Tuesday, 17 August 2010

London Diary (29)

He walked up the stairs, tired after a hard days' work. Vijaya had just finished cleaning up the restaurant downstairs. A busy day was always good for business, but hard on him, now that he was basically running the business himself.

He stopped and took a look into his daughter's room. It was empty tonight, as she was at a friend's house. The summer holidays. A time when they young are free. Free from the worries and woes of this world, that their adult companions build up. Oh yes, and were those troubles overblown. Out of his three childre, the oldest no longer talked to him. Not since her mother's death.

How he missed his wife. It had been two years. Two, very long years. A lot of things had happened in his family's life before and since that date. For him, he had adapted, in terms of day to day living. But the reality was that he never felt all right. Everyday that he got up, he felt the rest of the bed next to him was cold and empty. Just like the rest of his life.. It would soon be time for his son to go his own way. To find his way in the world.

He peeped into his son's room. His son was snoring away. He had managed to rope him into helping out in the restaurant. It was good work for him, and ever since the shop where he used to work part time had been shut, it was the best thing for him. He still was always up to mischief, always heading out and probably getting up to the same things that Vijaya did at his age. Vijaya raised a smile, thinking of the past. His own childhood, meeting his wife, the birth of his kids.

He remembered holding his first girl in his hands. Beautiful, precious, fragile. It was weird for him. During that pregnancy, he never really thought of his daughter as someone living. More like something inside his wife. But when she was born and he held his baby girl in his arms, something changed in him. Life changed. Here was something, that was going to live beyond his years, but at this point in life, was completely dependent on him. The miracle of life and the tragedy too, all wrapped into one.

Vijaya put the light off and walked into his own room. To an empty bed and to a household that was fast getting empty itself. Ultimately in this journey of life, it begins alone, finding one's way in the world. And it ends lonely too, a single person exiting this world, leaving all that was a part of that life, behind...