“You want to see him?” Murli asked in a low hushed tone as if seeking confirmation and to assure that walls that mended between hearts have finally crashed and grounded completely.
“Son, are you testing this father?” Mr. Swamy’s voice was feeble, tears rolled down and there was a fierce battle of love and pain in his eyes.
Murli caught hold of his hand tightly in the warmth of his palms and said “forgive me father, this wait of eternity shall be over now” as he sat on his knees besides Mr. Swamy’s bed and connected the video call to Manohar.
“Satya finally here’s a call from Murli, I am picking it up, come quickly” cried excited and equally nervous Mano. “Give me minute” pat comes reply from Satya.
“Hi Mur…” and a silence ensued pausing Mano’s words as he saw his family with Murli, in fact the other way round. All the feelings that he suppressed for so long now chocked his voice struggling to find an expression. And his emotions found reciprocation on the other side as well. Words didn’t escape lips but lot was being spoken.
“Mano, is Rhea with Murli? Is everything fine there? Why they didn’t respond or called us all these days” and Satya went on before she finally joined Mano and saw whom he was facing.
She was dumb stuck. It took few moments for her to register before she broke the silence. She firmly kept her hand on Mano’s shoulder who was still at loss of words, prompting him to break out to build again. And decided to walk away from this reunion to give Mano and his family Time. As she was making her way out of that scene, a voice interrupted her.
“Please don’t go away daughter“. It was Mano’s father. And this was the moment when Satya just gave in. “Appa, you called me daughter?” Happiness and astonishment were all over the place.
“Yes and I should have done it long back” Mr. Swamy trying to straighten his back and sit as Murli helped him. “I was so blinded by my ego and false prestige that I purposefully turned oblivion to all the good things in life, to all the goodness you all possess. I am a culprit for I have sinned by breaking and keeping my family separated. I was stubborn enough to have kept a mother longing for her son, I have kept a sister at bay from the love and care of her brother and most importantly I have wronged you. I tried to snatch the love of your life and dash your dreams. When I failed in that my inferiority complex left no stone unturned to mend strong walls in an attempt to make Mano realise his mistake. Why I failed to see beyond the tags of Name, Family background, caste, society! I saw your mother in law weeping alone looking at the pictures of Mano but nothing moved me. This realisation came so late. I am ashamed of what I did but can only seek forgiveness. I request all of you to forgive this old man. I understand time can’t be reversed but going forward can be better if lessons learnt from the past mistakes. I beg you all, grant this old man forgiveness.“
And Satya & Mano interrupted “please Appa don’t say that. We never wished to see you like this. All we desired for was your love and blessings. May be we could have chosen a different path to seek your acceptance, may be we could have waited a bit longer and tried to convince you. Ifs and buts, maybe – may not be are all part and parcels of our realisations and experiences. We couldn’t have asked more from the almighty“.
Every eye was teary at this moment as pain mounted for so long was finally easing up. And smiles slowly making their way to the serene faces as agony has winded up and tranquility set in.
Prema and Mano’s mother took turns to pour out their hearts and the house was now resonating with Pearl’s of laughter.
Murli and Rhea were watching this without uttering a word. And as they were lost in this emotional roller coaster show Mano’s father signaled Murli to come closer. As he came to the frame Mr. Swamy said “Mano, had it not been Murli and Rhea this old man would have died without his last wish being fulfilled. No amount of gratitude is enough for these kids. He is my second son, I found a person to whom I can complain about you, so be careful Mr.Mischievous” and burst out laughing, opening up to his son and daughter in law have surely pumped in new energy into this frail being.
“Surely Appa, I owe my world to him” Mano looked at Murli with eyes filled with gratitude and continued “stop saying old man, last wish and all. Pull up your socks, buck up and be the fit Swamy I always knew because someone is eager to see you soon” Mano finally broke the news placing his hand on Satya’s stomach and Satya blushed.
“Then why are you making her stand for so long, so careless you are Mano” his mother sweetly reprimanded Mano.
Blushes and smiles continued before the call ended and Mano announced that they will be coming home soon, maybe after a month or two as the project is getting over prematurely for some issues.
“Amma, Appa, we will come soon” emotionally overwhelmed Mano ended the call.
After two months:
Satya and Mano landed in India, went to their apartment and met the other Swamy couple. Both the couples were on cloud nine in each other’s company. They missed it badly. The coincidence of same names might have spelled confusions for them to begin with but many bonds that have been knitted as a result of this are nothing but pure bliss to be cherished for life. Everything happens for good, for a reason – to sum it up.
Meanwhile Mano and Satya were in touch with “their” family. The happiness of having his family back has worked wonders for Mr. Swamy. He was rejuvenated and longing to welcome the new member of the family.
And finally the day arrived when Satya and Mano were set to leave, they met Rhea and Murli at their place bell rang. When Rhea opened the door, a girl in was standing there “Hi I am RIA, your new neighbour, just moved yesterday evening. Can I have a cup of milk please, running out of it…?”
And here we go again said Rhea.