It was a breezy Sunday evening when he was sitting with his laptop in the lawn outside his bungalow. He was sixty years old and retired. The weather was pleasant and a strong fragrance of lilies captured his head. The bungalow he lived in was impeccably beautiful. The laptop kept on the table in front of him was on and he was looking at her pictures unblinkably. A beautiful bride stood amongst a few other people. “She got married ! My baby” he thought and a lone drop of tear tricked slowly down his cheek. At the age of sixty, he had only one wish ; to see his daughter getting married. But as they say that life is all about the choices that we make. It’s about the Road that you take and the one that you leave behind. He had everything in life, a beautiful bungalow, lavish car, status, reputation and a job that gives you supreme power to do everything you want. But sometimes, the most desirable things become meaningless. This gentleman was alone. He lived alone and he was living this life for ages now. Being an officer in the Intelligence Bureau demands sacrifices. Sacrifices that has to be made selflessly. He recalled the day when he finally decided to quit his normal life and step into a completely new one. He knew his identity will be changed. He was asked to leave his family, friends, and his acquaintances. That was the time when he had to make a choice. Today when he was looking at his daughter’s photographs on a social networking site, he felt like talking to her and tell her all that he had been holding on for years. His hand moved into his pocket and he took out his mobile phone. He dialled her number but could not call her. He carried his tired body to one of the trees planted in the lawn. He looked at the tree with moist eyes and hugged it. Helplessness fell off his eyes and a rush of tears came out of his heart when he recalled why he planted that tree.
His daughter was four years old when he was chosen by the authorities to be the secret agent. His training starter off in IB and gradually got shifted to higher organisations. He had been asked to leave his country and infact his identity too. He was well aware of the fact that he will have to leave his wife, his daughter, his parents behind for what he was planning to move into. And one day, he kissed his wife on the forehead and told her he’d be late today when in reality he was not going to come back. He turned around and looked at his daughter who was surrounded by the toys. Holding her in his arms would have made him weak so he did not do that.
“Aayat, I’ll be late.” He told his wife and looked into her eyes for he knew it was the last time when he was ever going to look at her like that. Needless to say, she knew that he was not coming back. She had seen the distress in his eyes and had speculated that her husband had finally chosen between the country and his family. It was an unsaid and unheard decision. As silent as their emotions were and as grave as the pain their hearts. He looked back at her while moving his tiny trolley bag on the paved surface. Aayat had no questions in her eyes. She had no fears, just acceptance, trust and faith in the man she had given her life to. She knew shell never be able to see him again. But she chose to keep her soft and fragile side inside her and with a brave smile she bid him good-bye.
“Take care of yourself … I love you” she said while he was moving out of the house.
Aayat was a proud wife, and she knew that their daughter will grow up to be a proud daughter. Aayat accepted that she was going to live a life of a single mother. But this did not break her. Infact it made her even stronger. The purpose of their lives was going to change forever. He moved outside the house and heard the door close behind him.
That was the last time when Aayat saw her husband. There are decisions that we have to make and sometimes we have to do it by keeping ourselves in self-sabotage. He did it because the love for his country was way more than anything else for him.
It was only after he landed up in this bungalow that he planted a tree for his daughter on her 5th birthday. He would see the tree growing up and imagine his daughter. A part of him still wants to go back to the old life he had left behind. But he knew he could never do that and will never be able to do that. While he was embracing the tree outside, his sobs were getting loud. He felt as if he was hugging his daughter. His shoulders slumped in defeat as he sat under the shade of the same tree.
It was only in the last month that he found out his daughter had written a book which she dedicated to him. The name of the book was “A life without you”. She not only dedicated the book to her father but also to every soldier of the country who have to live away from his Family. And that day, he felt like a proud father. He was so happy to see that his daughter remembers him and doesn’t hate him. For a man who’s life took a 360 degrees turn, it was impossible to go back to the old life. No matter how hard he cries, he will never be able to meet his daughter and his wife again. He could only rejoice in their happiness from a distance – distance which was too long to be travelled in this life.
Shattered, alone and tired in his big and lonely house, he sat under the shade of the tree untill the sun sets. As the sun moved into the darkness slowly he got up and moved inside the house.
He entered the kitchen and poured himself a cup of coffee .
“Congratulations my child ! I wish you all the happiness in the world” He said it out loud this time.
Life cannot always be picture perfect. It’s Beauty lies in having some and losing some.
One evening when he was sitting with his decisions that he took years ago, he felt rejuvenated. To have something in life, you have to lose alot.
He lived and died the same life. While he looked at the photographs of his daughter and wife on the laptop screen which was still on, he smiled.