He wanted to give them a form . On a canvass . Being not just an artist but a paint brush too . To be able to palpate the gentleness with his tender fingers . To pen down immortal poetry in remembrance .
But he was confused . About one thing . It questioned him every night . Before he went off to sleep and after he woke up. He was unable to find the answer to this question that encircled him all around . His state of perplexity had no end .This state of confusion continued for long and the path to solution seemed bleak .
But as they say the solution to all our worries lies within . And he encountered it in a very unexpected manner . On a normal day , on his way to work .
The day was gloomy with clouds covering up the sun . Displaying their dominance and marking the arrival of monsoon . The trees sang in unison with the lovely flowers that had popped up their fresh faces early that morning . Drops of water descended down to ward off the lingering tensions of people down there . He too loved their arrival . The much awaited arrival . But not during the morning hours especially on his way to work . As things may seem as beautiful as they are but the reality is quite different . Water logged roads stand as the biggest terror for a common man on a daily basis .
Still he had to go . To reach his destination on time . And that’s when he found her . Near the lane. Under the flyover where innumerable cars zoomed across at life threatening speeds . He traveled everyday in the same route around the same time . But today it was remarkably different . He felt a different vibe inside . That spoke to him quietly . Assuring him of finding her again . The lost treasure that behold memories of a lost childhood .
She sat there . Weak , rugged , poverty stricken with a wrinkled face that spoke of foregone decades in her life . Hair undone . Fragile hands and thin limbs . A sunken eyes that begged for attention and pleaded for a penny . Parking his car at a distance , he ran towards her and hugged her tight . Surprising her as well as the onlookers . For a second their eyes met and drops of emotions trickled down . He could see it again in them . Those eyes . That spoke of innumerable emotions . In silence .
“Dai Ma Lets go" he uttered in haste . Literally pulling her hand and compelling her to move on .He was sure she won’t deny . Who does not want a secured life in a cozy home away from this mess . Life is unimaginable on the streets . He never knew how she ended up here . But had a faint idea of her circumstances after she left their home . Though he was not able to find a way to search for her but had indomitable spirit to be able to do it someday .
And today was the day . That had arrived after years , after decades . A satiated grin adorned his lips as he considered himself lucky enough to have found her . After all overcoming this challenge was not a small achievement . But he had no idea that a bigger challenge was awaiting him . After few minutes when he coerced her to move on again , she resisted , to his dismay .
She questioned “ You will take me , that’s fine . But what about the rest who have been my pillars of strength . The ones who spend their days and nights with me on this pavement . The ones who share their leftover food with me when they get it in charity . The ones who pull their torn blankets over me when I suffer in freezing cold . The ones who are my family now . They may not be my own but they are with me . Standing by my side on sunny days or rainy nights. Can you also do something for them ? If yes then take me along , I would not resist . If not then let me be on my own . If I survived all these days , then I will survive few more.”
He had no answers . As he was not prepared . Far he was from the real world that spoke out load in a high pitched volume . But who has time to listen to that . We already are overloaded with high pitched party numbers .
The gloomy day expressed itself on his bright face now . The answer to his question had unlocked a pandora's box in front of him . Though he returned back empty handed but was determined to fill them someday .
After a year and a half , the local newspapers published a column in some remote corner that spoke of a young man having opened an old age shelter home . It did display a photograph that showed him welcoming newcomers with folded hands . And behind him stood “ Annapurna Nivas” the new shelter home for forgotten wrinkled souls that now beamed with hope from hazy sunken eyes .