Tuesday, July 29, 2008
The Gulmohur tree and Rafey
"Where is Rafey?” enquired Mrs.Sheela Ahuja. Raji candidly replied that she knew where he’d be, but she wouldn’t tell, for reasons unknown. Annoyed and thoroughly disgusted Mrs.Ahuja scolded her daughter and asked where Rafey had been since morning, for she wanted her grocery in place and the fellow was least bothered about the daily chores. Raji played the confidante’s part and refused to reveal the whereabouts of Rafey.
Rafey and Raji were born on the same day. They shared the same initials, same birth place, and same maternity home, but different destinies. Rafey was Shareeq’s son. Shareeq was the driver and housekeeper to the Ahuja family.
They say, fate rules the life. Rafey was born with a luck which caused a death and misfortune to his family. His father remained a widower, after his mother took the abode’s path after Rafey was born. Rafey was devoid of a mother’s love all his life. For 5 years he basked in the glory of his father, until disaster struck again and he was left all alone to write his destiny, and live his share of goodness and ill-luck.
“Raji, for God’s sake, tell me where the hell is Rafey? I will be late for office and you will have to take care of the grocery” yelled Mrs. Ahuja.
Silence reigned and Raji went on with her painting assignment ignoring the questions her mother was throwing at her.
The Gulmohur shades were a mere illusion. Rafey sat under the huge tree staring at the sky, facing west. The sun was yet to change its course, and it shone brightly on Rafey’s back. He felt the heat; he loved taking it all on him. He observed the traffic across the road. The park had only one big tree and this Gulmohur was his best friend, for his father used to make him sit on the biggest branch of this tree while he washed the cars at the garage. He recollected each and every move of his father, the way he toiled hard to clean the wheels, intricately, making the steel shine. He felt proud of his perfection. Rafey was not sure whether his father’s departure was permanent or temporary. Every time he thought of his father, he smiled, thinking about the good times that will follow once he came back, from where he had gone.
It was a Friday. After offering namaz at the mosque, Shareeq was returning back home, when a truck hit him. There was a delay in rushing him to hospital because of the apparent apprehension of the people. Shareeq was a Muslim, there could have been many consequences of offering help to him. Humanity had diminished somewhere. It meant nothing to many people, but for Rafey, it was the end of parental bliss and he was left an orphan.
The amber coloured flowers on the gulmohur tree fell down on Rafey’s feet. The hot wind shook the branches of the tree and caressed his hair. It was just another day when he wanted to fight the world and do what he always wanted to do. The only person who understood his predicament was Raji. They were best of friends and shared everything. The 6 years of their lives, they had no one else, but each other. A sincere love, affection ruled the little hearts and they knew there was nothing beyond a relation of heart with heart. For them there was no religion, there was no caste, there were no differences.
That day Rafey sat under his favourite tree which was named after his mother “Gul”, and his thoughts encompassed all that was around him , he lived an eternity, missing what he didn’t have and appreciating what he had –nothing!!
Editing Credits :Abhishek Joshi