The Father’s Eyes

This is an incident that had happened several months back and which has given me reasons to reflect on several things.
Having landed in Bangalore, I make my way to the shuttle service which will take me to the city. It is one of the better and cheaper options to travel from the airport.
After having married and as most will agree, you tend to appreciate the beauty of silence! I usually never talk to anyone whenever I travel. I believe travelling gives you time to be yourself, away from the routine day to day affairs. The only think that accompanies me are my headphones and a book. I don’t like to fritter away time talking to someone whom I will probably never ever meet.
I board the shuttle and take the seat behind the driver.
There the seats are arranged in a way that there are 2 seats facing you and you can stretch your legs if you want to when the seats are unoccupied.
The bus had yet not started when I see a person, perhaps in his late fifties board and seat opposite to me on the other side of the aisle.
He was noticeable to me for the way in which he had dressed and the way he carried himself.
He was wearing a shirt, the collar of his has been torn, and a button was missing. His sandals were old and ravaged with time. The chain of his bag was not working. Instead he had tried to seal it by a pair of safety pins. He had not shaved. Appearances are deceptive but I could understand that times have not been easy and kind to him
That would have been all for what I cared about the man.
As the bus started, I could over hear him speaking to someone in Assamese, my mother tongue. It seemed he was asking the person at the other end as to where to get down. It seemed that he was new to Bangalore.
Though it is not my nature, yet I gently asked him in Assamese as to where would he like to get down.
His reply was that he would want to get down at around Brookefield Hospital. I told him not to worry and that I would tell him where to get down. I would go further ahead from his destination.
He didn’t say much except for a nod of his. I again asked him where he would like to go to near Brookefield hospital.
He looked at me in my eyes and said that he was going there to the hospital itself. He mumbled saying his son was very, very sick.
Those, maybe, were a few words of his, but the look in his eyes had already spoken a thousand words. He never had to say, but his eyes reflected the love for his child and the misery of his concern for the health of his child.
I had never seen so much meaning ever in anybody‘s eyes. It frightened me.

The bus reached Brookefield and I gently told him to get down. He got down and left.
I never saw him again and also never knew what happened to his son.
I never pray for the good of others. I only pray for myself and my usual requests to God include that I earn a lot, buy a luxurious car and own a few flats! God never listens and I am totally disappointed with Him!
But on that evening, I prayed and may be my heart must have shed a tear for the father. I didn’t pray for the son to be better for I believe that we live for times that have already been fixed, nothing before or beyond. I prayed that whatever be the eventuality, it should be faced with strength by the father.
I could realize that the father must have had spent a fortune to be with his son. Due to lack of opportunities, many sons and daughters leave their home states for better work at other places. But what does money mean when the person whom you had loved unconditionally is not well? A father works all his life to provide whatever is the best for his children within his own limits. The mother would in her own way try to make the home warm and comfortable for us. They would sacrifice their joys for us which we never seem to realize. Love of a parent for their child is not dependent on what you have or don’t have, or how rich or poor we are. The way a rich person feels for his kids is the same way the not so fortunate feels. Love cannot be measures in terms of money. They say that love of a parent for their child is the most unconditional and selfless of all forms of love.
Whenever I remember the father, me being the outsider, I could feel the love that he had for his son. His son meant the very existence of his life.
We grow up in the shadows of our parents and on one fine day, we would pack our bags and say good bye for a better life and better opportunities. They would smilingly acknowledge our needs and would wave us goodbye. We would be on our own and we would work hard and achieve many goals. We would do well in our lives and maybe achieve more than what our parents achieved. True and agreed that whatever we have achieved has been the merit of our own hard work. But then, we often forget that we needed a base to stand on from where on we have achieved our glories. The parents would carry us on their shoulders to a place from where we can stand and fight our own battles. It is immaterial to them whether we stand on them barefooted or with spikes. They don’t mind the weight of us and would carry us for long till they feel that we have matured enough to lead our own lives. In our fights for achievements, we tend to forget their contributions and sacrifices.
I had left home at a very early stage and I often feel guilty for, perhaps, not thinking much of my parents. I believe many of us would have similar feelings.
This incident really had a very big meaning for me. It opened my eyes a little bit, thankfully.
Moral of the Story: You would also be a parent someday.

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