It was very difficult to gulp down even the small piece of THEKWA (preparation of wheat flour in villages during festivals) but I did not want to hurt the sentiment of my father. My father’s energy became double if anything came from his native village. His village was very close to his heart and that could be seen always when anything struck to my house either some special preparation like THEKWA or our unknown relatives.
Most of the time I took time to recognize the relation with the guests. It had been my mother who cleverly dropped some hints to recognize that relative before my father introduced to them formally. I knew my father never liked my insincerity towards the relatives but how did I make him understand that my priorities were different from him. There lied the generation gap.
I wanted to grow in life and my understanding was clear that it would have been difficult to grow in corporate world by staying in suburb areas. It had been the culture in our corporate to invite your office colleagues, your peer group and Bosses at home on special occasions. I felt always awkward in inviting them. I always thought what would have motivated my father to build his house in the suburb and landed up with my pre-conceived notion that it was nothing but a generation gap, different work culture environment and difference in complete thought process. It was 8:45 am and was getting late for my office. I shouted for the breakfast.
“ Can I get corn flakes.……”
“ Wait for few minutes……..” My wife replied from the kitchen.
My mother forwarded another piece of THEKWA and said “ Why don’t you have this in the breakfast one day…… don’t you get bore with this English Breakfast………”
I felt like giving complete lectures on why one should have English breakfast daily and why one should avoid homemade DESI foods but could not utter anything due to the presence of my father. My cell phone rang. It was a call of real estate agent. I took the call and said “ Yes John….tell me….”
“ Sir…..we have selected some good properties for you……I am sure you would like these properties……”
“ Look John…….last time whatever property you had shown……all were in congested area…..I told you categorically……… I need the house with good surroundings …..…that is my only requirement…….” I said without noticing the repercussion of my statement.
The moment I kept my phone on the table my father bombarded the most difficult question to me.
“ Are you planning to buy new house…….”
I could not suppress my planning because I needed financial support from him also.
I simply nodded.
“ What is wrong in this house……I believe…….this is a big house with a good surrounding………and sufficient for all of us” my father said convincingly.
For last couple of years few things had been disturbing me and that day I found the right time to vent out my concerns. I gave priorities of my requirement over my father’s emotion.
I said upfront “ I don’t like staying this place any more……..what kind of place is this……CHAPDANI……people make their faces after hearing the name only…….”
My father was looking at me with disappointment in his eyes but I did not bother. I wanted to live my life the way I liked. I did not want to comprise my children’s upbringing.
“ My children will also grow……with whom they will mix…….those half naked children whose parents don’t know even why they have produced them……..there is no culture at their houses…….Most of the children even don’t go to school ………when I will come back from my office what would I show to my children…..cows and buffaloes are grazing the grass on the side of the roads……or empty lands…or tell them the story of our big house. ………” just jabbered out
My father was silent. That was the first time when I did not leave anything within me but I could see the transformation of my father’s facial expression from worrisome to disappointment. Within fraction of second I realized I should not have been so blunt and harsh in putting my concern but it was too late. I had said everything directly which could have been explained in sugarcoated. I wanted to recall few words but that was not possible.
“Babu ji…..time is changing very fast…..we need to change with the time………..”
“ How would you manage the financial portion……” my father asked without any feeling in his voice.
I felt like thousand tapes were pasted on my mouth before speaking out “ we need to sell this house……”
I was expecting a loud reaction from my father but he remained silent and then said “ Fine……you tell me where to sign……I will do…….”and darted out the room without looking at me.
My mother was hearing the entire conversation but did not interrupt at once. Possibly she had considered me adult and matured. I could see her tears welled up in eyes but did not get the permission to flow down from the cheeks. I looked at my mother and wanted to justify my initiatives but my voice deceived me.
She stood up from the chair and said “ we have full trust on you ….do as you want……we are with you……”
Her one statement inflated my confidence again and I decided to shift the house immediately before their decisions became week. I contacted all the real estate agents for selling this house as many as I knew. I took the help of my office colleagues, my friends and my in laws. I also floated the advertisement in internet site. I became desperate. And as the people say “ You will find God if you search from heart……….”.
The day came when we had sold our property in the desired price. Now I had a pressure to buy new flats at the earliest so that we could shift there within the timeline of vacating our house. I did not know suddenly what happened to the market the prices of the property rose. I increased the no. of visit at the property site but failed to find the suitable property.
The more no of days were passing the more I was feeling disturbed. Usually I discussed my problems with my father but now days he used to remain silent. I knew it was because of my decision but I had the confidence that everything would fall in place once this problem got resolved.
Only few weeks were left to vacate our house. I called John Fernandez.
“ Yes Sir…….”
“ Have you found something………”
“ Sir…….I have got a news of one house”
“ House….but I had asked you to search a flat in the apartment……..”
“Sir….you just see once…….you don’t need to buy it…….but…..” John paused for few seconds.
His silence increased the curiosity in me and without wasting a time I asked “But….. but what ……”
“ The budget is little bit high……….”
“ I don’t mind…..you show me the property……..” my desperation was radiating from my voice but quickly I suppressed it otherwise these agents were good in analyzing your desperation and the property prices fluctuated according to it.
“ Where it is……..”
