Monday morning. Nothing exciting to happen in my life. A strict routine follow
up to consume myself all in work. Morning 8’ to evening 8’ engulfed with my
laboratory work. This was my daily life within this small blue & white
painted two BHK flat where except my colleague Venu and the couple of black
bean bags any one barely arrived. Yes, of course sometimes Mr & Mrs
Roy my neighbors came to bring a change to this daily routine.
Roy was from army background. But besides that he was my fatherly figure too
whom I missed so much. A warm smile from Mr Roy or kind words from Mrs Roy just
soothed my scary heart which was bruised daily from the effects of every
patient counseled by me.
I had very lovely childhood my relationship with my younger brother during
adolescence had got complicated. He seemed to be arrogant against my every word
and act. This imbalance seems to increase day by day which took up to a clash
for love of parents as we reached youth. This intruded me to leave home for
good thus bearing the deep scars of leaving my parents whom I loved so much.
at Kolkata after 2 years I had everything including a deep hollowness, which
survived within me. I knew everything couldn’t be perfect in life all the time
but then every time the question that buzzed in my mind during my loneliness
was, “What went wrong?” And probably to get to the root of this I chose
psychology as my specialization after completion of my masters. Still, I stay
aloof and just like a maze of threads the relation between my brother and me
seemed to get more muddled, the more I tried to mend it. This has turned out to
be my daily morning sickness, which caught itself high when I tried to crawl
back to sleep again.
7’ A.M there was two consecutive knocks on my cabin. I knew who it was. Being
an ex-army man time meant the most expensive thing to Mr Roy. Without waiting
for the second slot of knocks I rushed to open the door as if I had been
eagerly waiting for this. A 6 feet 4’’ person with tanned skin smiled in front
of me. He greeted, “Good Morning Snigdha.
I am back”.
responded, “Good Morning Mr Roy. How are you this morning?”
Roy, “This morning seems to be very good. See I have got red poppies in my
garden. They are smiling at me saying my son shall arrive soon”.
face turned pale I understood. Just behind his back Mrs Roy stood apace with
tears in her eyes which protruded the pain of her womb. I revived. Raising my
left hand I gestured to console Mrs Roy which I knew was of no use.
Greeting back Mr Roy I said, “Please come in.”
quite surprised to see such a strong person act in such a way I tried to act
normal keeping aside my doubts & concerns.
Roy said, “Hey no I came to invite you to my home to have breakfast with us.”
saw him with astonishment and said, “Thank you for your invitation but
breakfast some other time. But please join me for tea. I shall be happy. You
too Mrs. Roy. Although Mrs Roy has to make the special tea with extra cream for
all three”. I just tried to lighten the situation.
Roy seemed adamant & said, “Yes, of course. But I have come to invite
you because today is my son’s birthday. He rang me up and said he shall be
arriving today evening to take us with him.”
replied, “Ohh, really that’s great news. This calls for a treat then. Come on
lets have breakfast in my place then. A departing treat from my side since you
both shall be leaving. ”.
Roy replied, “Come on Snigdha
looked at his face and just couldn’t ignore his child-like smile and replied
with a smile, “Yes”.
the back of mind I understood that something wasn’t right because neither Mr.
Roy had a garden nor it was the time for poppies to grow in summer. I closed
the door at the back of me & followed Mr Roy to his flat where Mrs Roy
in the half way Mr. Roy mumbled, “No let’s go to your place. It’s better. Soumi
(Mrs. Roy) please get some tea”.
Roy greeted, “Good morning Shree”.
bells rang in my ear because except Snigdha
nowadays I wasn’t used to hear my pet name very often. It only happened when my
mother rang me to ask, “Shree when you are coming back?”
said, “Very good morning Mrs. Roy. What’s Roy special in today’s breakfast?
Bring it over to my place. ”
to conceal her pain & tears she replied, “Ya, of course. What shall you
like to have tea or coffee?”
replied, “Ahh strong tea for sure with extra cream in it buttttt Mr Roy has
invited me to have breakfast”. Turning towards Mr Roy I asked him with a
mischievous smile, “Isn’t it Mr Roy?”
Roy replied unmindfully, “Mmmm. Did I? Might be”.
clinched my eye-brows together possibly because now I understood something was
definetly wrong. I replied, “Ohh sorry Mrs Roy I was just kidding. Mr Roy come
over. Mrs. Roy can you arrange some tea please”.
Roy said, “Ya, I will bring tea for us”.
turned back to enter my flat & Mr Roy followed me just like a disciplined
said to Mr Roy, “Please have a seat”.
guess he understood my words intensity and sat down beside me on a bean bag
just like a little boy who although doesn’t want to sit to study but have to
because of the dearth from his mother. I reposed and spoke, “Mr. Roy what’s
going on in your mind? What is bothering you so much?”
Roy as if unsatisfied with my verses said, “No, nothing”.
touched his hands warmly and said, “Please you need to talk”.
my sub-conscious mind I was surprised by my own act. I guess this happened
because Mr. Roy was very close to my heart. He resembled my father somewhere
whom I missed every moment. But I noticed that he was getting quite
uncomfortable and irritated. Probably because, he was more used to my social
soberness than my childish emotions. So I left his hand & said quite
Roy raised his head & what I saw melted me. He was weeping just like a
small child weeps soundlessly when being scolded by a beloved. This
tensed me. I understood that Mr Roy was going through mental trauma something
which he isn’t able to speak to. I stepped down from my seat and sat on my
knees next to Mr. Roy. I noticed that even my voice was quivering with
emotions. Clearing my voice I assured him, “Please speak”.
questioned abruptly, “Am I mad?”
was stunned, “Who said that to you?”
