lane number 17. He saw a car, probably a cab, parked near his house from a distance. He almost started speed walking in excitement, every particle inside him in Brownian motion, itching to get near to his house, his son. As he was running to his front gate, he suddenly collapsed to the ground seeing a man aged around 40 years old calling his name, looking for him in his house’s vicinity.
The next thing, Ramesh wakes up at St. James’ hospital next day at 9 in the morning sobbing in uncertainty.
‘Will he be al right, doc?’ asked Mr Rajeev, his neighbour in bewilderment.
‘He should. Although he is getting a bit careless these days. Didn’t even show up for check-up since the last 2 weeks.’
‘Poor guy. I should have known this is going to happen when I saw him looking closely at Vihaan’s old shoes in the morning before leaving for office. These strokes and flashes of the past that he so often ends up mixing with his present , won’t they ever end, ever leave his conscious?’
‘They might, or they might not. That is secondary. He isn’t even taking his medication. When he is normal, and comes for check-up regularly, even then he talks weirdly. Keeps saying, he knows a man, almost aged 40 years who keeps showing up in his house and says he knows where Vihaan puts up these days but for some reason he always remains in a hurry and never stops for a proper conversation.’ , the doc says in a befuddled state of mind.
‘Oh, it really pains to see my dear friend in such state. He is in ICU on father’s day. Let me know doc if I am needed.’
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