Samar reached home with his head reeling with many thoughts laced with confusion which ceased to clear. Amidst all the haze that clouded his mind his trembling fingers dialled “HOME” on his phone.
“Shall I speak“, “what shall I speak“, “who would answer the call“, “will they recognise my voice and if yes how they are going to react” again the same questions rallied as phone was ringing on the other end.
“Hello” a voice answered, it was his mother’s. That one word muted Samar, and flow of tears would refuse to stop. It’s been ten long years. Ten long years filled with melancholy and a void left behind. “Is the feeling mutual” Samar would ponder. “Hello, who’s this” his mother spoke again expecting a response from the other side and this brought Samar back to senses. “Sorry wrong number” Samar replied, just the way he decided and hurriedly disconnected the call.
On the other side Ruma held the receiver close to her heart. For mother she is she recognised at once that it was him, it was Samar, her son. She thanked God for answering her prayers and in a way finishing her incomplete quest for her son. She couldn’t meet him when she set out to search for him and had to return back home from midway as Amish unexpectedly fell ill and was home early. Now this call did raise her hopes. “Finally My Family will be together” she sighed with content and went to sleep.
But a call to her mother made Samar restless and sleep eluded him yet again. After hearing her mother now he wanted to see her. “Don’t be greedy Samar. Do you even know if you are wanted there? Don’t make a fool of yourself” he said to himself and rested his head on pillow facing the ceiling. But again the turmoil within him raged and this time he ended rebuking himself “enough of this battle, I am tired of restraining myself. She is my mother, my father, my brother, that’s My Family. Just once I need to see them, Just Once! Decided, I will go and see them before I rest in peace. Rest is destiny” Samar’s thoughts echoed strong enough this time. Haze seemed to be setting down with his shutting eyelids.
Next day he applied for a leave. He did muster lot of courage to pick up car keys and take a ROAD TO HOME. Those few miles seemed to be the longest stretch ever. All the years gone flashed before his eyes.
As he was about to enter the gate of the apartments he saw an ambulance waiting in the building premises. Nothing alarmed him until he saw his mother getting in and closing the door behind her.
Before he could call her out the ambulance started. Without wasting a second he started following the ambulance. This is something Samar never imagined or wanted to be greeted with. “But who it could be? Is it father? What might have happened? Why the hell is it happening with me all the time?” Now Samar was fretting and nervous. All the pain that he was reluctant to show to this world was venting out as his frustration when he saw the ambulance stuck in traffic jam. He was honking relentlessly urging people to clear way for the ambulance.
Finally they reached hospital and the patient was hurried to the emergency ward but Samar missed who it was as he had to park the car. In about two minutes he reached the reception huffing, catching for the breath “Emergency, emergency ward? Wh..where it is Mam?“
“First floor, extreme left cor…” Receptionist was about to finish but Samar couldn’t even wait for her to finish, said “Thanks you” and dashed towards the stairs. With each step as he was inching closer to the Emergency Ward his fears and apprehensions loomed larger and larger. And yet at another corner of his heart he was praying that nothing unforseen and unwanted should happen.
He finally saw his mother, standing outside, grief-stricken and worn out. “Ma” Samar reached out to her and that was it. She clung to his shirt, rested her head on his chest and let her pain drench his heart. He embraced her tightly and not a word said.
After few seconds “Ma, what happened to Papa” and there was a tap on shoulder before Ruma could answer Samar. It was Amish standing behind him. Samar was happy to know that his father is fine and hugged him as a child expressing the relief he was experiencing.
“Where’s Sagar” Samar questioned them in a meek voice and short lived his happiness was as his father pointed towards the Emergency Ward.
Samar turned pale to see his beloved younger brother, his Sagar there…