There are some moments in our lives which flash by with the speed of light and leave us with bottomless introspection. One such incident happened when I was on my journey from Jabalpur to Singrauli. I met a policeman aged in his mid 50’s. He was a co passenger and had berth in the same compartment. We conversed on various current issues and analysed the whole Indian economy in several different ways.
The usual passenger chin-wags that happen in every journey started receding and now things started getting delicate. The man wanted to tell me all about his family, his children and his tough job routine and I was all ears. He began by telling me how he and his family used to live in a one bedroom house, how his children still managed to study and how his family was together at the time of scarcity. He was a very proud man as he had a notion that his children did a superb job by getting employed on a decent pay. I also shook my head in agreement. The old man told me about his elder son who does not live with him after he got employed and married. He went on and told me about his daughter and her marriage. He married his daughter to a well established businessman because he wanted her children to grow up in a family where there was no paucity of resources. He didn’t want his daughter to feel the same pain he suffered when he saw his children fighting for space in a one bed room home. There was a distinct glitter in his eyes unfolding his life’s story but then he suddenly paused and said something which shook me to the core. It made me realize how we slowly drift away from our families when we become independent.
“Meri beti ki shadi ho gai hai... wo aur uska pati acha khasa kamate hain... but aaj bhi wo expect karti hai ki main hi phone karu... Aaj bhi missed call marti hai ki papa wapas phone karenge... meri naukri khatam hone par hai... police me pension bhi kam hai aur meri gharwali bhi beemar rehti hai... kya ab bhi wo humara haal chaal tab hi poochegi jab main phone karu use?? Batao mujhe beta... tum shayad mujhe samjhaa sako... tum bhi unhi ke barabar ho umar me bete... bolo?? ”
I had no answer to what he said in that one minute. I was completely shaken by him and could see the pain in his eyes. Perhaps there are some moments in life where silence is the best answer.