‘The Impact Of Destiny…’
The gentle flutter of drizzling drops on the windshield made nothing to dissuade the heat inside the car. Sweat dripping down, he watched as his gas gauge fluctuated without a steady decision. GPS, the king of all navigation system in his state of art car showed that he had still 5 kilometres to pass to reach his destination.
Dammit, he said and then cursed when his car shook like an old maid and came to a screeching halt.
Pounding his head on the steering wheel, he wondered why he didn’t have the sense to check his fuel and engine before he took off, on impulse.
Look where impulse lead you… To No-damn-where…
‘Car and a lover are the same. You have to pamper your car, Mr. Shyam, like its your new lover, even if it has become old, or it will go off on you when you least expect it. It will get you down the road and make trouble for you.’
His very wise and very, very old mechanic had always advised him that. And still he was here, stuck, amidst a small village, with its street vendors crowding both the side of the street under tall coconut tree, with rain cloud becoming more and more persistent and with a road that was made of red, soggy soil.
He cursed again, something that would make his mother cringe…
But then… Oh, I have no mother, now have I? He thought as the pain twisted his heart muscle. He had had no mother for years and years.
15 years on an orphanage did nothing to dissipate the wish for a –HIS– mother. Now he was 26, moderately wealthy and had a good job. But… Still no mother.
It was sad, how he still wished and yearned and craved. For the woman who had dumped him in the orphanage and never again checked on him.
With a wry smile, he put his thought on pause. He was here, wasn’t he, with a shady report from his PI, leading him to his supposed to be mother. The Investigator had said that it might very well be possible that this woman was his mother….
When the rain didn’t seem to slow-off, he stepped out and walked to a man selling coconuts.
“One please.” He said to the man. The man was old, withered… His skin dry from the yearlong sun rays. And he was gawking at Shyam, through narrowed, cataract eyes.
“Wanna straw, Mr?” The man asked as he sliced the head of the coconut with a deft hand.
“Oh, yes please.”
The old man was still staring, his left eye twitching.
“Ye seem familiar, mr!” The man said at last. “Familiar. Them slate grey eyes… The cleft on chins… W’ere did I seen you?” He seemed to be wondering aloud, and Shyam paused from his drink. “Er, my Good God, yer father, I know him.”
Shyam was happy that he had stopped sipping his juice, or the impact of the news would have knocked the juice into his kidneys and make it collapse.
“MY FATHER?” He knew his voice was louder than the thunder.
“Yea, come along.” The man didn’t wait and Shyam didn’t question why he was moving along like a lamb with a rope on its neck. He just followed.
The house was big and ancient. He could hear a persistent cough, a loud boom of something hitting the other, booming voices…
“Ayah, them making chilli powder.” The old man said as he peaked in, and then yelled out, “Chaithu Amma, I brought a guest.” He then whispered, “old lady has ears like a dead snake…”
The said old lady came out with a mutter and came to a halt and stared. “Dear lord, my eyes have gone dead, as well!” She said, rubbed her eyes again and stared. And then she swirled back in, came out with three men and two women in tow.
“No, grammy, your eyes aren’t dead.” The young girl said. “It’s papa when he’s young.” She took a step closer and inspected his face. Shyam wanted to twitch, but he was frozen, like a statue.
It was like a drama and he, the main act. He silently watched as people poured out, talked over each other, shouted, cheered and discussed.
“Call your dad, Mithra.” A man in his forties said.
“I already did.”
It was like a circus. Shyam felt like he was the performing monkey.
The sound stopped suddenly and everyone gaped.
Shyam turned and was hit by the force of recognition and something stronger — love, was it? He was too young to remember clearly, but the flashes moved along. Of a man tickling his belly, carrying him on piggy back rides, watching sunsets, feeding him mangoes… This man…
The man looked speechless and then he was barrelling towards Shyam… “Oh, m-y G-god, this boy, my boy… My– boy…” He stuttered and then hugged Shyam. Tighter, closer. He was shaking and sobbing and talking wordless promises.
Later they would talk about how he was taken away by his own mother when she ran off with a servant, when he was just 3. How his father had searched for him for years. How his given name was Madhav…
But at this moment, two men who had loved and lost each other, hold onto each other, afraid to let go, tears streaming down their smiling lips, as their family watched with filled eyes.
Years later, destiny had given Shyam — an orphan for 23 years — his old family.
As they all cried happy tears, Fate smiled.