Humans believe in a million lies. The best lie that the mind and the heart are both conditioned to believe in is that an ordinary day is by default going to remain uneventful. When an unexpected horror strikes this mirror of facade and shatters it into tiny shards of glass that draw out blood from the soles of the feet, the mind realizes how naive it has been all along.
Ayan descended the stairs with a begrudging stride. His eyes were fixed at his feet and his motions were robotic. Beads of sweat trickled down his forehead and his heart beat a hundred times per minute.
How could he have been so foolish? He had unconsciously dallied away the time that was meant to be spent on his exam preparation. These were not just any exams – these were his twelfth boards! What had he been thinking?
Now the first exam was only a day away and he knew nothing. A result below ninty percent was not a choice. His parents had asked nothing of him throughout the eighteen years of his life. This, however, was their first and only wish. He could not disappoint them.
“Ah, Ayan,” said his father, when Ayan had reached the last step. “Come here. Quick.”
Ayan hesitated. He needed to go somewhere else. But the excitement in his father’s voice moved his legs.
“Look,” said his father and Ayan followed his gaze to the television.
The news channel was on and a man was being interviewed. The same short clip, a snippet of the interview, was being repeatedly played.
“I had been fired from thirteen jobs. Dejected, I sold my house and started my business with that money. Of course, success was not meant to come to me that soon, so my business suffered huge losses even before it was completely established. I lost all my money,” the man said.
“I had nothing. I was too ashamed to look my parents in the eye. Thus, I decided to kill myself. I took the elevator to the terrace. I was going to jump off the roof. But, as fate would have it, another man entered the elevator midway. He was going up to the sixth floor. The jewellery store was on the sixth floor,” the man continued.
A soft smile lighted up his face. “Seeing my longing look, the man smiled nervously and told me that he was not there to buy new jewellery but to sell the little that his wife owned. He needed the money to welcome his baby into the world. His happiness gave me hope. His sacrifice reminded me of the sacrifices that my own parents gave to raise me. And I never went to the terrace. Now, eighteen years later, I am successful. All because of that one man.”
“That man was me,” said Ayan’s father. “I was the one selling the jewellery. I remember this person.”
Ayan sat down heavily next to his father. “Y-You sold mom’s jewellery for my sake?”
His father chuckled. “Money was a little tight that time.”
“You love me a lot, don’t you?” Ayan asked.
“Of course, I do. Why is that a question?” said his father, shaking his head.
Ayan could no longer hold himself. He leaned forward and wrapped his arms around his father. He soon felt his father’s warm embrace envelope him.
“What happened?” his father asked. “Are you all right?”
Ayan nodded. His father understood that sometimes one needs to let out their emotions in their own way and it does not necessarily need an explanation or interference.
Moments passed and Ayan broke the hug.
“Do you feel happy about helping that man unknowingly?” he asked.
His father smiled. “Very.”
Ayah smiled back. His father did not need to know that the man he had helped eighteen years ago had returned his help today by saving that man’s son from going to the terrace and jumping off the roof all because he was scared to face his board exams.
“By the way, where were you going?” asked his father.
Ayan shook his head. “Nowhere. Absolutely nowhere.”
Today, he had understood that what goes around truly does come back around.
You need to login in order to vote