“ Near Behala Chowrastha……..”
“ Ok……can I see today……….” I asked.
“Wait for a minute…….let me ask with the concerned person….calling you back…..”
I cut the phone but was waiting for his call eagerly. After one hour he called me back and said “ Sir……The owner of that property is very whimsical……. he is not giving time today……let me try for tomorrow……”
I shared the same with my wife. She could feel my anxiety but could not help me due to her limited contacts. She was the only person who leaned her shoulder always to support me. Next day was Sunday. I had full day time. I was just praying for getting the confirmation.
At 9:30 pm I received a sms of John. That sms stated
“ Sir….. the owner is going to Mumbai for some important work tomorrow….is it possible for you to meet at 8:30 am sharp near Behala Chowratha…..”
I immediately replied “ Okay…I would be there at 8:30am”.
I did not want to miss this opportunity. I kept my cheque book in my folder cautiously so that if I liked the property would book the same on the spot.
As per scheduled time I reached before John. I was waiting for him restlessly. Within 15 minutes of duration I called John thrice. Possibly he was riding bike. My temper cooled down when I saw John was looking very sorry from his face. I did not react because I wanted to complete the deals. John parked his bike and got up in my car. He guided the location. We reached THAKURPUKUR. I applied the brake and asked “ Where is the property……..”
He pointed his finger towards the lane and said “ 2 mints from here ……Sir….”
I took my car into that lane. At the entrance of the lane a giant complex of MERLIN builders was coming up. While driving I was examining the locality also. My eyes were catching the fleeting glimpse of the posters of so many world schools. On the both side of the road all the houses were well constructed. I saw ATM machine of Canara Bank and State Bank. Few medicine shops were also found. As far as my brain could remember I found almost all the amenities for life were available. Suddenly I realized two mints had passed long back. I also forgot the actual time taken in scanning the locality.
I asked irritatingly “ Your 2 mints have not finished yet…….”
“ No …No …Sir…its nearby only……”
At last we have reached. The house was looking really nice from outside. It was two storied building built on the ride side. Everything was properly planned. When we entered into the house it gave me no disappointment. Everything was there almost the same as how I had desired. My happiness had taken total control on my face. People could easily guess my decisions. While the owner was showing his property I could easily visualize my happiness when I would throw house warming party here. After showing his property we sat for negotiations. Negotiation for me was just an opportunity to reduce the price as much as I could. I finalized the property on the spot and handed over the booking amount cheque to him.
Though the budget had increased but I was not concerned. I immediately applied home loan. It took 3 weeks to complete all the formalities and another two weeks to renovate the house. Personally I was very happy. I had already planned and budgeted for house warming party. I did not have the patience any more. I had dodged my office colleague’s request end no of times but now I did not want to linger any more.
And finally the day came when I threw house warming party at my new house. I was very excited. This had been the dream for me. While I was busy in the arrangement suddenly I realized that I had not seen my two years kid for a long time. I felt worried. I immediately climbed down to the ground floor and asked from my mother “ Where is Soham……..”
“ Your Babuji has taken him outside……..”
I could understand the reason of his upset but what did I do. My father’s continuous upset mood upsurged the anger in me. I could not control myself and said “ I know …..babuji is not happy from my decisions but today he should be present here and actively participate in the housewarming party……” and sat down on the sofa.
“ No….No Beta…..you are getting him wrong……he is very happy with you and your decisions….to be frankly he was not expecting the kind of maturity you have shown……..”
My mother’s statement was against the tide. I could not understand anything. I asked perplexedly “Suddenly what happened to him…..and what maturity I have shown……..”
My mother dragged my hand towards her and said “we know Beta…..you kept our likings in your mind before buying this house….. ……your father is getting complete flavor of his native environment……few steps ahead…..the agricultural land starts……Complete village environment…….Soham also plays with the goats and hens fluttering on the road side…… Your father is very happy with you……..”
I was looking at her constantly. It gave hammering shock waves to my mind. I did not have the words to say in return. I was submerged in the quagmire of my foolish act. I was cursing myself for my inexperienced decision. Suddenly load shedding occurred. My cell phone rang. I wobbled towards the main gate by the help of my cell phone flash light to get the torch. I received the call. It was my peer’s call.
“ Hello…..Sanjay…….yaar we have lost the exact location………”
“ Where are you all…….”
“Difficult to locate the location…….agricultural lands are on both sides of the road…..and some dirty and half naked children are playing beside the road……” Biswanath chuckled.
I remained silent for few seconds.
“ Hello Sanjay…..tell me your village address …” he laughed loudly.
“ Take U turn and come forward……… I am waiting for you people on the road side….”
I stepped out of my house with a crestfallen face. My face was plated with dejection. I headed towards the road and was waiting for my office colleague in an open space so that they could identify me from the distance.
While I was waiting for them my eyes caught a wooden device which was being thrown in a closed arc path and amazingly it returned back to the thrower every time. I found very interesting and rushed towards that boy and asked “ What is this……”
“Boomerang……..” the boy replied.
“ How do you do that……”
“It is design in such a way that it always returns to the initial position from where it came…….” His reply gave a strong jolt to my conscience. I kept on gazing that boy playing with a boomerang.
Actually my decision had boomeranged on me.