Roy answered, “My son”.
literally gaped and paused for a moment, “why?’
Roy continued, “I couldn’t recall where the family album was kept. I asked him
if he knew or not. Probably I had asked him more than two times. He got
frustrated. He yelled at me & said, “Baba you have gone mad. Why do you
need that crap now?” You see Snigdha”.
paused. I could clearly see the tears re-appearing in his eyes which he tried
hard to suppress. Biting his lips together he continued, “Family album…” he
gasped, “my no, no, our family album. Is it of no importance to him? Or now his
own family is more important to him than our family. Don’t we belong to his
family? Where did we go wrong?”
kept quite not because I knew he was speaking the truth but even because his
pain was somewhere linked to mine. I stared hard towards him but still couldn’t
Roy said, “Can the sedatives relief me from this emotional pain, where my only
son stays in the same apartment but barely comes to meet us. I wait for him
every day but at the end of day just a call. Are we meant nothing? We have
every luxury in life yet stay in a bed full of emotional thrones.”
found myself shaking my right leg vigorously. This happens mostly when I get
tensed. I stood up & started strolling around but knew Mr. Roy’s eyes were
following me to & fro eagerly to get an assurance, an answer. Of course I
didn’t have any & was wishing the arrival of Mrs. Roy with tea”. He asked
again clearing his, “Probably I am bothering too much. I must be leaving”.
Saying so he got up at once and started to leave.
observed him carefully as he walked towards the door. My mind responded, “Time
is running out. Don’t let him move back into darkness”. But then I suppressed
the urge because I knew even I couldn’t help him since he was the only one who
could help himself. I took a deep breath and started counting in reverse under
my breath. “Ten, nine, eight, seven….one.” The next moment he stood turned
towards me smiled and came back to take over the seat again. My profession
demanded me to stay and listen but right at this moment I was myself crippled
scene from my buried memories of 5 years re-occurred in front of me when I
opened the email dropped in my inbox from a quite irrelevant address. The email
read, “He died peacefully dear. Yours Mrs. Roy” My heart sank. Probably now I
realized how much Mr Roy was important to me. His last words from his last
meeting banged within my head, “Snigdha,
Probably I think I am crawling back to womb”.
if a dismayed small child I asked, “Why do you say that?”
Roy had replied, “When I was small I used to think the elders to be very
dominating and wanted to grow fast. This intention became fruitful when I grew
up and was able to dominate all. I guess during that period I almost forgot
that what was coming in front of me. But now I know that the reward has come
back in the form of my son’s verses my Karma”.
knew, he was speaking the truth. But still, I stopped him from being so
pessimistic & said, “That is not the complete truth. You are also a kind
Roy looked towards me in astonishment saying, “Am I? I don’t think so. I am
arrogant and because of this strict nature I guess my son is not with me”.
chose to be the silent listener. Mr. Roy continued, “Spiritual moral aspects me
to believe that we all spiritually need to be alone but then why the soul
itself endives to think about family, and intends us to be in group. I am
afraid to be alone”.
so he broke down again whereas I stood still like a statue. The begotten life
of mine was hatched with emotional pains but here stood in front of me the
side-effect of our decisions coming from elders. He sobbed and I thought of my
mother sobbing when I left our home because of the in fugitive moral clash with
my brother. I remembered how she said, “Snigdha
this is your home too. Please don’t go.” My dad just said, “I have never
asked you to go. This is as much your home as his. You mean same to me. But you
are an adult now & know what needs to be done”. I didn’t listen to them
& left just because my ego was hurt. Now I know how they felt. How
badly I wanted to go back to them.
heard Mr. Roy’s voice again, “As days are passing by I am feeling I am crawling
wrapped in my thoughts I tried to re-concentrate through his words, “What?
Crawling back. Crawling back, where?”
smiled amidst tears, “back to womb dear. Only I guess if I could re live the
time again with my family whom I adamantly had hurt in one way or another to
prove myself correct”.
words pinned my ego down. I understood my family was so important to me whom I
betrayed just because of my false possessiveness. He was indeed teaching
me a lesson through his life which I needed the most.
words floated again, “When we are born we have no teeth, less hair, wrinkled
skin and as we grow we beautify with youth but then the old age reverses
everything balancing us to get ready for the ultimate. We get wrinkled skin,
loose hair and teeth and even start behaving childish. Hopefully, now you know
why I said crawling back to womb”.
dared not to see towards him because I didn’t want to show my tears of guilt.
Then he said again, “Go back Snigdha, Go back. Family might make you
spiritually feeble but it’s the only light that helps you burn your energy
throughout. Or else one day you shall be standing at my place and saying
someone about “Crawling back to womb” which you would want badly but you
totally engulfed in my thoughts I heard a voice, “Snigdha come tea is
ready. Bring your baba’s (father’s) newspaper. Risi (my brother) is waiting for you.” I re-conceived my ma’s
voice & closed my eyes.
fell from my eyes as condolence for Mrs. Roy and gratitude towards him who
helped me to be back to the place where I belong. I repeated his words in
silence, “Crawling back to Womb”.