It was a strange feeling. Peter had seen himself in the crowd. Unmistakably it was him. The only difference was in their expressions. The other Peter was smiling, talking to his friend and looked very satisfied. At times he laughed loudly. His friend also looked beautiful and gorgeous. She wore exquisite clothes and appeared happy.
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On the contrary, this Peter was sad and thoughtful. He had many problems in his personal life. His wife and mother quarrelled very often. How could he fight with one for the sake of the other? His mother used to smoke. She had breathing problems but she won’t give up smoking. His wife was also suffering from abnormal bleeding of uterus.
That day, Peter had walked out of the house after a gruesome quarrel between his mom and wife. He was very sad and badly needed to relax. To keep Rodrigues, his son out of all this, Peter had sent him to hostel though Rodrigues was still only nine.
Peter walked alone to the southern end of the city. That side was a bit less crowded. He was thinking deeply about his daily life. What kind of life it was? He had everything, a well paying job, an educated wife,a loving mother, a cute little child and yet he had nothing. Nothing in this world is complete without happiness. But poor Peter didn’t know how to get it, where to get it.
Having walked for a while Peter felt terribly tired. His daily life had told upon his health heavily. He needed some rest. There was a park nearby. He sat on the green grass. Sun, out there, was soothing. He drank a little water and lay on the grass.
There was a children’s school in the distance. Children played merrily and made noise. Birds chirped in the park. A light breeze blew across. The entire environment was full of happiness and pleasure. Peter felt relaxed and fell asleep.
It was then that he met Peter-2. He asked, “How are you so happy? Are there no sad feelings with you? How do you manage to smile and laugh heartily ? Don’t you have regrets, sorrow, tears or anything of that sort?”
The happy Peter who was a carbon copy of the sad Peter, said, ” Meet my girl friend. Here she is..”. The sad Peter had seen her somewhere. Half her face hid behind her abundant hair. So Peter was not sure. He had known her. But then the topic was something else.
Happy Peter (HP): “Yeah…I have too. Why not? I also have my own sad part. But I don’t care much.”
Sad Peter (SP): “What about your GF? Doesn’t she ask for impossible things?”
HP: “Yeah! (Laughing), she does. But mix a little love in your voice and Evert is all yours.”
HP’s GF answered this time,” Yes Peter, it’s me.”
” My God! I never knew you could be so stunning.”
HP anf his GF laughed out loudly.
SP: “But Mr. HP, it won’t be easy after you marry. I mean your mom is there. There will be your child. And then you’ll observe what a mess the life is. ”
HP: ” I’m almost there. Evert often goes to my house. She’s already quarrelling with mom. But I think love is the answer. And a child will be the solution.”
SP: ” What? What did you say? Please…. I mean …please repeat. I don’t want to put him in this mess. I know he’ll be in trouble if he comes here.”
HP: ” No he’ll put an end to all your troubles. call him back.”
And Peter wakes up in a shock. It’s almost evening.
“My God! I slept for four hours. Mom and Eve must be waiting for me at home.”
Peter sat contemplating for some time, his head bowed between his knees. Then he got up to go home. He felt relaxed. His countenance showed happiness as if he had known something new and pleasant little while ago.
“Oh HP perhaps you’re right.”, Peter said to himself and walked towards home with leisurely steps.
That night Peter opened the old album and looking at a picture of Rodrigues when he was three, said, ” I think we should call Rodrigues back home. He’s perhaps still too young to be in hostel.”
“YES.”, Both mom and Eve jumped at this.