The Creaking Chair - Part XVIII

24th August 1999

Today evening was a surprise for me
Kamal came and sat besides me on the sofa 
and slowly he rest his head on my lap and lay down there
Though he makes it a point that he spends at least an hour with me daily
either during my morning ritual of reading the newspaper 
or the evening time when we have the badminton matches 
he rarely shows any sign of such sentimentality

To start with I was worried 

I did not know what was going through his mind
but I knew he was tired, I could sense that in the way his body weighed on my legs
it was as if he was letting go of all his the weight he was carrying 
I started to speak, but then I saw his eyes were closed 
like he was in thinking of something old 
reliving a memory I should not infringe on

He has been troubled for sometime now 
I guess its been a couple of months – it shows on his face 
and the way he goes inside his shell when he is troubled
even as a child he used to be highly impressionable 
but selective on whose impressions he wanted to imbibe 
rarely did I see him shouting at his friends or cousins 
and I could feel the weight of all of those years slowly letting off as he lay on my lap

Last time when he felt so heavy was when he had decided to quit his work
that’s when he took to follow his passion – or that’s what they call it in today’s world 
It had taken me 14 years to make him follow my pattern 
one of choosing life and its mysteries over the ties of the worlds around 
and he had told me how it was totally worth it 
our conversation on how seriously we humans take our work 
and how much of our life we give to it – knowingly & unknowingly 
still remains as one of my most cherished memories – for it changed me & him for good

Him, because it made him realize what he was missing out on
it gave him the courage to do things which he was otherwise fearful to do
dreams he was otherwise fearing to dream 
Me, because it made me realize how I was right when I took that plunge 27 years ago
and it made me go deeper into the reasons I did it 
then it was more for to be called ‘the one who took the plunge’
now I realize it had a much deeper reason – something revolving around self-discovery


P.S. – Kamal had one of those days when he just wanted to let go and rest and he wanted to remember his childhood – my lap was the only memory which he could touch and transport himself back.

P.P.S. – It was a new experience for a son to watch his grown up dad lying like that on the laps of his old man..

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